George Harrison: Born February 25, 1943
Found his sweet lord on November 29, 2001
The following is my reaction to the news, and what George meant to me in my life.
I'll never forget that morning...
It was November 30, 2001 and I was on my way to my morning class. The day before was Felix Cavaliere's birthday, and I had made that announcement several times to my chat groups. I was in a rather good mood that morning...for about twenty seconds. I was doing my usual flipping of the channels, and I settled on the oldies station. I hadn't even reached the end of my street, when the DJ said, "We'll pay tribute to the late George Harrison." I was shocked out of my mind. I yelled, "WHAT???!!!" I thought over and over, How could he be dead? I hadn't heard anything about his health in about twenty days, so I assumed he was better. Now he's suddenly gone?
The first song they played on the oldies station after that announcement was "Good Lovin'" by the Rascals. How ironic. George died on Felix's birthday, and the first time I heard the bad news, it was followed up by Felix's band. My brain was in an overload. I just stared straight ahead while driving. That was all in the first minute of a long, miserable day.
So I had gotten out of bed at 8:49am, left the house at 9:04am, and received the bad news a few seconds later. My day was going great for fifteen whole minutes. I can't remember the last time I spent most of my driving time with my chin on my fist. Oh, was I in a rut.
After "Good Lovin'" was over, I immediately changed the station to classic rock. Sure enough, they were playing George Harrison songs I had never heard before. The first song of his I heard since 9:04am was "Apple Scruffs." When I first heard it, I really felt depressed. I had never heard it before and it was so beautiful, but now the man with that lovely voice was gone.
Why was it affecting me so much? It's probably that George was someone I could relate to. Only a little more than a week earlier, I had heard a sound clip on the same classic rock station, on which George said though he was the Quiet Beatle, he was actually a bit crazy. He said he was Monty Python kind of crazy. That's just like me. I'm shy and quiet, and hate participating in classroom discussions, or any others for that matter. On my other side, I'm crazy. I've always been known for being weird.
George Harrison was the first of the Beatles I really got into. Being born in the early 1980s, I wasn't around when Beatlemania had hit the United States. I wasn't even around when we lost the first Beatle, John Lennon. I do remember seeing "I Got My Mind Set on You" on VH-1. I thought George was amazing! (And, yes, I though he was really good looking.) That song would be stuck in my head for a full day. When I had a particular guy in mind at any given time during my middle school and high school years, I would hum that tune to myself. Right after the yearbooks started to include an entertainment section in the back, I woud usually find a photo of the Beatles, and write "George!" under his picture.
All day at work on November 30, I listened to Oldies 100, (This was before they changed their format and fired ALL the DJs--Now I no longer listen to them.) as usual. They played other things besides George Harrison and the Beatles, which frustrated me a bit, since I was hearing all these songs I had never heard before on the classic rock station. (The problem with the radio at that office is that if you change the station, good luck trying to pick it up again.) It was alright, though. I didn't really want to change the station, since I knew I was probably still reacting from the shock. They did play a good share of George Harrison, including non-oldies, such as the Traveling Wilburys.
On Sunday evening, I was reading something on a CBC website that said George's wife, Olivia, and his son, Dhani, were inviting all of George's friends and fans around the world to join them in a minute of silence on Monday, 1:30pm PST (that was the time George died the previous Thursday) to honor the life of George Harrison. That gave me an idea.
The following morning, I wrote an email to the DJ who was going to be on the air at 4:30pm EST, and told him about the Harrison family's wishes. Sure enough, at 4:29pm, the DJ made an announcement that 4:30pm was fast approaching, and since everyone at the radio station was a fan, asked that all of the Oldies 100 listeners join them in a minute of silence to honor George Harrison.
I'm glad I did something useful for a change instead of sitting around waiting to see if it (the minute of silence) would happen or not.
If anything, I'm sad that George is gone, but at least he is no longer suffering with that terrible cancer. In 1997 when it was discovered that he had throat cancer, the doctors removed the lump from his throat. Then the poor guy ended up with lung cancer from too many years of smoking. To top that off, he was discovered to have brain cancer this past year. He tried to find a cure all over the world, yet he wasn't afraid of death. He was grateful for all the time he had on Earth, and I'm sure he would've stayed longer if it were up to him, but when it was his time, he did not cower.
