George Harrison’s 1974 tour is definitely remembered as a bust

The often criticized “George Harrison and Friends” world tour began on November 2, 1974 in Vancouver, British Columbia. As a warm-up act, the tour featured a sixteen piece Indian orchestra lead by Ravi Shankar.

To cover the many criticisms of this tour obviously cannot be done in a sing;e post on this blog. Instead, here is a transcript of a portion of the press conference that George held in Los Angeles on October 24, 1974 to discuss the upcoming tour with reporters from all over the world.

REPORTER: Why did you decide to return to America?

GEORGE: I’ve been back here many times. This is the first time I’ve been back to work, though. It’s also the first time I’ve had an H-1 visa since ’71.

REPORTER: What was the reason for you not having the H-1?

GEORGE: I had the same problem as John Lennon. I was busted for marijuana way back in ’67.

REPORTER: Would you ever consider touring Mexico?

GEORGE: I wouldn’t mind. I mean, I would go anywhere. This is really a test. I either finish this tour ecstatically happy and want to go on tour everywhere, or I’ll end up just going back to my cave for another five years.

REPORTER: Could you tell us your feelings and expectations for the upcoming tour?

GEORGE: I think if I had more time I’d be panic-stricken, but I don’t really have the time to get worried about it.

REPORTER: Are you getting divorced from Pattie?

GEORGE: No, I mean, that’s as silly as marriage.

REPORTER: Can you foresee a time when you’ll give up your musical objectives?
GEORGE: I can see a time when I’d give up this sort of madness, but music – I mean everything is based upon music. I’ll never stop my music.

REPORTER: What direction is your music going in now?

GEORGE: Haven’t got a clue. I mean it’s getting a bit funkier, especially with Willy Weeks and all them.

REPORTER: What’s your attitude about drugs now?

GEORGE: Drugs? What drugs? Aspirins or what are you talking about? I mean, I think it’s awful when it ruins people. What do you define as a drug? Like whisky? I don’t want to advocate anything because it’s so difficult to get into America these days.

The famous rock website has a detailed article entitled “The History of George Harrison’s Ill-Fated 1974 North American Tour”, in addition to countless great articles on The Beatles and other major rock acts.

The Rolling Stones Got By with a Little Help from Their Friends John Lennon and Paul McCartney

While it is well known that Paul McCartney and John Lennon helped out other artists on songs during the Beatles years, the one and only time that they ever helped out on song together was in 1967 on The Rolling Stones hit “We Love You”. The song is for the most part unknown in the U.S., but it reached # 8 on the British pop charts. In the U.S., it only reached # 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 and therefore was off the radar screen because it fell short of the coveted Top 40.

“We Love You” is definitely “interesting”. Its Moroccan influence is obvious. One critic at the time described it as a “psychedelic collage of jail sounds.”

The song was written in response to the drug arrests of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones on 12 February 1967 at Richards’ country home in Sussex. The band made an accompanying video that was a re-enactment of the 1895 trial of Oscar Wilde for indecency. Needless, to say the BBC immediately banned the video, or “promotional film” as was the term back then.

“We Love You” was a brazen and public “thank you” to The Beatles, The Who and the editorial page of the London Times for taking the bold initiative to voice public support for the three members of The Rolling Stones after their drug arrests. Since the song was written in part for The Beatles, Paul McCartney and John Lennon were asked to help out with backing vocals, marking the first and only time that these two Beatles would help out on a song together.

Interestingly, Stones lead guitarist Brian Jones played the Mellotron on the track.

Check out the song that never made the Top 40 in the U.S., and the promotional film the Stones made for it: