Get to Know the Beatles: George Harrison

George Harrison
The Beatles are well known as being one of the most influential bands of all time, something Beatles tribute bands like Britishmania strive to keep alive for new and life-long fans alike. The talent of each of the band’s four members was essential to its incredible success, and lead guitarist George Harrison was no exception.   Born February 25, 1943 in Liverpool, George Harrison was Harold and Louise Harrison’s fourth child. Harrison’s mother was exceptionally encouraging when it came to his pursuit of music, as she could tell that music brought him the greatest happiness. Harrison began his schooling at the age of five at Dovedale Primary School and later entered the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys where music was offered among the courses. One day in 1956, a bike ride took him past a house playing Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” which ignited his desire to become involved in rock and roll. It was while on a bus ride to the Liverpool Institute that George Harrison and Paul McCartney originally met and quickly bonded over their passion for music. McCartney told John Lennon about his new found friend, and in 1958 Harrison auditioned to join “the Quarrymen,” precursor to the Beatles. Harrison was not initially accepted into the Beatles, but continued to associate with the band and was eventually made an official member. In 1960 the group was known by the name revered worldwide—the Beatles—and set out on their first tour of Scotland. The Beatles’ first single, “Love Me Do,” reached spot seventeen on the Record Retailer charts, and when their debut album Please Please Me came out in 1963, Beatlemania was in full swing. Harrison’s first solo writing credit for “Don’t Bother Me” appeared on With the Beatles, the group’s second album. Over time, Harrison began to deeply embrace Hinduism and meditation, which became apparent in his musical endeavors. He brought folk rock and an influence of non-Western instruments to the Beatles as his interest in classical Indian music grew. Harrison was married to Pattie Boyd, a model he met on the set of A Hard Day’s Night, from January 1966 to 1977. In September of 1978, he married Olivia Trinidad Arias, with whom he had one son, Dhani, born a month before they wed. On January 10, 1969, Harrison made the decision to leave the Beatles due to disharmony in the group. However, he agreed to come back to the band 12 days after. The Beatles’ last record, Abbey Road, featured two compositions by Harrison that would become world famous: “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something.” Despite the tremendous success of these hits, only a couple of his compositions were included on the Beatles albums, which was a big factor in the break-up of the band. January 4, 1970 marks the last time Harrison recorded with the Beatles, as they worked on his song “I Me Mine.” After his departure from the Beatles, Harrison released a triple album called All Things Must Pass, which included a slew of songs that hadn’t been included on Beatles’ albums, with the third disc featuring jam sessions. He released several other best-selling albums and worked on various projects, including the release of two albums with the band the Traveling Wilburys. Harrison was an active humanitarian and political activist all his life. After his death in 2001 at age 58, Harrison’s body was cremated and his ashes scattered in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India. His son Dhani worked with Jeff Lynne to finish and release Harrison’s last album Brainwashed (2002). He received a number of honors posthumously, including being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame, and receiving a star on the Walk of Fame, solidifying Harrison’s significant contribution to music history, as honored by Beatles tribute bands like Britishmania.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *