George Harrison – Any Road

I heard this song before George passed away…a live version of it by him on a VH1 special that he was on. The interviewer kept pushing him to do a song…I’m glad he did now. When I heard it I smiled because it was so George. With George’s songs, you could expect a good melody, slide guitar, and his own nugget of knowledge that he left behind.

This song was on George’s last album “Brainwashed” in 2003. George wrote the song in 1988 while working on a video for “Cloud Nine.” The song peaked at #37 in the UK chart in 2003.

George Harrison - Any Road VH1

George played this song on a VH1 show that ended up being his last performance before he died in 2001. You can tell he wasn’t really rehearsed or ready to play it but he gamely did…and I’m glad. George did not completely finish the album before he died so his son Dhani and Jeff Lynne helped finish it.

George’s son Dhani said that while he and his father were in Hawaii, they walked by a beach and saw a sign that read, “If the wind blows, you can always adjust your sails, but, if you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will take you there.” The sign was the inspiration for the song.

A form of the phrase also is in the exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

I thought this song was a good song for George to leave us with…It has his trademark slide and some ukulele in it.

“Any Road”

(Give me that plenty of that guitar.)

But I’ve been traveling on a boat and a plane
In a car on a bike with a bus and a train
Traveling there, traveling here
Everywhere in every gear

But oh Lord we pay the price
With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice
Ah yeah you pay your fare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

And I’ve been traveling through the dirt and the grime
From the past to the future through the space and the time
Traveling deep beneath the waves
In watery grottoes and mountainous caves

But oh Lord we’ve got to fight
With the thoughts in the head with the dark and the light
No use to stop and stare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

You may not know where you came from
May not know who you are
May not have even wondered
How you got this far

I’ve been traveling on a wing and a prayer
By the skin of my teeth, by the breadth of a hair
Traveling where the four winds blow
With the sun on my face, in the ice and the snow

But oooeeee it’s a game
Sometimes you’re cool, sometimes you’re lame
Ah yeah it’s somewhere
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

But oh Lord we pay the price
With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice
Ah yeah you pay your fare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

I keep traveling around the bend
There was no beginning, there is no end
It wasn’t born and never dies
There are no edges, there is no sides

Oh yeah you just don’t win
It’s so far out, the way out is in
Bow to God and call him Sir
But if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there
If you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

(Yeah hey! Ah ee ah! Ah he ah!)

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

21 thoughts on “George Harrison – Any Road”

      1. Oh yea…I let them out every once in a while lol. Oh Randy…every year we have a “draft”… One year it was albums, singles, movies, tv shows, and etc…I’ll be emailing within a couple of weeks. It’s around 10 people and we write up a post on whatever the subject is…if you are interested just respond when I email….I’m thinking about this year…”album cuts” in other words no singles… It would go through to 10 rounds which would mean 10 posts from each person…it’s like the way Dave’s Turntable Talk goes…
        Here is last year’s “draft”…it was on tv shows.
        https://powerpop.blog/tv-draft/

        Liked by 2 people

  1. thanks for posting that Max! I thought I didn’t know that tune, but as soon as it started I recognized it, but only vaguely…have heard it a few times along the way, but I need to hear it more – great song, and sadly poignant given when it came out. Sounds kind of Wilbury-ish to me, but in a very good way

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Dave…yea I like this one a lot. It was a great “comeback” song for him after not releasing much since the Wilburys. It’s pure George.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that tune and the clip of George’s VH1 impromptu performance. I know this may sound a bit weird, but the fact that it’s not 100 percent perfect not only humanizes George, which in turn give it a unique charm. Selfishly, it’s also nice to see that even our biggest music heroes need to rehearse. The next time I strum my guitar and screw up, which now is a given, I feel a bit less bad! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It did make him more human….you can tell he wasn’t ready for it. He could have played something like Here Comes the Sun perfectly probably but instead done this one which is cool.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. ❤ ❤ ❤ love the song, your post, and the slideshow video. I can't help but wonder if he had his own passing on in mind when he wrote it. He'd been fighting cancer for a bit when he wrote it hadn't he? I'm really glad the interviewer pushed his performanace also.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This line from George’s song was made for me in my philosophy of travel. “ If the wind blows, you can always adjust your sails, but, if you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will take you there.”

    Liked by 1 person

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