It was 53 years ago today (January 10th, 1969) that George Harrison temporarily quit the Beatles. The group, who was filming their Let It Be movie in London's cavernous Twickenham Film Studios, had been rife with tension as they prepared to work up a set of new material for their proposed return to the concert stage. Harrison wasn't the first Beatle to quit the band, with Ringo Starr walking out the previous August during the group's sessions for The Beatles, commonly referred to as the “White Album.”
Although it's been thought that Harrison's was annoyed with Paul McCartney's domination during the rehearsals — dubbed by fans as the “Get Back” sessions — Harrison was equally peeved at John Lennon, who at this point was barely communicating to the band and letting his soon-to-be wife Yoko Ono speak for him in group matters. Harrison later went on record stating he was frustrated because he had a growing backlog of new material, but constantly had to work on Lennon and McCartney's songs before the group could begin rehearsing his.
After running through a few songs that day, including a brief rendition of the group's “All Together Now” and “Get Back,” Harrison nonchalantly announced that he was leaving the band immediately and sarcastically told them as he walked out, “See you around the clubs.”