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This Star Helped George Harrison Write The Beatles' 'Something'

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

A 1960s rock star taught George Harrison a musical trick that helped him write The Beatles’ "Something." John Lennon said that "Something" differed from all of George's previous compositions.

The Beatles‘ “Something” is one of George Harrison’s masterpieces. He probably couldn’t have made it alone. Another 1960s rock star taught George a musical trick that helped him write “Something.” John Lennon would later say that “Something” differed from all of George’s previous compositions.
The Beatles’ ‘Something’ was inspired by someone who was there with them in India

Donovan is a folk/psychedelic rock singer who became famous for 1960s tunes such as “Atlantis,” “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” “Sunshine Superman,” “Mellow Yellow,” and “Season of the Witch.” He famously went on The Beatles’ trip to India to study meditation. Donovan’s personal website says that he taught George a descending chord pattern that the Beatle would later use on the ballad “Something.”

Gold reports that, during a 2024 interview with Record Collector Magazine, Donovan discussed his influence on the “My Sweet Lord” singer. “I became George’s mentor for songwriting,” the Hurdy Gurdy Man recalled. “He was in the shadow of John and Paul for so many years and I said, ‘Look, I’ll show you a few tricks, how to encourage the songs.’

“There’s a way to encourage the song to come,” he added. “You can tease it, like fishing. I told him how to play a chord then put your ear on the guitar, listen to the open chord and try a tempo. You can hear melodies, believe it or not. Melodies appear, but you’ve got to be quick to catch them.”

Source: Matthew Trzcinski/cheatsheet.com

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