Meeting George Harrison
In 1988, I had two Top Ten songs on the Billboard charts: Tell It to My Heart and Prove Your Love, both sung by Taylor Dayne. At the time, I was a staff songwriter with Warner/Chappell Music Publishing, but my contract was up and the top brass, looking to sign me up again, took me out to dinner at Mr. Chow's in L.A. While at dinner, I overheard someone at our table say that George Harrison was having dinner in the private room
upstairs. "I'll sign any contract you put in front of me," I told the president of the company, "if you can introduce me to George Harrison." Incidentally, someone at our table knew Harrison. "Come with me," she said. My heart began pounding and my mind swirling with excitement as I entered a small room with a large round table around which sat Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and George Harrison, all members of the newly formed Traveling Wilburys! George stood and shook my hand. I forget his first words to me as my inner being had just about fainted.
Finally, I said, "George, it's so nice to meet you, you know we've been riding the charts together. Recently, you with Got My Mind Set On You and me with Tell It to
My Heart" (which, at the time, was #3 in Britain and #7 in the U.S.).
"Oh, I know your song," he said. "My son Dhani loves it!" I told him that I had been sitting around the pool at the Sunset Marquis that afternoon listening to my favorite of his songs, I Need You. His response was, "Oh, wasn't that one from The Help?". (It was from the record Help, not The Help, but I loved the way he titled it!)
Then, George graciously introduced me to the other members of his new band. Naturally, I agreed to a new deal with Warner/Chappell the next day.
A few weeks later, I flew back to L.A. to go to the Grammy Awards. After the show, I spotted George standing in a corner by himself at the Warner Records party held at the old Chasen's restaurant. When I reintroduced myself, he said: "Yeah, I remember you from a few weeks ago." Some small talk ensued and then I asked him if he would like to write a song together the next day. Not missing a beat, he said that he already had a writing session scheduled with "Bobby." It would have been so cool to write with George, but it wasn't too bad to be shot down for Bob Dylan!
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