George Harrison

As Beatle fans get ready to mark two dates that are always very difficult, we must remember to celebrate their lives,the music and the love they gave us so freely. That can NEVER be taken away from us! Today November 29, 2012 marks 11 years since we lost George Harrison to cancer and 32 years on December 8 since John Lennon was assassinated. I know many people gave up smoking after George died. For those that haven’t quit yet, think about George and throw those packs of killers in the trash for good!
If anybody was ever prepared for their ultimate demise, it was George Harrison.
John was cut down by a lunatic after a troubled time and a renewed vigor, vision and #1 album.
George wrote about it
‘All Those Years Ago’
I’m shouting all about love
While they treated you like a dog

When you were the one who had made it

So clear

All those years ago.

I’m talking all about how to give

They dont act with much honesty

But you point the way to the truth when you say

All you need is love.

Living with good and bad

I always look up to you

Now we’re left cold and sad

By someone the devils best friend

Someone who offended all.

We’re living in a bad dream

They’ve forgotten all about mankind

And you were the one they backed up to

The wall

All those years ago

You were the one who imagined it all

All those years ago.

Deep in the darkest night

I send out a prayer to you

Now in the world of light

Where the spirit free of the lies

And all else that we despised.

They’ve forgotten all about God

He’s the only reason we exist

Yet you were the one that they said was

So weird

All those years ago

You said it all though not many had ears

All those years ago

You had control of our smiles and our tears

All those years ago

From the “Somewhere In England” Album (1981)
George’s life was cut short by the horrors of cancer, most likely caused by those terrible cigarettes that he started smoking at the age of 14 to fit in with the older kids who were so impressed by his guitar playing, that Paul McCartney introduced him to John and he asked him to join his band. Not bad for a fourteen year old guitar picker who loved Carl Perkins and Chet Atkins.He became the lead guitar player for the most famous band in the world.
Young George Harrison
If anybody ever spent their life getting ready for the afterlife, it was George.
“All Things Must Pass”

Sunrise doesn’t last all morning

A cloudburst doesn’t last all day
Seems my love is up and has left you with no warning
It’s not always going to be this grey
All things must pass
All things must pass away
Sunset doesn’t last all evening
A mind can blow those clouds away
After all this, my love is up and must be leaving
It’s not always going to be this grey
All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
None of life’s strings can last
So, I must be on my way
And face another day
Now the darkness only stays the night-time
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
It’s not always going to be this grey
All things must pass
All things must pass away

The Beatle Days

George’s songs were largely overshadowed by the Lennon/McCartney song writing machine in the early days of the Beatles. They even let George sing a few of their songs on the albums ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret’ was probably the most famous.

Songs sung by George with the Beatles including performances from the Beatles anthology: 
All Things Must Pass Blue Jay Way Crying Waiting Hoping Do You Want To Know A Secret Don’t Bother Me Don’t Ever Change Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby For You Blue Glad All Over Here Comes The Sun I Forgot To Remember To Forget I Got A Woman I Me Mine I Need You I Want To Tell You If I Needed Someone I’m Happy Just To Dance With You It’s All Too Much Long Long Long Love You To Not Guilty Nothin’ Shakin’ Old Brown Shoe Only A Northern Song Piggies Roll Over Beethoven Savoy Truffle So How Come (No One Loves Me) Something Take Good Care Of My Baby Taxman The Inner Light The Sheik Of Araby Think For Yourself Three Cool Cats While My Guitar Gently Weeps Within You Without You You Know What To Do You Like Me Too Much Young Blood

 George wrote about love and life and all the things that were happening in his life. Here are the songs he wrote that were included on Beatles albums

