Today would be the music legend George Harrison’s 76th birthday as he was born on February 25th, 1943. (Actually, he was born on the 24th, but his whole life he celebrated on the 25th due to the clocks being set an hour ahead during the the war.) You may not know much about Harrison, but his life and music has impacted many people. I would like to take this day to honor him and talk about his life for a moment
George was born in Liverpool and went on to be the guitarist of the very influential and popular band the Beatles. When people think of the Beatles, they usually recall the Lennon-McCartney duo first thing, but George was the sole writer of many hits like "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Something," and, the one that everybody knows, "Here Comes The Sun." While John and Paul were the main writers of the groups songs, it was hard for George to get any spotlight with his brilliant writings. But when he did get to the front of the list, he did not disappoint. "Something" was considered the best love song of the time by Frank Sinatra, and if you ask Siri “What is the most popular Beatles song?”, she will reply with, "Here Comes The Sun."
While his life with the Beatles ended in the 1970s when the band broke up, he went on to create many more masterpieces and hits. His number 1 song is "My Sweet Lord," hitting the top spot in 1971 as well as number 1 in 2001 after his death. He also wrote jams like "Give Me Love (Peace On Earth)" and "All Those Years Ago" and performed his own version of "Got My Mind Set On You," originally written by James Ray. George also co-wrote Ringo Starr’s hit "It Don't Come Easy."
He also had many successful albums such as All Things Must Pass which consisted of many songs he could not produce with The Beatles. One of his most recent albums Cloud Nine from 1987 was also a major success. 33 ⅓ is my personal favorite album because it is full of very happy songs, reflecting how George was feeling when the album was being made.
George also did many selfless things during his time on Earth. He raised over 1 million dollars to help his friend Ravi Shankar and his country with the Concert For Bangladesh, as Bangladesh was struggling from war and starvation. He created the Material World Foundation that contributes to many different foundations such as UK Cancer Research, The Royal School For Deaf Children, and many many more.
“Try to help each other, even if it's just to give each other a smile” —George Harrison, 1976.
Once during the recording of the White Album, their drummer Ringo Starr got up and left to quit. When he returned after getting a telegram, George had decked out the entire studio with flowers.
“There were flowers everywhere. I felt good about myself again…” —Ringo Starr.
George lived his life being very spiritual, advocating for reincarnation and how happiness is the key. He often spoke about how meditation helped him through his life at the hardest moments. George sadly passed away on November 29th, 2001 from throat cancer due to smoking for the majority of his life. He was only 58 years old. To honor George today, I only ask you do one thing; clear your mind for a minute and just don't think about anything. Don't think about that stressful math test tomorrow, or that bad grade; just take a second to have nothing on your shoulders. Have a very good Monday, and happy birthday to George Harrison!
“There is more to this than meets the eye.”—George Harrison.