November 29, 2021, marks George Harrison the 20th Anniversary of George Harrison’s passing. He was famous for being a member of the Beatles, also known as the Fab Four. He had a remarkable career with the Beatles and as a solo artist.
In 1958, George Harrison joined the Beatles, under the name the Quarrymen, with John Lennon and Paul McCartney. At first, Lennon felt that George Harrison was too young. However, Paul McCartney arranged a second meeting with Harrison – he impressed Lennon with his guitar-playing of a song called Raunchy. With time, George Harrison became accepted as a member of the group. In 1960, he used to go under the name Carl Harrison.
The band made an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 4, 1964. It was a historical moment that marked music history.
George Harrison started a solo career in 1968. His first two albums were Wonderwall Music (1968) and Electric Sound (1969) before the split of the Beatles. He was experimenting with different sounds and musical styles, including Indian and Western instrumentation. He ventured to another direction, away from what he did during the years with the Beatles. After All Things Must Pass came out, a triple album consisting of two discs with original material and a third with jamming sessions with other musicians.
In the early 70s, George Harrison responded to the Indian musician Ravi Shankar’s request to organize an event for The Concert for Bangladesh on August 1, 2021. It took place at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
The 70s were a decade of ups and downs for George Harrison in his solo career. However, things improved, starting with his first studio album entitled Thirty Three & 1/3 with Dark Horse Records – his label. After the record’s release, he performed on Saturday Night Live with Paul Simon not so long after. In 1979, George Harrison had another successful album, an eponym, after his second marriage and son Dhani’s birth. It was a personal record that expressed his happy life.
The 80s for George Harrison were challenging times after the assassination of John Lennon. It shook and devasted him, and it also demonstrated the issues of stalkers and fanatics being a threat to artists. He rewrote the song All Those Years Ago (a piece written for Ringo Starr) as an homage to John Lennon. It’s on the record Somewhere in England.
George Harrison didn’t release any new material five years following the release of Gone Troppo (1982). In 1987, he recorded his last studio album, Cloud Nine, which successfully included When We Was Fab, referencing his days as a Beatles member.
In 1988, George Harrison took a new musical direction by forming The Traveling Wilburys with Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. They never performed live, except for a benefit concert for the Natural Law Party at the Royal Albert Hall on April 6, 1992. The band released two albums Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 and Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3 (ironically titled this way).
In 1994, George Harrison collaborated with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and producer Jeff Lynne for the Beatles Anthology project.
After that, George Harrison was less in the public eye, starting in 1997. In May 2001, George Harrison revealed he was going for surgery to remove a tumour in Switzerland, and he went through treatments until his passing on November 29, 2001.
George Harrison leaves behind an incredible musical legacy. He was a part of the Beatles, a fantastic band. George Harrison experimented with different genres and collaborated with a variety of artists, including Tom Petty. He was willing to try new things and boldly ventured into a solo career following the split of the Beatles.
Rest in Peace, George Harrison