George Harrison MBE (25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001) was an English rock guitarist, singer-songwriter and film producer. He had one sister, Louise, born 16 August 1931; and two brothers, Harry, born 1934, and Peter, born 20 July, 1940. His mother, Louise (née French), was a Liverpool shop assistant, and his father, Harold Hargreaves Harrison, was a bus conductor who had worked as a ship's steward on the White Star Line. The family was Roman Catholic; his maternal grandfather, John French, was born in County Wexford, emigrating to Liverpool where he married a local girl, Louise Woollam.
His first school was Dovedale Primary School, very close to Penny Lane, the same school as John Lennon who was a couple of years ahead of him. There he passed his 11-plus examination and achieved a place at the Liverpool Institute for Boys (in the building that now houses the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts), which he attended from 1954 to 1959. While at the Liverpool Institute, Harrison formed a skiffle group called The Rebels with his brother Peter and a friend, Arthur Kelly. At this school he met Paul McCartney, one year older, who played in a band called The Quarrymen.
Although the majority of The Beatles' songs were written by Lennon and McCartney, Harrison generally wrote one song per side from the Help! Album onwards. His later compositions with The Beatles include "Here Comes the Sun", "Something", "I Me Mine" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".
He achieved international fame as lead guitarist in The Beatles, and is listed number 21 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 100 Best Guitarists of All Time". Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison embraced Indian mysticism, and helped broaden the horizons of the other Beatles as well as their Western audience. Following the band's breakup, he had a successful career as a solo artist and later as part of the Traveling Wilburys, and also as a film and record producer.
After the band's breakup, Harrison continued writing, releasing the acclaimed and successful triple album, All Things Must Pass, in 1970, from which came two singles and a double A-side single: "My Sweet Lord" backed with "Isn't It a Pity". In addition to his solo work, Harrison co-wrote two hits for Ringo Starr, another ex-Beatle, as well as songs for the Traveling Wilburys — the supergroup he formed in 1988 with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison.
Harrison embraced Indian culture and Hinduism in the 1960s, and helped expand Western awareness of sitar music and of the Hare Krishna movement. With Ravi Shankar he organised a major charity concert with the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh, and is the only Beatle to have published an autobiography, with I Me Mine in 1980.
Besides being a musician, he was also a record producer and co-founder of the production company Handmade Films. In his work as a film producer, he collaborated with people as diverse as Madonna and the members of Monty Python. His interests included gardening and motor racing.
Harrison married model Pattie Boyd on 21 January 1966, at Leatherhead and Esher registry office, with Paul McCartney as best man and only other Beatle present. They had met during the filming for A Hard Day's Night, in which the 19 year old Boyd was cast as a schoolgirl fan. After Harrison and Boyd split up in 1974, she moved in with Eric Clapton and they subsequently married. Harrison married for a second time, to Dark Horse Records secretary Olivia Trinidad Arias on 2 September 1978. They had met at the Dark Horse offices in Los Angeles in 1974. They had one son, Dhani Harrison. George Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001.
A significant music award as a solo artist was in December 1992, when he became the first recipient of the Billboard Century Award - presented to music artists for significant bodies of work. The minor planet 4149, discovered on 9 March 1984 by B. A. Skiff at the Anderson Mesa Station of the Lowell Observatory, was named after Harrison. In 2003, Harrison was ranked 21st in Rolling Stone's list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Harrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist on 15 March 2004 by his Traveling Wilburys friends Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty. He was inducted into the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame on 1 August 2006 for the Concert for Bangladesh.
Harrison featured twice on the cover of Time magazine, initially with The Beatles in 1967, then on his own, shortly after his death in 2001. In June 2007, portraits of Harrison and John Lennon were unveiled at The Mirage Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, where they will be on permanent display. In September 2007, Variety announced that Martin Scorsese would make a film about Harrison's life. [wikipedia]
“With our love, we could save the world.” - George Harrison