George Harrison, 1943 - 2001

portrait of George Harrison
At White House, 13 December 1974. Photograph by David Hume Kennerly
George Harrison signature

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.

Biography from Wikipedia and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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