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Bob Dylan and The Beatles inspired each other, whether they wanted to admit it or not. While The Beatles were in the thick of Beatlemania in 1964, they met Dylan. The songwriter allegedly gave them their first joint. However, Dylan gave them much so more. When one of the biggest groups in the world wanted to develop and hone their songwriting skills, Dylan was one of their biggest influences. Later, Dylan was inspired by The Beatles as well.

So, Dylan wrote a song about how they were all influenced by each other.

Former Beatles Ringo Starr and George Harrison performing with Bob Dylan during the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971.
Former Beatles Ringo Starr and George Harrison with Bob Dylan | Bettmann/Getty Images

Bob Dylan inspired The Beatles, claims George Harrison

When The Beatles expanded musically after they stopped touring in 1966, they looked to Dylan for inspiration. In 1992, Guitar World pointed out to George Harrison that Dylan inspired them “lyrically to explore deeper subjects.” Meanwhile, The Beatles inspired Dylan “to expand musically, and to go electric.”

Asked if he ever talked to Dylan about how The Beatles and Dylan influenced each other, Harrison replied, “Yes, and it was just like you were saying.

“I was at Bob’s house and we were trying to write a tune,” Harrison said. “And I remember saying, ‘How did you write all those amazing words?’ And he shrugged and said, ‘Well, how about all those chords you use?’ So I started playing and said it was just all these funny chords people showed me when I was a kid.

“Then I played two major sevenths in a row to demonstrate, and I suddenly thought, Ah, this sounds like a tune here. Then we finished the song together. It was called ‘I’d Have You Anytime,’ and it was the first track on All Things Must Pass.

George Harrison said Bob Dylan wrote a song about how the band was influenced by him

Asked if Dylan felt that Rubber Soul was “John doing Dylan,” Harrison replied that Dylan did because he wrote the song “Fourth Time Around.”

“Dylan once wrote a song call ‘Fourth Time Around,'” Harrison explained. “To my mind, it was about how John and Paul, from listening to Bob’s early stuff, had written ‘Norwegian Wood.’ Judging from the title, it seemed as though Bob had listened to that and wrote the same basic song again, calling it ‘Fourth Time Around.’ The title suggests that the same basic tune kept bouncing around over and over again.”

However, Dylan really wrote “Fourth Time Around” as a parody of “Norweigan Wood.” Dylan wasn’t happy about influencing other artists. So, Harrison’s assessment that the song was about how ideas bounced around isn’t quite the full story.


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George Harrison said the band were conscious of many things starting in 1966

Once The Beatles stopped touring, they became open to so many different artists, not just Dylan.

“We just became more conscious of so many things,” Harrison said. “We even listened deeper, somehow. That’s when I really enjoyed getting creative with the music-not just with my guitar playing and songwriting but with everything we did as a band, including the songs that the others wrote. It all deepened and became more meaningful.”