PDA

View Full Version : What uke/ukes did George Harrison Play?



rockchic56
02-10-2010, 01:59 AM
I'm a guitar player who is new to the world of ukelele. I just got my 1st uke last week. Does anyone here know what models of uke/ukes that George Harrison played? I've read something about a banjo uke, but did he ever play a soprano, tenor or baritone ect..? Just curious. Thanks in advance for any responses!

bazmaz
02-10-2010, 02:11 AM
I can't fully help, but I have seen pictures of him with a soprano in his hand, and also this one

http://www.sitaremporium.com/UkulelePhotos/GeorgeHarrisonUkulele.jpg

seeso
02-10-2010, 02:29 AM
He favored Kamaka ukuleles. He also had a Ludwig banjo uke.

Ahnko Honu
02-10-2010, 04:36 AM
He had a beautiful home in secluded Nahiku, Maui so appreciated Hawaiian 'ukulele. I agree with Seeso he liked his Kamaka the best.

mds725
02-10-2010, 04:37 AM
Here's a video of George Harrison playng the ukulele around the time the Beatles Anthology was being filmed.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5k-OE0-fWs

bbycrts
02-10-2010, 06:36 AM
Here's a video of George Harrison playng the ukulele around the time the Beatles Anthology was being filmed.

And if I'm not mistaken that's a Kamaka concert.

Pippin
02-10-2010, 09:14 AM
George had a favorite Martin, a favorite Kamaka, and a Gibson that he gave to Paul. I am sure that he had many ukuleles in his collection.

wickedwahine11
02-10-2010, 09:19 AM
I actually read somewhere that he used to always travel with two ukuleles, so that he had one for himself and one for someone to jam with him.

ukecantdothat
02-10-2010, 09:29 AM
Here's a video of George Harrison playng the ukulele around the time the Beatles Anthology was being filmed.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5k-OE0-fWs

There's also a resonator laying on the blanket below in this clip. George no doubt had a big collection. There are many accounts of him passing out ukes at dinner parties in his home.

Ron98GT
07-14-2011, 07:12 AM
I know that this is an old thread, BUT.

Here is a Kamaka link that has some interesting George Harrison facts listed near the bottom, according to Kamaka:

http://www.kamakahawaii.com/funfaqs.html

bvfrenchknitter
07-14-2011, 08:49 AM
I read somewhere that he used to clean Kamaka out of ukes, at the factory so he would have them on hand to give to people. I also read he had ukes in every room so he could play everywhere. Not sure where I read any of that.

Also, the book "Jumpin' Jim's '60s Uke-In: Ukulele Solo" has something that Harrison said about the uke in it, although I haven't seen the book. It seems the author of the book and Harrison met and talked ukes late in Harrison's life.

ItsMrPitchy
07-14-2011, 11:42 AM
I read somewhere that he liked to give ukes out as presents. Paul said he used to always get the ukes out when people came round.

janeray1940
07-14-2011, 11:48 AM
Also, the book "Jumpin' Jim's '60s Uke-In: Ukulele Solo" has something that Harrison said about the uke in it, although I haven't seen the book. It seems the author of the book and Harrison met and talked ukes late in Harrison's life.

Here's what it said:

70654

Swengen
09-04-2011, 06:27 AM
Thanks for that attached thumbnail! Very cool. I've been looking to get a Kamaka and George was one of my heroes in the day.

UncleElvis
09-04-2011, 07:17 AM
I was chatting with a friend of mine, an insanely wealthy fella, and he told me that at the last dinner party at George's house that Sir Paul went to, George went around with a wicker basket full of ukuleles, offering them to everyone to play. He gave one to McCartney who broke into "Something" instrumentally, playing it very grand and majestic, which he always said was the best song George ever wrote. George stopped him and said "That's not how you play it on the ukulele. This is how you do it." and proceeded to "happy it up". That's how Sir Paul has done it ever since.

I was like "Wow... that's so cool. Do you play?"
"No."
"Oh... so... was this just something you heard?" (Thinking he maybe went to a McCartney concert and heard him tell the story)
"Nah. We had the best time that night. We played until 2 in the morning."

My jaw was on the floor.

wolfybau
09-04-2011, 07:28 AM
wow it sounds like George was realy obssesed (I can relate teehee) taking his ukes eveyrwhere, handing them out to people to get them to play them haha there is nothing cooler and more annoying than a pushy uker! hahahaha him giving them out as presents- i can just emagine the family talk at christmas time "I knew it , another ukulele from George again , same as last year, and the year before that and the year before that...." :D

Gillian
09-04-2011, 08:25 AM
Harrison played a Kamaka 'Lili'u" 6-string in his "Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5CkIniOcqs)' video.

southcoastukes
09-04-2011, 05:00 PM
Harrison played a Kamaka 'Lili'u" 6-string in his "Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5CkIniOcqs)' video.

