George Harrison, 1943 - 2001
At White House, 13 December 1974. Photograph by David Hume Kennerly
Born: 25 February 1943, Liverpool, England
Died: 29 November 2001, Los Angeles, California
Harrison's father was a bus conductor and his mother a shop assistant, he attended Dovedale Primary School and went on to the Liverpool Institute for Boys. At thirteen he bought a used guitar and devoted himself to mastering it, at 15 he was filling in with The Quarrymen, a skiffle band that included his friend Paul McCartney and John Lennon, the next year he was their lead guitarist. The group became The Beatles, Harrison's youth cut short their first contract at Hamburg when he was deported for not yet being eighteen. He was known as "the quiet Beatle" and tended to stay in the shadow of the more flamboyant Lennon and McCartney. He also became more and more frustrated with the number of his songs on Beatles albums, he was the first to quit the band, storming out of the studio while recording Let It Be in 1969. He did return, but the band broke up the following year. Harrison had introduced the band to Indian music and the sitar, and also to the Indian spiritual discipline of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. With a huge backlog of unused songs, Harrison was the first ex-Beatle to chart with a solo album, All Things Must Pass. He also organized the first major rock and roll fund raising concert, The Concert for Bangladesh. In addition to his solo work he recorded with a large number of other performers, including Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Carl Perkins, and Electric Light Orchestra, and was a member of the Traveling Wilburys with Lynn, Petty, Bob Dylan, and Roy Orbison. He was sued for copyright violation over the similarity between "My Sweet Lord" and the 1963 Chiffons single "He's So Fine". He lost the case, but because his former agent had bought the plaintiff, Bright Tunes; the judge ruled that Harrison should take over Bright Tunes and thus own all rights, leaving the double-dealing Allen Klein with his money back. In 1997 Harrison developed throat cancer, presumably from cigarette smoking earlier, then lung cancer in 2001. When the lung cancer metastasized to the brain, Harrison died. His ashes were scattered over the Ganges River according to Hindu tradition.
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
George Harrison quotes:
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- A dark horse is] the one who suddenly pulls out from behind the rest and barrels ahead to actually win the race. The one that nobody's bothered to put any money on. That's me, I guess. The very last one anyone would have ever expected to come out a winner. permalink
- After all we did for Britain, selling that corduroy and making it swing, all we got was a bit of tin on a piece of leather. permalink
- All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much. permalink
- Although Christ, in my mind is an absolute Yogi, I think many Christian teachers today are misrepresenting Christ. permalink
- America has everything, why should they want us? permalink
- And so my music, it doesn't matter if I did it 20 years ago or if I did it tomorrow. It doesn't go with trends. My trousers don't get wider and tighter every six months. My music just stays what it is, and that's the way I like it. permalink
- Anyway, there is one thing I have learned and that is not to dress uncomfortably, in styles which hurt: winklepicker shoes that cripple your feet and tight pants that squash your balls. Indian clothes are better. permalink
- As far as I'm concerned, there won't be a Beatles reunion as long as John Lennon remains dead. permalink
- As long as you hate, there will be people to hate. permalink
- Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another. permalink
His last words
- Gossip is the Devil's radio. permalink
- Heaven and hell is right now.... You make it heaven or you make it hell by your actions. permalink
- Hippies are so phoney and fake. permalink
- I believe I love my guitar more than the others love theirs. For John and Paul, songwriting is pretty important and guitar playing is a means to an end. While they're making up new tunes I can thoroughly enjoy myself just doodling around with a guitar for a whole evening. I'm fascinated by new sounds I can get from different instruments I try out. I'm not sure that makes me particularly musical. Just call me a guitar fanatic instead, and I'll be satisfied. permalink
- I don't mind anybody dropping out of anything, but it's the imposition on somebody else I don't like. The moment you start dropping out and then begging off somebody else to help you, then it's no good. It doesn't matter what you are as long as you work. permalink
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