  • “Don’t Bother Me” from With the Beatles (1963).
  • “I Need You” and “You Like Me Too Much” from Help! (1965).
  • “Think for Yourself” and “If I Needed Someone” from Rubber Soul (1965).
  • “Taxman,” “Love You To” and “I Want to Tell You” from Revolver (1966).
  • “Within You Without You” from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967).
  • “Blue Jay Way” from Magical Mystery Tour (1967).
  • “The Inner Light” (B-side to the single “Lady Madonna”) (1968).
  • “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Piggies,” “Long, Long, Long” and “Savoy Truffle” from The Beatles(1968).
  • “Only a Northern Song” and “It’s All Too Much” from Yellow Submarine (1968).
  • “Old Brown Shoe” (B-side to the single “The Ballad of John and Yoko”) (1969).
  • “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun” from Abbey Road (1969).
  • “I Me Mine” and “For You Blue” from Let It Be (1970). 
  • His first wife Pattie who he met on the set of the Beatles first movie ‘Hard Day’s Night’ was the inspiration for quite a few songs as well as being the “Layla” Eric Clapton wrote about after she broke up with George to be with Eric.

     George always got along with Eric even after the famous break up of George’s marriage. Eric was instrumental in putting together “The Concert For George” with George’s widow Olivia and son Dhani performed by an amazing cast of George’s friends including Ringo Starr & Paul McCartney as well as a tribute put together by George’s close friend and sitar teacher/advisor, Ravi Shankar and his daughter Anoushka Shankar. It is well known that George was fascinated with the sitar and the sounds and teachings he discovered when the Beatles visited India in 1968 to learn about Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, which inspired George,Paul and John to write a number of songs. Ringo even wrote one song while there but was sick due to the inoculations required to travel to India at the time and left earlier than the others.
    The Beatles first trip to India was in 1966 meant as a stop over for a little R&R after the debacle in the Philippines

    George loved to laugh and was a huge fan of Monty Python.

    The Pirate Song
    In the mid 1970’s Eric Idle created the Beatles parody band called the Rutles which led to the Rutland Weekend Television show where George played Pirate Bob.This led to the cult mockumentary ‘All You Need is Cash’
    HandMade Films was formed by former Beatle George Harrison and business partner Denis O’Brien in 1978 to finance the Monty Python film Life of Brian. When the original financiers of Brian, EMI Films, pulled out the creators had to find other financing. When asked why he wanted to finance the film, Harrison remarked that he wanted to see the movie. To which Terry Jones commented, “that must be the most expensive movie ticket in history.” Harrison, a friend and fan of the Pythons, mortgaged his home in order to finance the feature. The first film started under the company was 1981’s Time Bandits, still one of my personal favorite films. The company continued to produce films through the 1980s.
    In 2002, four of the surviving members, bar Cleese, performed “The Lumberjack Song” and “Sit on My Face” for George Harrison’s memorial concert. The reunion also included regular supporting contributors Neil Innes and Carol Cleveland, with a special appearance from Tom Hanks.
    Backstage with the Pythons
    Sit on My Face
    The Lumberjack Song
    George was a pioneer in many ways. All Things Must Pass is a triple album by George Harrison. Recorded and released in 1970, the album was Harrison’s first solo work since the break-up of The Beatles in April that year. The original vinyl release featured two LPs of rock songs as well as Apple Jam, a third disc of informal jams. Often credited as rock’s first triple album, it was in fact the first by a single act, the multi-artist Woodstock live set having preceded it by six months.
    In regards to the album’s size, Harrison stated: “I didn’t have many tunes on Beatles records, so doing an album like All Things Must Pass was like going to the bathroom and letting it out.”
    The album was critically acclaimed and, with long stays at number 1 in both the US and the UK, commercially successful. It was certified 6x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2001 With Harrison’s supervision, a remastered edition of the album was released in January 2001, less than a year before his death. It featured revised artwork and contained bonus tracks, including an unreleased song (“I Live For You”) as well as a partially re-recorded version of “My Sweet Lord”. The reissue debuted at number 4 on US Billboard’s Pop Catalog Chart, and also charted at number 46 in Japan, 68 in France, and 68 in the United Kingdom. In 2009, it re-entered and peaked at number 3 on the US Catalog chart, following the release of his posthumous compilation album Let It Roll.
    For the 40th anniversary of All Things Must Pass, in November 2010, the album was reissued in a box set of three vinyl LPs as part of Record Store Day Black Friday 2010. Simultaneously, a digitally remastered version of the album was made available for download from Harrison’s official website.

