George Harrison Once Explained How Reggae Was Similar to The Beatles

George Harrison was a great rock n’ roll guitarist for The Beatles, but he was also fascinated with cultural music, such as Indian music and reggae. He had a passion for Indian music that led to him learning the sitar and adopting a more spiritual lifestyle. He also found reggae to be an intriguing genre and said the genre was somewhat similar to The Beatles.

George Harrison said reggae and The Beatles tried to copy rock n’ roll

Reggae originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s and became an influential genre thanks to artists like Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff. The music intrigued Many international audiences as it not only introduced them to the culture but also had a distinct sound that blended many genres and instruments.

George Harrison discovered reggae music and took an immediate interest in it. One reason why he loved it was that it reminded him of The Beatles. In a 1979 interview with BBC, Harrison spoke about reggae and said it was similar to how The Beatles found their sound because it appeared to be trying to copy rock music. However, when people try to copy rock, it sounds like something else.

“It’s incredible–it’s like, well, like Lord Buckley said, ‘It’s just like a jitterbug, it’s so simple it evades me.’ It is. It’s like the hardest thing really to play right.” Harrison explained. “I decided a few years ago that the way it must have evolved–or the way it could have evolved–was that they were probably copying rock ‘n’ roll, or copying the music of the ’60s, like we were.”

“Like a lot of the stuff we did, we were trying to do like other people, but we could never do it right, and it turned into something else,” he continued. “And I think that’s how reggae–they were sort of doing their version of what they thought everybody else was doing, and it turned into reggae.”

Harrison was a massive fan of Bob Marley

Bob Marley is the most recognizable reggae singer, with classic songs like “Three Little Birds,” “One Love,” and “Is This Love?” George Harrison became a fan of the reggae singer and said he went to see him in concert. After loving his first performance, he decided to return the next day.

“The first time I saw Bob Marley, I was so impressed with his band and the show, I went back… I mean, I stayed for the second show, and I went back the next night and saw him again,” Harrison shared. “Bob Marley in particular, because, apart from the musical thing–I mean, it’s sort of hypnotical–apart from that, I just liked the way he looked and the way he moved, sort of like he was in a dream. I don’t know why.”

Harrison told Timothy White at Musician Magazine that he once met Marley on the West Coast. He had the chance to take his friend and fellow guitarist Eric Clapton, but he didn’t, and Clapton never let it go.

“One of the only things that Eric’s ever held against me is that I met Bob Marley while I was out here on the West Coast in the late 1970s, and Eric’s always wished he’d been the one,” the former Beatle said. “He’s never forgiven me for not taking him along to meet Bob Marley.”

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