George Harrison – While My Guitar Gently Weeps


George Harrison,

(25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001), was an English musician,

multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Although John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the band’s primary songwriters, most of their albums included at least one Harrison composition, including “While My Guitar Gently Weeps“, “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something”, which became the Beatles’ second-most-covered song.

Harrison’s earliest musical influences included Big Bill Broonzy, George Formby and Django Reinhardt; Chet Atkins, Chuck Berry and Ry Cooder were significant later influences. By 1965 he had begun to lead the Beatles into folk rock through his interest in the Byrds and Bob Dylan, and towards Indian classical music through his use of the sitar on “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”. He developed an interest in the Hare Krishna movement and became an admirer of Indian culture and mysticism, introducing them to the other members of the Beatles and their Western audience by incorporating Indian instrumentation in their music. After the band’s break-up in 1970, Harrison released the triple album All Things Must Pass, from which two hit singles originated. He also organised the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh with Ravi Shankar, a precursor for later benefit concerts such as Live Aid. Harrison was a music and film producer as well as a musician; he founded Dark Horse Records in 1974 and co-founded HandMade Films in 1978.

george harrison

George Harrison released several best-selling singles and albums as a solo performer, and in 1988 co-founded the platinum-selling supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. A prolific recording artist, he was featured as a guest guitarist on tracks by Badfinger, Ronnie Wood and Billy Preston, and collaborated on songs and music with Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Tom Petty, among others. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 11 in their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.

Harrison’s first marriage, to Pattie Boyd, ended in divorce in 1977. The following year he married Olivia Trinidad Arias, with whom he had one son, Dhani. Harrison died in 2001, aged 58, from lung cancer. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India, in a private ceremony according to Hindu tradition. He left almost £100 million in his will.
Born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England, on 25 February 1943, Harrison was the youngest of four children of Harold Hargreaves Harrison and his wife Louise (née French). He had one sister, Louise, and two brothers, Harry and Peter. His mother was a shop assistant from a Catholic family with Irish roots, and his father was a bus conductor who had worked as a ship’s steward on the White Star Line. His future wife, the model Pattie Boyd, described Harrison’s parents as “quite short and very Liverpudlian”. According to Boyd, Harrison’s mother was particularly supportive: “All she wanted for her children is that they should be happy, and she recognized that nothing made George quite as happy as making music.” An enthusiastic music fan, she was known among friends for her loud singing voice, which at times startled visitors by rattling the Harrisons’ windows. While pregnant with George, she often listened to the weekly broadcast Radio India. Harrison’s biographer Joshua Greene wrote, “Every Sunday she tuned in to mystical sounds evoked by sitars and tablas, hoping that the exotic music would bring peace and calm to the baby in the womb.”

Harrison was born and lived the first six years of his life at 12 Arnold Grove, Wavertree, Liverpool, in a terraced house in a cul-de-sac. The home had an outdoor toilet and its only heat came from a single coal fire. In 1949 the family were offered a council house and moved to 25 Upton Green, Speke. In 1948, at the age of five, Harrison enrolled at Dovedale Primary School. He passed his 11-plus examination and attended the prestigious Liverpool Institute from 1954 to 1959.

Harrison’s earliest musical influences included George Formby, Cab Calloway, Django Reinhardt, Hoagy Carmichael, and Big Bill Broonzy. In early 1956 he had an epiphany: while riding his bicycle, he heard Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” playing from a nearby house, and the song piqued his interest in rock and roll. He often sat at the back of the class drawing guitars in his schoolbooks, and later commented, “I was totally into guitars”.

Although apprehensive about his son’s interest in pursuing a music career, in late 1956 Harrison’s father bought him a Dutch Egmond flat top acoustic guitar.A friend of his father’s taught Harrison how to play “Whispering”, “Sweet Sue”, and “Dinah”, and inspired by the music of Lonnie Donegan, Harrison formed a skiffle group called the Rebels with his brother Peter and a friend, Arthur Kelly. On the bus to school Harrison met Paul McCartney, who became a member of John Lennon’s band the Quarrymen, and the pair bonded over their shared love of music.

george harrison1958–70: the Beatles

A young man is seated in front of a microphone near the centre of the picture, smoking a cigarette. Behind him, partially visible, stand several young women.
Harrison at a press conference in the Netherlands in 1964

In March 1958 Harrison auditioned for the Quarrymen at Rory Storm’s Morgue Skiffle Club, playing “Guitar Boogie Shuffle”, but Lennon felt that Harrison, then 14, was too young to join the band. During a second meeting, arranged by McCartney, he performed the lead guitar part for the instrumental “Raunchy” on the upper deck of a Liverpool bus. Soon afterwards he began socialising with the group, filling in on guitar as needed,and by the time he turned 15 they had accepted him as a member. Although his father wanted him to continue his education, Harrison left school at 16 and worked for several months as an apprentice electrician at Blacklers, a local department store. During their first tour of Scotland, in 1960, Harrison used the pseudonym “Carl Harrison,” paying tribute to Carl Perkins.

