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Topic: Former Beatle George Harrison has died of cancer at age 58.

  1. #1

    Former Beatle George Harrison has died of cancer at age 58.

    Oh no - not him too... I love the four fab more than music and John Lennon and George now are dead. How sad this is. So sad. My thoughts are with George\'s family and Paul McCartney.

    Taken from CNN:

    LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- George Harrison, the lead guitarist in The Beatles, has died aged 58, The Associated Press reports.

    Harrison passed away at a friend\'s Los Angeles home after a battle with cancer.

    He provided lead guitar -- sometimes energetic, sometimes moving -- on the Beatles\' many hits, while evolving into a songwriter in his own right who would deliver some of the band\'s best-known tunes.

    Despite his success, his career and talent were often eclipsed by the shadows of Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

    George Harrison was The Quiet One. The Shy One. The Serious One. The Sad One. Not a Lennon, not a McCartney.

    But Harrison was so much an influence on the music of the Beatles his contribution to the success of the world\'s most famous group cannot be underestimated.

    He was the man who, egged on by his first wife, Patti Boyd, brought Indian mysticism and meditation to the Fab Four.

    He was the man whose rockabilly playing on lead guitar underpinned all those early Beatles hits and whose wistful, lyrical style later forged the psychedelic sound of the late 60s.

    His life contained many contradictions.

    Despite his reputation as the quiet one of the four, Monty Python\'s Eric Idle remarked that Harrison never stopped talking. He seemed like a melancholy man, but was known to make terrific wisecracks.

    He was a spiritual man who liked Formula 1 motor racing. A rock star who was never happier than spreading fertilizer on his garden. He even dedicated his autobiography \"I Me Mine\" (1982) \"to all gardeners everywhere.\"

    Skiffle, rockabilly, and stardom

    The Beatles in 1964, about to take over America. At a New York press conference, they impressed the media with their quick wits.
    George Harrison was born February 25, 1943, in Wavertree, Liverpool, one of three children of a bus driver and a housewife. He attended Dovedale Primary School, two years below John Lennon, and Liverpool Institute, one year below Paul McCartney.

    His rebellious streak was shown when he defied school rules to grow long hair and wear jeans, something that didn\'t go down well with his strict Roman Catholic parents. Yet his mother bought him a guitar and he and his brother Peter formed a skiffle group.

    A more important musical friendship was with Paul McCartney. The two of them caught the same bus to school and found they had guitars, Chet Atkins, Duane Eddy and Lonnie Donegan in common.

    McCartney introduced him to his group The Quarrymen, but Harrison\'s age -- 14 -- meant it was some time before he became a regular member of the group.

    \"I never asked to be famous, I just wanted to be successful,\" he would say later.

    By the time he was 16, Harrison joined The Quarrymen, led by John Lennon. While musicians moved in and out of the group, Lennon, McCartney and Harrison provided the foundation of the band that went on to achieve incredible fame and wealth.

    By the early 1960s, the musicians had changed their group\'s name to the Beatles, and their relentless touring gave birth to the delirium called Beatlemania in Great Britain and Germany.

    By 1963, with the addition of drummer Ringo Starr, the backing of manager Brian Epstein and the recording of the group\'s first hits -- \"Love Me Do,\" and\"Please Please Me\" -- the Beatles were a raging success in their homeland.

    On top of his craft
    By the first part of 1964, the Beatles -- with their mop tops and sharp suits -- had invaded the United States. Beatlemania hit the U.S. hard with the Beatles\' appearances on \"The Ed Sullivan Show\" on February of that year.

    The Beatles were always influencing one another. Harrison got the others interested in Eastern mysticism in the mid-1960s.
    They wrote melodic, harmonious pop tunes like \"I Wanna Hold Your Hand\" and \"She Loves You\" -- tunes that altered the direction of rock \'n\' roll while offering a soundtrack to baby- boom youth and the 1960s. As the Fab Four toured and held concerts in the United States, those songs could scarcely be heard above the sounds of screaming fans.

