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George Harrison

At the height of the Beatles' popularity, he was often characterized as the "Quiet Beatle", noted for his introspective manner and his growing interest in Hinduism.

In the mid 1960s he began playing the sitar, which influenced the sound of the Beatles music in such songs as "Norwegian Wood," "Love You To", and "Within You Without You". His experimentation with the instrument brought him into contact with the sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, who became a close friend and mentor.

It was his meeting with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi that led him first into meditation. In the summer of 1969, the Beatles produced the single "Hare Krishna Mantra", performed by Harrison and the devotees of the London Radha-Krishna Temple that topped the 10 best-selling record charts throughout UK, Europe, and Asia.

The same year, he and fellow Beatle John Lennon met Swami Prabhupada A.C. Bhaktivedanta, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Soon after, Harrison embraced the Hare Krishna tradition and remained a devotee till his death.

While not the primary composer in the group (Lennon and McCartney wrote most of the Beatles' material), as time went on his songs improved greatly and his material earned respect from both his fellow Beatles and the music-buying public. Notable examples include "Taxman", "Here Comes the Sun", "Something", and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", which was strongly influenced by the music of his friend Roy Orbison and featured a guitar solo by Eric Clapton.

After the Beatles split in 1970, Harrison released a number of albums that were critically and commercially successful, both as solo projects and as the member of other groups.

After many years of being limited in his contributions to the Beatles' catalog, he unleashed a torrent of material in the first major solo work released after the breakup, the triple album All Things Must Pass. The album included the number one hit single, "My Sweet Lord", although Harrison was later sued for copyright infringement over similarities between "My Sweet Lord" and the 1963 Chiffons single "He's So Fine". Harrison denied deliberately stealing the song, but he did lose the case in 1976; in the ruling, the court accepted the possibility that Harrison had unconsciously taken the Chiffons song as the basis for his own song.

Harrison was probably the first modern musician to organize a major charity concert. His Concert for Bangladesh on August 1, 1971, drew over 40,000 people to New York's Madison Square Garden, and raised millions of dollars to aid the starving refugees of Bangladesh. The concert included other popular musicians such as Read more

" data-original-title="" title="">Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Badfinger and Billy Preston. Classical sitar maestro Ravi Shankar opened proceedings.

Harrison continued to issue records throughout the 1970s but successive releases met with dwindling interest and sales. He formed his own record label, "Dark Horse Records" in 1974 and issued a limited number of records by performers such as Splinter, Attitudes and Ravi Shankar. He moved his own output to the label in 1976, once his contract with EMI finished.

Immediately following the murder of his friend and former bandmate John Lennon, Harrison composed a tribute song to Lennon, "All Those Years Ago," which found substantial radio airplay and continues to be a staple of "classic rock" radio. But he released no records for five years after Gone Troppo in 1982 was met with apparent indifference. He returned in 1987 with the album Cloud Nine, co-produced with Jeff Lynne and enjoyed a hit (#1 in the U.S.; #2 in the U.K) when his cover version of "Got My Mind Set On You" was released as a single. The album got to #8.

During the 1980s, he helped form the Traveling Wilburys with Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty when they gathered in Dylan's garage to quickly record an additional track for a projected Harrison European single release. The record company realised the track ("Handle With Care") was too good for its original purpose and asked for a separate album. This had to be completed inside 2 weeks, as Dylan was scheduled to start a tour.

He was also involved in film production through his HandMade Films company, providing financial backing for the Monty Python film Life of Brian after the original backers (EMI Films) withdrew because of the supposedly controversial subject matter of the film. Other films produced by HandMade included Mona Lisa, Time Bandits, Shanghai Surprise and Withnail and I.

Throughout the 1990s, Harrison, a former smoker, endured an ongoing battle with cancer, having growths removed first from his throat, then his lung. There was also a 1999 attempt on his life by a crazed fan who stabbed him at his home, Friar Park in Henley-on-Thames, puncturing his lung.

Harrison married twice. His first wife was the model, Patti Boyd, for whom Harrison is supposed to have written the song, "Something". Following their divorce, Boyd married Eric Clapton (said to have written "Layla" for her after their earlier affair). Harrison married for a second time to Olivia Arias, in September 1978. The ceremony took place at their home, with Joe Brown acting as Best Man. They had one son, Dhani Harrison, born the previous month.

George passed away at the home of a friend in Los Angeles, California on Thursday, November 29, 2001, at the age of 58, death being ascribed to a brain tumour. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the River Ganges.

His final album, Brainwashed was completed by Dhani Harrison and Jeff Lynne and released in November 2002.

