George Harrison would have celebrated his 70th today
25 February 2013
George Harrison, ‘The Quiet Beatle’, would have turned 70 today, the 25th February (although it is said he was actually born 10 minutes to midnight on the 24th, something he discovered much later).
He met Paul McCartney, eight months his senior, on the school bus and a friendship was formed. Later, McCartney would convince John Lennon to allow Harrison, a mere 15 years old, to become a member of his group, The Quarrymen.
As lead guitarist in The Beatles, his first recorded composition was ‘Don’t Bother Me’ on With The Beatles. By the end of The Beatles’ recording career, George had written some of their most beloved and enduring songs, including, ‘Taxman’, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ and ‘Something’. Frank Sinatra would call ‘Something’ ‘the greatest love song of the past 50 years’. However, unfortunately he would also often mistakenly credit Lennon and McCartney when introducing it on stage.
Harrison released the triple-album set, All Things Must Pass in late 1970 to great critical and commercial acclaim.
A fan of Monty Python, Harrison would finance the controversial Life Of Brian movie to the tune of £3 million, because he “really wanted to see it”. He appeared in it as (the uncredited) Mr. Papadopoulos.
Harrison was also a keen fan of motor-racing and would attend races all over the world, including several Grands Prix in Adelaide and Melbourne.
In 1997, he was diagnosed with throat cancer and treated with radiotherapy.
Two days before the end of the last century, Harrison was stabbed more than 40 times in a frenzied attack by an intruder at his 120-room home in Oxfordshire.
Over the next 18 months, the cancer had spread to his lungs and brain, and on 29 November 2001, the world mourned the loss of another Beatle.
His ashes were scattered in the Ganges in a private family ceremony.