george harrison 2000

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

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“I like ‘Run of The Mill” you know, something about the words and what it is saying, And I like “Isn’t It A Pity” And I like “Awaiting On You All”  And I like the same ones now as I liked then. I like them all in some way, otherwise I wouldn’t have done them.” - George in an interview with Chris Carter, 15 February 2001 in response to what were his favorite songs on ‘All Things Must Pass’

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Remembering the sorely missed George Harrison. Photos © Brian Roylance; Dave Benett.

“Seems my love is up,
And has left you with no warning
But it’s not always going to be this grey
All things must pass, all things must pass away”
- “All Things Must Pass” by George Harrison

15 years have elapsed since George went on to the brighten the spiritual sky.

No words ever seem to adequately express just how much of a void George has left, how much emptier this world is without him, how deeply he is missed, and how profoundly he continues to impact countless lives. No words fully do justice to the extraordinary, complex, humble, compassionate and genuine person he was. It wasn’t just his music that was a privilege and a gift to this world, it was his person and his presence as well. We’re eternally blessed to have known him.

15 years haven’t diminished the grief and sense of significant loss. Not a day goes by that I don’t listen to George’s music and think of him. Yet, even without his physical presence, George still continues to enrich this world in the incomparable ways only he could: With acts of kindness that still echo on; with the way he lived his life and what we can learn from it; and with every note he ever played and each lyric he wrote.

My heart goes out to Olivia and Dhani, who must miss him so much more than we can begin to imagine.
George - thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for more than words can say. Endless love and gratitude,

Andrea

“In the end, ‘Life goes on within you and without you.’ I just have a belief that this is only one little bit, the physical world is one little bit of the universe. So in the end it doesn’t really matter.” - George Harrison

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

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The final moments of Living in the Material World:

“There was a profound experience that happened when he left his body. It was visible. Let’s just say, you wouldn’t… you wouldn’t need to light the room… if you were trying to film it. You know, he, uh… he just… he just lit the room.” - Olivia Harrison

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
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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

When friends came to visit [during the final year of his life], George [Harrison] would remind them to take time to live every moment to its fullest. He would ramble on about plants and flowers and hug his friends for minutes on end, not wanting them to leave before knowing how much he loved them. And those who were there in those last days described him as glowing with a truth he could not help but share whenever they visited: that the worth of a person dwells inside, in something eternal and pure regardless of karma or politics or religious beliefs.
—  Joshua M. Greene, Yoga Chicago, 2006           

George Harrison and Mick Jagger on stage at the Rock and Hall of Fame Awards, 20 January 1988. Photo by Ron Galella.

“As a guitar player, [George] certainly had some nice and memorable licks on those Beatles tunes. Without being a virtuoso, he came up with really nice guitar lines that are integral parts of those tunes. But he had a multifaceted career as a personality. He wasn’t just a guitar player. And he did have a great sense of humor, and he did take it all with a huge pinch of salt, which is a very English and a very Liverpudlian thing.” - Mick Jagger, Rolling Stone, 17 January 2002 [x]

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George Harrison photographed at Friar Park in 1970; in a grotto and the rockery, as well as inside the house. Photos © Barry Feinstein.

All Things Must Pass was released in the U.S. on 27 November 1970, and in the U.K. on 30 November 1970. In honor of its anniversary:

“In the autumn of 1970 George Harrison flew to New York and called up Allan Steckler, who ran the US office of Apple Records. ‘Can you book me some studio time?’ George asked. ‘I want to play you something.’
So Steckler arrived at the Record Plant East, to find George in the control room, alongside a stack of tapes. 'For the next 90 minutes,’ Steckler told me, 'he played me the All Things Must Pass album. I listened to it, and I was stunned. It was awesome.’
Meanwhile, George sat shyly alongside him, almost frightened to meet his gaze. When it was over, Steckler said, 'George, that’s the most amazing album I’ve ever heard.’ George looked startled, then bemused, then finally suspicious, as if he might be the subject of an elaborate joke. 'Really?’ he muttered at last. 'George, it’s great!’ Steckler assured him. 'I can immediately hear at least three hit singles.’ George smiled with relief, but then his face clouded over. 'But don’t you realise, Al,’ he said sadly, 'they would never let me release this!’” - Article by Peter Doggett, British Beatles Fan Club [x]