On November 29th, 2002, the first anniversary of his death, the Concert For George saw the two remaining Beatles Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr join many of Harrison's friends for a special memorial concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London that benefitted the Material World Charitable Foundation.

Ravi Shankar joined Jeff Lynne in a performance of "The Inner Light," Eric Clapton and Lynne performed "I Want To Tell You" and "Here Comes The Sun," Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (with Jools Holland and Sam Brown) performed "Taxman" and "I Need You," Starr performed "Photograph", members of Monty Python (Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam) performed "The Lumberjack Song," and McCartney and Starr performed "For You Blue".

For the finale, all of the artists went back on stage to end with "Something," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "My Sweet Lord," (with Billy Preston on keyboards), and "I'll See You In My Dreams".

Harrison receivied the royal treatment from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, when a star on the fabled walk on April 14, 2009 from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. His widow, Olivia Harrison, and his son, Dhani, attended the unveiling.

Harrison already shares a Walk of Fame star with all four of the Beatles, but only he and John Lennon, who died in 1980, will have their own stars. Harrison's unveiled in front of Hollywood's Capitol Records building, will be the 2,382nd on the Walk.

His rockabilly-influence playing gave the Beatles' early recordings their distinctive guitar-driven sound and his voice provided many of the group's most arresting vocal harmonies. His fascination with Eastern music also helped broaden the band's sound on such classic albums as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and The White Album.

In conjunction with the star's unveiling, Capitol/EMI said it plans to announce details for a new Harrison music project later this month. Martin Scorsese is also directing a forthcoming documentary on Harrison. Show less


Extended Analysis

Revolver Super Deluxe Edition (5CD)

Read "Revolver Super Deluxe Edition (5CD)" reviewed by Doug Collette

The five CDs in The Beatles' Revolver Super Deluxe Edition reaffirm a fundamental verity regarding the group's work. The Liverpudlian quartet was never more unified in its creativity than in writing, recording and producing the sixteen tracks that comprise the box in collaboration with producer George Martin, engineer Geoff Emerick and the additional musicians and technicians who participated. The curators of this set in turn have channeled the remarkably pragmatic and disciplined approach of the Beatles and company. ...

Extended Analysis

Let It Be - Super Deluxe Special Edition

Read "Let It Be - Super Deluxe Special Edition" reviewed by Doug Collette

It's perfectly reasonable to state that the Beatles' Let It Be Super Deluxe Special Edition is the iconic group's third attempt to release music from their (three weeks of) January 1969 recordings. Originally set to be released as an album titled Get Back Don't Let Me Down and 12 Other Songs (as emblazoned on a contemporary cover photo replicating that shot on their very first long-player from 1963), that collection morphed into Let It Be (Apple, 1970), the initial foray ...

Read more articles

Award / Grant

George Harrison, Buddy Guy, 5 More Honored With Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards

George Harrison, Buddy Guy, 5 More Honored With Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards

Source: HypeBot

The Recording Academy has named its Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winners for 2015. George Harrison, The Bee Gees, Buddy Guy, the Louvin Brothers, Wayne Shorter, Flaco Jiménez and Pierre Boulez will all be honored at next year's ceremony during Grammy week. Grammy Trustee & Technical Winners Also Named Producer Richard Perry, the husband and wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and jazz promoter George Wein will all receive Grammy Trustee Awards. Ray Kurzweil will receive the Technical Grammy Award. ...

Award / Grant

Six Emmy Nominations for "George Harrison: Living in the Material World"

Six Emmy Nominations for "George Harrison: Living in the Material World"

Source: Chris M. Slawecki

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced its nominees for the 2012 Emmy Awards, honoring Martin Scorsese’s film George Harrison: Living in the Material World with a remarkable total of six nominations. The film was nominated for Outstanding Nonfiction Special, Outstanding Cinematography For Nonfiction Programming, Outstanding Directing For Nonfiction Programming (Martin Scorsese), Outstanding Picture Editing For Nonfiction Programming, Outstanding Sound Editing For Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) and Outstanding Sound Mixing For Nonfiction Programming. The 64th Annual Primetime Emmy ...


Video / DVD

Concert For George Set For Blu-ray Debut On March 22

Concert For George Set For Blu-ray Debut On March 22

Source: 1888 Media

CONCERT FOR GEORGE, the legendary tribute concert in honor of GEORGE HARRISON, will be released for the first time ever on Blu-ray on March 22. Originally released in High Definition, the CONCERT FOR GEORGE 2-disc Blu-ray will include the complete concert on the first disc, with a second disc containing the original theatrical version featuring concert highlights, interviews with the performers, rehearsals, and behind- the-scenes footage. The second disc will also include a previously unreleased interview segment entitled “Drummers," featuring ...



