George Harrison Wrote The Beatles’ ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ After He Got Bored With Guitars

George Harrison wrote The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” while he was staying at a hotel with two rock legends. The song eventually took over the world.

George Harrison was less interested in guitars and more interested in another instrument when he wrote The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” He revealed another rock star helped him create the song. Prince gifted the world with an awe-inspiring cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Why people love The Beatles’ ‘Why My Guitar Gently Weeps’

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has interesting lyrics. However, it’s most beloved for its guitar riffs. That’s ironic, given George’s mindset at the time.

The book George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters includes an interview from 1977. In that interview, George discussed the composition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” “Well, for eight studio dates, and then I’d get the guitar out and just play, you know, learn a part and play for the record.” he said. “But I’d really lost a lot of interest in the guitar.”

How Eric Clapton impacted The Beatles’ classic song

George discussed guitar virtuoso Eric Clapton’s role in crafting The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” “I remember I came from California and I shot this piece of film for the film on Ravi’s [Shankar] life called Raga and I was carrying a sitar,” he said. “And we stopped in New York and checked in a hotel and Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton were both at the same hotel and that was the last time I really played the sitar like that.

“We used to hang out such a lot at that period, and Eric gave me a fantastic Les Paul guitar, which is the one he plays on that date,” George added. “So it worked out well. I like the idea of other musicians contributing.”

‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ (eventually) took over the world

The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was never a single, so it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The tune appeared on the eclectic classic The White Album. That record topped the Billboard 200 for nine weeks and remained on the chart for 215 weeks altogether.

According to The Official Charts Company, The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” never charted in the United Kingdom either. The White Album chartered multiple times in the U.K. First, it was No. 1 for eight weeks, lasting on the chart for 37 weeks. Then, it recharted at No. 18 and remained on the chart for two weeks. The album recharted in the 1980s when a lot of the Fab Four’s albums got rereleased.

The tune eventually became a staple, inspiring renditions by Toto, Phish, Todd Rundgren, India Arie, and Regina Spektor. The latter version appeared on the soundtrack of the family film Kubo and the Two Strings. Most famously, Prince covered the track at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with help from Jeff Lynne, Steve Windwood, and Tom Petty. During that performance, Prince proved how well he could shred — as if the world needed any more proof!

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has some of the best guitar work of the 1960s even if George had lost some interest in guitars when he wrote it.

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