I still miss George

When I think of becoming a rock star (hey, the possibility still exists) I would hope to model myself after George Harrison.  Oh I know there are much more famous rockers out there and a few that may have had more talent but I don’t think any were as regal as George while not taking himself too seriously.  George always seemed to be the guy next door who suddenly got thrust into the spotlight.  He handled himself gracefully in public, his humility was apparent and real.  I think that is important in celebrities.

Though I didn’t enjoy “Crackerbox Palace” on his 33 1/3 album as much as I would have liked… “All Things Must Pass” is still a favorite of mine. (I always thought the title, “33 1/3”  had to do with LP record speed, but it was actually George’s age when the album was made) For George to have  had to hold all his creative talents in while John and Paul shined must have been very hard to endure, but of-course the pay off came later in his solo career.  Which again displays the character of the man, because publicly George remained quiet about any misgivings he might have held.  That is a rare quality in super stardom.

George was also involved in the Monterey Pop Festival of 1967.  (see the Rock and Roll Conspiracy blog for more on that subject)  It is rumoured that George mingled with the crowd during that time while no one recognized who he was.  After a visit to a troubled area in Asia,  in ’71 he organized the Concert for Bangladesh which was a predecessor for future benefit concerts in the coming decades.  When the business suits threatened to with hold monies because of accounting differences, George went public claiming, “They are hassling over nickles and dimes while people are starving.”  The promised relief finally was delivered.  All this effort before it became vogue.

In his career George was not only involved with the Beatles but also people like Eric Clapton, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan.  Yet he never seemed to be caught up in all the hype that came with being a celebrity.  Even when during his last public appearance (George wasn’t even the featured artist on the program) he was handed a guitar and an audience member called out for him to do “a Beatles song!”  George replied, “I don’t think I know any.”

It is hard to believe it has been 5 years since his death.  Maybe it’s because George was the youngest Beatle, and you expected him to be around awhile, he was so unassuming.  John Lennon once told Paul McCartney publicly that, “George’s songs are as good as ours.”  Which may have been a little bruise to the ego of Paul.  It is well documented that Paul was at odds with George’s guitar style later in their history, so much so that Ringo took a couple of weeks off during the recording of the White Album because of all the tension.  It is suggested that is the reason Eric Clapton appeared on the song, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”  The White Album is the first time songs recorded by the Beatles  had a different artist performing with them.

When the Beatles met George Martin he reported that he wasn’t all taken in by their musical ability, but he appreciated their sense of humour and raw talent.  Deciding to take a chance on the Fab Four he asked them if there was anything he could do to help improve recording conditions and Harrison quipped, “I don’t like your tie!”  A sense of humour had to be paramount in those early days because the Beatles only got one cent for every record sold and that was split four ways. 

By the way, at that last televised gig George did play, “All Things Must Pass.”

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2 Responses to “I still miss George”

  1. awmyth Says:

    I do not know if anyone one will read this comment, put up so long after the original log.

    George Harrison was my most favorite Beatle too. Maybe because of his relationship with India. Maybe because in my guitaring days I played the lead and struggled to pick up his riffs and solos from the old vinyls.

    Once, there was a time, I listened to his music almost everyday. His guitar playing was part of my own existence. When I heard of his death, it felt I had lost someone close to me.

    I was sad. And I was also filled with deep regret that I never met him, never tried to meet him. Who knows if I had tried, I might have got to shake his hand.

    I wish ‘shanti’ for his soul.

  2. kerri Says:

    i heard that Frank Sinatra still called “Something” his favorite lennon/mccartney song hah! . . . [and yes i did get that from the Anthology].

    “In his career George was not only involved with the Beatles but also people like Eric Clapton, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan. Yet he never seemed to be caught up in all the hype that came with being a celebrity.”
    Thats extremely true. I find it so ironic the “youngest” beatle enjoyed fame the least. But after all, George was a beatle his whole life…from when he was 14…17…in between there. Compared to john or ringo, who began fame at what, 22? George never really got a chance to live before he became a beatle. I think thats why he noticed it first when the Beatles began to become larger than life.

    Sorry im just babbling. This stuff intrigues me.
    and i cant believe 2 are already dead. Whoa.

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