Very Cool!

In listening to the live cut (great to watch him play), I also found a studio YT post where the 6 string is more easily heard. Here are both:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5CkIniOcqs


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2IV9gxHhwM&feature=related

mailman
09-05-2011, 10:15 AM
Very Cool!

In listening to the live cut (great to watch him play), I also found a studio YT post where the 6 string is more easily heard. Here are both:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5CkIniOcqs


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2IV9gxHhwM&feature=related

I once saw George's son interviewed on TV. He commented on George's uke obssesion, and described a very, very sizeable collection. Apparently George had a guy on his staff who scoured the world in search of suitable ukes.

Someday I'd like to own a Kamaka concert of a similar vintage as George's, just because....

chindog
09-05-2011, 01:16 PM
George had a favorite Martin, a favorite Kamaka, and a Gibson that he gave to Paul. I am sure that he had many ukuleles in his collection.

I got to see the Gibson he gave to Paul. I went to a McCartney concert in Atlanta, and he had it with him. Of course, I was far away, and could only get a good look from the picture on the jumbotron.

FormbyFanatic95
09-08-2014, 11:43 AM
Well George actually owned two of George Formby's banjo ukuleles as he was a huge fan and a member of the George Formby Society (as I am). He owned Formby's Ludwig (with Crowns) Banjo Uke which was Nickel Plated and his Dallas Model 'E' which was Gold Plated and is now in The Beatles museum. I've seen a clip of him on YouTube with Jeff Lynne playing banjo ukes, including a Gibson UB2 De-Luxe, so I suspect he owned others.

70650
The Dallas Model 'E' in The Beatles Museum
70651
George Formby's Ludwig that George Harrison later owned (can't find any pictures of it now)
70653
George Harrison at The George Formby Society in Blackpool - that might be George Formby's Ludwig he has.

PeteyHoudini
09-08-2014, 02:28 PM
Luved this entire thread! Thanks for the great info! Didn't John Lennon's mother, Julia play the banjo uke?

Petey

janeray1940
09-08-2014, 02:33 PM
Luved this entire thread! Thanks for the great info! Didn't John Lennon's mother, Julia play the banjo uke?

Petey

I think it was the banjo, actually. I recall reading that when John first started playing guitar he used banjo chord shapes rather than guitar chord shapes.

PeteyHoudini
09-08-2014, 03:07 PM
I think it was the banjo, actually. I recall reading that when John first started playing guitar he used banjo chord shapes rather than guitar chord shapes.

It's strange to imagine banjo music in England back then. I know nothing about it.

I did buy the Blu-ray of "Living in the Material World" about George and that was great. It's so funny, that clip with Tom Petty who said, George just kept giving out ukes out of the trunk of his car... you always need more than one. What uke player can argue with that? hehe

Petey

janeray1940
09-08-2014, 03:50 PM
It's strange to imagine banjo music in England back then. I know nothing about it.

I did buy the Blu-ray of "Living in the Material World" about George and that was great. It's so funny, that clip with Tom Petty who said, George just kept giving out ukes out of the trunk of his car... you always need more than one. What uke player can argue with that? hehe

Petey

"Banjo music" and "England" don't automatically go together in my mind either, but what do I know? :)

George and the handing out of ukes is the stuff of legends! At the shop where I play here in Santa Monica, the story goes that whenever he was in the area, he'd stop in and buy all of their Kamakas off the walls, to hand out to friends.

phil_doleman
09-08-2014, 10:26 PM
The reso laying on the floor back on the first clip was made hy my friend Alan at Northworthy instruments in Derbyshire, UK. He was more than a little surprised when George turned up at his workshop in person! He brought a vintage uke that he wanted copying, and of course, Alan had to make him two!

kypfer
09-09-2014, 12:11 AM
It's strange to imagine banjo music in England back then. I know nothing about it. I don't remember banjos playing a very prominent role in UK music in the late '50's - early '60's ... more likely to have been found in a folk-setting than main-line entertainment or pop music. Shirley Collins used one to good effect on some of her early recordings. Just backing chords with a pick-strum type rhythm, possibly Pete Seeger inspired, but quite different for the time :)

DownUpDave
09-09-2014, 01:56 AM
Thank you so much for resurrected this thread, very enjoyable reading, viewing and listening

zac987
09-10-2014, 05:47 AM
It really depends on the kind of banjo that he played. 5-strings were extremely popular in England from 1890 to 1920 or so. Then the tenor banjo was incredibly popular. It wouldn't be unheard of to have one of those banjos just laying around in one's closet.

