The Beatles: Guitar Heroes 13 – George Harrison

Share My Guitar is pleased to announce a new series of guest posts by John F. Crowley about guitars owned by members of the Beatles. Each week we will unleash another article covering the history and impact of these fab guitars.

It’s fair to say George Harrison didn’t just waltz into the Beatles’ lead guitar slot.

Through talent and tenacity, he earned it. Harrison was the funny-looking, skinny chap Paul McCartney used to see on the bus to school. He had a flair for colorful clothes and, above all, a love of the guitar, which he shared with the slightly older McCartney.

In 1958, with nothing more impressive on his resume but one gig at the British Legion Club with his brother Peter and a couple mates, the 15 year old began sitting in with the group McCartney had just joined — The Quarry Men — and filled in when one or another of the guitarists didn’t show. Before long his chops — honed from arduous practice and careful devotion to R&B and Country and Western hits from America — won him a permanent position as the band’s go-to guy.

During a lean period in 1959 Harrison played with the Les Stewart Quartet but by August he was back with the Beatles to open the Casbah Club, and for every gig they played thereafter.

In a solo career populated by both worldwide hits and spectacular misses, Harrison has earned the respect of fans, musicians and critics alike with his unique palette of humor, devotion, irony and craftsmanship. “I believe I love my guitar more than the others love theirs,” Harrison once told Beatles Monthly. “For John and Paul, songwriting is pretty important and guitar playing is a means to an end. While they’re making up new tunes I can thoroughly enjoy myself just doodling around with a guitar for a whole evening. I’m fascinated by new sounds I can get from different instruments I try out. I’m not sure that makes me particularly musical. Just call me a guitar fanatic instead, and I’ll be satisfied.”

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