online sketchbook & creative dumping ground

George Harrison: Something in the Way…

Here’s another commission for Craig @

They called George Harrison “The Quiet One”.  Well you know the saying “You’ve got to watch out for the quiet ones… they’re the ones that will get you.” – or something like that… whatever.  The point is, that while I was working on this drawing, I learned something about “Quiet George”.  It seems that under the quiet exterior, the youngest Beatle  really didn’t like to be screwed with.

Have you ever heard of a Beatles tune called “Only a Northern Song”? I hadn’t… at least not as far as I can remember.  And if I had heard of it before, I’d obviously forgotten.

While working on this drawing, I looked up a list of Beatles songs written by George Harrison [used as background in an earlier version of this pic] and I saw that song title and couldn’t place it.  So I went over to YouTube and and looked it up. You can listen to the song and read along with the lyrics here.

So, the point of the story – apparently The Beatles were under contract with Northern Songs Ltd.  And, one day George actually read his contract.  He found out that although John Lennon & Paul McCartney were contracted to receive song-writing royalties, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were contracted as mere session musicians.  In other words George & Ringo got paid to show up and play, but that was it.

Ooof…!  Hard shot to the ego…

So a pissed-off George Harrison wrote this stinking train-wreck of a song in protest.  The lyrics are pretty clear… “Ill never see any royalties, so I don’t have any reason to make this a good song”!

I think people who know me would say that is the kind of thing I would do in the same situation… so there you go.  One reason for me to like George Harrison.  Maybe I will read about him…

-Sean Gallo

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