George Harrison Said He and Keith Richards Kept in Touch by Sending T-Shirts to Each Other

George Harrison and Keith Richards had a bond. In the 1960s, they were the only two people who knew what it felt like to be the lead guitarists of enormously successful rock bands. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones might’ve been competitive, but George and Richards admired one another from afar.

Years later, they kept in touch when their careers went separate ways.

George Harrison with long hair in 1971 and Keith Richards wearing a button down in 1967.
(L-R) George Harrison and Keith Richards | Tim Boxer/Mark and Colleen Hayward/Getty Images

George Harrison and Keith Richards had a bond

In the special edition of Rolling Stone called “Remembering George,” Richards said he and George had a “bond.”

“George and I kind of formed-without talking too much about it, although we did have a laugh here and there-a bond, in that we felt we were kind of fulfilling the same role within our respective bands,” Richards said. “It was a nod and a wink to say, ‘Well, they’d be nowhere without us.’

“So George and I always used to have that thing of, ‘Well, how’s your end holding up?’ He was a very quiet and enigmatic guy in many ways. He had a very sly sense of humor, very quiet. But there was always this unspoken bond between us.”

Richards understood why George liked to live in privacy because one of his fellow Stones, Charlie Watts, was similar. No one could tell The Beatles or The Rolling Stones how to operate in the spotlight. George and Watts never got used to it.

“I think the other thing, that strain that runs between George and the Beatles and ourselves, the Stones, is just that we’re basically the same age and happened to find ourselves in this unique position without any training. You can’t go to star school. And George was never interested in that.

“George reminds me very much of Charlie Watts, in that way and in many ways-the understatedness, the modesty, and just being a gentleman, really. There’s very few I’d give that word to, and I wouldn’t give it to myself. But he was a gent.”

George said he and Richards kept in touch by sending each other T-shirts

In a 1988 interview with MTV, George said he liked Richards a lot. George left a party at Richards’ home, Redlands, right before police raided the place and arrested him and Jagger. Later, Keith recalled the times he and George used to get high together.

“I haven’t seen Keith in years,” George said. “He’s lived, I presume, in Jamaica and New York, I haven’t seen him for a long time. Yeah, I like Keith a lot. We occasionally send T-shirts to each other.”

They should’ve sent each other guitars.

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The Rolling Stones’ guitarist loved The Beatles’ guitarist

Richards loved George’s guitar playing and said it spoke for itself. “George was an artist who was, because he didn’t write that many songs but the ones he did write were very meaningful, very well worked out, and well thought about, an incredibly meticulous man with respect to his work and to what he wanted to do,” he continued to Rolling Stone.

“The record speaks for itself-‘[While My] Guitar Gently Weeps,’ ‘Something,’ ‘My Sweet Lord.’ When he did put something out, he worked on it a long time and got it right the way he wanted it, which is a very difficult thing to do, especially when you’re part of something else.”

“He was a lovely lead guitarist,” Richards continued, “beautifully understated. The thing is, you’ve got your Jimi Hendrix, you’ve got your Eric Clapton, and then you’ve got guys who can play with bands. And George was a band and a team player. To me, that’s way above being some virtuoso flash artist… George was an artist, but he was also a f***ing craftsman.

“When you listen to his songs, you’re aware of how much went into it. He didn’t flip anything off. George crafted his stuff very, very carefully, and it all had its own feel. This was a guy who could come out with a great song or a great record anytime.”

Unfortunately, there came a time when Richards stopped getting T-shirts from George and, more importantly, music. However, just because George died doesn’t mean he stopped influencing Richards.