The Meaning Behind "All Those Years Ago" by George Harrison and How It Evolved After

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Many artists rose to the occasion with tributes to John Lennon in the immediate aftermath of his death. You could make the argument that it took those that were closest to him and shared in the experience of The Beatles to do it best. Paul McCartney’s “Here Today” tried to imagine how Lennon would react to such a tribute. And George Harrison’s “All Those Years Ago” reflected Lennon’s unique standing in the culture as a polarizing figure, while also reconciling Harrison’s own feelings about his departed friend.

What went into Harrison creating the song? How did it evolve based on Lennon’s death? And what made it a kind of Beatles reunion record? Let’s go back to how it got started with, oddly enough, a rejection.

Many of Ringo Starr’s greatest solo successes came courtesy of, you guessed it, a little help from his friends. Specifically, Harrison had a hand in writing two of Starr’s biggest singles: “It Don’t Come Easy” and “Photograph.” Harrison intended the same thing with a song he wrote entitled “All Those Years Ago.” He thought it fit his old bandmate, and Starr recorded the song with the help of Harrison and others in 1980.

Source: Jim Beviglia/


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