All Things Must Pass
A Tribute To George
November 30, 2001
I read the news today, oh boy
Former Beatles great, George Harrison, 58, succumbed
to his battle with cancer yesterday, somewhere amongst
the City of Angels, with his wife, Olivia Harrison, and
son, Dhani, by his side.
One can only pray that many angels were present to
assist him on his mystery tour.
"He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of
God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by
family and friends," the Harrison family said in a
statement. "He often said, 'Everything else can wait but
the search for God cannot wait. And love each other.'"
At the age of 13, George bought his first guitar and
befriended Paul McCartney at their school in Liverpool.
The connection led George to John Lennon, who had
founded a band called the Quarry Men, a band which Paul
played in. George was subsequently allowed to sit-in if
one of the regulars didn't show up. Eventually, the
cream rose to the top, and the virtuoso guitarist became
a regular, playing lead for the most powerful force in
rock n' roll ever, the Beatles.
George, along with Ringo Starr, played a supporting
role to John and Paul, often times finding his guitar
solos buried under the heavily rhythm-influenced guitar
of John, and his song compositions rejected in favor of
the prolific duo's. But during the years of Beatle
dominance (1963-1970), George still played a major role
in not only helping to change rock n' roll history
forever, but cultural history as well, influencing the
world on everything from fashion to religion, and on to
mind-altering trips to far out places.
After the Beatles split apart, George was finally
able to demonstrate his own, quite remarkable
songwriting ability on his incredible solo album, All
Things Must Pass; many of the same songs were previously
written for Beatle albums but did not make the cut.
In addition to his solo career, George played the
role of rocking Nelson Wilbury of the Traveling
Wilburys, a super group which recorded two solid albums
together, and included Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom
Petty, and Jeff Lynne. He also helped set the trend for
benefit concerts when he organized the Concert for
Bangladesh, after being influenced by the starvation he
saw caused by the war between Bangladesh and Pakistan.
His passion for irreverent humor also led him to form
Handmade Films. The company produced several projects,
the most popular being Monty Python's hilarious, The
Life of Brian.
In some people's eyes, George never lived up to his
potential as a solo artist, but perhaps this is exactly
how George...always the most sensitive of the quartet to
outside pressure...wanted it to be, refusing to live his
life A.B. (After the Beatles) based on public
expectation and scrutiny. Make no mistake, while he had
a blast with the Beatles, it was the music and the
message that mattered most to George, not the fame and
Among songs George wrote for the Beatles were "Don't
Bother Me," "I Need You," "If I Needed Someone,"
"Taxman," "Love You To," "Within You, Without You," and
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps."
Today, as we mourn the passage of our second beloved
Beatle, the world can hear that guitar loud and