Remembering George Harrison: Watch The Beatles Rehearse ‘All Things Must Pass’ In 1969

See the legendary band working on early takes of the George solo masterpiece.

By Nate Todd Nov 29, 2022 12:33 pm PST

Today marks 21 years since George Harrison sadly died from lung cancer at the age of 58. With last year’s release of The Beatles’ Get Back documentary, fans of the legendary band got an intimate glimpse inside the inner workings of The Beatles as they made the album that would become Let It Be but also inside a band that was beginning to break up.

Part of the animosity in the group stemmed from the fact that The Beatles’ primary songwriters, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, at the time largely ignored Harrison’s immense talent as a songwriter in his own right. George had been contributing a song or two here and there to The Beatles’ previous albums, amazing tunes like “If I Needed Someone,” “Taxman,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and more. Even so, Harrison struggled to get his material onto albums and that fact is one of the central themes in the Get Back documentary.

One of the songs Lennon and McCartney do entertain is “All Things Must Pass.” Now widely considered one of Harrison’s best, “All Things Must Pass” would go on to title track George’s landmark 1970 solo triple LP recorded and released just after The Beatles break up. The song itself works on many levels in that it not only speaks to George’s devotion to Indian spirituality and its central tenet of impermanence but also to what he was going through in The Beatles as the band disintegrated.

While officially a Harrison solo song, The Beatles rehearsed and recorded versions of All Things Must Pass in January 1969 during the “Get Back” sessions. YouTuber Adam Bound put together a compilation of rehearsal footage from the Get Back doc but also from the original Let It Be film, The Beatles Anthology and more.

The clip offers some interesting insights into “All The Things Must Pass” as it began to take shape including Lennon making lyrical suggestions, McCartney adding vocal harmonies and more. The footage also includes Harrison talking about Billy Preston, who would go on to become one of The Beatles’ only outside collaborators and played a big role in the “Get Back” sessions as well as on George’s All Things Must Pass album.

Watch The Beatles rehearse “All Things Must Pass” in January 1969 below:

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