George Harrison and the rest of The Beatles lived in their own little bubble in the 1960s. They’d tour, record, and repeat. They didn’t have much time to process what was happening around them in the outside world, much less the storm they were creating in the music industry.
However, George remembered one thing through the flurry of The Beatles. He never forgot the “sudden flash” he got while working on two of the band’s most innovative records. They made him realize he had a true purpose. Suddenly he was on a quest to find the answers to the universe.
George Harrison said he felt a ‘sudden flash’ when The Beatles were working on ‘Rubber Soul’ and ‘Revolver’
During a 1992 interview, Guitar World said that The Beatles “made music that awoke and changed the world.” They asked George, “Could you sense that special dimension of it all while it was happening, or were you lost in the middle of it?”
“A combination of both, I think,” he replied. “Lost in the middle of it-not knowing a thing-and at the same time somehow knowing everything.”
“Around the time of Rubber Soul and Revolver it was like I had a sudden flash, and it all seemed to be happening for some real purpose. The main thing for me was having the realization that there was definitely some reason for being here. And now the rest of my life as a person and a musician is about finding out what that reason is, and how to build upon it.”
Once the band stopped touring, they were able to open themselves up to all kinds of music
The Beatles stopped touring in 1966, and it was one of the best decisions they ever made. Cutting out touring gave the band time to focus on their music more. It opened the door to musical expression and experimentation. Suddenly, George and The Beatles could hone their skills as songwriters and musicians. Everything influenced and inspired them.
When the group released Rubber Soul and Revolver, Guitar World wrote that it sounded as if they’d taken a
“Rock could now deal with our inner lives, alienation, spirituality and frustration, things which it had never dealt so directly with before. And the guitars and music warped into a new dimension,” they wrote. They asked George what “kicked that off? Was it Dylan, the Byrds, Indian music and philosophy?”
“Well, all of those things came together,” George responded. “And I think you’re right, around the time of Rubber Soul and Revolver we just became more conscious of so many things. We even listened deeper, somehow.
“That’s when I really enjoyed getting creative with the music-not just with my guitar playing and songwriting but with everything we did as a band, including the songs that the others wrote. It all deepened and became more meaningful.”
The door to musical experimentation might have opened, but another more spiritual door opened for George too.
After The Beatles, George continued his journey, finding the reason for being in the material world
Throughout the rest of George’s time in The Beatles and beyond, he never rested from his quest for answers. He was always on a journey to spiritual enlightenment and tried to connect with God in any way he could. According to Look to the Stars, George had a “knock and the door will be opened” philosophy.
George concluded to Guitar World, “I’ve got my own cosmic lighting conductor now. Nature supports me.”
However, he couldn’t understand why no one else tried looking for answers. “I get confused when I look around at the world,” George said, “and I see everybody is running around and, as Bob Dylan said, ‘He not busy being born is busy dying,’ and yet nobody is trying to figure out what’s the cause of death and what happens when you die. That to me is the only thing really that’s of any importance. The rest is all secondary.”
George reasoned that people were too ignorant. Still, finding all the answers took time. “The answer is how to get peace of mind and how to be happy,” He continued. “That’s really what we’re supposed to be here for. The difficult thing is that we all go through our lives and through our days and we don’t experience bliss. It’s a very subtle thing to experience that and to be able to know how to do that. It’s something you don’t just stumble across; you’ve got to search for it.”
We don’t know if George found everything he was looking for in the material world, but he surely found it when he went out like a beam of light as he died.
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