George Harrison said seeing Cliff Richard inspired him to play guitar: "I could do better than that"

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

"Before Cliff Richard and 'Move It', there was nothing worth listening to in England."

That was the opinion of John Lennon, who once claimed Cliff Richard had a transformative effect on British pop music.

Despite later becoming chart rivals, the plucky singer actually had more of an influence on The Beatles than he would've perhaps realised himself.

Up until the release of Cliff Richard & The Shadows' 1959 hit 'Move It', rock 'n' roll hadn't quite yet made it across the Atlantic to the UK.

John Lennon claimed Cliff Richard was the best thing to happen to British music. Why George Harrison accused the Bee Gees of being "greedy". When George Harrison teamed up with Paul Simon for a beautiful duet of 'Here Comes The Sun'. 

Cliff opened the gateway to a musical revolution on our shores, and made a lasting impact on another member of the Fab Four too.

In fact, insight from a new book reveals that George Harrison was inspired to pick up the guitar after seeing Cliff Richard perform.

Though unlike Lennon, Harrison wasn't as effusive in his praise for Richard's talent. Quite the opposite. Set for release on 11th April 2024, the new book All You Need Is Love has been described as "a ground-breaking oral history of The Beatles and how it all came to an end."

According to The Times, it also details what influenced George to learn the guitar - seeing Cliff Richard perform.

"I remember being a kid of about twelve, dreaming of big motorboats and tropical islands and things which had nothing to do with Liverpool, which was dark and cold," he said in a 1980 interview that has recently resurfaced.

"I remember going to see Cliff Richard and thinking 'f**k it - I could do better than that."

Source: Thomas Curtis-Horsfall/


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