‘Who makes the rules?’


George Harrison and Bob Dylan were lifelong friends who admired each other’s work. However, their relationship went deeper than that. George was often amazed by everything Dylan did in his career and inspired him to follow his own direction and be the person he wanted to be. When they got together, they made incredibly good music.

Thus, George didn’t like Dylan’s fans who weren’t as open to whatever Dylan decided to do.

George Harrison and Bob Dylan | Archive by Michael Ochs/Getty Images

George Harrison and Bob Dylan respected each other before they became friends

George and Dylan first admired each other as they followed their path in the music industry.

In Here Comes The Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George HarrisonJoshua M. Greene wrote that when George was a teenager he first saw Dylan in Liverpool on a TV show from Granada about New York beat poets.

“When they appeared in Paris in 1964, the Beatles picked up two of Bob Dylan’s albums at a radio station and were so enthralled by its wise lyrics and simple chords that they constantly played the albums in their hotel suite. George V,” Greene wrote.

The admiration was mutual. “Dylan crossed the country from Denver to New York in 1963 with his friend and photographer Barry Feinstein, playing the radio nonstop, and halfway through it was clear to Dylan that the Beatles were ‘doing things no one else was doing. “Their chords were outrageous and their harmonies made it all worthwhile, but I kept to myself that I really adored them,” he told biographer Anthony Scaduto.

“‘Everyone thought they were for the teenyboppers, that they were going through right away, but it was obvious to me that they had the power to stay.'”

The Beatles finally met Dylan in August 1964. During the reunion, Dylan allegedly lit the band with marijuana.

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George couldn’t believe the fans who walked out of an important Dylan concert

Over the years since they met, George has attended many Dylan concerts. He was amazed at everything the singer/songwriter did, be it folk, rock or country. Other fans weren’t as open-minded.

George was present at Dylan’s performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London in May 1965, where Dylan took the stage with an electric guitar.

Greene wrote that the move prompted boos from fans “who viewed the acoustic shift as a betrayal of its folksy purity”.

He continued, “George called those who walked out of the concert ‘idiots’ and argued that ‘everything was still pure Dylan, and he has to find his own directions. If he felt he wanted electrification, that’s how he should do it. Who sets the rules?

“Dylan had started his career with folk songs and protest music, but by 1966 he had stopped pointing fingers at others and started examining himself,” Greene continued. George was also entering a period of self-examination at this time.

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The ‘M. The Tamborine Man singer had a huge influence on the Beatles

George and his first wife, Pattie Boyd, stayed with Dylan and his family for Thanksgiving in 1968. While there, George said Dylan was cold towards him. He had recently broken his neck in a motorcycle accident and had entered semi-retirement.

However, George asked Dylan to open up after he suggested they write a song together. They wrote “I’ll get you anytime”. Although Dylan was closed for most of his visit, George recognized “how happy anyone could be if he went his own way,” Greene wrote.

“If Dylan went to his moment of triumph to be his own man, why couldn’t George do the same? “Even his stuff that people hate, I like,” George said, “because everything he does represents something that is him.”

George and Dylan remained friends for the rest of George’s life. They performed together and even became bandmates on The Traveling Wilburys. If fans want to understand the Beatles better, all they need to do is watch Dylan. Without him, George would not have been the person he has become. He quoted his idol as the scripture.

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