Today marks a very special occasion – on this day, in 1943, one of the greatest musicians was born – our beloved George Harrison. He was one of those brilliant artists without whom the world would’ve been a very different place, now. Throughout his career, he achieved unbelievable success, touched the hearts and souls of millions of people and left a legacy that can never be matched. In honour of George, I decided to prepare a little publication, dedicated to some of his major achievements in music. He was an outstanding artist – every word and note he wrote was revealing a part of him – his music was special, personal and unforgettable. That’s why many people say that he was the heart of the Beatles… I don’t know about that, but what I’m sure of is the fact that his artistic persona and exceptional music is truly missed…
George Harrison and the Beatles…
George became a member of the Beatles, back when they were still a skiffle band with only John Lennon and Paul McCartney being the other two members. At the beginning, his position was still uncertain – he was too young to be in their band. However, after some auditions and filling in on guitar when needed, he eventually became a full member of the band.
The band spent the following years in Hamburg, Germany. There Harrison kept on working hard and giving his all into polishing his talents on the guitar by taking lessons and learning as much as he could. He was too young, so unfortunately he had to be deported along with the Beatles who followed him back home to UK. In 1961, Brian Epstein – one of the most brilliant managers, took matters into his own hands and helped the guys establish their grounds, looks and image. A recording contract with EMI was also placed on the table. From that moment on, the career of the Beatles, with Harrison as their lead guitarist, turn into the biggest success story ever! Beatles changed the music industry, people’s perception of rock ‘n’ roll and conquered the world…
“Norwegian Wood” – a song from Harrison’s favorite Beatles’ album – “Rubber Soul”. At that time, he was beginning to take immense interest in Indian music culture and introduced the sitar to the Beatles.
Harrison was responsible for composing some of Beatles’ major hits during the first half of the 60s – “Taxman”, “Love You To”, “I Want to Tell You”, “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” and many more. However, by 1966, his focus of interest has shifted dramatically. In addition to his desire to write more songs, featuring Indian instruments and express himself through a different kind of music, George also took a long path of self-realization. At that time, all the creative decisions in the band were made, of course, by Lennon and McCartney – basically, there was no equality in terms of what kind of music the Beatles should make. Eventually, tensions escalated and in 1969, Harrison left the band.
Their last LP – “Abbey Road”, included George Harrison’s most famous works – “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something”.
The following years were quite productive for George – he released new albums, organized charity events in Bangladesh, toured over North America and basically didn’t stop writing, producing and performing the way he wanted it. One of his biggest successes was the album “Dark Horse”, released in 1974 – a record about “change and loss”.
Harrison’s song “All Those Years Ago” was written as a tribute to Lennon whose death really affected George’s life.
In 1987, Harrison released the platinum album “Cloud Nine” which spawned one of George’s most famous and loved hit songs – “Got My Mind Set on You”. (it was a rendition of James Ray’s “Got My Mind Set on You”)
The following step of his career was a project called “the Traveling Wilburys” with Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty.
Harrison died of cancer on November 29th, 2001 in Los Angeles at the age of 58. His final album – “Brainwashed” was completed by his son.
Once again, Happy Birthday to George Harrison – one of the greatest musicians and rockstars of all time. His talent was limitless, his heart was made of gold and his music changed the lives of everyone.
Thank you, George.
“There never was a time when you or I did not exist. Nor will there be any future when we shall cease to be.”
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the credits and rights go to the owners and publishers.