George Harrison, (25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001) was an English musician, singer and songwriter who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Although John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the band’s primary songwriters, most of their albums included at least one Harrison composition, including “While My Guitar Gently Weeps“, “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something“, which became the Beatles’ second most-covered song.
Harrison at the White House in 1974
|Born||(1943-02-25)25 February 1943
|Died||29 November 2001(2001-11-29) (aged 58)
Los Angeles, California, US
|Genres||Rock, pop, world music, experimental|
|Occupations||Musician, singer, songwriter, music and film producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, sitar, keyboards, bass, ukulele|
|Labels||Parlophone, Capitol, Swan, Apple, Vee-Jay, Dark Horse, Gnome|
|Associated acts||The Quarrymen, the Beatles, Plastic Ono Band, Traveling Wilburys, Eric Clapton|
Harrison’s earliest musical influences included Big Bill Broonzy, George Formby and Django Reinhardt; Chet Atkins, Chuck Berry and Ry Cooder were significant later influences. By 1965 he had begun to lead the Beatles into folk rock through his interest in the Byrds and Bob Dylan, and towards Indian classical music through his use of the sitar on “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)“.
He developed an interest in the Hare Krishna movement and became an admirer of Indian culture and mysticism, introducing them to the other members of the Beatles and their Western audience by incorporating Indian instrumentation in their music.
After the band’s break-up in 1970, Harrison released the triple album All Things Must Pass, from which two hit singles originated. He also organized the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh with Ravi Shankar, a precursor for later benefit concerts such as Live Aid.
A prolific recording artist, he was featured as a guest guitarist on tracks by Badfinger, Ronnie Wood and Billy Preston, and collaborated on songs and music with Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Tom Petty, among others.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 11 in their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.
Harrison died in 2001, aged 58, from lung cancer.
George Harrison Playing Here Comes The Sun
Relationships with the other Beatles
For most of the Beatles’ career the relationships in the group were close. According to Hunter Davies, “the Beatles spent their lives not living a communal life, but communally living the same life. They were each other’s greatest friends.” Harrison’s ex-wife Pattie Boyd described how the Beatles “all belonged to each other” and admitted, “George has a lot with the others that I can never know about. Nobody, not even the wives, can break through or even comprehend it.”
Starr said, “We really looked out for each other and we had so many laughs together. In the old days we’d have the biggest hotel suites, the whole floor of the hotel, and the four of us would end up in the bathroom, just to be with each other”. He added, “there were some really loving, caring moments between four people: a hotel room here and there – a really amazing closeness.
Lennon stated that his relationship with Harrison was “one of young follower and older guy … he was like a disciple of mine when we started.” The two later bonded over their LSD experiences, finding common ground as seekers of spirituality.
They took radically different paths thereafter, Harrison finding God and Lennon coming to the conclusion that people are the creators of their own lives. Harrison said that Lennon “was both a saint and a bastard”.
McCartney and Harrison were the first of the Beatles to meet, having shared a school bus, and often learned and rehearsed new guitar chords together. McCartney stated that he and Harrison usually shared a bedroom while touring. McCartney was best man at Harrison’s wedding in 1966, and was the only Beatle in attendance. McCartney has referred to Harrison as his “baby brother”.
In a 1974 BBC radio interview with Alan Freeman, Harrison stated: “McCartney ruined me as a guitar player”. Perhaps the most significant obstacle to a Beatles reunion after the death of Lennon was Harrison and McCartney’s personal relationship, as both men admitted that they often got on each other’s nerves. Rodriguez commented: “even to the end of George’s days, theirs was a volatile relationship”.
George Harrison – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Published on Feb 25, 2013
From “The Concert For Bangladesh”, New York, 1971
We ALL are ONE!!
We ALL are connected by MUSIC!!!