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George Harrison's 1969 diary reveals the moments before and after he left the Beatles

The entry was published in the book 'Living in the Material World' by his widow, Olivia Harrison.

George Harrison's 1969 diary reveals the moments before and after he left the Beatles
Cover Image Source: George Harrison performs onstage at the Concert for Bangladesh held on August 1, 1971 in New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The Beatles, a pioneering band known for exploring various music styles, faced a turning point one fateful afternoon. Tensions were already high among the bandmates, but a heated argument with Paul McCartney pushed George Harrison to his breaking point. Harrison, who practiced Transcendental Meditation, decided to walk away from the band. Later that day, he penned a short diary entry that has since become significant for Beatles fans.

Image Source:  The Beatles (left to right) Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon. (Photo by John Downing/Getty Images)
Image Source: The Beatles (left to right) Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon. (Photo by John Downing/Getty Images)

That afternoon, the four Beatles—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr—were working on their track “Get Back” at Twickenham Film Studios, with cameras recording their session. Beatles music publisher Dick James visited them and discussed Northern Songs’ recent purchase of the Lawrence Wright Music catalog with McCartney and Starr, according to BeatlesBible.

Following this, McCartney played several piano tracks for James, including “The Long And Winding Road,” “Let It Be,” “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” and “I’ve Got A Feeling.” The group then worked on “Get Back.” After lunch, however, Harrison, unable to bear the simmering tensions, walked out.



 

Later that day, "The Quiet Beatle" sat at his desk and penned a diary entry dated January 10, 1969. The entry recounted Harrison’s experiences and events of the day: “Got up, went to Twickenham rehearsed until lunchtime. Left the Beatles, went home and in the evening, did 'King of Fuh' at Trident Studio. Had chips later at Klaus and Christine’s, went home.” This diary entry was later published in the 2011 book “Living in the Material World” by Olivia Harrison, George Harrison's widow.

Image Source: Harrison Archives
Image Source: Harrison Archives

Few could have imagined that the iconic foursome would break up within seven years of releasing their first album. While many trace the Beatles' breakup to the death of their manager, Brian Epstein, on August 27, 1967, others attribute it to legal battles, according to History.

Image Source: British rock group the Beatles arrive back at London Airport after their final concert tour of the United States, UK, 1966. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Image Source: British rock group the Beatles arrive back at London Airport after their final concert tour of the United States, UK, 1966. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

On the day Harrison quit the band, sound engineer Glyn Johns was also present in the studio. In his 2014 autobiography "Sound Man," Johns described his recollections of that day, according to They May Be Parted. Johns said, “I have a very clear memory of sitting outside in the bleak surroundings of the soundstage at Twickenham on that cold gray afternoon,” and added, “It is not my place to discuss any detail of what happened, but it is common knowledge that George left the band and was persuaded to return a couple of days later.”

Image Source: English Pop and Rock musician George Harrison plays guitar as he performs onstage at Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, December 4, 1974. (Photo by Steve Kagan/Getty Images)
Image Source: English Pop and Rock musician George Harrison plays guitar as he performs onstage at Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, December 4, 1974. (Photo by Steve Kagan/Getty Images)

Recently, Disney+ re-released a rarely-seen 1970 documentary film titled “Let It Be,” showcasing The Beatles' rehearsals and recordings in January 1969, which turned out to become their twelfth and final studio album.



 

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