George Harrison is celebrating his 80th birthday.
Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS
George Harrison has been called the “silent Beatle”. Of course, he wasn’t as famous as Paul McCartney or John Lennon. Someone will say that his contribution to the group’s work is not so great: he is the author of few hits. “Here Comes the Sun”, “Taxman”, “Within You Without You”, of course, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Something”… His biographer Alan Clason immediately calls him “the invisible man”, he writes about his lack of sociability and recalls that not so many scandals were associated with him: he was a “dignified and respectable” musician. To put it bluntly, I’m not a fan of quackery. an introvert.
He also seemed and seems to be a very charming person who, whatever he was, wrote really great songs, recorded great covers of Strangers (think “Got My Mind Set on You”, a late-’80s super-hit, based on a composition then forgotten by Rudy Clarke). And, of course, his fate was no less sad than Lennon’s. Togo was killed by a maniacal fan, and Harrison was killed by oncology when he was only 58 years old. It was in 2001. Three years later, he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS
WHY HE WASN’T ALLOWED IN THE RED LIGHT DISTRICT
Harrison grew up quite a happy boy, a normal boy from Liverpool. The family was not wealthy, but otherwise quite prosperous. At first, the boy studied well at school, then, as he approached puberty, he began to turn into a wanderer, passionately passionate about music and, in particular, rock and roll. He was drawing guitars all the time, I was trying to make them myself. He taught himself to play from the textbook.
An older class was a teenager named Paul McCartney. Once he left his wallet at home, there was nothing to pay for a bus ticket, and George’s mother lent him money; it is believed that after that she favored her son, in the end they became friends.
Paul played guitar himself, but when he decided to rock the Quarrymen with John Lennon, he felt they needed a guitar player (he played guitar too, but couldn’t get the solo out). Harrison, 15, was invited to audition. And he passed it, though only the second time.
“We had a feeling that we should make music and that something good would come of it. But then, for us, even the chance to play clubs was “a good thing.” It was serious!” Harrison remembered many years later. Dance clubs were found in Hamburg, in the lush Reeperbahn seaport – the Beatles played there for seven weeks, six hours a night. Establishments where no one under the age of 18 could visit after midnight, and Harrison was 17! In clubs, he still played, but was not allowed to enter the red light district due to his childhood, which is why he was constantly teased by his bandmates.
The Beatles traveled between Liverpool and Hamburg, gaining popularity. And soon, thanks in no small part to manager Brian Epstein, it was skyrocketing. And crazed fans tried to push the Beatles off stage (including George, who many found to be the cutest) and had to call the police with dogs. “They are so sexy. They drive all the girls crazy,” announced Marlene Dietrich. When George was 21 years old, he received more than a million greeting cards and letters.
Harrison was reputed to be the most “considerate” and reserved Beatle. He calmly told reporters that the group would last another two years (she lasted another seven), and after that he would most likely go into some kind of business. He also said: “I am used to scrambled eggs and hashbrowns. I also like black caviar. But I still prefer the egg sandwich. The only thing that’s changed is the dozen free eggs I get for talking about the egg company like that.”
Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS
“WE FEEL YOKO ONO’S NEGATIVE FIELD”
In the mid-60s, he became interested in Hinduism, Indian culture, meditation… And this was not a tribute to the fashion of the 60s, for Harrison it was a serious spiritual search. Her mother recalled that she loved listening to Radio India when she was pregnant with George: the sound of the sitar soothed her, she hoped the unborn child would like it too. But she didn’t even know how much! It was Harrison who introduced the Beatles to the Indian instruments that played in his songs. And in an interview he said: “When you sing, there is a more direct connection with God… I didn’t have the feeling that I had to shave my head, retire to the temple and dedicate all my time to it.”
But he no longer wanted to give the Beatles all his time. Among several reasons for the group’s breakup were Harrison’s desire to work independently (he was the first of the Beatles to release solo albums) and his outspoken dislike of Yoko Ono, whom Lennon idolized (“we feel your negative camp” ). As a songwriter, Harrison had grown up a lot and was furious at McCartney’s orders to do things one way or another. They fought. Once, George closed the door and left the Beatles; however, he returned a few days later. But all the same, it all ended very soon: the members of the group suddenly turned out to be “ex-Beatles” building independent careers.
Harrison released the triumphant triple album “All Things Must Pass”, and then – “Living in the Material World”, organized a concert to raise funds for refugees from Bangladesh (the country was first severely damaged by a cyclone, and then a war out there)… At first, everything went very well, but then the problems started. The hit “My Sweet Lord” was recognized as “subliminal plagiarism,” and its melody was borrowed from another song, and Harrison had to part with half a million dollars (today, adjusted for inflation, it would be $2.5 million). . On the other hand, he co-founded HandMade Films, which released many popular films, from Monty Python movies to Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits, from Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa to Nuns on the Run…
In 1980, he was frightened by the murder of John Lennon: he began to fear that some madman would attack him. The fear was justified 19 years later: Michael Abram, a 34-year-old man from Liverpool with severe paranoid schizophrenia, climbed into his house, convinced he was the incarnation of the Archangel Michael, and had to kill Harrison, the “newcomer.” from hell.” He pierced his lung twice with a knife, and only by a miracle did not hit his heart (and in general inflicted about 40 blows with a blade). With the help of his wife, Harrison managed to cope with the maniac, the The injuries were not fatal. But soon a cancerous tumor was found in the lungs. She gave brain metastases. Two years before that, she was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer associated with many years of smoking, it seemed to be cured, but the disease returned…