He was the youngest of the Beatles, reportedly ‘the quietest’ and also perhaps the most spiritual.
George Harrison was born on February 25, 1943 to working class parents in Liverpool England. He was the baby brother of three siblings. According to legend, he fell in love with rock & roll after hearing Elvis Presley’s song ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ playing from a neighbor’s window. In 1958, at the tender age of fifteen, George auditioned for a band called The Quarrymen, led by two lads named John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Because he was so young, John thought it best he not join the band, but George wormed his way in, hanging around rehearsals and making himself so available they could not refuse him. That band, of course, was eventually renamed The Beatles. George’s age came back to haunt him when the Beatles played their first gigs in Hamburg. George was too young to legally work in Germany and got deported back to England. He rejoined the band after his eighteenth birthday and the rest is history!
Raised as a Roman Catholic, George sent himself on a spiritual search that lasted his entire lifetime. As the excesses of materialism and the rock & roll lifestyle mounted, George became desperate to fill the hole of the soul with more substantial things. He explored Hinduism, Buddhism and transcendental meditation. He, along with the other band members, traveled to Rishikesh India and studied under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
George also became interested in Indian music and culture. He learned to play the sitar under the tutelage of Ravi Shankar. This influence changed his western perspective and reshaped his life.
George Harrison died of lung cancer on November 29, 2001. His last words on his death bed were “Love one another.”
Ironically, whatever afterlife George found himself in, he still lives on in this physical world. The astronomer Brian A. Skiff, working out of the Anderson Mesa Station, located in the arid fields of Flagstaff Arizona, happened to discover an asteroid. He named that asteroid after George, the 4149 Harrison!
This interview, recorded in 1997 for VH1 was George’s last public appearance. He speaks wise words of life, death and spirituality.
Give Me Love – a song that I feel must sum up George’s philosophy. Hope you like it!