The blissful day George Harrison wrote ‘Here Comes The Sun’

Music touches people in different ways, and as such, the inspiration behind both listening to and making it vary. However, it is a safe assumption to say that nobody starts making music because they want to sign a lot of complicated contracts and be bogged down by numbers and percentages put forward by accountants. George Harrison could attest to this, and his desire to avoid them led to one of The Beatles‘ greatest hits.

“If it hadn’t have been for your daddy, I never would have picked up a guitar,” were the words Harrison offered to Stan Perkins, son of Carl Perkins, on the day of his father’s funeral. His music, paired with an inner desire to create, inspired Harrison to begin playing guitar in the first place. He heard something he connected with, and he wanted to try and replicate it as much as possible.

Many could argue that Harrison was lucky he got to make a successful career out of this art form that moved him so much; in fact, Harrison would probably agree. However, with success, there also come pitfalls. This happened to The Beatles as the tension between the band started to grow, and the way they worked with their record label became more convoluted. It meant Harrison’s life became a tightrope hanging over arguments with bandmates and complicated contracts. It’s enough to make anyone resent their job, so Harrison decided to take a day off and, in doing so, reminded himself why he did what he did.

“’Here Comes The Sun’ was written at the time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: ‘Sign this’ and ‘Sign that,’” said Harrison. “Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever; by the time spring comes, you really deserve it. So, one day, I decided I was going to sag off Apple, and I went over to Eric Clapton’s house. The relief of not having to go and see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric’s acoustic guitars and wrote ‘Here Comes The Sun’.”

Sometimes, distancing yourself from the reality of your work can help ground you. This is likely what happened to Harrison on that day, as he left behind the tension and business and instead hung out with fellow musicians in the light British sunshine and did the thing he always loved to do: make music. This is also reflected in the fact that he decided to try to incorporate a new instrument into the track that he hadn’t properly used before, as the limitless possibility of music presented itself to him again.

“I first heard about the Moog synthesiser in America. I had to have mine made specially because Mr Moog had only just invented it. It was enormous, with hundreds of jackplugs and two keyboards… It was one thing having one and another trying to make it work.”

Undoubtedly, the light melody and blissful backdrop that makes up the track ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is representative of Harrison’s mindset at the time of writing. He was able to take a step back from reality and immerse himself in the surreal nature of sound and the joy that can accompany its creation.

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