In 1960 Allan Williams arranged for the band, now calling themselves the Beatles, to play at the Kaiserkeller club in Hamburg, owned by Bruno Koschmider. The impromptu musical education Harrison received while playing long hours with the Beatles, as well as the guitar lessons he took from Tony Sheridan while they briefly served as his backing group, laid the foundations of his sound and of his quiet, professional role within the group; he was later known as “the quiet Beatle”.The band’s first residency in Hamburg ended prematurely when Harrison was deported for being too young to work in nightclubs. When Brian Epstein became their manager in December 1961, he polished their image and secured them a recording contract with EMI. The group’s first single, “Love Me Do”, peaked at number seventeen on the Record Retailer chart, and by the time their debut album, Please Please Me, was released in early 1963, Beatlemania had arrived. Their second album, With the Beatles (1963), included “Don’t Bother Me”, Harrison’s first solo writing credit.
Black-and-white picture of four young men outdoors in front of a staircase, surrounded by a large assembled crowd. All four are waving to the crowd.
Harrison (third from left) with the other Beatles in New York City in 1964

By 1965’s Rubber Soul, Harrison had begun to lead the other Beatles into folk rock through his interest in the Byrds and Bob Dylan, and towards Indian classical music through his use of the sitar on “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”. He later called Rubber Soul his “favourite [Beatles] album”. Revolver (1966) included three of his compositions: “Taxman”, “Love You To” and “I Want to Tell You”. His introduction of the drone-like tambura part on Lennon’s “Tomorrow Never Knows” exemplified the band’s ongoing exploration of non-Western instruments. The tabla-driven “Love You To” was the Beatles’ first genuine foray into Indian music. According to the ethnomusicologist David Reck, the song set a precedent in popular music as an example of Asian culture being represented by Westerners respectfully and without parody. Harrison continued to develop his interest in non-Western instrumentation, playing swarmandal on “Strawberry Fields Forever”.

By late 1966 Harrison’s interests had moved away from the Beatles, as reflected in his choice of Eastern gurus and religious leaders for inclusion on the album cover for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967. His sole composition on the album was the Indian-inspired “Within You Without You”, to which no other Beatle contributed. He played sitar and tambura on the track, backed by musicians from the London Asian Music Circle on dilruba, swarmandal and tabla. In 1968 his song “The Inner Light” was recorded at the EMI Studios in Bombay, featuring a group of local musicians playing traditional Indian instruments. Released as the B-side to McCartney’s “Lady Madonna”, it was the first Harrison composition to appear on a Beatles single. Derived from a quotation from the Tao Te Ching, the song’s lyric reflected Harrison’s deepening interest in Hinduism and meditation, while musically it embraced the Karnatak discipline of Indian music, rather than the Hindustani style of his previous work in the genre.

Dylan and the Band were a major musical influence on Harrison at the end of his career with the Beatles. He established a friendship with Dylan and found himself drawn to the Band’s sense of communal music-making and to the creative equality among the band members, in contrast with Lennon and McCartney’s domination of the Beatles’ songwriting and creative direction. This coincided with a prolific period in his songwriting and his growing desire to assert his independence from the band. During the recording of The Beatles in 1968, tensions ran high, and drummer Ringo Starr quit briefly. Harrison’s songwriting contributions to the album included “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, which featured Eric Clapton on lead guitar, “Piggies”, “Long, Long, Long”, and “Savoy Truffle”. Tensions among the Beatles surfaced again during the filming of rehearsals at Twickenham Studios in January 1969 for what became the album Let It Be.Frustrated by the poor working conditions in the cold and sterile film studio, as well as by what he perceived as Lennon’s creative disengagement from the Beatles and a domineering attitude from McCartney, Harrison quit the group on 10 January, but agreed to return twelve days later.

