Wonderwall Music CoverGeorge Harrison was the first Beatle to release a solo album with Wonderwall Music, the soundtrack to the film Wonderwall. The album was released on November 1, 1968, and was nearly all instrumental. The tracks were recorded in December 1967 in England, and in January 1968 in Bombay, India.

Among the several musicians appearing on the album were Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton using the pseudonyms Richie Snare and Eddie Clayton, respectively. Peter Tork of The Monkees played a banjo borrowed from Paul McCartney, though Tork was not credited.

All of the tracks were composed by Harrison, and it was the first album to be released on the newly formed Apple Records label. Later it would become the first Apple record to be deleted from their catalog, though it was remastered and reissued on compact disc in 1992.

In the UK, Wonderwall Music did not chart at all. In the U.S., it reached #49 in the early part of 1969.

George Harrison and Eric Clapton performing at the Concert for BangladeshGeorge Harrison’s good friend Eric Clapton played lead guitar on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Due to the band’s inner tension at the time, the other Beatles showed little or no interest in the song, so George invited Eric to join him during the song’s recording session. Clapton was at first reluctant to play on a Beatles’ record. Harrison later recalled, “…I was with Eric and I was going into the session and I said, ‘We’re going to do this song. Come on and play on it.’ He said, ‘Oh no. I can’t do that. Nobody ever plays on Beatles’ records.’ I said, ‘Look, it’s my song and I want you to play on it.’ So Eric came in and the other guys were as good as gold because he was there. Also, it left me free to do the vocal and play rhythm. Then, we listened to it back and he said, ‘Ah, there’s a problem, though, it’s not Beatley enough.’ So, we put it through the ADT (automatic double tracker) to wobble it a bit.”

Clapton used a Gibson Les Paul guitar for the song. He received no credit in the liner notes on the  ‘White Album’ because of his contract with another record company.

George Harrison with Gretsch Guitar“Don’t Bother Me” was the first song written by George Harrison alone. He had received co-writing credit for two earlier Beatles songs, “In Spite of All the Danger” (Paul McCartney/George Harrison) and “Cry for a Shadow” (George Harrison/John Lennon).

George wrote “Don’t Bother Me” while he was sick in bed at a hotel room in Bournemouth, England. The Beatles were playing some shows in the town during the summer of 1963. Harrison wasn’t too fond of the song, as he had stated, “‘It was a fairly crappy song. I forgot all about it completely once it was on the album.” He would later say, in effect, that John and Paul had started honing their writing skills years before him and that they had already gone through their “bad” songs period earlier. George was essentially saying he would have to write a few “clunkers” first to catch up as a skilled songwriter.

“Don’t Bother Me” originally appeared on the albums ‘With the Beatles’ (UK, 1963), and ‘Meet the Beatles!’ (U.S., 1964). The song also plays during a scene in ‘A Hard’s Day’s Night’, where The Beatles dance at a nightclub.

John Lennon & George Harrison looking at guitars at Rushworths Music Store“Cry for a Shadow” is the only Beatles song to be credited to John Lennon and George Harrison alone. It’s an instrumental that was written by John and George as a parody of The Shadows style. The Shadows were Cliff Richard’s backing band and the biggest British instrumental rock & roll group at the time. “Cry for a Shadow” was recorded on June 22, 1961 in Hamburg, Germany, while The Beatles were backing up Tony Sheridan in the recording studio.

According to Mersey Beat newspaper editor Bill Harry, the original title of the track was “Beatle Bop”.