Why is George Harrison underestimated

The making of the song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

by Philipp Koesling,

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is not only the most popular song of the famous oneWhite albums; it is also one of the most famous songs that George Harrison ever wrote with the Beatles.

Somehow it just didn't work out in the studio. Even after 28 takes, there was something that George Harrison didn't like. Something always had to be changed, re-imported or improved. He himself played lead guitar and did the vocals during the recordings, John Lennon played electric guitar, Paul McCartney piano and Ringo Star - who would have thought it - sat on the drums.

After a few days in the studio, Harrison invited his friend and colleague Eric Clapton into the studio and asked him to play the lead guitar part. The plan was to let Eric Clapton play at his own pace and later put the result on top of the other tracks.

Eric Clapton vehemently declined the offer with the words "Nobody ever plays on the Beatles ’records."But George Harrison appeased him and replied:"So what? It's my song.”

Finally it was agreed that Eric Clapton would take over the part. However, he only agreed on the premise that his contribution had to be designed in such a way that it ultimately corresponds to the Beatles character.

Harrison's suggested solution was to use the guitar part and the organ partArtificial double tracking (one doubles the respective tracks and influences the speed of one track) so that the sound got a pitch-wobbling effect by varying the individual speeds of the tracks. And that's how the prancing, light-footed, swinging sound came about that we still hear today when we listen to the song.

Since the original song is unfortunately no longer available on YouTube, a few live performances are listed below, during which “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is played in various line-ups. Have fun!

Get the playalong version of the classic here!

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