The Beatles: George Harrison was not happy with a Paul McCartney track

The Beatles: Get Back documentary teased by Peter Jackson

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By the time The Beatles’ 11th album, Abbey Road, was released in September 1969, the band had been writing songs for almost an entire decade. Each of the members had worked hard on their own tracks as well as collaborative efforts. One of the stronger songwriters in the band was George Harrison, who penned such hits as While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Here Comes The Sun. The Quiet Beatle disagreed with Paul McCartney over one track on Abbey Road, however.

The song in question, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, was one of Paul’s compositions for the record.

The track included a collection of subtle guitar notes, as well as some extra background noises involving metal shards.

Paul’s wife at the time, Linda McCartney, said the track was his experimentation with the “avant-garde”.

He himself said the song was “my analogy for when something goes wrong out of the blue, as it so often does, as I was beginning to find out at that time in my life”.

Paul continued: “I wanted something symbolic of that, so to me, it was some fictitious character called Maxwell with a silver hammer. I don’t know why it was silver, it just sounded better than Maxwell’s hammer.”

However, after the song was recorded, the rest of the band wanted to move on to other parts of the album, but Paul wouldn’t stop rerecording it in an attempt to make it “perfect”.

George in particular was not happy about how much time they spent on the track.

He said at the time: “Sometimes Paul would make us do these really fruity songs.”

George went on: “I mean, my God, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer was so fruity. After a while we did a good job on it, but when Paul got an idea or an arrangement in his head…”

The Beatle trailed off, not wanting to say another bad word about his friend and bandmate.

John Lennon wasn’t as reserved, however. He later told Playboy: “I hated it. All I remember is the track – he made us do it a hundred million times.

“He did everything to make it into a single and it never was and it never could’ve been.”

The Beatles: Get Back preview released by Peter Jackson

John added: “We spent more money on that song than any of them in the whole album.”

Ringo Starr joined the pile-on, as well, also hitting out at Paul and his passion project.

He said: “The worst session ever was Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.

“It was the worst track we ever had to record. It went on for f****** weeks. I thought it was mad.”

Paul told a different story about the song’s recording, however, by downplaying the severity of their disagreements.

He later recalled: “The only arguments were about things like me spending three days on Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.

“I remember George saying: ‘You’ve taken three days, it’s only a song.’ Yeah, but I want to get it right. I’ve got some thoughts on this one.”


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