Throughout 1977, George Harrison didn't pick up a guitar once; 'I Didn't Miss It'
Fans put a lot of pressure on George Harrison, and he didn't like it.
They wanted him to play certain songs whenever he performed live.
They pestered him for new music when he hadn't recorded anything in a long time.
George, on the other hand, didn't seem to be affected by the pressures.
He lived his life according to his own desires; if he didn't want to play his guitar for an extended period of time, he didn't.
Rolling Stone asked George why he thought John Lennon had been inactive recently during a 1979 interview.
"He's most likely not," George responded.
"Just because he isn't a Beatle doesn't mean he isn't active. If I do this interview, people can see that I'm here talking, but if I don't do the interview, I'm inactive. But I'm not really - I'm at home doing other things, or going places doing various things... "
George couldn't blame John for his lack of public involvement.
"I've discovered that if I take a two-week vacation, I'm just about ready to enjoy the vacation and have to return to work by the end of those two weeks."
"When you retire or stop working, you go through a period of feeling like, 'Wow, I should be doing something,' until you gradually mellow out and think, 'Wow, this is good. I don't have to be mad all my life, I don't have to live in the public eye,' and I'm sure that's all he's doing now."
"Fans feel almost cheated when the performer stops performing," Rolling Stone observed, and George responded, "That's their own concept."
It's a selfish concept to think, 'Go out and kill yourself for me...' But I'm curious if John still writes songs and records them on cassettes, or if he's completely lost interest in music and hasn't picked up a guitar in years.
"Because that's what I did: for the entire year of 1977, I didn't pick up a guitar, never even considered it, and I didn't miss it."
George may have claimed that he didn't play a guitar for the entire year of 1977, but this isn't entirely true.
That year, he performed "This Song" at Disco.
We find it hard to believe George could go a year without playing music.
Despite this, George had grown dissatisfied with the music industry.
"Well, I didn't write a song, I didn't do anything; I wasn't working at all really," George explained, "so I decided I'd better start doing something, because I'd just turned off from the music business entirely."
"Everyone else doesn't notice because your old records are still being played on the radio, so people don't realize you're not really there," she says, "but I'm sick of it all... I'm sick of it all."
"Everyone's changing labels, and this artist has gone to that label, and that artist has gone to this one... After so many years in this business, the novelty has worn off."
It all boils down to ego.
To keep plodding on being in the public eye, you need a big ego, but most of my ego desires in terms of being famous and successful were fulfilled a long time ago.
"I still enjoy writing a song and, in some ways, making a record, but I despise the fact that once you put it out, you become a part of the business's overall framework."
And I was getting a little tired of it.
If I write a song and people like it, that's fine with me; but I despise having to compete and promote it.
"We overdosed on that in the Sixties, and then I consciously went out of my way in the late Sixties, early Seventies, to try and be a little more obscure, because once you have a hit, everyone starts knocking on your door and bugging you again. I enjoy being low profile and having a peaceful sort of life."
Ultimately, throughout his career ("if a career is what you'd call it," he once said), George did what he wanted to do.
Nonetheless, he did give in to peer pressure on occasion.
"God, I'd better do something," he thought at the end of 1977, but only because he was embarrassed whenever people asked if he'd been working on new material.
"I was embarrassed because I was going to all these motor races, and everyone was talking to me like George, the ex-Beatle, the musician, asking me if I was making a record and whether I was going to write some racing songs, and yet musical thoughts were a million miles away from my mind," George explained.
He also didn't want to get in trouble with his record label.
So, according to Rolling Stone, George Harrison's 1979 album was "driven more by other people's expectations of you, a sense of obligation on your part, than by an inherent desire to make music again?"
"Perhaps partly," George replied.
"But once you write a tune, I don't know why, but you have this desire to have it made into a proper record; if I died, I'd rather people find a good finished master of my songs than a crummy old demo on a cassette; maybe it was other people's expectations that prompted me at first, but once I started writing tunes, I got my motor ticking over again and it's fun - you get in the studio, you get going, and you can
George couldn't stop himself from succumbing to the allure of music.
"George was never far from music," his friend Tom Petty once said.