Five musicians that George Harrison hated

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It’s hardly surprising that within a band as legendary as The Beatles, diverse viewpoints flourished. Despite John Lennon’s fame for his forthrightness, his fellow Beatles, including George Harrison, known as “The Quiet One,” had moments where their critiques made waves, adding to the band’s rich tapestry of internal dialogue.

Contrary to the usual narrative of Harrison being a reserved, introspective figure who seldom voiced his thoughts, letting his bandmates lead conversations, the reality was quite different. Underneath his tranquil exterior was a tumult of feelings. On the right occasion, Harrison could unleash a storm of words, his comments slicing through the air with precision.

Harrison, while primarily recognized for his sharp observations on social and political matters, did not hold back when expressing his opinions on other musicians. His critiques could be more scathing than one might expect, even more so than those of his bandmate Lennon. Whether it was peers from his era or new artists reshaping music, Harrison did not shy away from expressing his discontent if they didn’t align with his musical ethos.

Below is a compilation of five musicians George Harrison notably did not favor.

1. Neil Young

Despite Neil Young’s acclaim and influence, George Harrison did not share the admiration held by many for the Canadian singer-songwriter’s guitar skills. This was peculiar given Harrison’s own recognition as a guitar innovator.

In a 1992 studio session video where Harrison contributed vocals to Dave Stewart’s rendition of his 1975 solo work ‘This Guitar,’ Harrison openly declared his disinterest in Young’s work during a conversation that included Bob Geldof and Chuco Merchan. When Geldof mentioned appreciating Young’s guitar work, Harrison interjected with clear disdain, “I hate it, yeah, I can’t stand it,” even mocking Young’s guitar technique humorously.

2. Oasis

The classic rock era saw many artists criticize Manchester’s Oasis, but George Harrison’s critique was particularly impactful, especially given his influence on Oasis’ lead, Noel Gallagher. In 1996, Harrison critiqued Oasis’ music for lacking depth and specifically called out Liam Gallagher, leading to a sharp retort from Liam, who was ready to defend his honor against Harrison’s comments.

3. The Hollies

Despite sharing Merseyside origins with The Beatles, The Hollies found themselves at odds with Harrison, especially after covering his Beatles song ‘If I Needed Someone’ in a manner Harrison found objectionable. His harsh feedback in a 1965 NME interview sparked a verbal back-and-forth between Harrison and The Hollies’ Graham Nash, highlighting the intense rivalries of the music scene.

4. Sex Pistols

While The Beatles may have pre-empted punk’s rebellious ethos, the genre’s pioneers, including the Sex Pistols, largely rejected them. Harrison, for his part, was unimpressed by punk’s musicality, criticizing its lack of finesse and overall negativity in a 1979 Rolling Stone interview. Despite acknowledging the socio-economic frustrations fueling punk, Harrison advocated for positivity over further negativity.

5. Elton John

Despite personal respect for Elton John, Harrison did not enjoy his music, feeling it lacked the originality and depth of the influences that shaped The Beatles’ sound. In a 1976 interview with India Today, Harrison expressed his preference for the music of his early influences over John’s, which he felt was formulaic and repetitive.

This list showcases Harrison’s candidness and discernment, reflecting his deep commitment to musical authenticity and his unique perspective within the vast landscape of popular music.

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