    Through it all, it was McCartney, Lennon and Starr who came up with the quick quips to serve the press. It was Harrison who played along, always turning to his guitar to learn more about the craft.

    He did take time for another partnership during this period. In 1964, while making the zany film \"A Hard Day\'s Night,\" he met a teen-age model, Patti Boyd, with one line in the film (\"Prisoners?\"). They married in 1965.

    As the Beatles pushed the envelope of rock \'n\' roll, Harrison\'s influence was evident. He learned how to play sitar, which helped propel the Beatles through their psychedelic period that included the decade-defining album \"Sgt. Pepper\'s Lonely Hearts Club Band.\"

    Harrison also pushed for more of his songs to be included on Beatles releases.

    One story from Beatle legend tells of how he continually played an early version of \"While My Guitar Gently Weeps\" to McCartney and Lennon, and they continually voted that it wasn\'t up to snuff. Harrison responded by taking the song to friend Eric Clapton, who composed the song\'s poignant, pining riff.

    The Beatles included \"While My Guitar Gently Weeps\" on one of their 1968 release, \"The Beatles\" (also known as the \"White Album\"), and it\'s come to be a standard of late Beatles fare.

    Other classics by Harrison: \"Here Comes the Sun\" and \"Something.\"

    Harrison was the first Beatle to contribute to a project outside the band, offering songs on the movie soundtrack \"Wonderwall Music.\" After the band\'s infamous breakup, he was the first to release a solo record -- 1970\'s \"All Things Must Pass,\" a Phil Spector- produced album with the single \"My Sweet Lord.\"

    The group\'s hesitancy in recording Harrison songs was cited as one reason for his discontent. He later said, \"The biggest break in my career was getting into the Beatles in 1963. The second biggest break was getting out of them.\"

    Harrison was later sued by the publisher of the 1962 Chiffons\' hit \"He\'s So Fine,\" which bears a striking resemblance to \"My Sweet Lord.\" A court ruled that Harrison \"subconsciously\" borrowed from the song, and he paid over $1.5 million.

    Still, \"My Sweet Lord\" was the first single by a former Beatle to top the charts.

    Other directions
    Harrison also has the distinction of organizing rock\'s first major charity fund-raiser, an all-star event called \"The Concert for Bangladesh.\" Staged as two shows at New York\'s Madison Square Garden in 1971, it helped raise money for the famine-ravaged nation, and inspired similar concerts like Live Aid and Farm Aid in the 1980s.

    Harrison\'s brooding nature worked itself into some of his work. His 1974 recording \"Dark Horse\" was fueled by the collapse of his marriage to Patti Boyd, who had been pursued by his friend Eric Clapton. In the mid-1970s, Harrison met his second wife Olivia, an assistant in the merchandizing department at A&M records. They had a son, Dhani, in 1978. (Clapton and Boyd later married and divorced.)

    Harrison also delved into movie producing. His company Handmade Films helped bring Monty Python\'s \"Life of Brian\" (1979) and \"Time Bandits\" (1981) to the big screen.

    In 1981, in the wake of John Lennon\'s murder at the hands of a crazed fan, Harrison released \"Somewhere in England,\" which included the song \"All Those Years Ago.\" McCartney and Starr were also heard on the popular single.

    In 1987, he released \"Cloud Nine,\" featuring a rendition of a Rudy Clark gospel song called \"Got My Mind Set on You,\" which reached No. 1 on U.S. charts.

    During the late \'80s, Harrison also branched out with friends and fellow musicians Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison to form the Traveling Wilburys, a band that released two albums that reached platinum status.

    But through all of his success away from the Beatles, Harrison -- as well as McCartney and Starr -- was constantly hounded by the question of whether or not the Beatles would reunite.

