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50 George Harrison Quotes From the Quiet Beatle About Life and Music

If you are a Beatles fan, or a fan of music at all really, then you probably know that George Harrison was the lead guitarist for the Beatles. He was also a talented songwriter. These George Harrison quotes offer a glimpse into his thoughts on music and the Beatles.

Even though John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote most of the band’s songs, Beatles albums from 1965 and onward feature some of his work. One of my favorite songs written by Harrison is “Here Comes the Sun.”

In March 1958, George Harrison auditioned for the Quarrymen (the Beatles’ name at the time) playing Arthur Smith’s “Guitar Boogie Shuffle.” George had only recently turned 15, and Jon Lennon felt he was too young to join their group. However, Paul McCartney engineered a second meeting on the upper deck of a Liverpool bus. This time, he impressed Lennon with his performance of the lead guitar portion of the instrumental “Raunchy”.

He hung out with the band and fill in on guitar occasionally until he finally became a full-fledged member. Harrison embraced Indian culture and Hinduism. Fans and critics often referred him to as “the quiet Beatle.” His quiet nature and Hindu-aligned spirituality added a broader element to popular music thanks to Indian instrumentation and philosophical lyrics.

Don’t forget to also check out these Beatles quotes that reach for a better world.

Famous George Harrison quotes about the Beatles

1. “If we’d known we were going to be the Beatles, we’d have tried harder.” — George Harrison

2. “The Beatles saved the world from boredom.” — George Harrison

3. “They gave their money, and they gave their screams. But the Beatles kind of gave their nervous systems. They used us as an excuse to go mad, the world did, and then blamed it on us.” — George Harrison

4. “The Beatles will exist without us.” — George Harrison

5. “As far as I’m concerned, there won’t be a Beatles reunion as long as John Lennon remains dead.” — George Harrison

6. “People say I’m the Beatle who changed the most, but to me, that’s what life’s about.” — George Harrison

7. “Of course, once you’ve been a Beatle, you’re never really out of it. People always want to know what you’re up to, and if you don’t immediately tell ’em, that’s when they start making stuff up.” — George Harrison

8. “We were the Spice Boys.” — George Harrison

9. “The Beatles will go on and on.” — George Harrison

10. “What good are three Beatles without John?”  George Harrison

11. “I just got so fed up with the bad vibes. I didn’t care if it was the Beatles; I was getting out.” — George Harrison

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12. “The biggest break in my career was getting into the Beatles in 1962. The second biggest break since then is getting out of them.” — George Harrison

13. “To the best of my knowledge, none of the Beatles can read music.” — George Harrison

14. “To tell the truth, I’d join a band with John Lennon any day, but I couldn’t join a band with Paul McCartney. But it’s nothing personal. It’s just from a musical point of view.” — George Harrison

15. “It was all part of being a Beatle, really: just getting lugged around and thrust into rooms full of pressmen taking pictures and asking questions.” — George Harrison

George Harrison quotes about God and spirituality

16. “Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait.” — George Harrison

17. “In the end, you’re trying to find God. That’s the result of not being satisfied. And it doesn’t matter how much money, or property, or whatever you’ve got, unless you’re happy in your heart, then that’s it. And unfortunately, you can never gain perfect happiness unless you’ve got that state of consciousness that enables that.” — George Harrison

18. “It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite.” — George Harrison

19. “If we were all perfected beings, we wouldn’t be here in the physical world.” — George Harrison

20. “You’ve got as many lives as you like, and more, even ones you don’t want.” — George Harrison

21. “The fact that we’re all here in these bodies means that we’re not perfected.” — George Harrison

22. “Down through the ages, there has always been the spiritual path. It’s been passed on – it always will be – and if anybody ever wants it in any age, it’s always there.” — George Harrison

George Harrison quotes about being a musician

23. “I’ll give up this sort of touring madness, certainly, but music-everything is based on music. No, I’ll never stop my music.” — George Harrison

24. “I think of myself as a jungle musician because of my lack of formal training.” — George Harrison

25. “Although I have guitars all around, and I pick them up occasionally and write a tune and make a record, I don’t really see myself as a musician. It may seem a funny thing to say. It’s just like I write lyrics, and I make up songs, but I’m not a great lyricist or songwriter or producer. It’s when you put all these things together – that makes me.” — George Harrison

