Compliments on your effort are what motivate famous rock stars to keep working. However, they are susceptible to making biased remarks that are probably unpleasant to hear, just like any other human being.
The Beatles’ most level-headed member, the late George Harrison, was known for never speaking ill of anyone, particularly his contemporaries. Harrison, however, can be heard disparaging Neil Young in this archival video from the recording studio, making it clearly clear that he was by no means a fan of the legendary musician’s guitar playing.
Young’s musical path was significantly influenced by The Beatles, so it stands to reason that hearing Harrison’s assessment of his work would have hurt. In 1975, the Canadian talked with Rolling Stone and disclosed, “I remember singing Beatles tunes. The first song I ever sang in front of people was It Won’t Be Long, and then Money (That’s What I Want). That was in Calvin High School [Winnipeg] cafeteria. My big moment.”
Young and Harrison even performed on the same platform in 1992 at Bobfest, a concert held at Madison Square Garden in New York to honor Bob Dylan’s 30 years as a recording artist. Young and Harrison joined many other musicians in paying homage to Dylan at the conclusion of the performance, including Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, and many more. While Harrison and Young got along well at Bobfest that year, behind closed doors, Harrison made a number of insulting comments about Young. While helping Dave Stewart in the studio with his rendition of Harrison’s song, “This Guitar,” the former Beatle and Bob Geldof discussed Young.
In the video, when Harrison was asked if he liked Young’s track ‘Around the World’ he replied, “I’m not a Neil Young fan. I hate it, yeah I can’t stand it.” Harrison expanded after mimicking Young’s guitar playing, “It’s good for a laugh. We did this show with him, I saw it from the other side of the stage and looked around, I looked at Eric and said ‘what’s going on?’ He did the solo in the middle then he kind of looked at me like – ‘don’t look at me, it’s not me’.”
Paul McCartney was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Young in 1999, and as a result of their mutual respect for one another, the two have collaborated a number of times since then. Harrison’s criticisms of Young and “Around The World” are harsh, but he never intended for them to be offensive, which is why he said them in front of peers. But someway, a video of the recording session wound up online, revealing the guitarist’s real feelings toward another member of the musical aristocracy.