Propelled into fame as one of the Beatles, along with Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and Ringo Starr, George Harrison was known as the “quiet one” of the group, and also as the “spiritual one.” He was the lead guitarist.
He happened to meet Ravi Shankar at a dinner in the sixties, and Shankar offered to teach him the basics of playing the sitar. This began a lifelong friendship, and Harrison’s fascination with the sitar affected the Beatles’ work after that. He immersed himself in Indian music, playing the sitar for years, only picking up the guitar when recordings required it.
His spiritual life grew out of that time. He said, “Having all these material things, I wanted something more. And it happened that at just the time I wanted it, it came to me in the form of Ravi Shankar, Indian music, and the whole Indian philosophy.” He introduced the other Beatles to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and transcendental meditation.
Though Paul McCartney and John Lennon wrote most of the Beatles’ songs in their earlier years together, George Harrison later wrote some of their most famous songs, including “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Something.” After the breakup of the Beatles, he had a hit single, “My Sweet Lord.” He produced films with the comedy group Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Later he produced a very popular album called “Cloud Nine.”
George Harrison died in November 2001 at age 58, after having cancer for some time. His family issued a moving statement: “He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends… He often said, ‘Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.'”
The film “Concert for George” was based on a concert a year to the day after he died. It featured many of his old friends and associates and his son Dhani, himself an accomplished musician.
While his music is his greatest legacy, George Harrison posters also offer a way to remember him.