Music and Formula 1 are an exciting mixture that have come together most memorably with Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain,’ which has had a successful marriage with the BBC title sequence for quite some time now. However, ‘The Chain’ was never specifically written to go with moving pictures of fast racing cars, and around the same time that Fleetwood Mac wrote their classic (which was the late 1970’s) an idea struck another music legend.
George Harrison was a very successful musician. Heaven knows how many records were sold during his time in the 1960’s supergroup The Beatles, and in his solo career that followed. But during 1977, George decided to put down his guitar and attend a few F1 races. Up to that point, he’d collected a few fancy motor vehicles with his earnings and had met Emerson Fittipaldi back in 1973, so had gradually developed an interest in the sport. George was a friendly guy, and soon met and got to know various people around the F1 paddock. He saw the motor racing world as a welcome break from the music business. And apparently after having a good old chin wag with Niki Lauda at the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, George was inspired enough to write a little ditty called ‘Faster!’ ‘This is a song that Niki, Jody, Emerson and the gang could enjoy’ George stated when he’d finished composing.
Here are the lyrics to the chorus, so you can sing along!
‘Faster than a bullet from a gun,
He is faster than everyone,
Quicker than the blinking of an eye,
Like a flash you could miss him going by,
No one knows quite how he does it but it’s true they say,
He’s the master of going faster.’
‘Faster’ can be found on George Harrison’s 1979 album entitled ‘George Harrison’ funnily enough. The song did get a single release and was hoped to assist the fundraising for the Gunnar Nilsson Cancer Fund, but unfortunately the song failed to chart. Shame! Maybe it’s time for a revival? It’s catchy enough don’t you think?! And after a few listens it is a grower! The engine sound effects you can hear were strapped on for extra high octane excitement in the studio later, and were recorded at the 1978 British GP (a race that the author of this piece was lucky enough to attend I might add!).
Our photo here, depicts George Harrison (second from left), with Nelson Piquet (far left), watching fellow Beatle Ringo Starr (sunglasses) trying to poke what looks like a screwdriver up Jackie Stewart’s nostril! I can’t vouch for the the reason why Ringo is attempting such unorthodox pit-work, but it looks like it’s in the middle of a TV broadcast! I also can’t vouch for the location I’m afraid, but it is around 1984/85.
In later years George could often be seen at F1 and other motor sport events, watching the on track action and also auditioning for new band members! He jammed with the likes of Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, Eddie Jordan and even taught Gerhard Berger the ukelele! Who would have guessed that?!
Photo credit: Daniele Amaduzzi, from F1 Images published by Haynes.