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While My Guitar Gently Weeps

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"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
Song by The Beatles
Album The Beatles
Released 22 November 1968
Recorded 5 September 1968
Genre Rock
Length 4:46
Label Apple Records
Writer George Harrison
Producer George Martin
The Beatles track listing

Side one

  1. "Back in the U.S.S.R."
  2. "Dear Prudence"
  3. "Glass Onion"
  4. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"
  5. "Wild Honey Pie"
  6. "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"
  7. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
  8. "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"

Side two

  1. "Martha My Dear"
  2. "I'm So Tired"
  3. "Blackbird"
  4. "Piggies"
  5. "Rocky Raccoon"
  6. "Don't Pass Me By"
  7. "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?"
  8. "I Will"
  9. "Julia"

Side three

  1. "Birthday"
  2. "Yer Blues"
  3. "Mother Nature's Son"
  4. "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey"
  5. "Sexy Sadie"
  6. "Helter Skelter"
  7. "Long, Long, Long"

Side four

  1. "Revolution 1"
  2. "Honey Pie"
  3. "Savoy Truffle"
  4. "Cry Baby Cry"
  5. "Revolution 9"
  6. "Good Night"


I wrote this at my mother's house in the North of England. I just had my guitar and I think I just wanted to write a song and, I do this often if I haven't particularly got an idea for a song, then I believe in the I Ching, where everything is at that moment, you know, relative to that situation. So, with "While My Guitary Gently Weeps," I just opened a book that was around, and the first thing I looked at became the song, and it was something about "gently weeps," and then from that my whole thought started going up and I just started writing the song. I just closed the book again and I had the idea. When we got into "Guitar Gently Weeps," we recorded it one night and there was such a lack of enthusiasm. So I went home really disappointed, because I knew the song was good.

—George Harrison

It was very spontaneous. We were in George's car, driving in London, and he said, "Do you want to come and play on this record?" and I went, "All right. But no one has ever played on a Beatles record. They won't like that." So George said, "No, it's nothing to do with them. It's my song." Then I came.

—Eric Clapton

George's songs were getting so much better. He was demanding his rights. The reason why The Beatles made the double White and not Pepper again was because George had so much material, Paul had so much more material, I had so much material and even Ringo had so much material. We made the double White album because it was going to be a double album forever. Abbey Road was like a freak. It was an effort trying to produce something that we used to produce, because it was already disintegrating on the White Album because ther was so much material. Either we would have had to make double albums every time or Paul and I would have had to say, "OK, we'll only have two songs on every album," and that wouldn't have been fun for Paul and I. It had to break.

—John Lennon, 1970

The problem was that John and Paul had written songs for so long it was difficult — First of all because they had such alot of tunes and they automatically thought that theirs should be priority. So for me, I'd always have to wait through ten of their songs before they'd even listen to one of mine. That was why 'All Things Must Pass' had so many songs, because it was like I'd been constipated. I had a little encouragement from time to time, but it was very little. It was like they were doing me a favor. I didn't have much confidence in writing songs because of that. Because they never said, 'Yeah that's a good song.' When we got into things like "While My Guitar Gently Weeps,' we recorded it one night and there was such a lack of enthusiasm. So I went home really disappointed because I knew the song was good.

—George Harrison, from Mystical One: George Harrison: After the Breakup of the Beatles, Elliot J. Huntley, 2004

The next day I brought Eric Clapton with me. He was really nervous. I was saying, 'Just come and play on the session, then I can sing and play acoustic guitar.' Because what happened when Eric was there on that day, and later on when Billy Preston... I pulled in Billy Preston on Let It Be... it helped, because the others would have to control themselves a bit more. John and Paul mainly because they had to, you know, act more handsomely. Eric was nervous saying, 'No, what will they say?' And I was saying, 'Fuck 'em, that's my song.' You know, he was the first non-Beatle person who'd ever played on anything.

—George Harrison, Crawdaddy Magazine interview, Feb 1977

I worked on that song with John, Paul, and Ringo one day, and they were not interested in it at all. And I knew inside of me that it was a nice song. The next day I was with Eric Clapton, and I was going into the session, and I said, 'We're going to do this song. Come and play on it.' He said, 'Oh no. I can't do that. Nobody ever plays on the 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 just play the rhythm and do the vocal. So Eric played that, and I thought it was really good. 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-track) to wobble it up a bit.

—George Harrison, 1987

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