Eric Clapton on Witnessing George Harrison Write The Beatles’ ‘Here Comes the Sun’ in His Garden
Eric Clapton’s garden inspired one of the Beatles’ most popular songs (and one of George Harrison’s original compositions for the rock band.) Here’s what both guitarists had to say about the experience of creating the Abbey Road hit.
Who wrote ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by The Beatles?
“Here Comes the Sun” was included in The Beatles’ Abbey Road, with guitarist George Harrison credited as the primary songwriter. (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr performed this song along with Harrison for the album.)
“‘Here Comes The Sun’ was written at the time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: ‘sign this’ and ‘sign that,’” Harrison wrote in his autobiography I Me Mine. “Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever. By the time spring comes, you really deserve it.”
“So one day I decided I was going to sag off Apple, and I went over to Eric Clapton’s house,” he continued. “The relief of not having to go see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric’s acoustic guitars and wrote ‘Here Comes The Sun.’”
George Harrison wrote The Beatles’ ‘Here Comes the Sun’ while in Eric Clapton’s garden
Harrison found time to visit Clapton’s house while living, rehearsing, and working in England. One thing led to another, and Harrison created “Here Comes the Sun.” When Clapton recalled the experience, he felt “very proud” of the Beatle and his garden.
“He was just a magical guy, and he would show up, get out of the car with his guitar, and come in and start playing,” Clapton said as part of the documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World. “I just watched this thing come to life. I felt very proud that it was my garden that was inspiring it.”
“It was a beautiful spring morning, and we were sitting at the top of a big field at the bottom of the garden,” the guitarist added. “We had our guitars and were just strumming away when he started singing ‘it’s been a long cold lonely winter,’ and bit by bit, he fleshed it out.”
George Harrison and Eric Clapton were close friends
Even before inspiring “Here Comes the Sun,” Clapton and Harrison shared a close friendship. They completed several musical collaborations together, including the song “Badge.”
“It’s the difference between me and, say Eric [Clapton], is I’m just another guitar sometimes playing bits and sometimes singing, but he’s the only guitar to play [the] lead,” Harrison said in one clip from The Beatles: Get Back.
“And so he’s like playing that’s how he can keep it going all the time,” he continued, discussing Clapton’s improvisational playing. “So, I feel now I can play things. I can learn things that will sound ok, especially fast fingering like that.”
When Harrison left The Beatles during the same documentary, the other members mentioned bringing on Clapton as a guitarist. Of course, Harrison returned to the “Here Comes the Sun” band, writing more songs to be used by the group.