Dark Horse Records To Release Ravi Shankar George Harrison Box Set On October 19th

Dark Horse Records To Release Ravi Shankar George Harrison Box Set On October 19th

Source: 1888 Media

Los Angeles, CA—Dark Horse Records is set to release a limited edition deluxe box set entitled Ravi Shankar George Harrison Collaborations which honors the sitar master's 90th birthday. Releasing October 19th, Collaborations is a 3 CD and 1 DVD uniquely numbered limited edition box set (the CDs come in replica vinyl jackets). All compositions were composed by Ravi Shankar and produced by George Harrison over a period of 20 years. The DVD is a rare concert performance of the Ravi ...



Deep Cuts: George Harrison - "Rising Sun" (2002)

Deep Cuts: George Harrison - "Rising Sun" (2002)

Source: Something Else!

By Nick Deriso: That George Harrison kept recording until just two months before his death at age 58 in November of 2001 was its own blessing. After all, he hadn't put out a new album of solo material since 1987. But you wondered what would become of Harrison's final works, since producer Jeff Lynne had decided to finish the project in George's absence. After all, this former frontman of 1970s hitmakers the Electric Light Orchestra—perhaps even more so than Harrison—was ...



George Harrison and Ravi Shankar: Collaborations out 10/19

George Harrison and Ravi Shankar: Collaborations out 10/19

Source: JamBase

DARK HORSE RELEASE OUT OCTOBER 19 Dark Horse Records announced today the October 19 release of a limited edition deluxe box set from George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, entitled Collaborations. The release honors the sitar master's 90th birthday. Collaborations is a 3 CD and 1 DVD uniquely numbered limited edition box set. All compositions were composed by Ravi Shankar and produced by George Harrison over a period of 20 years. The DVD is a rare concert performance of the Ravi ...



Synthesizer Pioneer GARY WRIGHT To World Premiere An Unreleased Song Co-Written With George Harrison in 1971

Synthesizer Pioneer GARY WRIGHT To World Premiere An  Unreleased Song Co-Written With George Harrison in 1971

Source: 1888 Media

Performance Will Take Place At 34th Annual Beatle Fest in Chicago On August 14

CHICAGO, IL--August 14, 2010 marks the exact 50th Anniversary of the day that The Beatles adopted their famous moniker after having played for four years under the name The Quarrymen. In celebration of the historic occasion, synthesizer pioneer Gary Wright, a long-time friend of Ringo Starr and George Harrison, will perform the song “To Discover Yourself," a composition co-written with George Harrison in 1971.

This world-premiere ...


TV / Film

Scorsese is 'Living in the Material World'

Scorsese is 'Living in the Material World'

Source: All About Jazz

Martin Scorsese revealed Thursday that he has finished shooting documentary “Living in the Material World: George Harrison," working in tandem with Olivia Harrison, the musician's widow. Producers are Scorsese, Harrison and Exclusive Media co-chair/CEO Nigel Sinclair. A 2011 release date is being eyed. Exclusive, which holds worldwide rights, is shopping the project at Cannes, where Scorsese and Harrison are promoting the doc. There's no domestic distributor yet. “Living in the Material World" is a production of Scorsese's Sikelia Prods., Olivia ...



George Harrison:Let It Roll: Songs of George Harrison

George Harrison:Let It Roll: Songs of George Harrison

Source: JamBase

By: Ron Hart

Over the last ten years, Capitol/EMI has been notorious for treating its reissue campaign of George Harrison's post-Beatles catalog like some kind of under-appreciated stepchild whose parents force ugly new clothes and disgusting new food onto. First was the 30th Anniversary reissue of the Quiet One's masterpiece, All Things Must Pass, from early 2001, considered by many to be the single greatest work by a Beatle outside of the band itself. In addition to the ghastly “colorization" ...



George Harrison Greatest Hits

George Harrison Greatest Hits

Source: JamBase


Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison (released June 16 on EMI) features Harrison's solo hits from 1970's All Things Must Pass through 2002's Brainwashed, plus live recordings from 1971's Concert For Bangladesh.

George Harrison's first-ever career-spanning solo hits collection will be distributed via CD and digital formats with an exclusive unreleased version of “Isn't It A Pitty" for patrons of iTunes. ...

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Guy Lee





Paul McCartney
bass, electric
Eric Clapton
guitar, electric
John Lennon
guitar and vocals
Bob Dylan
guitar and vocals
Traveling Wilburys
band / ensemble / orchestra

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