george harrison 2000

I wrote ‘Here Today’ about John. It’s just a song saying, you know, ‘If you were here today you’d probably say what I’m doing is a load of crap. But you wouldn’t mean it, cos you like me really, I know.’ It’s one of those 'Come out from behind your glasses, look at me,’ things. It was a love song, really, not to John but a love song about John, about my relationship with him. I was trying to exorcise the demons in my own head.

Paul McCartney, Conversations with McCartney by Paul Du Noyer

“A love song, really, not to John but a love song about John” ??? what’s the real difference here? nice try

George Harrison, 1987, photographed by Peter Figen. Photo © Peter Figen.

“George [Harrison] was a good and humble man who believed in the power of love to overcome all adversity. He lived his life without asking anything for himself, and his courage to quietly remind us that God created a world for peace and compassion has had a profound effect on all of our lives.” - Billy Corgan, 2001

“George [Harrison], too, was a dreamer. He believed in making the world a better place, and with his idealism, activism and, most of all, his music, he did exactly that. He lived a life of quiet dignity and today the world is a lesser place.” - Mike Mills, 2001

Photo by: Pattie Boyd (2000)

Q: What is your relationship like with Paul and Ringo, lately?

GEORGE: They’re a part of my life. We’ve known each other since we were teenagers and it’s fun to go to a birthday party at Ringo’s and see how old we’ve gotten. Paul and I are different. But I think that destiny has brought us together. It was written that we’d find each other.

- Interview with the Spanish newspaper, El Pais (2000)

Every time I go out there [in the garden at Friar Park], I think he’ll just pop out from behind a shrub, like he used to.
—  Olivia Harrison on her late husband, George, and gardening, Daily Mail, 12 May 2008

George Harrison and Olivia Trinidad Arias waiting for the Dark Horse Tour band to clear customs, 2 November 1974, as included in the Living in the Material World book

Photo: Henry Grossman

“I fell for her immediately. She is a very calming influence. She has been very supportive and we are blissfully happy together. I told her I didn’t want her doing all that typing. We started going with each other, and four years later we married.” - George Harrison [x]

* * *

“Before she became Olivia Harrison in 1978, she was Olivia Trinidad Arias, an Angeleno whose grandparents immigrated to Los Angeles from Mexico.
She grew up in Hawthorne, hometown of the Beach Boys, which turned out to be a major point of interest for George when she gave him a tour of her old neighborhood.
She was working at A&M Records, which distributed Dark Horse releases at the time, and started chatting with Harrison when he’d call about business.
They found they had musical and philosophical interests in common and soon began seeing each other regularly. ‘I was from outside of his world,’ she says. 'I was shelter from the storm. I was simple, and he needed some simplicity at that point.’
She says she never really stopped to think about the implications of getting involved with a musician, much less an ex-Beatle. 'You can’t really think about it that way, otherwise you’re just playacting.’
How will she cope when all the projects are completed? Is she simply postponing the feelings of loss with all the activity?
Those are questions she doesn’t worry about, and she knows what George would have said on the subject.
‘One of his favorite things to say was, “Be here now,”’ she says. His song by that title, from his 1973 album 'Living in the Material World,’ remains one of her favorites, and it’s one she plays any time she feels in need of a booster shot of moral support.
'Sometimes he and Dhani would be talking and Dhani would ask, “Well what if this happens?” or “What if that happens?”’ she says. 'George would say, “Be here now. Be here now.”'” - “Here now, she lives for George” by Randy Newman, Los Angeles Times, 9 March 2005 [x]

When I heard about it [the horrific attack at Friar Park on 30 December 1999, and Olivia saving George’s life], I sent George a fax, and it just said, ‘Aren’t you glad you married a Mexican girl?’ [laughs] Olivia really kicked ass. She is a beautiful person. His son, Dhani, is a beautiful kid, man. I’ve seen him recently. He is doing very well - very strong and inspired. Olivia had the hardest job in the world, because she loved George more than all of us, and she really took care of him and cleared the path in front of him, behind him, and inherited that crazy life, you know.
—  Tom Petty, Rolling Stone, 17 January 2002

George Harrison, 1991, photographed by Terry O’Neill

“People can sing every note he played” By Bob Geldof

The Telegraph, 1 December 2001

“There aren’t many people whose passing can make the entire planet feel sad. But George is one such person. I first met him when I was eight. My sister had taken me to a hotel where the Beatles were staying and we snuck in.

