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Unheard George Harrison tape has Beatle doing tunes sung by John Lennon

A listing for a tape of a rare George Harrison cassette.
Dave Morrell/Facebook - used by permission

Beatles collector and author Dave Morrell confirmed to Beatles Examiner the existence of a rare George Harrison tape that was put on auction in 2010 but not sold that featured him singing Beatles songs he didn't do with the Beatles. In his book, “Horse-Doggin', Volume 1,” Morrell details stories of his encounters with members of the Beatles and some ultra-rare Beatles collectables.

Included in the sale was an acoustic guitar, a Yamaha FG-340, that was signed on the guitar body twice by Harrison, according to the auction description. The auction house, Julien's Auctions, also said Harrison likely played the guitar at the jam session that produced the tape.

The tape, approximately 45 minutes long, was described as an impromptu jam session with musicians at the Taj Holiday Village in Goa, India. The music begins 11 minutes into the tape. On the tape, Harrison sings “A Hard Day's Night,” “You're Going to Lose That Girl” and “Norwegian Wood.” According to the description, “Harrison is also heard giving instruction on chord structure and being joined in song by the other musicians present.”

So is this an auctioneer's fantasy? “It exists. I did hear it,” Morrell said. “I know of at least two others have heard it..” Morrell said it was “very good” and “one of the best rare tapes I have ever heard!”

Morrell talked about what he heard on the tape. “It's a wonderful listen. George teaches the others (the restaurant house band) a new song he's working on. They struggle. He's patient. When it doesn't come together, George starts by saying, 'Here's a Beatles number.'

“George is heard talking to the fellows. Then one hands him something that sounds like a ukelele. George then starts that song that the Threetles do in 'Anthology' (likely 'Dehra Dhun'). Then they join in with him. he then starts to show them a new song he thinks they all can learn and it goes on and on and on. Then, 'A Hard Day's Night,' 'You're Going to Lose That Girl' and the one that sent me to the moon!, 'Norwegian Wood!!'

“Then he notices someone is recording it and he scolds them. He says that always happens and he hates getting ripped off. So he stops, signs the guitar and it ends.”

Morrell said he had an idea that Martin Scorsese would have been interested in it. “I tried my best to get the info to Martin Scorsese in hopes that he would use it in the Harrison HBO movie he worked on.”

More intriguing is the fact that "there is much more like this.” Morrell says that at a past auction at Sotheby's several years ago Yoko Ono sold John Lennon's Walkman. “Little did she know a cassette of John's songs were in there, never heard or bootlegged (with) titles not known by fans.”

Hopefully, some of these things will surface while we're still around to hear them. Morrell also says he'll have plenty more stories like this in his upcoming books.