Front Page > George Harrison News
I've Got A Word Or Two...
More information about the George Harrison birthday music video tribute by Evan Rachel Wood
Statement from Pattie Boyd (first wife of George Harrison)
George and Bob Dylan became friends the day they first met in 1964 - and they stayed friends till the end of George's life. What bonded them was a shared love of music and humanity - and immense respect for each other's talents.
I had the pleasure of seeing that friendship blossom over the years that George and I were together. I still have vivid memories of when George and I visited Bob at his home in Woodstock at Thanksgiving 1968. For the first few days they sat around not talking very much. Just mellow in each other's quiet company. Then one day they broke out the guitars. The next thing I knew - they were writing a song together! I remember snapping a quick photograph of them at work - and then I left "the boys" to it...
The result of that collaboration was the beautiful song "I'd Have You Anytime". George was so proud of if that in 1970, he gave his recording of it pride of place as the very first song on his first solo album "All Things Must Pass".
Human rights was a cause dear to George's heart and I know that he supported Amnesty International. It was George's friends in Monty Python who helped start the "Secret Policeman's Ball" series of benefit shows in support of Amnesty. Indeed, the creators of those early Amnesty benefit shows have credited George's 1971 "Concert For Bangladesh" as being one of their key inspirations.
So it is very fitting that all these elements have come together in a new recording of George and Bob's song "I'd Have You Anytime".
The 50th anniversary of Amnesty is being commemorated by a benefit album containing 76 Bob Dylan compositions newly recorded by multiple artists. I am very pleased that a choice was made to record the song that I watched George and Bob write together some 44 years ago at Woodstock - and include it on this album.
The new version of "I'd Have You Anytime" has been interpreted in the style of the songs of Hoagy Carmichael that George grew up loving in his childhood. I think it is marvelous that George has been saluted in this way. Especially as the new track has been dedicated to George in honor of his support for human rights and the inspiration he gave to Amnesty.
I salute the team who recorded the song - including the lovely vocalist Evan Rachel Wood; George's wonderful saxophonist friend Tom Scott; the other talented musicians; the gifted arranger John Altman; and my friend Martin Lewis who had the idea and produced the track. All of them have given their services free of charge to jointly honor Bob Dylan, Amnesty International and dear George - all on one exquisite track. I hope it is successful in raising funds for Amnesty and in reminding people of the priceless gift of the music of George and Bob.
George Harrison and Bob Dylan in 1968
Photo by Pattie Boyd
Statement from Evan Rachel Wood
I'm very proud indeed to have sung "I'd Have You Anytime" for the new album of Bob Dylan compositions commemorating the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International.
Among the musical artists I've always admired are Bob Dylan and the Beatles.
When I was discussing with Martin Lewis what Dylan song I might record for Amnesty's anniversary album, he mentioned that though Dylan primarily wrote alone - there was a little-known song from 1968 that was a writing collaboration between Dylan and one of the Beatles. I was intrigued about that. Martin played me the song and I really liked the beauty and sensitivity of it. Having sung several Beatles compositions in the movie "Across The Universe" - I felt an immediate connection to the song.
Martin then mentioned that he had an idea to have the song arranged and recorded in a late 1930's Billie Holiday style. I totally love Billie Holiday's voice. So now I was looking at a recording project that had elements of Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Billie Holiday! As a fund-raiser for a great cause. It was just meant to be!
I loved recording the song and I'm thrilled with how the finished track sounds. Knowing that George Harrison's work as a humanitarian helped inspire some of the fund-raising work for Amnesty International and that this track therefore honors George Harrison as well as Bob Dylan and Amnesty makes this really special for me.
I hope that people get pleasure from the work we did in recording this song and music video. And that people will buy the track to help raise funds to support Amnesty's vital human rights work.
-Evan Rachel Wood
Recollection by George Harrison about writing "I'd Have You Anytime" with Bob Dylan (from 1977 interview)
I liked the first song that was on the album, 'I'd Have You Anytime,' and particularly the recording of it, because Derek and the Dominoes played on most of the tracks and it was a really nice experience making that album - because I was really a bit paranoid, musically. Having this whole thing with the Beatles had left me really paranoid. I remember having those people in the studio and thinking, 'God, these songs are so fruity! I can't think of which song to do.' Slowly I realized, 'We can do this one,' and I'd play it to them and they'd say, 'Wow, yeah! Great song!' And I'd say, 'Really? Do you really like it?' I realized that it was okay... that they were sick of playing all that other stuff. It's great to have a tune, and I liked that song, 'I'd Have You Anytime' because of Bob Dylan.
I was with Bob and he'd gone through his broken neck period and was being very quiet, and he didn't have much confidence anyhow - that's the feeling I got with him in Woodstock. He hardly said a word for a couple of days. Anyway, we finally got the guitars out and it loosened things up a bit. It was really a nice time with all his kids around, and we were just playing. It was near Thanksgiving. He sang me that song and he was, like, very nervous and shy and he said, 'What do you think about this song?' And I'd felt very strongly about Bob when I'd been in India years before - the only record I took with me along with all my Indian records was 'Blonde On Blonde.' I felt somehow very close to him or something, you know, because he was so great, so heavy and so observant about everything. And yet, to find him later very nervous and with no confidence.
You know, he'd always been so hard.. and I thought, 'A lot of people are not going to like this,' but I think it's fantastic because Bob has obviously had the experience. I was saying to him, You write incredible lyrics,' and he was saying, 'How do you write those tunes?' So I was just showing him chords like crazy. Chords, because he tended just to play a lot of basic chords and move a capo up and down. And I was saying, 'Come on, write me some words,' and he was scribbling words down. And it just killed me because he'd been doing all these sensational lyrics. And he wrote, 'All I have is yours/ All you see is mine/ And I'm glad to hold you in my arms/ I'd have you anytime.' The idea of Dylan writing something, like, so very simple."
Published February 25, 2012
This article is Copyright © 2012, The Author, and may not be reproduced on other web sites or in print, in whole or in part, without expressed permission