“No, not really. It was the biggest thrill in a way that it was my first record. To be able to do all my own songs on one record was a novelty at that point, you know.” - George Harrison on whether he considered All Things Must Pass his best sustained work, Associated Press, February/March 2001 [x]

I met him at a Bonfire Night party in Henley once. This long-haired geezer in a denim jacket sat down next to me with two cans of Heineken and said, ‘Do you wanna beer?’ I turn round and it’s George Harrison. We chatted about guitars for half an hour. He was charming as fuck and then he gets up and says, 'Nice talking to you, gotta go.’
—  Noel Gallagher, Q, May 2002

Olivia [Harrison] says that, towards the end, when he [George Harrison] knew he was dying, her husband would comfort her by saying: ‘Olivia, you’ll be fine, you’ll be fine.’ And is she?


‘Fine is OK, but it is not really good enough, is it? But George was right, I am fine and I am OK, although I will miss him until my dying day. But he walked his road and now I have to walk mine.’

—  The Telegraph, 24 January 2005 [x]

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]

Dhani, Olivia and George Harrison, presumably on the same day as Damon Hill’s My Championship Year premiere, 25 November 1996. Photo © unknown, via Google.

“Dhani [was] perhaps the greatest source of pride in Harrison’s adult life…
[In 1996, George said] ‘Also, he has to deal with that thing of being ‘the son of,’ which isn’t easy either. So it’s great [Dhani getting accepted at Brown University], but we may have to go and live there in Providence, R.I. - I remember we played there in 1974 - and get a little house, otherwise I will have lost my son!’” - Article by Timothy White, Billboard, 15 December 2001

“I don’t really plan to be a pop star; I just want to be able to make music without the whole My Dad thing hanging over me, which everyone in my position goes through. It’s a tricky one. You can’t help being a musician because you’ve grown up with music, yet being one means being compared to your dad and being slated for it. But I really don’t have the ambitions of most people going into the industry.” - Dhani Harrison, The Guardian, 9 May 2003

* * *

 “When your parents are cool hippies, the only way to rebel is to get straight A’s, do sports and enroll in a military school. That’s what I did. My dad didn’t have many pals around, and I was his only child, so I was often in the studio with him. We were best friends.” - Dhani Harrison, New York Post, 17 February 2009

* * *

“‘My dad used to say to me, “You look more like me than I do.”’ […]

[H]e admits that looking in the mirror carries a heavy emotional price. He, too, sees his dad.

‘You know, it’s exactly the best and worst thing about every day – comforting and sad all at the same time.’

[…] ‘I was an only child. I hung out with my parents. I was always trying to be with the big kids, and the big kids at my house were like (ELO frontman) Jeff Lynne.’

[…] ‘I did rebel. I was the rebel in my family, because my dad wanted me to go and just travel with him. My dad would be like, “Sod your exams – let’s go to the South Pacific.”

‘You don’t have to burn books, you don’t have to rebel against teachers to rebel; to rebel is to truly own your own self. Rebelling in my family was going and getting on the river (he was a member of the famous Henley-based Leander rowing club and fanatical about getting up early at weekends to cox team) and doing courses and getting your grades.’” - Daily Mail, 3 November 2012

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]

Yep, and that’s where it’s gonna stay [laughter].
—  Olivia Harrison in response to Andre Gardner’s question, “Now how about you? Have you ever - is there an Olivia/George duet somewhere in the vaults?” - Breakfast With The Beatles, June 2009

Olivia and George Harrison, 1975

Photo © Newscom

“Olivia came into the picture at just the right time, a crazy, dark time. She is a strong person, and when he fell for her we all agreed that was a good thing. It wasn’t good for him to be on his own, and without her things would have got worse.” - Jim Keltner, Mojo, November 2014 [x]

“I remember George [Harrison] couldn’t stop talking about her [Olivia Trinidad Arias] after he met her.” - Al Aronowitz, The Blacklisted Journalist, Column Sixty-Two, 1 August 2001 [x]