    The Concert for Bangladesh

    George also co-organized the 1st ever benefit concert “The Concert for Bangladesh” with his friend Ravi Shankar to raise international awareness and fund relief efforts following the civil war atrocities and the devastating in the Eastern area of Pakistan after a cyclone damaged the country in 1970. George performed for the first time alone and recruited a supergroup of musicians to perform with him including Eric Clapton (who was suffering with his own addiction to heroin at the time),Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, the band Badfinger, Peter Frampton, Billy Preston and others. George also was the Master of Ceremonies for the show, even though he was often referred to as “the quiet Beatle”. The concerts (2:30 PM & 8:00 PM) were held in Madison Square Garden August 1,1971 to an audience of 20000 for each performance. The resulting album was also a triple album that won the Grammy for Album of the year in 1973. It was initially issued on CD on  July 30,1991 in America and August 19, in Britain with significant editing of the breaks between songs.The Concert for Bangladesh was remastered and re-released on October 24, 2005, now with the addition of Dylan’s afternoon-show performance of “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” as a bonus track. At the same time, the 1972 Apple film of the concert was released on DVD. Sales of the remastered album and DVD continue to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.
    UNICEF Month of Giving
    Many of you may remember in school we would get the UNICEF boxes in the and go door to door to raise funds.
     George was very prominent in working with Paul and Ringo to produce the Beatles Anthology CD’s & DVD’s and helped put together John Lennon’s previously unreleased song “Free as a  Bird” & “Real Love”
    George also formed another Supergroup  in 1988 with Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and Jim Keltner. They called themselves “The Traveling Wilburys”
    Handle With Care
    Martin Scorsese has made a documentary film on George’s life
    along with the book of the same name written by Olivia Harrison who reveals the arc of George’s life, from the guitar-obsessed youth growing up in Liverpool to the astonishment of being the lead guitar player of the most famous band in the world, to his days as an independent musician, producer, philanthropist, Grammy winner, and member of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

    While Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday” may be the most recorded song ever, George Harrison’s “Something” will always be known as the 2nd most covered song but more importantly, “The Best Love Song Ever Written”


    Something in the way she moves

    Attracts me like no other lover

    Something in the way she woos me

    I don’t want to leave her now

    You know I believe her now

    Somewhere in her smile she knows

    That I don’t need no other lover

    Something in her style that shows me

    Don’t want to leave her now

    You know I believe her now

    You’re asking me will my love grow

    I don’t know, I don’t know

    You stick around now it may show

    I don’t know, I don’t know

    Something in the way she knows

    And all I have to do is think of her

    Something in the things she shows me

    Don’t want to leave her now

    You know I believe her now

    I could write a commentary on all 180+ songs written by George, I didn’t even mention the Sue Me Sue You Blues, This Song, Here Comes The Sun, You,Can’t Stop Thinking About You,Not Guilty, Here Comes The Moon,Faster,Cloud Nine,Devil’s Radio but that is not why I am writing today. I simply want to honor his memory AND his greatest gift to the world,his music and his love of his Higher Power



    I’ve been traveling on a wing and a prayer
    By the skin of my teeth, by the breadth of a hair
    Traveling where the four winds blow
    With the sun on my face, in the ice and the snow

    But oooeeee it’s a game
    Sometimes you’re cool, sometimes you’re lame
    Ah yeah it’s somewhere
    And if you don’t know where you’re going
    Any road will take you there

    But oh Lord we pay the price
    With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice
    Ah yeah you pay your fare
    And if you don’t know where you’re going
    Any road will take you there

    I keep traveling around the bend
    There was no beginning, there is no end
    It wasn’t born and never dies
    There are no edges, there is no sides

    Oh yeah you just don’t win
    It’s so far out, the way out is in
    Bow to God and call him Sir
    But if you don’t know where you’re going
    Any road will take you there


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