george harrison birthday month

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Scans - George Harrison with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr

“We’re such good friends. Even when we broke up, we were - no, still are - the closest of friends.” - George Harrison

Photo 1: The Beatles Book

Photo 2: Mike McCartney

Photo 3: Terence Spencer

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George Harrison and actress Hayley Mills, 1964.

“She didn’t date much, but her mother apparently arranged to have Beatle George Harrison selected as Hayley’s escort to a midnight charity performance of the Audrey Hepburn film “Charade” at the Regal Cinema in Henley-On-Thames on March 20, 1964, less than a month before her 16th birthday.”

Scan - George and Olivia Harrison at Ringo and Barbara’s wedding on 27 April 1981

Photo: Terry O’Neill

“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]

Q: “Has remarrying and having a child significantly changed your life?”
George Harrison: “Yeah, that’s been a wonderful thing for me. Everybody who has a baby thinks their child is wonderful, and it is. I’m enjoying it a lot and, again, that’s probably why John isn’t working. After a long time of waiting, he and Yoko finally had a child and I think he wants to give most of his time to watching the child grow up.”
Q: “You met your wife, Olivia, at the end of what seems to have been a pretty low period for you personally — 1974.”
GH: “Yeah, well after I split up from Patti[e Boyd], I went on a bit of a bender to make up for all the years I’d been married. If your listen to ‘Simply Shady’, on Dark Horse, it’s all in there - my whole life at that time was a bit like [laughing] Mrs. Dale’s Diary [a now defunct British radio soap opera].”
Q: “Were you going down fast?
GH: “Well, I wasn’t ready to join Alcoholics Anonymous or anything - I don’t think I was that far gone - but I could put back a bottle of brandy occasionally, plus all the other naughty things that fly around. I just went on a binge, went on the road… all that sort of thing, until it got to the point where i had no voice and almost nobody at times. Then I met Olivia and it all worked out fine. There’s a song on the new album, ‘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.“ - Rolling Stone, 19 April 1979

"Well, I just gave him a good chance to have a nice home life and a son. If he said I calmed him down, then I probably did calm him down. I used to tell him to cheer down, not cheer up.” - Olivia Harrison, The Telegraph, 24 January 2005

“I don’t know if anyone really knows the secret of such a long marriage like ours, but we both had a bigger goal of attaining a spiritual success and I think that could be it. When you have a bigger goal in life, it makes everything else a little bit easier.” - Olivia Harrison, The Telegraph, 24 January 2005

“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 [x]

“I felt [Olivia] was the perfect partner for George. She supported him in all his business endeavors, looked after him during his illness, stood by his side whenever he needed her, and also gave him the freedom he so desperately required. And all inconspicuously in the background, without pushing into the spotlight.” - Klaus Voormann, Warum spielst du Imagine nicht auf dem weißen Klavier, John? [x; x]

“I told Olivia, ‘Oh, God, girl, you’ve meant so much to his life, you’ve just totaled him out, and it’s just wonderful.’ They’re beautiful people…” - Carl Perkins, Goldmine Magazine, 6 November 1998 [x; x]

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Scans - George Harrison

“It was beautiful. George was blossoming as a songwriter. With ‘Something’ and 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ - are you kidding me? Two of the finest love songs ever written, and they’re really on a par with what John and Paul or anyone else of that time wrote. They’re beautiful songs. It’s interesting that George was coming to the fore and we were just breaking up.” - Ringo Starr

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Scans - George Harrison, the early Sixties

Photos 4 & 7: Mike McCartney

“I had no ambition when I was a kid other than to play guitar and get in a rock ‘n’ roll band. I don’t really like to be the guy in the white suit at the front. Like in the Beatles, I was the one who kept quiet at the back and let the other egos be at the front.” - George Harrison, 1987

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Scans - George Harrison, 1980’s and 1990′s; scanned from The Beatles Unseen Archives, Hello!, LIFE’s Remembering George Harrison, and Harrison.

Photo 3: Terry O’Neill; photo 4: Mark Seliger

“George Martin said recently how he always felt sorry because he concentrated more on them [John Lennon and Paul McCartney] and he should have paid more attention to me. He said, ‘I hope you’ll forgive me.’ But I’m quite happy with my role in The Beatles. You know, it split up because of all those problems, there were too many songs. Because we got too close to each other. But I’m quite happy about the way things went. I feel that whatever I am now, I always have been that, you know. Maybe different things have taken longer to reach the surface or whatever, but I’m who I am and I am not really that much different to how I was then. Maybe I’m more able to express it or maybe people are more interested now in what I have to say. Because in the Sixties and early Seventies they thought I was a loony.” - George Harrison, 1988

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Scans - George Harrison, the early years… 

“…try and imagine the soul entering the womb of a woman living in 12 Arnold Grove, Wavertree, Liverpool 15… That really is strange when you consider the whole planet, and all the planets there may be on the physical level. How do I come into that family, in that house at that time, and who am I anyway?” - George Harrison

Scan - George Harrison, scanned from the Concert for George album booklet.

Photo © Harrison Family

Happy 70th birthday to the uniquely talented, complex and remarkable George Harrison!

Dear George,

70 years ago, you were born, and 70 years later, this is a day to send you love and to celebrate all that made you you. Today, as ever, your music will be playing and brightening the world the way only you could. Olivia said it best: “Nothing I can say about George speaks louder than his music.”

George, you are remembered, valued and greatly missed each and every day. But it’s true, “life flows on within you and without you” - so even if you are no longer here in the material world, you go on.

Time and time again, I am so thankful for you and your stunning music; so timeless and astonishing. It is your musical legacy and your unique personality that I so admire and cherish, and that will remain, regardless of how many years pass.

Thank you, George, for continuously inspiring and influencing me, for making me smile, for your honest and grounded self, for reminding me what truly matters in life - and thank you for the wonderful, invaluable gift of your music.

There really isn’t an adequate way to express all I’d like, no matter how much I may write. No words, nothing, could fully convey what you mean to so many; to your family, your friends, and your fans… to me, though I never even met you. So, before this gets any longer, I will close by saying again that I’ll never, ever stop being incredibly grateful for you and your music; for the fact that someone like you was around during at least part of my lifetime. You and your music will forever have an immeasurable influence on me and you will forever be my most significant inspiration. Thank you, George, for everything. I’ll always have a space for you in my heart. ♥

Lots of love,
Andrea | thateventuality

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Courtesy of YouTube, George Harrison - “Cheer Down” live in Japan, 1991.

“Olivia would say that [“cheer down”] to George when he got a little too happy. He would get a burst of enthusiasm, and she’d say, ‘OK, cheer down, big fellow.’” - Tom Petty, Rolling Stone, 17 January 2002

“[A]s journalist Rip Rense recounts, there was always a suspicion that George could have played hot licks… if he’d wanted to: ‘Eric Clapton tells a little story about seeing Harrison smiling in the wings at a concert once, and realizing that George could have played anything he or Hendrix did, if he’d wanted to….’
What Harrison wanted to do was to play music, not play up his own ego.” - While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison by Simon Leng

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Courtesy of YouTube, an interview with George Harrison at 33 & 1/3 (corresponds with that clip of George watching “This Boy” and “Twist and Shout”). :) ♥

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Courtesy of YouTube, here’s more from that “Good Morning America” interview with George Harrison in 1981. Once more - the world’s just not the same without him. ♥