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Lost George Harrison ‘Sun’ guitar solo on ‘Material World’ film


Tucked in among about a dozen bonus audio and video features on the May 1 home video release of Martin Scorsese’s documentary “George Harrison: Living in the Material World” is a session that’s bound to generate excitement among Harrison and Beatles aficionados: a missing George Harrison guitar solo from one of his most celebrated songs, “Here Comes the Sun.”

It surfaces during in-studio conversation between Harrison’s son, Dhani, longtime Beatles producer George Martin and his son, Giles Martin, who has overseen recordings used in the film and on an accompanying CD.

The three are listening to, and fiddling with, tracks from the original multi-track recording of “Here Comes the Sun,” one of the two Harrison songs on the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album in 1969.

Giles Martin brings up the orchestral score his father created for Harrison’s song, noting that the elder Martin hadn’t done much composing previously for songs written by “the quiet Beatle.” They’re isolating different aspects of the track — the strings, George’s voice — when Dhani pushes another button on the studio console and up comes the sound of Harrison playing a guitar solo not included on the final mix.

“That’s totally different to anything I’ve ever heard before,” says Dhani, his eyes immediately widening.

“We never used that,” George Martin responds. “I’d forgotten about that.”

“I never even knew about it,” Dhani says.

That snippet is included in the bonus DVD material, but isn’t on the bonus audio disc featuring 10 Harrison tracks from his post-Beatles career, including early or alternate takes of several songs from his watershed “All Things Must Pass” solo album, some of his latter-day material and some covers. The CD will be packaged with the deluxe DVD-Blu-ray edition of the film, and sold as a stand-alone album.

Calendar will have a more extensive interview with Giles Martin and Harrison’s widow, Olivia, closer to the release date of the package, which will be available in two-DVD set and single-disc Blu-ray editions, and the deluxe version with both formats and the audio CD. It has been released previously outside North America, but because HBO screened the film domestically, the home video was delayed in the U.S. until May.