The Events Of George Harrison and Bob Dylan’s Secret Jam
via Peter Stone Brown Archive / YouTube
It’s no secret that George Harrison and Bob Dylan’s paths kept on crossing, seeing as they’re among the well-respected musicians in the industry. But the bond they shared was deeper than what’s seen from the media, and even more comfortable than when Dylan introduced The Beatles about the wonders of smoking weed.
After the stress which Harrison experienced right after the Beatles’ publicized their decision to split, his old buddy Dylan came to the rescue and the two decided to head over to Columbia’s Studio B in New York City. What happened next was entirely wholesome and magical – a secret jam session.
With the intent to start the sessions for Dylan’s new album New Morning, midway through the recording, the two got tired and decided to play some tunes. With Bassist Charlie Daniels and drummer Russ Kunkel, they rummaged through a handful of songs that consisted of Dylan classics, Beatle hits, and even their favorites. Some of those were “Sign on the Window,” “If Not For You,” “Times Passes Slowly,” an early rendition of Harrison’s “If Not For You,” “Mama, You Been on My Mind,” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” and even Everly Brothers’ “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” But the highlight of them all was when the foursome played The Beatles “Yesterday.” Even after the commotion surrounding their breakup, George was perfectly fine playing the tune.
Neither released the said “secret jam session” until 2020 when Dylan released them all in his Bob Dylan – 50th Anniversary Collection 1970. It was done to avoid the European law to publish all the unreleased recordings once they reached the public domain 50 years later. To avoid any bootlegs, Dylan’s camp was more than pleased to do it themselves.