George Harrison, 1974, photographed by Clive Arrowsmith
“While circulating in the material world, George wore around his neck a thin strand of beads carved from India’s sacred tulsi bush. At every glance in the mirror, the discreet collar reminded hum of the Self within himself and helped him maintain that awareness throughout the day. While beginners in the Krishna tradition wore one strand of tulsi beads, initiated disciples wore three. George wore two strands, positioning himself as serious about Krishna but not exclusively so. He was keeping his spiritual options open.
Olivia Harrison would later elaborate on those options, noting that George could quote as easily from a Monty Python sketch or Mel Brooks’s film The Producers as from the Bhagavad Gita. That easy navigation between wit and wisdom occasionally left more sombre devotees puzzled, such as when a group visiting his former home in Esher [Kinfauns] discovered that between images of demigods Ganesh and Saraswati George had hung the famous poster of dogs sitting around a poker table, playing cards and smoking cigars.” - Here Comes The Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison by Joshua M. Greene
Every so often [George Harrison] drove to a nearby nursery to purchase trees and plants.
The owner, Konrad Engbers, remembers the first time George came in.
‘How are things going?’ George asked.
'A little slow,’ Engbers said.
'I’ll give it a little push for you,’ George replied and then bought almost every tree Engbers had in stock. From time to time, George walked down the hill from Friar Park to the market where Engbers had a stall. George would wait in line and take his turn, not expecting any preferential treatment. Seeing his friend, Engbers would take a break and the two would sit in a nearby cafe in their dirty overalls and talk about herbs and plants.
'Such a kind man,’ Engbers recalled, 'with no airs and graces - a man with a truly big heart.’
Here Comes The Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison by Joshua M. Greene
[John] Lennon’s childhood friend Pete Shotton, who had worked for the Beatles in the late 1960s, ‘decided I wanted to be with someone who knew John as well as I did’. He arrived at [George] Harrison’s home [Friar Park] around midday [on 9 December 1980]. ’[George] wrapped his arm around my shoulders and we went silently into his kitchen and had a cup of tea. We spoke quietly, just for a bit, not saying much, and George left the room to take a transatlantic call from Ringo.’ Then Starkey left for his early-morning flight to New York. 'There’s nothing else we can do,’ Harrison told Shotton; 'we just have to carry on.’ Al Kooper was taken into the kitchen, where he found Harrison 'white as a sheet, all shook up. We all had breakfast. He took calls from Paul and Yoko, which actually seemed to help his spirit, and then we went into the studio and started the day’s work.’
You Never Give Me Your Money: The Battle for the Soul of The Beatles by Peter Doggett