Why George Harrison Got Sick of The Beatles’ ‘Twist and Shout’


  • George Harrison recalled playing The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout” in Hamburg.
  • He became friends with Eric Clapton around this time.
  • “Twist and Shout” became a huge hit in the United States.
The Beatles' George Harrison during the "Twist and Shout" era
The Beatles’ George Harrison | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Beatles‘ “Twist and Shout” became one of the Fab Four’s most famous covers. However, George Harrison revealed he eventually became sick of the song. Here’s why.

George Harrison said part of The Beatles’ career ‘was a bit of a drag’

According to the book George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters, George discussed The Beatles’ time in Hamburg, Germany, during a 1977 interview. “I just had such a good time just playing, you know,” he said. “That’s what I miss.”

George then became much more critical of The Beatles’ time in Hamburg. “Even when we sold records and started doing a lot of tours, it was a bit of a drag because we’d go on the road and we’d play the same tunes to different people and then we’d drop a few and add news ones all the time, but basically it was the same old tunes,” he said.

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George Harrison said The Beatles performed ‘Twist and Shout’ during a ‘stale’ period of their career

George revealed his issue with playing “Twist and Shout.” “It got stale. I felt stale, you know because you play the same riffs da-dada-ding-ding-dow, you know, ‘Twist and Shout’ and things,” he said. “By the time you came off the road, been touring the world, I’d just want to not particularly [look at an instrument].”

The quiet Beatle then discussed his friendship with Eric Clapton. “We did get very stale and that’s a period when — I was saying about being into the sitar — I got really friendly with Eric, and all the kids were playing guitars,” he said. “I’d felt as though I’d missed so many years out.”

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How ‘Twist and Shout’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“Twist and Shout” became a huge hit. The song reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 26 weeks. The Beatles released “Twist and Shout” on the album Please Please Me. The album reached No. 155 on the Billboard 200 for one week.

“Twist and Shout” was a much more modest hit in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, the song reached No. 48 in the U.K. It stayed on the chart for two weeks in total. Meanwhile, Please Please Me topped the chart for 30 weeks. The album remained on the chart for 70 weeks in total.

“Twist and Shout” became a huge hit in the United States — even if George grew tired of the song.

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