Yeah he seemed to be pretty jaundiced against him. And I think at that stage George still could be a bit clumsy with his leads. He did tend to learn note for note and try to get it perfect. Rather than improvise. But being too dismissive of him seems at odds with others recollections. While johns guitar playing is a bit underrated, I don't think anyone ever claimed he was a match for George on leads. He himself said he never did any leads George couldn't do better. And John wasn't exactly free with compliments. So the idea he'd step in when George couldn't get it seems unlikely. Paul by 66 had developed pretty well that sort of flashy style of solo. I thought his taking over as soloist on a few pepper tracks was more because that style suited some of the songs. And George was going through a disengaged phase trying to learn sitar.
Eric Clapton also clearly had lots of respect for George as a muso. And clappers wasn't easy to please.
I haven't read the book for a while but didn't Geoff acknowledge at one point that George had developed by the late 60s into probably the best producer of the four?
I havent got that far yet !
Im only up to Pepper, main points that leap out;
Johns personality has changed, he is now laid back, submissive, aggreable and generally easy to get on with, unlike the earlier impatient John who could bite your head off. (Drugs?)
Paul is the worker bee, it was during Pepper he started adding his bass lines last, so some days after the others left at 1 am or so he would stay to perfect his bass lines till dawn, keeping Geoff and Richard Lush there all night, George Martin would leave around midnight - tired
Paul also took advantage of Johns new attitude and become default Musical director, arranger, artistic developer of idea's and even possible producer.
Ringo sat in the corner with Mal & Neil playing chess and brewing tea
George seemed disinterested in the whole project and only became interested when working on WYAWY