Category Archives: George Harrison

George Harrison PART TWO

[George Harrison PART TWO

English: George Harrison in the Oval Office du...

English: George Harrison in the Oval Office during the Ford administration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

]In 1968 Harrison’s interest in Indian music …

extended into a yearning to learn more about eastern spiritual practices. In 1968, he led the Beatles on a journey to northern India to study transcendental meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. [Biography.com]

That year the group’s White Album came out. Harrison penned “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Piggies,” “Long, Long, Long” and “Savoy Truffle.” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” is ranked as #7 Greatest Guitar Song of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine.

On Yellow Submarine he  penned “Only A Northern Song” and “It’s All Too Much” both of which — like the rest of the album — were self indulgent and over produced.

He bounced back with Abbey Road which has two of Harrison’s best songs, “Something” and  “Here Comes The Sun”

Let It Be had “I Me Mine Mine” and “For You Blue.” While recording Let It Be Harrison grew frustrated with the poor working conditions of the film studio as well as with the Lennon-McCartney lock on creative input on songs. He walked way from the recording sessions on January 10th, 1969. The other Beatles convinced him to return 12 days later but the writing was on the wall. The end was near for the super group.

When Beatles broke up in April of 1970 Harrison had a back log of music written and ready to produce. His first post-Beatles album was a triple disk, All Things Must Pass. The album yielded two hits “My Sweet Lord” and “What Is Life”

In 1971  he organized a charity concert at Madison Square Garden to raise money and awareness for the refugees in Bangladesh. The Concert for Bangladesh (and the concert film) was a fore runner to other multi-band high-profile charity concerts to come a decade later like Live Aid.

His next Album, Living in the Material World went Gold  with in a week of its release. The single from the album, “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)” became an international  best seller.

But then things began to flatten out musically–sales wise at least. Harrison continued to write and experiment musically.

He “started his own film production company, Handmade Films. The outfit underwrote Monty Python’s Life of Brian and would go on to put out 26 other movies before Harrison sold his interest in the company in 1994.” [Biography.com]

In 1987 released Cloud Nine and began to work with a collection of rockers who formed the group the Traveling Wilburys.

The Traveling Wilburys, 1988. L–R: Roy Orbison...

The Traveling Wilburys, 1988. L–R: Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and Tom Petty. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“In 1998, Harrison, a longtime smoker, reportedly was successfully treated for throat cancer.” [Ibid] Two years later the cancer returned, this time it had spread to his brain. He died in Los Angeles in November of 2001.

 

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Oy! Yesterday was full of frustration WordPress wise. I could NOT get a YouTube song/vid to successfully link.(And believe me I had TONS of great George clips to share.) So I’m trying again to day… with fresh optimism. … Here Comes the Sun…

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George Harrison PART ONE 2.25.13

“I think people who can truly live a life in music are telling the world, “You can have my love, you can have my smiles. Forget the bad parts, you don’t need them. Just take the music, the goodness, because it’s the very best, and it’s the part I give”– George Harrison

[Image courtesy: IMDb]

[Image courtesy: IMDb]

George Harrison was born on this day in Liverpool, England in 1943. today is the 70th anniversary of his birth.

Harrison was the youngest of four children born to Harold, a school bus driver, and Louise as shop assistant and stay a home mother. He went to school at Dovedale Primary School until he was 11 when he transferred to the prestigious Liverpool Institute.

By his own admission, Harrison was not much of a student and what little interest he did have for his studies washed away with his discovery of the electric guitar and American rock ‘n roll. [Biography.com]

He was riding his bike through the streets of Liverpool one day when he heard Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel coming through a window. Harrison said it was an epiphany. His father bought him an acoustic guitar and he taught himself how to play.  He formed a pop, jazz, blues, folk, roots band with his older brother Peter and their friend Arthur Kelly called the Rebels.

Harrison knew Paul McCartney from school and in 1958 he auditioned for McCartney and John Lennon’s band The Quarrymen. Lennon was reluctant to bring on the 14-year-old Harrison, but after a second audition — this on the upper deck of a bus — he was sufficiently wowed by Harrison’s rock and roll guitar that the younger guitarist began to fill in with the group.

By 16 Harrison had left school and was working as an apprentice electrician as well as a musician both for the Quarrymen and for the Les Stewart Quartet.

By 1960 Harrison’s music career was in full swing. Lennon had renamed the band the Beatles and the young group began cutting their rock teeth in the small clubs and bars around Liverpool and Hamburg, Germany. Within two years, the group had a new drummer, Ringo Starr, and a manager, Brian Epstein,… Before the end of 1962, Harrison and the Beatles recorded a top 20 U.K. hit, Love Me Do. [Biography.com]

They followed that with Please, Please me and produced an album (also called Please, Please Me.) Harrison sang lead on two songs, Chains, a cover of  the Little Eva hit by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, and Do You Want to Know a Secret by Lennon and McCartney. The album (literally) rocked the UK charts

Given that the UK album chart in those days tended to be dominated by more ‘adult’ tastes such as film soundtracks and easy listening vocalists, it was a surprise when Please Please Me hit the top of the chart in May 1963 and remained there for thirty weeks before being replaced by With The Beatles. [TheBeatles.com]

The 1963 UK release of With The Beatles, hosted the first Harrison penned song to make it to vinyl;  Don’t Bother Me.

It wasn’t until Help! that another Harrison song made it onto a Beatles album. He contributed “I Need You” and “You Like Me Too Much” to Help!

Harrison’s influence grew in the band with the release of Rubber Soul. Again he has two songs on the album, Think For Yourself and If I Needed Some One. He brought both a folk rock flavor to the group and an interest in classical Indian music.

Harrison soon developed a deep interest in Indian music.He taught himself the sitar, introducing the instrument to many western ears on John Lennon’s song, “Norwegian Wood.”” [Biography.com]

By bringing sitar player Ravi Shankar to the attention of the Western World Harrison introduced the instrument to other rock groups (like the Rolling Stones.) And his willingness to stray from the traditional western rock instruments (guitar, bass, drums, piano) helped “pave the way for such groundbreaking Beatles albums as Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” [Ibid]

He scored with three singles on Revolver, “Taxman,” “Love You To” and “I Want to Tell You.” You can really hear the Eastern influence on “Love You To”

He only contributed one song to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, “Within You Without You.”  He’s the only Beatle to play on the song.

[Continued in PART TWO]


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