“I really adored The Beatles – and I thought George Harrison was just… absolutely fantastic. […] The thing about George Harrison was that he was so successful, everything he’d wanted to achieve in the world he’d achieved. Actually, he’d pretty much achieved all of it by the time he was eighteen. I mean – eighteen!
Everything after that was a bonus. He left that group – they split up – when he was just twenty-seven, I think. It’s astonishing, really. I felt that he was absolutely and utterly happy in his own skin. He had an extraordinary variety of friends. He was friends with Formula 1 racing drivers, he was friendly with the guys at his local pub in Henley where they used to have ukulele nights and he’d sit in there on Tuesdays playing old tunes, he was friends with the Monty Python, he was friends with the Hare Krishna… He was friends with an amazing bunch of people who, if you put them together, wouldn’t necessarily get on, which I think is a real testament to what an interesting and diverse and fabulously exotic character he was…
George Martin told me a great story about George Harrison. George Martin had been in hospital having an operation on his ears and George Harrison went to visit him. George Martin’s lying in bed and he can hear this motor car drawing up in the drive of his house near Bath, and he can George getting out and crunching along the gravel. And he arrives in his room and gives him a little figure of a wonderful Indian god, a bodhisattva or somebody. A little tiny eight-armed figure that George Martin could put by his bed and he said [adopts pitch-perfect George Harrison impression] ‘This is something special to bring you healing vibes to help with the old lug-‘oles getting better.’ And outside the window George Martin could see this three hundred thousand pounds bright scarlet gull-wing Lamborghini car, you know? Most people – in the media particularly – find it very hard not to compartmentalise people. So you’re either a Jeremy Clarkson car-loving type… or you’re some kind of spiritual being. You can’t possibly be both. And yet George Harrison was both. He really did believe in his religions and he also really didn’t mind driving around in a car which did just the two miles to the gallon. He was utterly unselfconscious. He didn’t care what anybody thought of him, actually….
I think the point I’m trying to make is that I really liked him because a lot of musicians are incredibly obsessed with self-image. And he wasn’t. […] I thought George was absolutely bloody fan-tastic.” - Mark Ellen, The Mouth Magazine, 20 March 2015
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More of Ellen’s comments on George here, including:
“[George Harrison] was so universally charming - as a husband, hero, friend or father. Everyone he met fell under his spell.” - Mark Ellen, Saga, 7 October 2011 [x]