    Harrison used to respond to the query with something along the lines of, \"The Beatles will not reunite as long as John Lennon is dead.\"

    Though late in his life Harrison lived in relative seclusion in a large estate in Oxfordshire, southern England, he almost suffered the same fate as Lennon. In 1999, he was attacked in his mansion by a psychotic. He had a lung punctured by the stabbing and it was said that only the prompt action by his wife Olivia, who hit the intruder over the head with a poker and a table lamp, saved his life.

    Harrison suffered 10 stab wounds. The defendant was later found not guilty because of insanity.

    Harrison recovered from the attack but was already engaged in the bout with cancer that would eventually kill him. He warded off throat cancer in 1998, then earlier this year he was treated for lung cancer.

    In July, after receiving radiotherapy treatment for cancer, the English newspaper the Daily Mail claimed Harrison was near death, prompting Harrison to issue a strongly worded statement denying the report.

    \"We are disappointed and disgusted by the report,\" it said. \"It was unsubstantiated, untrue and totally uncalled for, when in fact Mr. Harrison is active and feeling very well. It has caused untold distress amongst our family and friends.\"

    This fall, the Beatles were once again on the minds of many: A tribute concert to Lennon was held in New York not long after the September 11 terrorist attacks; and McCartney headlined an October New York benefit concert to help victims of the attacks.

    Harrison did not attend either event.

    But his music will be long remembered. He once said: \"I think people who can live their life in music are telling the world: \'You can have my love, you can have my smiles. Forget the bad parts, you don\'t need them. Just take the music, the goodness, because it\'s the very best, and it\'s the part I give most willingly.\"

    Funeral plans for Harrison have not been released.

    [This message has been edited by SCARBEE (edited 11-30-2001).]

  2. #2

    Re: Former Beatle George Harrison has died of cancer at age 58.

    I came very near to Beatles when studied Music History attending at Florence University, last year.

    I think I have no words to describe how great Beatles are nowadays too for every musician.

    so I easily guess I have no words to describe how sad I am reading about Harrison\'s death.

    1 minute of virtual but sincere silence.

  3. #3

    Re: Former Beatle George Harrison has died of cancer at age 58.

    I lost a friend to cancer a couple of months ago. He was a rock singer from George\'s era - a real original. It\'s just very deflating to see these guys become frail and succumb. At least we\'ll always have their legacy....

  4. #4

    Re: Former Beatle George Harrison has died of cancer at age 58.

    Today the guitars gently wheeps and it\'s very quiet in Pepperland.
    I think he was a great musician and from what I\'ve heard he was a wise man.
    I hope that he felt he had acomplished what he wanted in life.
    If there\'s a heaven for guitarists, they will have a prominant newcomer today.


  5. #5

    Re: Former Beatle George Harrison has died of cancer at age 58.

    Very sad indeed. I saw the news last night at 4:00 am right before I went to bed. It made me remember when Lennon was shot that terrible night in December as well when I lived in NYC .
    Hopefully he has found peace, truth, and oneness he so strived for.

  6. #6

    Re: Former Beatle George Harrison has died of cancer at age 58.

    So sad...
    I hope he died peacefully and that his family can find some comfort in that he is not suffering anymore.
    He was and always will be an icon and legend of Rock & Roll.
    His guitar work and compositions were a big influence in my life, and in millions of others, he will be missed but more importantly he will always be remembered, while his guitar gently wheeps...


    [This message has been edited by Franky (edited 11-30-2001).]

  7. #7

    Re: Former Beatle George Harrison has died of cancer at age 58.

    Chadwick said \"It\'s just very deflating to see these guys become frail and succumb. At least we\'ll always have their legacy\"

    That\'s so true. My father passed away from Lung Cancer earlier this year. His name was Brian Pendleton and he was the guitarist with The Pretty Things. Some of you may have heard of them (Bowie covered a couple of their tracks on the Pinups album.) Back in the 60\'s he knew everyone (Dylan, Stones - actually my father went to school with Jagger) including The Beatles. My mother told me once they had dinner with them.

    I didn\'t always see eye to eye with my father... but at least I still have his music. He was an incredible musician and I can only hope I\'ve inhertited a tiny piece of his talent.

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