Interview: 'What an Honour': Performer Daniel Taylor on Timeless Songs and Sharing George Harrison's Story in SOMETHING ABOUT GEORGE

‘People really want to hear about George Harrison. If you ask people who their favourite Beatle is, he comes up a lot.’

By: Feb. 02, 2024
Interview: 'What an Honour': Performer Daniel Taylor on Timeless Songs and Sharing George Harrison's Story in SOMETHING ABOUT GEORGE

Something About George pays tribute to George Harrison and celebrates his life, incredible solo material and classics from The Beatles, along with hits from his time in supergroup The Travelling Wilburys.

West End performer and musician Daniel Taylor spoke to BroadwayWorld about the upcoming Something About George UK and Ireland tour and how he had the honour of celebrating George Harrison’s life at a special concert in the musician’s home town of Liverpool.


You previously played John Lennon in shows like Lennon: Through a Glass Onion and are about to embark on the UK tour for Something About George, which is about George Harrison. What was it like to go from playing one Beatle to another?

Well, I think it’s important to point out that I’m not actually playing George Harrison. I’m talking about his life as Daniel Taylor. They [the producers] had this great idea to do a show and talk about his life after The Beatles.

The show also features music from The Travelling Wilburys, who are one of my favourite groups and possibly one of the first supergroups…

It was possibly the first supergroup of its kind and the way it came about, that was quite a story within itself. I’ve got something here. George was looking for an extra song for his album, Cloud Nine. George figured he would just book a recording studio and write something on the day.

Jeff Lynne had been involved in the production of his albums. George and Jeff Lynne built up a strong friendship. Jeff said he’d like to come to the studio and had mentioned in passing, to Roy Orbison, what he was doing. Roy Orbison said he’d like to come and watch them in the studio. Jeff Lynne then headed over to Tom Petty’s house because he had left his guitar there and had told Tom Petty what he was doing. Then Tom Petty said, ‘Oh, I wondered what I was doing tomorrow,’. Then George was looking for a studio, but where does a rock star get a studio with just 24 hours notice? Of course, if you’re George Harrison, you call Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan had a garage studio, so they all piled into Bob Dylan’s garage. There was a box in the corner that said ‘Handle with care’ - and that is where the song came from. All these legends of music getting together and it was possibly the first supergroup.

Interview: 'What an Honour': Performer Daniel Taylor on Timeless Songs and Sharing George Harrison's Story in SOMETHING ABOUT GEORGE

Wow! Are these the types of stories that the audience will hear as part of the show?

Yeah, I talk about his relationships, his son Dhani Harrison, Olivia Harrison, the songs - it’s all of that. The songs, which for me - and I’m sure you agree - a good song feels like it has always been there. Something - I think Frank Sinatra said it was the best, most beautiful love song of the past 20 years. They’re all the different things we talk about and we’ve got an incredible band behind us [in the show].

We did a 12 date tour last year and a reduced version for the Edinburgh Fringe, which did absolutely incredible. It did really well and [producer] Bill Elms has said he is already getting bookings for next year. The demand there to hear about George Harrison is massive. They’ve really struck gold with this one. People really want to hear about George Harrison. If you ask people who their favourite Beatle is, he comes up a lot.

You also performed Something About George at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall as part of the celebrations for what would have been George Harrison’s 80th birthday. How did that feel?

That was for me…It has been an absolute dream of mine to play the Philharmonic [Hall]. When I walked in there, it was one of those moments…To just be at the Philharmonic for his 80th and then be told, ‘Oh, the Harrison family are in tonight.’

Interview: 'What an Honour': Performer Daniel Taylor on Timeless Songs and Sharing George Harrison's Story in SOMETHING ABOUT GEORGE
Photo Credit: Beatles Story

That must have been amazing.

We had the Liverpool choir there and it was incredible. We had the string section from the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra on songs like "While my guitar gently weeps". To be stood on the stage, to have that behind you and I’m looking at a full Philharmonic [audience]. I did the soundcheck and I’ve never heard a sound quite like it. I didn’t know anything could sound so good. That place is just - the acoustics are like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Then when it was full, we got to the end of the show and I get emotional thinking about it now. I saw Bill Elms afterwards and he was crying with joy. It was a really special night. The Managing Director of the Liverpool Philharmonic came over and said ‘that was incredible.’ Then we met the Harrison family. My mum was on the front row and we got some flowers to her. It was one of those evenings that I will never forget. It was a really amazing night, just to tell his story, for his 80th, in his home city. What an honour.

The current tour for Something About George begins at the Floral Pavilion Theatre, New Brighton on Saturday 3 February. What are you hoping that audiences will experience and take away from the show?

Of all the things I’ve ever done…when I first entered the rehearsal room, we started playing these songs, delivering the dialogue. I can’t explain it, but something happens when you play these songs and hear these songs. It’s quite overwhelming in some ways.

There’s a huge screen behind me projecting all this imagery, which is stunning, what [producers] Jon Fellowes and Gary Edward Jones have done with [co-producer] Bill Elms. The imagery that goes will the music, the underscoring and the band - the band are fantastic. They’re top players. You won’t get better than they’ve assembled. They’ve gone for the best. The songs - it’s quite overwhelming. It’s quite moving. I think the penultimate song is "Here comes the sun". It’s very emotive and of course, I don’t want to give too much away, but obviously "While my guitar gently weeps" comes after that. It’s so powerful. They’re timeless songs.

What’s next for you after Something About George?

Next year, I’m taking two months off to walk from the top of the country to the bottom. I’m going to busk it and I’m doing it all for dementia - I just want to do something where I can raise awareness. My father and my stepfather, they have Alzheimers and dementia. There needs to be more education and awareness about it.

I wanted to do something and it’s called ‘Busking Britain’. It’s over 1000 miles, it’s going to work out to. I’ve got a group of people who messaged me - some people work in events - they just want to give up their time, do a little bit and do what they can. We’re then going to look at getting some sponsorship. I’m not going to say how many miles a day, but at the moment we’re looking about 20 [miles]. The thing is to get to all of these venues, whether its towns, cities, villages and for other musicians to come out and play. Those people can join the walk and maybe they can do sponsorships themselves.

The UK and Ireland tour of Something About George opens at the Floral Pavilion Theatre, New Brighton on Saturday 3 February 2024.

Photo credit: David Munn photography




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