Here Comes The Sun: the lost solo guitar

[Video Link] "In this video we see Sir George Martin, Giles Martin (his son), and Dhani Harrison listening to the mix of “Here Comes The Sun.” Suddenly Dhani opens the channel with the “lost solo guitar.” And now, with the master track in the background, you can hear how it sounds in music."

(Via Cynical-C)


  1. That was really fun to watch. The solo itself is nothing amazing, and I definitely think the song is better off without it, but the process of discovery and the evident goodwill between these 3 is remarkable. 

    For me the best part was Dhani’s on-point observation about the Indian influence on the beat structure – the 123 123 123 12 1 is definitely Indian derived, though I had never observed it before, & I think in fact there might be a Remember Shakti track that goes through a stage with that rhythm.

    Yay, now I have a reason to listen to Remember Shakti again.

  2. Oh dear, so sorry to see that “Sir George” is suffering from Altzheimer’s, or some other form of senile dementia.

    Loved the comment “like your father” to Dhani.

    We all grow old: still waiting for the new music while listening to almost everything!

    1. I think what you are seeing is that he has significant hearing loss, I’m guessing that he has an earpiece in to hear the music, but its hard to hear the people with the music in his ear

      1. Not just the hearing loss: George Martin must have a hard time hearing people with all the music in his brain.

  3. George was a terrible lead player. That was an awful lead — the notes were completely in the wrong scale. I’m glad Dad Martin didn’t include it on the final cut — then again, if he had we’d be so used to it by now that if it were taken out the song just wouldn’t be the same.

    (Reminds me of just how bad a song can sound when parts of it are removed or isolated — there are so many clinkers that we just never hear. Listen to some early Beatles’ songs even without isolation and you’ll hear them screwing up hilariously — John singing “You” while Paul sings “I”. It happens a LOT.)

    1. Yup. A reminder that “Art” is the process of making. The end product (picture, story, movie or song) is just a souvernir of the experience.

      1. That somewhat limits the role of the listener, doesn’t it? Sounds a bit elitist to me. Some might say the listener is integral, in fact.

        1. Ah, but it is exactly that, a souvenir. And yes the role of the listener is limited. It’s limited to the final result simply because the listener generally is not able to participate in everything that pours into that final result. 
          As a bass player, I thoroughly enjoy the process of wrangling out the rhythm with the drummer and the lead, the practice time, and everything leading up to the performance… everything that, in fact, makes the performance what it is. 
          The audience and the artists both are left with a souvenir, something that brings back a memory, but they have completely different memories that they attach to it. Nothing wrong with that. Not at all elitist. Just what it is.

          1. Is a building just a memory – its meaning lies in its use, abuse and misuse? Memories of what was or might have been?

      2. There are many kinds of art.  There is a concept called “process art”, which is what you speak of.  There is also “object-type art” which is the more conventional idea that the creation is what is important, not the means by which the artist made it. There are different schools, and many opinions, but no one can claim to have the authoritative definition of art. But whatever your definition, I agree this is a nice insight into the process.

    2. He wasn’t a technically awesome guitar player but he came up with a lot of fantastic licks that meshed beautifully with what John and Paul wrote. I’ll take creativity over technical ability any day (Except for August 25).

    3. George was a terrible lead player.

      I haven’t listened to this one yet, but George had a lot of good leads.  Of course, I don’t know what his average number of takes was.

      Tangentially related: apparently the first curse word to be pressed onto an album was from the Kinks.  Dave Davies was about to play the solo on You Really Got Me and Ray tried to give him some encouragement.  Dave told him “Fuck off” and nailed the solo. 

      I forget where I heard it was the first musical recording including a curse word.  That part may be apocryphal.  The rest of the story is here though:

      1. On The Kingsmen’s version of Louie Louie (1963), the drummer, missing the drumskin and hitting the rim of a tom, shouts ‘fuck!’. 
        The song was recorded with a single mic suspended in the middle of the room with the quietest element (singer) close by and the loudest (drummer) furthest away to achieve some semblance of control over levels, so the drummer’s shouted expletive is pretty hard to hear – the band, producer and record company all missed it until after it was released – but it’s there. 
        0:53 on this video

        1.  Excellent.  I’ll have to add this to my list of rock ‘n roll curse word trivia.  How about the first actual lyrics including the F-bomb?  I heard it was The Fugs’ “CIA Man” (‘Fuckin-A man/CIA man’).

      2.  Oh, there are MUCH earlier examples of recorded profanity – Redd Foxx and other black comedians from the 50’s, on one-off, fly-by-night labels, were grinding the stuff out.

        1. Many much earlier examples! Check out the “If it’s not a hit I’ll eat my hat” compilation if you can find it. It includes many profane gems, including this classic :) 

    4. Do you know in many polls asked by guitar players, the tiny little solo in “All You Need Is Love” is voted the worst solo year after year?

