George Harrison died on November 29, 2001 at the still relatively young age of 58, the victim of cancer. It's been six years since we lost this giant of the music world, but his legacy has not gone unnoticed nor has it been forgotten.
Born in Liverpool, England to a family of Irish-Catholic descent, Harrison was one of four children and from an early age had a fascination with guitars. As a teenager, he met a certain older chap named Paul McCartney with whom he used to ride the bus to school with and was often treated like a little brother, bossed and ordered around by Paul quite frequently. When Paul met up with a rowdy rebellious John Lennon at a fair in 1957, the seeds were planted for what was to become history's most impressive musical group. At the insistence of Paul, George was also brought into John's new band as the lead guitarist, and as the group began to evolve, then came Ringo a few years later.
George was only about 19 or 20 when his band began to make it big in 1963, after years of hard work playing small clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg, perfecting their playing skills. He was the youngest, and was often treated like a child by his older mates. At first, George's song contributions to the group were minimal; singing bit parts here and there since Lennon/McCartney were the main songwriters and lead singers. As the years progressed however, George's lead guitar role grew quite nicely as did his actual songwriting skills. Some of the band's greatest and most obscure/innovative songs were often composed by Harrison. He began to study Hinduism and traveled to India often, bringing back with him the knowledge to play the sitar/other Indian instruments and magically incorporated them into the band's sound. No longer content with their fame nor working together due to growing egos, the band inevitably broke up after seven years of extraordinary success, and by then Harrison was a truly gifted songwriter in his own right, leading to a pretty successful solo career as a musician and movie producer.
George had one failed marriage to model Patti Boyd who then went on to marry his good friend Eric Clapton, but George got it right and then marries Mexican-American Olivia Arias, who would eventually give birth to his one and only child: Dhani Harrison in 1978. Horrified at the murder of John Lennon in 1980, Harrison felt unsafe and petrified of ever suffering the same fate, and ironically in 1999 almost does as an intruder breaks into his giant mansion and nearly stabs him to death, but he is saved thanks to Olivia who manages to hit the loony in the head with an object. Harrison luckily will not suffer Lennon's fate, but alas, all those years of smoking as a youth take their toll and he tragically develops cancer from which he died of today, exactly six years ago.
Though he is gone, he forever remains a member of the little band from England that changed the face of music for all time.
Sample of songs sung by Harrison composed by Lennon/McCartney:
-Do You Want To Know a Secret?
-I'm Happy Just To Dance With You
Sample of songs incorporating Harrison's Indian instruments written by Lennon/McCartney:
-Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
-Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds
Sample of songs written and sung by Harrison for the band:
-I Need You
-Think For Yourself
-The Inner Light
-Blue Jay Way
-Long, Long, Long
-Here Comes The Sun
Some solo work:
-My Sweet Lord
-What is Life
-When We Was Fab
-Got My Mind Set on You