Let it Rock Around The World (Yellow Cat YC 072/73 – 2002)
Disk 1 : ( 75:11 ) George Intro / Rock Around The World (Intro) / Dark Horse ( Acoustic Guitar Rendition ) / Dialogue / ‘She Loves You’ / Dialogue / ‘My Sweet Lord’ / Dialogue / ‘Awaiting On You All’ ( Acoustic Guitar Rendition – CV ) / Dialogue / Buddy Holly ‘Peggy Sue’ (Acoustic Guitar Rendition – CV ) / Dialogue / ‘Help!’ – with James Bond intro / Dialogue / Promo for Extra Texture – You / ‘This Guitar’ / ‘And I Love Her’ – With Dialogue / ‘Far East Man’ ( Acoustic Guitar Rendition ) / Dialogue / ‘The Answer is At The End’ / Dialogue / ‘Paperback Writer’ / ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ / ‘Here Comes The Sun’ / Dialogue / ‘Dark Horse’ / Dialogue / ‘I Don’t Care Anymore’ ( Acoustic Guitar Rendition ) / The End.
Disk 2 : ( 37:44 ) Intro : Let It Rock / Bill Haley ‘Rock Around The Clock’ (Intro / Outro) / Joe Brown’s Introduction / Jerry Lewis ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ / Dialogue : Joe & George / Elvis Presley ‘Milk Cow Blues’ / Dialogue : Joe & George / Chuck Berry ‘Deep Feeling’ / Dialogue Joe & George / The Coasters ‘Yackety Yak’ / Dialogue : Joe & George / Richie Barrett ‘Some Other Guy’ / Interlude at 10 o’clock / Re- Intro of Let It Rock / Carl Perkins ‘Your True Love’ / Dialogue : Joe & George / Johnny Burnette ‘Lonesome Tears In my Eyes’ / Dialogue : Joe & George / Roy Orbison ‘California Blue’ / Dialogue : Joe & George / Eddie Cochran ‘C’mon Everybody’ / Joe Brown’s showstopper / Paul McCartney ‘I Got Stung’ / Program Outro.
After the passing of Beatle George in late November 2001 it was certain that there would be a number of less – official tributes to the man & it was a toss up as to whom might come up with the best & most fitting. As with everything else then it was the music that everyone concentrated on but taking a slightly different tact Yellow Cat released a fonder tribute than the rest. Two radio interviews from 2 different points in George’s career & while he might have been dubbed the “Quiet Beatle” he was anything but when talking about the things he found interesting – namely his music & his religion
It’s on the first CD of this set that George talks about both the most. Taken from a high quality broadcast or transcription disk George took a little time in his schedule to be interviewed by British Broadcasting legend Alan “Fluff” Freeman on October 18th, 1974 for George’s album “Extra Texture”. George is in a taciturn mood, pontificating on his favorite subjects & flip flopping through his feelings through out lest we for get the Beatles were gods but were & are still human. The interview starts with an acoustic guitar rendition of “Dark Horse” from George’s previous album “Dark Horse”. George & Alan then talk about George’s guitar playing, fame, meditation & the audience.
Fairly common place for an interview in the 70’s both parties sound like they occasionally seem to take a drag from a cigarette & the sound of clicking can be heard in the background as if the interview is being held in a pool hall. After the CV of the Beatles’ “She Loves You” the inevitable Beatle chat portion of the interview where George tries to pin point the point where his mindset changed from being “Beatle George” to just being George Harrison. He takes the chat back to his then heros – Krishna, the Guru’s, Ravi Shankar, etc .. before the CV of My Sweet Lord whence the chat turns to why George wrote that song, why Krishna was the religion that took his interest & then the conversation turns to inspiration & where his songs come from leading into a short acoustic version of “Awaiting On You All” from the ‘All Things Must Pass’ album which then turns in to the album version.
Alan then asks George if he belongs to a certain category to which George answers loosely about his musical heros & the first song he remembers ( possibly “One Meatball” the standard by Josh White ) which then turns to chat about George learning the chords to Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue” without much success at first but then, after some perseverance & a new chord book, he then found out that he’d been missing some chords. George then explains the chords that he’d been missing, strums a few bars of the song then the CV is played. George continues to talk about his influences & roots to talk about his first focal point in “Heartbreak Hotel”, through to musicians such as Jimi Hendrix & Eric Clapton &, again, Ravi Shankar. His realization that he’d never become a sitar player & how Eric et al helped him get over his frustration over his neglect by Paul McCartney who, apparently, never gave George the breaks he wanted & the confidence he required to start to love the guitar again. George then speaks about the 20% of the Beatles songs that were the exception to the other 80% that were over rated & the people that lived outside of the Beatles’ world.
He quickly changes tack praising both John & Paul for their songs & the music they wrote. After another Beatles track Alan talks to George about The Beatles & how they changed pop music with their approach to music, the studio & producing & breaking through in the pop world – the notice that the record companies would take of the Beatles after they had broken through. It makes a nice change to hear George pontificate on his old group just 5 years after the break up – John had certainly had his go at demonising the Beatles name but he had decided to do it within a short time where as George can afford to be a little more reflective while the four Beatles were still with us rather than trying not to hurt any of the Fab’s feeling while still being bullish & honest.
We’re then treated to an “Extra Texture” promo with two cut’s from the album – George’s “You” which he originally wrote for Ronnie Spector & had a go at completing the backing track between session for ATMP – more of which can be heard on Midnight Beat’s “The making Of All Things Must Pass” 3 CD box & Extra Texture’s “This Guitar (Can’t Keep From Crying)” written for his now ex-wife the Model Patti Boyd. After a short break George is asked by Alan if he’s ever run against any fractious friendships – possibly a small dig at Eric Clapton who had stolen George’s wife from him, the afore mentioned Patti Boyd. George is gracious if long winded in his answer by way of singing a verse of Gary Moore’s “Far East Man”& ambling towards an answer that he never seems to quite reach instead quoting a script that appears in the hallway of Friar Park & would form some of the next track played “The Answers At The End”. As this song ends George picks up where he left off last time but preambles along the same lines about his friendship.
