George Needed Help; So He Called Eric

George Needed Help; So He Called Eric

Fifty years ago today, September 6th, 1968, Eric Clapton became one of only a handful of artists to participate in a Beatles recording session, providing the lead guitar on George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at Abbey Road Studios in London. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is one of four Harrison songs on The Beatles, the two-disc set that is referred to as The White Album, which was released in November 1968. A 50th anniversary edition of the album will be released this November.

George Harrison on why Eric Clapton recorded the lead guitar on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” 50 years ago today, September 6th,

“I had a difficult time the day before [that] we started to record that song. There was a bit of a lack of interest from the Lennon-McCartney songwriting duo. And, there was not much joy, you know, and I went home that night thinking, you know, ‘We’ve got to do it better than that.’ And Eric was with me and I said, ‘Why don’t you come and play on this record?’ And a similar thing happened when Billy Preston walked in at the time we did Let it Be. Suddenly they all go on their best behavior.”

Clapton played his solo on a Gibson Les Paul that he gave to Harrison not long before the session. Eric Clapton recalls the September 6th, 1968 recording session in which he overdubbed lead guitar on The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

“The most important thing I remember about that session and the other stuff I saw around them was how funky it was. They made records in the most liberated way I’d ever seen. They just did whatever they felt like and there was an incredible freedom to their approach to making records. There was nobody governing anything. There was no kind of censorship. They just did what felt right and that was really liberating to see.”

Photo: Landmark/