Gillian
09-10-2014, 07:45 AM
In the "Ain't She Sweet" video, he was playing a Kamaka concert. You can't miss the distinctive headstock shape.

HBolte
09-10-2014, 09:07 AM
I don't remember banjos playing a very prominent role in UK music in the late '50's - early '60's ... more likely to have been found in a folk-setting than main-line entertainment or pop music. Shirley Collins used one to good effect on some of her early recordings. Just backing chords with a pick-strum type rhythm, possibly Pete Seeger inspired, but quite different for the time :)

John's mother Julia did teach Lennon his first chords. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/348593/The-curious-tale-of-John-Lennon-s-missing-3m-banjo

stevejfc
09-11-2014, 05:06 AM
There's a short clip floating around (which I can't locate right now) of George playing his banjo uke (Ludwig?) at an annual George Formby convention.
I chatted briefly with his son Dhani about George's ukes after one of Dhani's concerts and he said that he didin't know how many ukes his dad had, but there were a lot. That he loved Kamakas, his favorite was a concert and that they were all over the house.
If you've seen a picture of the Harrison house, Friar Park, you know that there are at least 50+/- (?) rooms which ='s a whole lot of ukes.
As George said to Tom Petty ".................you can't have enough ukuleles".

Ukecaster
02-23-2018, 04:50 AM
Very Cool!

In listening to the live cut (great to watch him play), I also found a studio YT post where the 6 string is more easily heard. Here are both:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5CkIniOcqs


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2IV9gxHhwM&feature=related

Old thread, but what is the uke shown in the 2nd video? Is that a Kamaka concert with the crown headstock? I've seen his Kamaka concert with wave headstock in other videos.

KamakOzzie
02-23-2018, 06:16 PM
Old thread, but what is the uke shown in the 2nd video? Is that a Kamaka concert with the crown headstock? I've seen his Kamaka concert with wave headstock in other videos.


It looks like a pre 1960 Martin tenor to me.

mikelz777
02-23-2018, 06:31 PM
There's a short clip floating around (which I can't locate right now) of George playing his banjo uke (Ludwig?) at an annual George Fromby convention.


Here's George playing a banjo uke with Jeff Lynne.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydH4d6tTiCc

Papa Tom
02-24-2018, 05:52 AM
Great video pf George with Jeff Lynne.

I know I'm not dreaming this. Years ago, I found a YouTube audio segment of George appearing at some Ukulele conference somewhere in the world, early on in his ukulele fascination. He sounds very humble discussing his uke playing and then proceeds to play a song that I can't remember.

I wish I could find it again, but I'm glad to have that Jeff Lynne video to hold its place for now.

stevejfc
02-24-2018, 02:21 PM
Great video pf George with Jeff Lynne.

I know I'm not dreaming this. Years ago, I found a YouTube audio segment of George appearing at some Ukulele conference somewhere in the world, early on in his ukulele fascination. He sounds very humble discussing his uke playing and then proceeds to play a song that I can't remember.

I wish I could find it again, but I'm glad to have that Jeff Lynne video to hold its place for now.

Yes! That's the video of George at the Formby convention. I can't find it either.

Papa Tom
02-24-2018, 02:41 PM
Yes! That's the video of George at the Fromby convention. I can't find it either.

Oh, sorry! I did something I don't like when others do. I replied to a thread before reading all the posts.

Anyway, yeah...where did that YouTube video go? If i remember right, it was only audio with, perhaps, a still of George on screen the entire time.

Jim Yates
02-24-2018, 08:42 PM
106922

George with banjolele.

Papa Tom
02-25-2018, 12:37 AM
Could you edit the post to read "thats the video of George at the F......by Convention" ...Don't look up the word unless you want to be annoyed.

Oh man, that's hilarious! I noticed the typo right away, but didn't know the word has a meaning in the Urban Dictionary!

sbanacho
02-25-2018, 08:50 AM
This thread talking about George handing out ukuleles as gifts reminded me of this clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Npan0fvtIjg

Ukecaster
02-25-2018, 01:21 PM
I wish a friend of mine would pull up, open his trunk, and lay a few Kamakas on me!