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

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

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)

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]

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George Harrison - My Sweet Lord (2000 Version)

George Harrison and Paul McCartney 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, 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

The Traveling Wilburys, 1990. Photo:

“The team and I will miss George because he was a wonderful supporter and he had a great presence and vibe. My passion for music and his for motor racing, particularly Formula One, often coincided and I spent time at his recording studios which I will never forget.  He was a private man and someone whose company I enjoyed thoroughly.” - Eddie Jordan on George Harrison, 2001

“I’m a huge fan of the Traveling Wilburys, the Eighties supergroup featuring George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan. They recorded two great albums and this is even better than their debut. I was lucky enough to count George as a neighbour – you couldn’t have met a nicer man.” - Eddie Jordan, “My six best albums,” Express, 24 April 2009

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.’

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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


2 September 1978: George and Olivia Harrison marry in a private ceremony in Henley-on-Thames.

“There’s a song on the new album [George Harrison], ‘Dark Sweet Lady’: 'You came and helped me through/When I’d let go/You came from out the blue/Never have known what I’d done without you.’ That sums it up.” - George Harrison, Rolling Stone, 19 February 1979 [x]

“My dark sweet lady
Your heart so close to mine
You shine so heavenly… and
I love you dearly.”
- From “Dark Sweet Lady”

“I’m not a celebrity and I’m not in the entertainment business, I think that helps a lot. He had enough [celebrity] for both of us. And of course love is the key… and it depends on what your goals are in life. If your goal is to have a happy marriage then I think that’s a recipe for disaster. George’s goal was to have self-realization and enlightenment. If that is your goal it makes everything else a little bit easier.” - Olivia Harrison, The Australian, 3 March 2005 [x]

“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]

“Pretty much. We felt it in our hearts from before we met. Even on the phone, we seemed to have some understanding, like you do when you meet the right person. And he was a charmer, such a charmer!” - Olivia Harrison on whether it was love at first sight, The Sun, 12 June 2009 [x]

“'What’s the secret of a long marriage?’ It’s like, 'You don’t get divorced.’ And I think, you know, you go through challenges in your marriage and I… Here’s what I found. First time we had a big hiccup in the road, I, you know, you go through things, you go, Wow. There’s a reward at the other end of it. There’s this incredible reward. You love each other more. You learn something. You let go of something. You get… Those hard edges get softened. You know, you’re that block of stone. And, you know, life shapes you and takes away those hard edges.” - Olivia Harrison, Living in the Material World [x]

“It’s hard to think of leaving the privacy and quiet of the happy life I have here.” - George Harrison, Billboard, 19 June 1999 [x]

“'I am still having a relationship with him, but it is just not a physical relationship any more. And the sooner one comes to terms with that, the easier it is, rather than feeling George has gone and he is never coming back.’ Does she communicate with him? 'I don’t really want to get into all that. That’s a dodgy question to answer because people might think… I don’t know if you have ever had anybody go who you have loved? Well, you do feel in communication with them because you feel so deeply in your heart that if you say a prayer, it goes straight to them.’
Olivia says that, towards the end, when he 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 | x]

“We had these whole 30 years together and then at the end you’re able to just decant that time. We spent that summer together and we had so much fun. It’s amazing, you know. It’s the end of your life, here’s the conversation. ‘I hope I wasn’t a bad husband.’ ‘Well, I hope I was an okay wife,’ you know. 'How did we do? How did we do?’ And, and then you think, 'I’m so glad. I’m so glad that we just kept walking this path together.’ And all those other things that came and went, we just swatted away and batted away between us, you know.” - Olivia Harrison, Living in the Material World [x]

“I knew when you arrived
That no words could describe
What your love made me do
I’ll never get over you
[…] My understanding grew
But I’ll never get over, never get over you” - From “Never Get Over You”

“I love you, George. The joys, sorrows, lessons and love we shared are more than enough to fill my heart until we meet again.” - Olivia Harrison, 2002 [x]


George and Olivia Harrison, with Dhani and Beth Earl, Goodwood Cartier Lunch, 26 June 2000

Photos: Richard Young/ Features

“[George Harrison] was cutting up veggies and cooking lunch [in the kitchen]… I’ll never forget the atmosphere of graciousness that surrounded us in the kitchen that day.” - Ken Mansfield, The White Book [x]

“Rather than go to restaurants, he did a lot of the cooking during our holiday. Using Indian spices brought from home, he cooked up some very tasty Indian meals. At any given evening at sunset, you could smell incense wafting from our villa, along with spicy aromas of Indian vegetarian delicacies, mixing with Indian ragas played on the sound system from his large collection of music. Pure magic.” - Gary Wright on vacationing in Portugal with George Harrison in the early 1970’s, Dream Weaver: Music, Meditation And My Friendship With George Harrison [x]

“There was a serene and calming presence that George and Olivia gave off. George had fresh flowers placed in the home and there was incense burning, pictures of holy men, the smell of curried rice dishes - long-grain rice - wafting in from the kitchen. They’re both health food eaters.” - A “friend” on George and Olivia in 1976, from a 1977 publication [x]

“At the Lodge - much smaller than the main house [at Friar Park] but still a mansion in itself - [George] Harrison prepared a pot of coffee, and [Olivia] Arias stopped by with a plate of cookies - ’American cookies,’ she emphasized, her years in California coming to the fore.” - Anthony DeCurtis, Rolling Stone, 17 January 2002 [x]

“‘I want to show you something,’ a gleeful [George] Harrison told his guest [Timothy White] at Friar Park one radiant June afternoon in 1999, the soil-covered singer taking a break from his gardening chores to lure the visitor off the splendid expanse of frant lawn seen stretching out behind Harrison in Barry Feinstein’s famous photo on the cover of All Things Must Pass. Leading the way across the veranda and through a glass door into the large kitchen on the right side of the Victorian Gothic house, Harrison stopped beside a handsome, oven-fresh spice cake cooling on the counter.
‘Olivia and the cook just put the yogurt icing on this,’ he whispered, his eyes twinkling. 'It’s really meant to be for dessert after dinner tonight, but teatime is in a half-hour, and I think we can each have a piece then.’
For all he had gained or stood to lose in his remarkable life, Harrison never failed to exhibit either the common touch or the ordinary enthusiasms that enriched it. He saw love, eternity, and God-decreed fragility of the human experience in every flower bed he weeded and every sweet that emerged from the family stove. And he had the wisdom to bow with a full heart before all that was good.” - Billboard, 15 December 2001 [x]