    5. ‘In the wrong scale’ – or just playing in a non-standard mode, perhaps.  Just because it’s not in Ionian, Dorian or Aeolian doesn’t make it ‘wrong’.   I’m not a Beatles fan particularly, and it’s not the great lost solo, but I don’t think any of us here are qualified to tell George Harrison that he was playing ‘in the wrong scale’. 

    6. The solo was in the “wrong scale”? What are you talking about? He’s add”the minor seventh, which gives it a blues feeling.  Perhaps you are talking about a wrong note in a mode? Even so, there is no rule that you can’t digress from a mode.  

      I love, love, love seeing the expression on Harrison’s sons face as he listens. I’ve watched this over and over.

    1. And it’s a reminder that they did in 1969 with 8 tracks far more than what people do now with 80.

      God, it’d be fun to play with the master tapes like Mark Lewisohn gets to do. What amazing recordings, divinely inspired like the Messiah.

  4. Some of you are nuts – that solo adds an emotional note not heard anywhere else in the song and is quite brilliant, regardless of whether it’s in the same scale or not!  It’s gorgeous, and I want a version that not only includes the guitar solo, but the synth that appears towards the end!

    It’s very much in the tradition of dub reggae to create different versions/mixes of the same source material, I would love to hear a “versioned” HCTS that includes this solo, preferably with a bunch of reverb!!

    1.  Right on!  I thought the guitar lead was “okay” and a lot of fun to hear, but that Moog-y synth counter-melody that comes out at the end gave me goose pimples.  I would love to hear that, and even study it, again.

      According to wikipedia, that is indeed a Moog, and Harrison on it, and it’s always been there…?  Maybe I just needed someone to turn it up a bit.

  5. Shrill, hackneyed and off-key. Better without it.

    But can we please include English subtitles for all Brits? I swear I heard Martin say “I forgot the bugger”.

      1. I don’t know; I think it makes my ass look fat.

        (I should add that I love the original, just so’s I’m not a total jackhole.)

          1. Nonono; the correct answer to that question is “At your age, what does it matter?”

            Always happy to be of help.

  6. That was the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Fathers and sons, the lost voices of dead artists, everything old is new again…brilliant. Thanks.

  7. If you haven’t seen it, the Tribute to George concert, the tribute concert staged shortly after George Harrison died, is simply perfect. Dhani Harrison is invited on stage for part of the time, and he is a little younger than he is in the clip here His vibe in every shot is “OMG, I am frickin’ jamming with Eric Clapton!” Even though you know he grew up with all these famous guys around him, he has such a non-jaded demeanor. I don’t know how George Harrison managed to raise a kid who is so grounded amid all that fame, but I just love Dhani.

    1.  I haven’t seen the tribute concert (definitely will now) but Dhani seemed like a really cool guy in this video. From everything I’ve seen and read I always had huge respect for George Harrison as a wonderful person, and I’m really glad that he passed that on to his son.

  8. I love the sound from the master tracks! You can’t get much closer to having them perform right there in front of you at that particular time.

    The solo wasn’t suitable for the song, but it was well played. I might not even go so far as to call it a solo as it was probably removed because was meant to blend with the section of song but was just way to bright…

  9. I am with you 100% on the the ‘Tribute to George’ concert, ChickieD. Apart from the Monty Python guys (which was frankly embarrassing) every performance was spot on and it is the best concert ever committed to film/disk, surpassing even Scorese’s ‘The Last Waltz.’ As well as some outstanding versions of George’s songs, what really comes through is the universal affection for George as a musician and a man. And the final song by Joe Brown always brings a tear to my jaded old eyes.

  10. What a treasure for a son to have access to such things as his dad’s voice and playing while dad was “at work.” I lost my 13 year old son two summers ago and I would give anything to access to more than just his things, photos of all of us, and the memories I have.

    1. Chris,
      Man … I’m so sorry.  Just know that someone in Germany wishes things were better for you.  Love.

  11. “Here Comes The Sun” is one of the most exquisitely arranged and beautifully recorded Beatles tracks.  Love the little Moog melody line, the handclaps, the backing vocals, the perfectly bouncy rhythm section, the Leslie guitar… One of the greatest pieces of ear candy ever created.  

  12. For my money, the Worst Guitar Solo Of All Time remains Mick Jones’  half-assed racket during Foreigners’ “Hot Blooded”. If there was ever a “My DOG Could Play A Better Solo” moment….

  13. I checked out the clip. Thought about it. Decided to read what others thought.

    Half way down this page of comments, I admit, I stopped reading.

    The dichotomy expressed at the inclusion/exclusion speaks for itself.

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