26. “I wasn’t Lennon, or I wasn’t McCartney. I was me. And the only reason I started to write songs was that I thought, ‘Well if they can write them, I can write them.'” — George Harrison

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27. “If I write a tune and people think it’s nice, then that’s fine by me, but I hate having to compete and promote the thing. I really don’t like promotion.” — George Harrison

28. “I’d rather be a musician than a rock star.”  George Harrison

29. “Some of the best songs that I know are the ones I haven’t written yet, and it doesn’t even matter if I don’t ever write them, because it’s only small potatoes compared with the big picture.” — George Harrison

30. “I wouldn’t say that my songs are autobiographical.” — George Harrison

George Harrison quotes on life, love, hate, and death

31. “All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.” — George Harrison

32. “When you’ve seen beyond yourself, then you may find peace of mind is waiting there.” — George Harrison

33. “We were talking about the space between us all and the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion. Never glimpse the truth – then it’s far too late when they pass away.” — George Harrison

34. “I’ll tell you one thing for sure: once you get to the point where you’re actually doing things for truth’s sake, then nobody can ever touch you again because you’re harmonizing with a greater power.” — George Harrison

35. “People are simply screwing up when they go out and buy beefsteak, which is killing them with cancer and heart troubles. The stuff costs a fortune, too. You could feed a thousand people with lentil soup for the cost of half a dozen filets.”  George Harrison

36. “Try to realize it’s all within yourself no one else can make you change, and to see you’re only very small and life flows on within you and without you.” — George Harrison

37. “With our love, we could save the world.” — George Harrison

38. “Love one another.” — George Harrison

39. “Basically, I feel fortunate to have realized what the goal is in life. There’s no point in dying having gone through your life without knowing who you are, what you are, or what the purpose of life is. And that’s all it is.” — George Harrison

40. “At death, you’re going to be needing some spiritual guidance and some kind of inner knowledge that extends beyond the boundaries of the physical world… it’s what’s inside that counts.” — George Harrison

41. “As long as you hate, there will be people to hate.” — George Harrison

George Harrison quotes about himself

42. “I’m really quite simple. I plant flowers and watch them grow… I stay at home and watch the river flow.” — George Harrison

43. “I play a little guitar, write a few tunes, make a few movies, but none of that’s really me. The real me is something else.” — George Harrison

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44. “I wanted to be successful, not famous.” — George Harrison

45. “Rap bores me, and all the glamour rock groups like Bon Jovi just amuse me. They obviously have a place, but they all sound like they use the same guitar player to me.” — George Harrison

46. “The Beatles exist apart from myself. I am not really Beatle George. Beatle George is like a suit or shirt that I once wore on occasion, and until the end of my life, people may see that shirt and mistake it for me.” — George Harrison

47. “I’m not a fan of that sort of punky, heavy, tinny stuff. I like a nice melody.” — George Harrison

48. “There’s high, and there’s high, and to get really high – I mean so high that you can walk on the water, that high that’s where I’m going.” — George Harrison

49. “The adulation or the superstardom is something I could leave out quite happily.” — George Harrison

50. “The nicest thing is to open the newspapers and not to find yourself in them.” — George Harrison

Which of these George Harrison quotes is your favorite?

The Beatles have a complicated history with each other. George Harrison’s interests and beliefs moved away from those of his bandmates by 1966. The Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album of 1967 was a turning point in his career. He only had a single composition on the album, and it was the Indian-inspired tune “Within You Without You.”

No other people contributed to the piece, in fact, he played sitar and tambura on the track, backed by musicians from the London Asian Music Circle. He later commented that the album was “A millstone and a milestone in the music industry … There’s about half the songs I like and the other half I can’t stand.”

Ringo Starr had already quit the band briefly at one point, but tensions got worse in January 1969. Harrison quit the group on January 10, over frustrations with the cold and sterile film studio. Lennon’s creative disengagement from the Beatles, and “a domineering attitude from McCartney,” were also a factor in his decision.

Twelve days later, thanks to his bandmate’s agreement to move the film project, and abandon McCartney’s plan to return to public performance, Harrison rejoined the Beatles. However, after The Beatle’s final breakup, he took most of his unreleased compositions and enjoyed a solo career. He did still have quite a bit to say about them, as you can see with these George Harrison quotes and sayings. Leave your favorite George Harrison saying in the comment section below.

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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