It’s clear that he’s still angry about something but can’t bring himself to land the blame on anyone. This section, the program makers must have felt was important enough to be included but as it’s obvious goes nowhere then they’ve decided to include 3 Beatles tracks to lift the weight from the listener. “Paperback Writer”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” & “Here Come The Sun” follow – “While My Guitar .. ” & “Here Comes The Sun” seem quite apt for the conversation if one wishes to look closely in to the genesis of the songs as Eric Clapton plays lead guitar on “While .. ” & George wrote “Here .. ” while relaxing in Eric’s garden. These are probably not included for those facts but are put in just to remind the listener, as if they needed it, that George was once a Beatle & are a good rejoinder to the conversations conclusion as George play’s plaudits in a way to his ex-band members.
George is now ready to get back in touch with his old friends but goes a long way about it embracing their faults while running down their names at the same time. One final chance to promote George’s solo output fails slightly by playing “Dark Horse” from one of George’s least rated albums “Dark Horse” – dubbed “Dark Hoarse” as George’s voice was shot & the subsequent tour was outright panned. Questioned about the term “Dark Horse” George gives the answer that he’s just how he is. the phrase dark horse meaning that what you see on the outside isn’t necessarily what you get on the inside which is certainly true of George through this interview. to tie things up with George is asked by Alan to play something & so rips out an amusing & acoustic take of “I Don’t Care Anymore” ad-libbing lyrics about how long the interview has taken & how Alan Freeman is, essentially, a really nice chap by way of quoting Monty Python’s “Lumber Jack Song”. The Show finishes with a voice over for the credits for the show dubbed over the Beatles song “The End”
Skip forward 25 years & George is in a much more relaxed mood. Friendships have been repaired & a lot of the anger that George was feeling has subsided & is now happy to join Joe Brown just to fondly reminisce about old Rock & Roll tunes & talk about the roots he mentioned ‘All Those Years Ago” ..
the broadcast is taken from a hissy broadcast possibly taken from the internet & it’s the hiss thats slightly irritating but doesn’t generally get in the way once you settle in to the broadcast.
George’s first R&R request is “Whole Lotta’ Shakin’ Goin’ On” by Jerry Lee Lewis. a track that George attributes with “One of the greatest ever records of all time”. George then turns out one of the same tales he’s uttered before about hearing “Heartbreak Hotel” & how Scottie Moore from Elvis’ band was to blame for the naughty chord that George is always ‘blamed’ for. The most famous song that that chord appears in though is “Milk Cow Blues” which George suggests Joe plays .. which he does. Chuck Berry is noted as an influence next & the track chosen to represent this is an obscure B-side called “Deep Feeling”.. George is then asked about his cover of the Coasters “Three Cool Cats” most famously found on the Beatles New Years Day Decca audition tape. The song George wants to play is one called “Yackety Yak” who’s Saxaphone player is King Curtis who the Beatles toured with in America in the mid – 60’s. George makes a poignant note of King Curtis eventually being stabbed which George was obviously not to know would be what happened to him later on that year.
George moves his attention to R&B this time mentioning Richie Barrett’s “Some Other Guy” another song that’s famous for it’s appearance in early Beatles footage, most notably this time at Liverpool’s Cavern Club.. George would rather Joe plays the original as the Lennon led version is “‘Orrible”. A Brief station break & then back to the music & bang straight in to “Your True Love” by Carl Perkins – George’s hero & old sparing partner from from the 1980’s ” .. And Friends” special. George reminisces about going to Carl’s funeral & playing that track, one of George’s favorites. Joe then mentions “Honey Hush” a rockabilly classic by Dorsey & Johnny Burnett which George remembers John having a 10″ LP of which the Fabs would learn songs from but George remembers that Paul has covered “Lonesome Tears In my Eyes” for his Rock & Roll album so chooses that instead. Once the track finishes George talks about how they would source these tracks from NEMS when Brian Epstein was owner & how Brian would insist on stocking at least one copy of every LP that was around & available at the time. Joe has to mention Roy Orbison at some point & as George worked with him in the Traveling Wilburys & was a fan in the early days then he has a clutch of fond stories about him to tell this then leads in to Roy’s “California Blue”.
George doesn’t have much interview time left so for his last track he chooses Eddie Cochran & “C’mon Everybody” pulling out a memory of Eddie while playing in Liverpool that’s a smile raising reminder of stage patter through the ages. Once the song is finished Joe is back in the studio & keeping with the Beatle theme mentions Paul’s new R&R album that wasn’t going to be released until a few months later but apparently Paul had shipped him over a ‘quick mix’ of “I Got Stung” which Joe duly plays. I’ve heard the “Run Devil Run” album a few times & this version is no different to the released version but it’s there & rounds off the theme nicely. The same mix was also bootlegged on Yellow Cats “I Got Stung” ( YC 066 ) where it sounds just the same.
the cover features a portrait of George ( possibly pictured inside Friar Park ) stood by a Wurlitzer jukebox with an acoustic guitar by his side & George’s signature superimposed at the top right hand side. The back cover is black with a full track listing in a clean white font.
As I mentioned before the set is a fitting tribute to a musical genius who takes the chance to pay tribute to his friends but at the same time wallow in the music that he loves & is only too happy to talk about it. George changed his mind as often as the next man but the next man might not have been as affable, warm & witty. George was..If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)