It has been 37 years since the George Harrison song “Crackerbox Palace” landed in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The song entered the Top 40 and stayed there for five weeks, peaking at number 17. The song was off of the 1976 album 331/3, which also featured the song “This Song”. “Crackerbox Palace” is not one of the Harrison songs we are likley to hear on classic rock and oldies stations.
Since George is a uniquely spiritual person, people misinterpreted his reference to “the Lord” in the song. In his 1990 biography Dark Horse, author Geoffrey Giuliano mentioned a recollection that Harrison made at the time to a journalist:
“In the song, when I say I met someone called Mr. Grief, it isn’t just a clever rhyme with life as most people would think. There is a real person, and I met him in Southern France. He was talking to me, and the way he was talking really struck me. So I told him, “I don’t know if this is an insult or not, but you remind me of Lord Buckley. He’s my favorite comedian.” He is dead now, but was one of the first real hip comics. And the guy nearly fell over. He said, “Hey, I managed him for 18 years!”
So we were talking about Lord Buckley, and Mr. Grief said he lived in a little shack, which he called Crackerbox Palace. I loved the way “Crackerbox Palace” sounded I loved the whole idea of it, so I wrote a song and turned it from that shack into a phrase for the physical world. The world is very serious and at times such a very sad place. But at the same time, it’s such a joke. It’s all Crackerbox Palace.”
Harrison made a cool video of the song which was actually shown on an episode of “Saturday Night Live” around the time of the song’s release. This is the video:
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