Paul Gilbert Admits He Was Intimidated By George Harrison

Paul Gilbert recently sat down with Positive Grid to chat about what The Beatles, more specifically what George Harrison has brought to modern guitar tones. He explained:

“When I heard The Beatles as a kid, I was so young that I couldn’t really make out what is guitar, what is bass. I just heard it as like, amazing singing, amazing songs, and a bunch of excitement. Later on, my ear got more sophisticated, and I could sort of start to separate out like what’s the exciting part? There were certain riffs that stood out.”

Gilbert shared two tracks that stands out to him, one in particular that Harrison did the guitar fills to that ‘intimidated’ him. He continued:

“The ‘Paperback Writer’ has enough distortion that it’s starting to be generally rock because the early stuff is almost like a country sound. The other day, I pulled up ‘Act Naturally,’ the cover Ringo sings it, and I was intimidated by – I’m assuming it’s George Harrison is, he’s doing fills everywhere because he was into that he had a know, country gentleman or whatever it was.”

The guitarist shared that what George brought into Beatles tracks is not something that he is knowledgeable about by adding:

“That’s not a language I’m versed in. I learned the intro that took me so long. I’m intimidated by that stuff because it’s different. The Beatles just sort of had everything, and it’s almost more like, ‘What didn’t they do?’ Which is not much. I mean, they really covered so many bases.”

Paul wasn’t the only guitarist who shared his admiration for Harrison. Joe Satriani opened up to Face Culture last year about how George shied away from showing off his technical abilities. He expressed:

“My heroes played in a very different way. Whether it was Hendrix or George Harrison, they played in a more expressive way, and they shunned showing off techniques that sounded like exercises.”

You can watch Paul Gilbert’s interview with Positive Grid and listen to ‘Paperback Writer’ as well as ‘Act Naturally,’ below.