Newly Discovered George Harrison Lyrics Reveal Ode To Bandmate Ringo Starr
Posted by Chris Meyer
on Thursday April 6th, 2017
During his time with The Beatles, the genius that was George Harrison was many times overshadowed by the ever-looming superstardom of the McCartney-Lennon epic songwriting duo. Harrison had several of his own hits with his former mates, including (but not limited to) “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” Here Comes the Sun,” “Within You Without You,” and “Something,” but was extremely limited in his own personal output during those years. After the Fab Four broke up, it was realized just how prolific of a songwriter “The Quiet One” actually was.
With the release of his first solo album, 1970’s triple album All Things Must Pass, it was witnessed how much material Harrison has filled up his tank with during his years with The Beatles. Hits such as “My Sweet Lord” and “What Is Life” led the album and its star studded cast. Future hits would include “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)” from 1973’s Living in the Material World, and later works such as “This Song,” “Crackerbox Palace,” “All Those Years Ago” (a song written for Ringo Starr, with lyrics changed after the murder of John Lennon), as well as “Handle With Care” from his time with the Traveling Wilburys.
And there was so much more, according to a new Billboard interview with George’s widow, Olivia Harrison. According to Olivia, while working on the extended edition of George’s autobiographical work, I Me Mine (originally released in 1980), she discovered various penned lyrics to the former Beatles work in different places. One of those discoveries happened to be a song titled “Hey Ringo,” which was found in Billy Preston‘s piano bench, and featured at a special 74th birthday celebration that Olivia and son Dhani put together at Subliminal Gallery in Los Angeles for Harrison this past February. The celebration acted as a a launch party for I Me Mine (Extended Edition), with stars such as Jim James, Joe Walsh, Jakob Dylan, Erik Idle, and former bandmate and lifelong friend Starr making appearances. Olivia Harrison discussed when Starr saw the lyrics for the first time:
“Ringo had never seen it until last Saturday [at the gallery/pop-up store]. He said, “Hey, I’ve never seen that before.” And I said I hadn’t either. I guess it was in the piano bench in an envelope. And there was this song called “Hey Ringo” that they think was from around 1970 or 1971. And it’s really sweet. I’m going to get it framed and give it to him because it’s really sweet. It’s like “Hey Ringo, or something, “That without you my guitar plays far too slow.” That was a big revelation and surprise. Ringo was totally surprised and really happy. What a gift to have all these years later.” And that, it most certainly is.