A lost song written by George Harrison has been found inside an old piano bench.
Olivia Harrison, widow of The Beatles guitarist, found the lyrics for ‘Hey Ringo’ in a folder of notes stored inside the seat in the couple’s Oxfordshire home.
The lyrics, according to The i, say Harrison’s guitar playing is incomplete without his former bandmate, Ringo Starr’s, beat. They include the lines: “Hey Ringo, now I want you to know, that without you my guitar plays far too slow” and “I’ve heard no drummer who can play it quite like you“.
“There was a folder in George’s piano bench and inside I found a typed lyric for Hey, Ringo. It think it dates from around 1970,” Olivia Harrison said. She also said she believed he had recorded music for the track on a home cassette.
She added that the piano bench was “the stool Billy Preston (Beatles organist) used to leap about on when he played with George.”
Olivia Harrison gave a copy of the lyrics to Starr at a party in Los Angeles commemorating her husband’s 74th birthday in February. She said: “He’d never seen this song before. He said ‘What is this?’ He was so surprised.”
The lyrics will be reproduced in an updated illustrated biography about Harrison, called I Me Mine. The book will also feature family photographs, other handwritten lyrics and unpublished interview transcripts.
Speaking about finding material for the book, Olivia Harrison said: “When George was writing he would leave notebooks in a desk drawer, or a cupboard or a kitchen drawer. He had a lot of piano benches. He would put a notebook down and never pick it up again so a song might be forgotten.
“I did have a reluctance to disturb these little time capsules. You don’t want to decant someone’s life.”
She also revealed the guitarist left behind “a lot of unfinished songs”, but “some of them are just not finished enough to release”.
Harrison was recently voted the best Beatle by NME readers. He beat second-place John Lennon, receiving 3,600 votes, while Lennon only gained 2,100 votes. Paul McCartney came third with 1,400 voting him as their favourite and drummer Ringo Starr received just 636 votes.
The poll marked the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ classic album ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. To celebrate the milestone, a special anniversary CD and vinyl reissue is currently on sale.