Relations among the Beatles were more cordial, though still strained, during sessions for their final recorded album, Abbey Road. The LP included two of Harrison’s most respected Beatles compositions: “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something”, which became one half of the Beatles’ first double-sided number one single, Harrison’s first A-side, and his first chart topper. In 1969 Frank Sinatra recorded “Something”, and later dubbed it “the greatest love song of the past fifty years”. Lennon considered it the best song on Abbey Road, and it became the Beatles’ second most covered song after “Yesterday”. Author Peter Lavezzoli wrote: “Harrison would finally achieve equal songwriting status … with his two classic contributions to the final Beatles’ LP”.

In April 1970 when Harrison’s “For You Blue” was released in America as a double A-side with McCartney’s “The Long and Winding Road”, it became the band’s second chart-topping double A-side and “For You Blue” became Harrison’s second number one hit. His increased productivity and the Beatles’ reluctance to include his songs on their albums meant that by the time of their break-up he had amassed a stockpile of unreleased compositions. While Harrison grew as a songwriter, his compositional presence on Beatles albums remained limited to two or three songs, increasing his frustration, and significantly contributing to the band’s break-up. Harrison’s last recording session with the Beatles was on 4 January 1970, when he, McCartney and Starr recorded the Harrison song “I Me Mine”.

george harrison1968–87: solo career
Early solo work

Before the Beatles’ break-up Harrison had already recorded and released two solo albums: Wonderwall Music and Electronic Sound, both of which include mainly instrumental compositions. Wonderwall Music, a soundtrack to the 1968 film Wonderwall, blends Indian and Western instrumentation, while Electronic Sound is an experimental album that prominently features a Moog synthesizer. Released in November 1968, Wonderwall Music was the first solo album by a Beatle and the first LP released by Apple Records. Indian musicians Aashish Khan and Shivkumar Sharma performed on the album, which contains the experimental sound collage “Dream Scene”, recorded several months before Lennon’s “Revolution 9”.

In December 1969 Harrison participated in a brief tour of Europe with the American group Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. During the tour that included Clapton, Bobby Whitlock, drummer Jim Gordon and band leaders Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, Harrison began to write “My Sweet Lord”, which became his first single as a solo artist. Delaney Bramlett inspired Harrison to learn slide guitar, significantly influencing his later music.
All Things Must Pass

After years of being restricted in his songwriting contributions to the Beatles’ albums, Harrison released All Things Must Pass. It was a triple album, with two discs of his songs and the third of recordings of Harrison jamming with friends. Regarded by many as his best work, the album topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. The LP produced the number-one hit single “My Sweet Lord” and the top-ten single “What Is Life”. The album was co-produced by Phil Spector using his “Wall of Sound” approach, and the musicians included Starr, Clapton, Gary Wright, Preston, Klaus Voormann, the whole of Delaney and Bonnie’s Friends band and the Apple group Badfinger. Ben Gerson of Rolling Stone described All Things Must Pass as being “of classic Spectorian proportions, Wagnerian, Brucknerian, the music of mountain tops and vast horizons.” Author and musicologist Ian Inglis considered the lyrics of the album’s title track “a recognition of the impermanence of human existence … a simple and poignant conclusion” to Harrison’s former band. In 1971 Bright Tunes sued Harrison for copyright infringement over “My Sweet Lord” owing to its similarity to the 1963 Chiffons hit “He’s So Fine”. He denied deliberately plagiarising the song, but lost the court case in 1976 as the judge ruled that he had done so subconsciously.

In 2000 Apple Records released a thirtieth anniversary edition of the album and Harrison actively participated in its promotion, giving an interview during which he reflected on the work: “It’s just something that was like my continuation from the Beatles, really. It was me sort of getting out of the Beatles and just going my own way … it was a very happy occasion.” He commented on the production: “Well, in those days it was like the reverb was kind of used a bit more than what I would do now. In fact, I don’t use reverb at all. I can’t stand it … You know, it’s hard to go back to anything thirty years later and expect it to be how you would want it now.”
The Concert for Bangladesh

Responding to a request from Ravi Shankar, Harrison organised a charity event, the Concert for Bangladesh, which took place on 1 August 1971, drawing over 40,000 people to two shows in New York’s Madison Square Garden.The goal of the event was to raise money to aid starving refugees during the Bangladesh Liberation War.Shankar opened the show, which featured popular musicians such as Dylan, Clapton, Leon Russell, Badfinger, Preston and Starr.

