I was listening to Dan Patrick's radio show, and he played a snippet of the song "If Not For You" before going to commercial. The version that Patrick's show played was the George Harrison version, which appears on the All Things Must Pass album.
[MANDATED DISCLOSURE: I HAVE A FINANCIAL INTEREST IN THE LINK ABOVE. IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND BUY THE ALBUM, I WILL BECOME INCREDIBLY WEALTHY. (AFTER ALL, IT IS A TRIPLE ALBUM.) THEREFORE YOU SHOULD RIGHTFULLY ASSUME THAT MY INTEGRITY HAS BEEN COMPROMISED, AND ANY LAVISH PRAISE OF GEORGE HARRISON THAT APPEARS IN THE BLOG POST BELOW SHOULD BE QUESTIONED IN LIGHT OF THIS. (IF IT WERE A DOUBLE ALBUM, WOULD I HAVE HAD 33 1/3 LESS PRAISE?]
So anyways, I ended up ignoring the commercial and musing about the fact that, despite Bob Dylan (yeah, the homeless guy) meeting all four of the Beatles, the one with whom he worked the most was George Harrison. Beehive Candy documents how they worked together in 1970, and Dylan of course appeared in Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. And - sorry if this shocks some people - "Nelson Wilbury" and "Lucky Wilbury" were actually Harrison and Dylan, respectively.
Of course, if you look at Harrison's career, you'll see that he often associated himself with some pretty quality musicians. This is a guy who was, quite literally, worshipped by millions around the world. Yet he ended up playing guitar with Delaney & Bonnie (along with another guitarist, some guy named Eric Clapton), surrounding himself with huge loads of talent in various projects, and for that matter extending himself beyond music and co-financing a movie by some comedy troupe.
But Harrison wasn't the only Beatle to surround himself with talent. John Lennon willingly became a Ronette to let Phil Spector produce him. Then there's the ongoing project Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, which has included everyone from Joe Walsh to Jack Bruce to Sheila E to Zak Starkey. (What, no Jason Bonham?) And Paul McCartney has collaborated with many people, including one with that guy who died recently. (In the process, McCartney learned a valuable lesson about when to share and not share business tips.) Plus, of course, McCartney is the world's leading champion of all things Buddy Holly.
As George Harrison and the other ex-Beatles showed us, music does not exist in a vacuum. While collaboration can sometimes dilute the genius of any single contributor, the collaboration itself may open new avenues of expression.
And no, Harrison didn't play rhythm guitar on "Layla."