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When John Lennon Said George Harrison Was Flopping

Even The Beatles didn’t always knock it out of the park. Case in point: John Lennon once said that George Harrison wasn’t hip anymore. Here’s a look at whether he was right.

John Lennon said George Harrison was ‘out’ the way The Beatles once were
The book Lennon on Lennon: Conversations With John Lennon features an interview from 1975. In it, John said he wasn’t impressed with one of George’s live shows. “Now it’s always The Beatles were great or The Beatles weren’t great, whatever opinion people hold,” he said. “There’s a sort of illusion about it. But the actual fact was The Beatles were in for eight months, The Beatles were out for eight months.

“The public, including the media, are sometimes a bit sheeplike and if the ball starts rolling, well, it’s just that somebody’s in, somebody’s out,” he said. “George is out for the moment. And I think it didn’t matter what he did on tour.”

George Harrison’s latest album wasn’t huge
Was George really out in 1975? That year, George released his record Extra Texture (Read All About It). That album reached No. 8 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 11 weeks. That doesn’t make Extra Texture (Read All About It) a flop exactly, although the definition of “flop album” is subjective. What’s clear is that Extra Texture (Read All About It) didn’t perform nearly as well as some of the “My Sweet Lord” singer‘s other albums, such as All Things Must Pass or Cloud Nine.

Extra Texture (Read All About It) produced two singles: “You” and “This Guitar (Can’t Keep from Crying).” The former reached No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and lasted on the chart for 10 weeks. It was no juggernaut, but it performed better than “This Guitar (Can’t Keep from Crying),” which didn’t hit the chart at all. That’s a big deal, considering George was nostalgia-baiting people with a song title reminiscent of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Of course, the world of music is full of surprises these days. Sons from previous decades, such as Lady Gaga’s “Bloody Mary,” Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” and Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s “Murder on the Dancefloor” all became hits in the 2020s. “You,” “This Guitar (Can’t Keep from Crying),” and/or any of the other songs from Extra Texture (Read All About It) could become popular any day now.

John was still willing to work with the ‘Got My Mind Set on You’ singer
While John wasn’t a big fan of some of George’s live shows, he didn’t have any animosity toward George. In the aforementioned interview, John reacted to George stating he wouldn’t be willing to play with Paul McCartney. “I could play with all of them,” he said. “George is entitled to say that, and he’ll probably change his mind by Friday.

“You know, we’re all human, we can all change our minds,” he added. “So I don’t take any of my statements or any of their statements as the last word on whether we will. And if we do, the newspapers will learn about it after the fact. If we’re gonna play, we’re just gonna play.”

George had his share of flops, but he was still welcome to play with John.

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