George Harrison

George Harrison

"Try to realize it's all within yourself"

An inventive, accomplished guitarist, and unique songwriter, George Harrison contributed greatly to the success of the Beatles. His varied interests in subjects like Indian music and religion added complexity to the Beatles' sound in several songs. As a solo artist, he was released from the pressure of the Beatles machine, and was able to truly demonstrate his individual character.

Born in Liverpool, England on February 25, 1943, Harrison attended the Liverpool Institute, where he met future band mate Paul McCartney. Harrison was invited to join a local band called the Quarry Men, which eventually evolved into the Beatles. He was a skilled guitarist and creative soloist, and also contributed to the Beatles' albums with his unique song-writing. Harrison was always known as the quiet, introspective member of the group, and as a result, his creative efforts were often dismissed by the rest of the band. There was an intermittent aura of tension between Harrison and the rest of the Beatles, prompting him several times to threaten to leave the group.

In 1970 came the break-up of the Beatles, leaving Harrison to begin his solo career. Because the Beatles had always been reluctant to record his songs, after they broke up Harrison was left with an enormous collection of his own unreleased material to draw from.

"Try to realize it's all within yourself," sings George Harrison in the Beatles song Within You Without You, "no one else can make you change." These lyrics represent a motto clearly embodied by the guitarist throughout his life. Often pushed out of the spotlight by other band members and contemporaries, Harrison continued to create beautiful music, never relinquishing himself to others.

  • Throughout his life, Harrison was fascinated with Hinduism. After traveling to India, Harrison became a Hare Krishna, and was the first Western musician to use Indian instruments in his compositions.

  • In 1971, Harrison became the first musician to organize a benefit concert. His Madison Square Garden Concert for Bangladesh drew 40,000 people.

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