George Harrison’s connection with music was complicated at the end of his life. As a result, he started working in the studio less regularly, a choice that was evident in his meager production. Additionally, Harrison stopped paying attention to new bands, but there was one group that enabled him to regain his passion for music.
Harrison became frustrated in the music business in 1977 and took a break from anything associated with it. In an interview, he stated that he had “turned off from the music business altogether” and had instead begun to live a good life as a regular guy.
Even though this absence was brief, with Harrison quickly emerging with his namesake record in 1979, his dissatisfaction with the business was not alleviated, and it only grew worse. The ex-Beatle had lost his passion for the artistic work that had driven him in his early years, and there were several performers that motivated him.
One factor Harrison’s passion for music faded was a long legal battle over his composition ‘My Sweet Lord.’ The dispute carried on for several years, exposing the ex-Beatle to an unpleasant aspect of the music industry that he despised.
Harrison subsequently reflected on the ordeal, which culminated in his conviction for subconscious plagiarism,’ in an interview with Rolling Stone, and asserted: “It’s difficult just to start writing again after you’ve been through that. Even now when I put the radio on, every tune I hear sounds like something else.”
Harrison admitted to Guitar World in 1992 that no new stuff had “the same spark” as those he adored as a child. He was grateful to his son, Dhani, for exposing him to The Black Crowes, whom he adored. “I can’t say I’ve really heard anything that gives me a buzz like some of that stuff we did in the fifties and sixties,” Harrison admitted. “The last band I really enjoyed was Dire Straits on the Brothers in Arms album. To me, that was good music played well, without any of the bullshit.”
He added: “Now I’m starting to get influenced by my teenage son, who’s into everything and has the attitude. He loves some of the old stuff, like Hendrix, and he’s got a leather jacket with Cream’s Disraeli Gears album painted on the back. As for recent groups, he played me the Black Crowes, and they really sounded OK.”
Surprisingly, Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms record was released seven years before Harrison’s remarks, and the fact that it was the final song he enjoyed tells something about his strained connection with music. Fortunately, Dhani was able to introduce new sounds into Harrison’s life, rekindling his passion for music.