It might have been fun for everybody else, but we never saw the Beatles. We’re the only four people who never got to see us.
Known as ‘the quiet Beatle’, George Harrison is fondly remembered by fans for his songwriting abilities and haunting tunes. Although he was in the shadow of bandmates John Lennon and Paul McCartney, his songs have become just as much part of the musical canon; despite being a less-prolific songwriter, hits such as Here Comes the Sun, While my Guitar Gently Weeps and Something are timeless classics in their own rights. Harrison was also responsible for the band’s Indian influences, introducing the sound of the sitar to British audiences.
They youngest of the fab four, Harrison was only 14 when he first joined the group after making friends with Paul McCartney on the school bus. John Lennon was initially reluctant to let someone so young into the band, but was convinced after hearing Harrison play. The decision proved a good one, despite some early issues – the Beatles were booked in to play a series of nights at a club in Hamburg when the proprietors discovered that the band’s guitarist was underage, and the foursome were promptly ejected from the premises.
Later in life Harrison expanded his artistic repertoire, moving into film production and enjoying a string of successes with his production company Handmade Films. He helped to produce and finance such classics as Monty Python’s Life of Brian, after EMI dropped the film for fear that it would incur the wrath of the Church, and the anarchic cult hit Withnail and I. He would not enjoy success in music again until the late 1980s, when he joined Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty to form the supergroup The Travelling Wilburys, with whom he engaged on his first international tour for 18 years.
George Harrison lived the rest of life quietly, in a restored 19th Century manor house. When he died his ashes were scattered in a traditional Hindu ceremony in India.