"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is a song known worldwide and performed by many great artists. But people often forget who is responsible for the original recording of this song. In 1968, George Harrison penned the song for The Beatles' untitled album, referred to as The White Album.
Although uncredited, Eric Clapton, a close friend of Harrison, played guitar on the song and made history by being the first outsider to join the recording of a Beatles song. Clapton was hesitant at first, but Harrison believed his bandmates weren't taking the song as seriously as he would have liked. Harrison insisted his friend play on the song, which then saw John Lennon and Paul McCartney take notice and become more interested.
In 2004, Harrison was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne. His award was accepted by his wife and son, Olivia and Dhani Harrison. George Harrison is a double inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, honored for his solo career and with the Beatles in 1988.
At the 2004 induction ceremony, Prince would join legends Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne, Marc Mann, Steve Ferone, and Harrison's son Dhani in a performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" that is remembered as one of the best performances of the song. This included a highly acclaimed extended guitar solo by Prince, who was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, with ZZ Top, Bob Seger, Jackson Browne, Traffic, and the Fifties doo-wop group the Dells.
This performance was a tribute to Harrison, who performed the song at each of his rare solo appearances. The song has been included in many "best of" lists, including Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time, where it is ranked #7.
The 2004 event recognized Harrison for his solo career, for which his most successful song was "My Sweet Lord," which introduced his signature sound as a solo artist and showcased his slide guitar talent. That song is featured on his triple album All Things Must Pass, which contains two discs of his songs, and the third features Harrison jamming with friends.