They were very cute, answering their fan letters - something I’ve never seen since in the pop industry. Paul was terribly friendly. Ringo was kidding about. But George was grumpy which was perfect because that’s how you expected him to be.

You could tell he was thinking, ‘Why won’t these kids get out of here.’ He was always the reluctant Beatle. Though he looked amazing, with that beautiful smile and those canine teeth, he thought all the screaming adoration was nonsense.

Once when the Boomtown Rats were starting out and we were going through that he came backstage at a concert we were doing in Oxford and I asked him, 'Do you miss it?’ and he said, 'Absolutely not.’

Keep reading

Olivia and George Harrison, Ireland, 15 January 2000

Photo © Harrisongs Ltd.

“Thank you for your kind thoughts, flowers and messages of concern and compassion for our ordeal. Your kindness and love were a great help and a desperately needed contrast to our unfortunate experience. We would like to wish you and your families a happy new year and hope it will be be peaceful and loving one. We hope to see you again soon. George, Olivia and Dhani Harrison (Om Shanti).” - A card sent by the Harrison family after the horrific attack on their lives at Friar Park on 30 December 1999 [x], quoted in Billboard, 15 December 2001 [xx]

George was a true friend, intensely loyal, caring deeply for those he loved and he inspired much love in return. Olivia and Dhani gave him the ideal family that he needed, and they have borne his illness with enormous courage and devotion. He was always so proud of them. George loved his garden in England, and creating beauty among his trees and plants was almost as important to him as his music.
—  Sir George Martin on George Harrison, 2001

George Harrison: Hamburg, 1961, and London, 1986; Hamburg, 1961, and Friar Park, 2000.

Photo 1: Jürgen Vollmer

“It doesn’t take long to being from 17 to being 57. Forty years just goes like that. You know? Now I understand about 90 year old people who feel like teenagers, you know. ‘Cause nothing changes. It’s just the body that changes. The soul in the body is there at birth and is there at death. And the only thing that’s changed is the bodily condition.” - George Harrison, 2000


Olivia Harrison with, among others, Eric Idle and Jeff Lynne by the (original) George Harrison Tree in L.A.’s Griffith Park; and the marker denoting the (now, as of 2015, re-planted) tree. Photos © LA Independent; AP.

Below are excerpts from letters written by Olivia to mark the original planting in 2002, and the re-planting in 2015:

“George used to say that for the forest to be green, each tree must be green. He referred of course to the way in which society and mankind will evolve into a higher consciousness, one by one. He planted many trees, more than his share, just like he did more than his share to change the way a generation thinks about the loftier subjects of life. I spent 27 years with George, and his message never changed, from his first steps onto the spiritual path to his last day. He said the only questions he was interested in were the ones most people had no time to try and answer for themselves: ‘Who am I? What am I doing here? And where am I going?’ He was the most unique person I have ever met: kind, loving, astute, compassionate, and extremely funny. I join you in honoring his memory on what would have been his 59th birthday. We love you, George, and miss you, and hope the spiritual awakening will grow as tall and strong as this tree being planted in your honor.” - Olivia Harrison, 25 February 2002

“As we plant this tree on George’s birthday, let’s hope it stays here for centuries as a marker of the light he was in this world.” - Olivia and Dhani Harrison, 25 February 2015

George Harrison and Paul MccCartney during the Let It Be sessions, January 1969. Photo by Ethan Russell (?).

spongeweed70508 asks: “Does Paul still piss you off (tell us the truth)”

george_harrison_live: “Scan not a friend with a microscopic glass – You know his faults – Then let his foibles pass.”

george_harrison_live: “Old Victorian Proverb.”

george_harrison_live: “I’m sure there’s enough about me that pisses him off, but I think we have now grown old enough to realize”

george_harrison_live: “that we’re both pretty damn cute!” - Yahoo web chat with George Harrison, 15 February 2001

George Harrison and Olivia Arias, 1974, photo © unknown.

“I never even thought about the fact that he was a Beatle. George was so humble, that honestly when I met him it was just like meeting any other person. He wasn’t a Beatle at that time, and so I never saw that. I only ever saw the person, George. I don’t think we’d have been together so long it if it had been any other way.” - Olivia Harrison, Herald Scotland, 18 June 2009 [x]

“My first impression of George was that he was smaller than life. Very humble, normal and thoughtful. He was very focused. He had such a strong sense of self. He didn’t seem to be a frivolous person, though he was, but from the first day I met him, he was working on music.” - Olivia Harrison, quoted in You Never Give Me Your Money by Peter Doggett [x]