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The Beatles took over the world in their heyday. It seemed as though everyone was obsessed with The Beatles, maybe even more so than John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. In one 1967 interview, George Harrison said the band, to him, was “just a hobby.”

The Beatles sitting on a bench fooling around.
The Beatles | John Downing/Getty Images

One of the most famous rock bands of all time was ‘just a hobby’ to George Harrison

It didn’t take too long for Harrison to grow accustomed to the life of the rich and famous. And not too long after that, he grew tired of it. In early interviews, one could hear his excitement about his life, or read it on the page. But as time went on, he became jaded. When Harrison was interviewed by Melody Maker in 1967, he said the band hardly worked for their success anymore. Everything came easy. 

“The Beatles is just a hobby really,” he said, as recorded in the book George Harrison on George Harrison. “It’s just doing it on its own. We don’t even have to think about it. The songs write themselves. It just all works out. Everything that we’re taking into our minds and trying to learn or find out — and I feel personally it’s such a lot, there’s so much to get in — and yet the output coming out the back end is still so much smaller than what you’re putting in.”

The Beatles knew they could keep evolving

By 1967, some people, both in the music industry and otherwise, had the opinion that The Beatles, at that point, had done what they could do musically. But Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr knew they weren’t done evolving.  

“Everything is relative to everything else,” said Harrison. “We know that now. So we’ve got to a point where when people say ‘there’s nothing else you can do,’ we know that’s only from where they are. They look up and think we can’t do any more, but when you’re up there you see you haven’t started.”

Of course, the band proved the naysayers wrong as they continued to experiment with their music.

What George Harrison said was next for The Beatles


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Harrison’s interviewer asked him what was next for the band. He replied: “No idea.” But he knew it’d be different. 

“We won’t know until we do it,” he said. “We’re naturally influenced by everything that’s going on around us. If you weren’t influenced, you wouldn’t be able to do anything. That’s all anything is, an influence from one person to another. We’ll write songs and go into the studios and record them and we’ll try and make them good. We’ll make a better LP than Sergeant Pepper. But I don’t know what it’s going to be.”