The saying of “rock and roll never forgets” indeed holds true for one of this world’s most popular musicians. George Harrison was born on February 24, 1943 in Liverpool, England to Harold, his father who was a bus driver, and his mother who was a homemaker. George had other siblings as well, Harold Jr, Peter, and Louise.
George Harrison attended school in England. He went to the same school as other Beatles members, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. However, being as he was the youngest of all of the Beatles members, he was two grades behind John Lennon at Dovedale Primary school, and one grade behind Paul McCartney while attending Liverpool Institute. George proved to be a bird of a different flock, as he seemed to be somewhat of a rebel while in school. Although he was a studious pupil, he enjoyed growing his hair long, and wearing tattered jeans to class.
Being as his parents were lenient with George, and even encouraged him to find his own identity, he eventually calmed down some and became more focused with this school work. It was on the school bus that George and Paul met, and soon became aware of the musical interests that they both shared. Before long, Paul was introducing George to other members of his band, then known as the Quarrymen. Although George was highly talented for a child his age, he was only 14 at the time, and therefore too young to join the Quarrymen group.
George did not let his age difference detour him from watching the Quarrymen band rehearse. He took great interest in watching John Lennon play the guitar. George would sit in the back of the room and watch the band play, while often playing his guitar along with the music. George was so quick to learn all of the songs that the Quarrymen played, that he was occasionally used to fill in as a replacement for the lead guitarist. George’s mother truly embraced her son’s talents, even allowing the band to rehearse at George’s house. After proving that he was more than worthy of joining the group, regardless of his age, George was soon a member of the band, which, by that time had changed its name to Johnny and the Moon Dogs.
Over time, George proved in his life to be highly talented, as he dipped his hand in many various adventures, including singer, producer, songwriter, guitarist and film producer. The band of Johnny and the Moon Dogs soon changed their name to The Beatles, which seemed to have a much catchier name that was worthy of remembering. George’s talents in electrical work, such as having been an electrician for a store in England, proved to be helpful, as he was the individual in charge of setting up the recording equipment for the band. His talents with electrical engineering is what helped to propel the band with the recording of the very first Beatles record. The Beatles seemed to have become an overnight sensation in England. Sweeping the nation with their popularity, the Beatles were about to bite in the United States as well.
The Beatles first appeared on American television while performing a segment for the Ed Sullivan Show. The show, which aired on February 9, 1964, was the nation’s top rated show at that time. The Beatles took America by storm, creating a large fan base that is prevalent, even to this very day.
The Beatles proved to be a wonderful ground for George on many different levels. Although other Beatles members, Paul McCartney and John Lennon were the main songwriters for the band, George displayed his talents for being a songwriter as well. Not only was George the lead guitarist, but he also penned some of the group’s most popular songs, including ” Here Comes the Sun.” George took great pride in The Beatles, taking his position in the band very seriously.
Another side of George that friends, family and friends knew that he embraced was Indian music. He was first introduced to the style of music by another popular musician, David Crosby of The Byrds. As soon as the music of the sitar hit George’s ears, he was hooked. He soon engulfed himself with the music of the Eastern culture, as well as becoming self taught with the sitar. George even displayed his musical skills on a Beatles record, Rubber Soul. Over the years that followed, George soon took a liking to the Eastern culture, including religion. It was known that George studied Hinduism, eventually leading to a following of the Hare Krishna religion. It is believed that George lived his life under the beliefs of the Hare Krishna faith all the way to his last day on earth.
Eventually all good things must come to an end. The Beatles separated in the 1970s, and all of the members went on their separate ways to create solo albums. Even faced with such a situation, George once again headed into the future with much ambition, creating wonderful solo music of his own. During his stint with the Beatles, George had many songs that he had written saved, which were used on his first solo album. That was the very first album and artist of that time to have a triple album. George also held a benefit concert created of various artists for individuals in Bangladesh. The benefit concert was the first of its type, and included such headliners as Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan. The benefit concert proved to be highly successful, as all of the ventures in George’s life proved to be.
Along with holding concerts, George kept busy by writing an autobiography as well as songs for various movies and musicians. Several other cd’s were released by George, even making waves on the very popular music television station, MTV.
As for George’s personal life, he was married for a while to model Pattie Boyd. It was well known that George’s friend, Eric Clapton, was deeply in love with Pattie, and as a result, George and Pattie divorced, as Pattie married Eric. In 1978, George married his second wife, and indeed the love of his life, Olivia Trinidad Arias. George and Olivia had one son, Dhani Harrison, who proved to be a spitting image of his father. George took great pride in son, Dhani, who later helped produce one of his father’s songs and albums after his passing.
George Harrison’s passing on November 29, 2001, was indeed a very sad day for many friends, family and fans of the former Beatle. George’s passing on this earth was contributed to lung cancer, which, is believed to manifest into his brain as well. There are many speculations as to where he spent his final days on earth. Many individuals believe that he stayed at a house that Paul McCartney owned in California. The secrecy of where his final days were located was kept as a secret, out of respect of the Harrison family and friends, who could go to pay their last respects. The shrouded secrecy remains even to this day, as many people are still unaware of the final resting place of George’s ashes.
No matter where George lies in state today, he is deeply missed by those whose were fans of his music and loved him so. George would not want his fans to mourn for him, but to live a life that he preached- a life full of love, peace, understanding and tolerance of others. Thru his lyrics, which remain playing on radio airwaves all around the world, there are little pieces of George that continue to live on. Peace was created the day that George Harrison was born, and peace is what shall remain when his name is mentioned…because rock and roll never forgets.