He died quietly at a friend's home in Los Angeles,with his wife Olivia and son Dhani at his side. That was at 1:30PM, but was not announced not announced until early the following morning that the youngest member of the Beatles had
passed away. The radio stations were all over it.
Unfortunately, with the (this was just 2 months after 9/11/01) current events, George's passing was not covered as much on television as it should've been.
He was a great person who cared about other people.
After all, it was George
who put together the concert for Bangla Desh in
1971 after his friend Ravi Shankar asked him for
his help. When asked why, with all the other
problems in the world, he chose to help Bangla
Desh, he responded, "I was asked by a friend."
George Harrison was a selfless man who put
others before himself. He once said that he was satisfied with all he had accomplished in the music industry, and he didn't feel the need to ask for more. In his later years, he devoted most of his time to gardening and searching for his God. He even found time to record music in his final year.
I personally like what was said about him and the other members of the Traveling Wilburys: "They were all just men who had nothing more to prove, so they were just together having fun."
He might be gone, but his music will always be with us. Whether he was with the Beatles, the Traveling Wilburys, or solo, his forty-plus years in the music industry have left a lasting impression on us all. Nearly every musician or band around today, and within the last thirty years, has credited the Beatles for influencing them to try out their talents in the music world. The majority of his fans who did not venture into music themselves can play one of his albums and suddenly be transported back in time to the place they were when they heard a specific Beatles song or Harrison song. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr were so lucky to have known this man so well. I can't imagine how much it hurts the latter two to lose George, and so close to the anniversary of John's death on December 8.
In my life, I loved you more....
Paul on George's passing: "Very sad...I loved him as my baby brother and he'll be missed...He was a lovely guy, and very brave man."
Ringo on George's passing: "We will miss George for his sense of love, his sense of music, and his sense of laughter. I loved him very much and will miss him greatly. Barbara and I send our love out to Olivia and Dhani."
In my life....I loved you more....
Reunited after nearly 21 years to the date...
On the 8th day of December, in the year 2001, it marked 21 years since the senseless assassination of John Lennon. However, in 2001, it seemed so much more significant in that George passed away 9 days earlier. He died of natural causes, whereas John was killed for no reason at all. Both have been cremated. Now only half of the Fab Four remain. To Paul and Ringo: Take care of yourselves. We're all blessed to have wonderful musicians such as yourselves.
I'm also thinking of Olivia and Dhani. This must be terribly hard on them. To George's beloved wife and son: You are both very strong people, and you have amazing courage after all the events that both of you have been through. You both are an inspiration to everyone who has loved George.
(Old) News on...September 21, 2003
George Harrison, along with John Mellencamp, Prince, Bob Seger, Traffic, ZZ Top Jackson Browne, and the Dells were on the ballot for the 2004 for the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
VH-1 They were inducted in March of 2004. Special Gift Ideas...How about either Concert for George (put together by George's best friend, Eric Clapton on November 29, 2002) , which was exactly one year since George passed, or the Beatles CD Let it Be...Naked
Paul McCartney said John Lennon and George Harrison "would have been amused with The Beatles: Rock Band There is also the remastered DVDs, as well as rare interviews from the Beatles.
What I cannot understand is why the hell people keep smoking!!!! Hello! That's ultimately what killed George and so many other people in the 5 years since he died. Just for starters...There's Peter Jennings (ABC news anchor) and Barbara Bel Geddes (matriarch on Dallas).
A death I did not even know about last year (2008), Mike Evans (Lionel on AITF)
died at the early age of 57 from Lung Cancer. On September 14, 2009, Patrick Swayze is the latest (but I'm afraid not the last) life-long smoker to die. Even after being told to quit smoking, he contiuned to do so.
I know it sounds like that commercial, but if anyone can tell me why smoking is a good idea, tell me because I don't get it...Hello! Evans was only 57; a year younger than George was; 58! Anyone think smoking is still a good idea?
Here's (fellow former) Traveling Wilbury Bob Dylan on George's passing:
"He was a giant, a great, great soul, with all of the humanity, all of the wit and humor, all of the wisdom, the spirituality, the common sense of a man and compassion for people. He inspired love and had the strength of a hundred men. He was like the sun, the flowers and the moon, and we will miss him enormously. The world is a profoundly emptier place without him."
Hear George sing lead on TWs "Heading for the Light" as many times as you want!