Using naught but lens, angle and exposure without effects, editing or adjusting, George Harrison’s 1966 selfies have a natural psychedelic feel.
Besides the fact that there is actually a compilation of George Harrison selfies in existence, it’s the shots themselves that are so remarkable. Backed by some of India’s most beautiful locations, no less.
The trip itself acted as a major inspiration to The Beatles’ sound at the time, ultimately transforming music forever. It served as the introduction and popularising of the sitar amongst pop music, thanks to the legendary virtuoso Ravi Shankar and his life-changing lessons.
One famous song created after and inspired by this trip is Within You Without You from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Harrison then went on to play Indian instruments Sitar (stringed plucked instrument) and Tambura (Long-necked stringed plucked instrument) on Tomorrow Never Knows and Across The Universe.
Fun fact: The sitar influence became so popular in western music that Danelectro and session guitarist Vinnie Bell created the Coral Electric Sitar.
1966 was the year The Beatles stopped touring due to a few reasons, including backlash from John Lennon’s remarks about the band being “more popular than Jesus”.
The perfectly serene, scenic backdrops are bursting with life, showing raw documentation of what inspired Harrison to begin his much-hailed eastern musical mutations.
A couple of things we can take away from this is that these photographs are the very evidence of Harrison documenting his revolutionary journey of both musical and self-discovery and that selfies have in fact been a thing since 1966.
Plus in the half-century since, I don’t think anyone has topped these.