A triple album, The Concert for Bangladesh, was released by Apple Corps that year, followed by a concert film in 1972. Tax troubles and questionable expenses later tied up many of the proceeds, but Harrison commented: “Mainly the concert was to attract attention to the situation … The money we raised was secondary, and although we had some money problems … they still got plenty … even though it was a drop in the ocean. The main thing was, we spread the word and helped get the war ended.” The event has been described as an innovative precursor for the large-scale charity rock shows that followed, including Live Aid.

george harrisonLiving in the Material World to George Harrison

Living in the Material World (1973) held the number one spot on the Billboard album chart for five weeks, and the album’s single, “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”, also reached number one in the US. In the UK, the LP achieved number two, spending 12 weeks on the charts with the single peaking at number 8. The album was lavishly produced and packaged, and its dominant message was Harrison’s Hindu beliefs. In Greene’s opinion it “contained many of the strongest compositions of his career”. Rolling Stone’s Stephen Holden declared the album “vastly appealing” and “profoundly seductive … [it] stands alone as an article of faith, miraculous in its radiance.”Other reviewers were less enthusiastic, describing the release as awkward, sanctimonious and overly sentimental, a reaction that left Harrison despondent.

In November 1974 Harrison began his 45-date Dark Horse Tour, becoming the first ex-Beatle to tour North America. In addition to performances by Harrison with an ensemble of musicians such as Preston, Tom Scott, Willie Weeks, Andy Newmark and Jim Horn, the tour also included traditional and contemporary Indian music performed by “Ravi Shankar, Family and Friends”. Despite numerous positive reviews the consensus reaction to the tour was negative, with complaints about the content, structure, and length; the show’s duration of two and a half hours was seen as excessive at the time. Some fans found Shankar’s significant presence a bizarre disappointment, having expected to see only Harrison perform, and many were affronted by what Inglis described as Harrison’s “sermonizing”. Further, he reworked the lyrics to several Beatles songs, and some of the substitutions were seen as “gratuitously offensive”. His laryngitis-affected vocals also disappointed fans and critics, who began calling the tour “dark hoarse”. Harrison was so deeply bothered by the caustic backlash that he did not tour again until the 1990s. The author Robert Rodriguez commented: “While the Dark Horse tour might be considered a noble failure, there were a number of fans who were tuned-in to what was being attempted. They went away ecstatic, conscious that they had just witnessed something so uplifting that it could never be repeated.” Leng called the tour “groundbreaking” and “revolutionary in its presentation of Indian Music”.

In December Harrison released Dark Horse, an album that earned him the least favourable reviews of his career. Rolling Stone called it “the chronicle of a performer out of his element, working to a deadline, enfeebling his overtaxed talents by a rush to deliver a new ‘LP product’, rehearse a band, and assemble a cross-country tour, all within three weeks.” The album reached number 4 on the Billboard chart and the single “Dark Horse” reached number 15, but they failed to make an impact in the UK. The music critic Mikal Gilmore described Dark Horse as “one of Harrison’s most fascinating works – a record about change and loss”.

Harrison’s final studio album for EMI and Apple Records was the soul music-inspired Extra Texture (Read All About It) (1975). He considered it the least satisfactory of the three he had recorded since All Things Must Pass. Leng identified “bitterness and dismay” in many of the album’s tracks; his long-time friend Klaus Voormann commented: “He wasn’t up for it … It was a terrible time because I think there was a lot of cocaine going around, and that’s when I got out of the picture … I didn’t like his frame of mind”. He released two singles from the LP: “You”, which reached the Billboard top 20, and “This Guitar (Can’t Keep from Crying)”, Apple’s final original single release.

Thirty Three & 1/3 (1976), Harrison’s first album release on his own Dark Horse Records label, produced the hit singles “This Song” and “Crackerbox Palace”, both of which reached the top 25 in the US. The surreal humour of “Crackerbox Palace” reflected Harrison’s association with Monty Python’s Eric Idle, who directed a comical music video for the song. With an emphasis on melody and musicianship, and a more subtle subject matter than the pious message of his earlier works, Thirty Three & 1/3 earned Harrison his most favourable critical notices in the US since All Things Must Pass.

In 1979, following his second marriage and the birth of his son Dhani, he released George Harrison. The album and the single “Blow Away” both made the Billboard top 20. The album marked the beginning of Harrison’s gradual retreat from the music business, and the fruition of ideas introduced on All Things Must Pass. In 1978 the death of his father in May and the birth of his son in August had influenced his decision to devote more time to his family than to his career. Leng described the album as “melodic and lush … peaceful … the work of a man who had lived the rock and roll dream twice over and was now embracing domestic as well as spiritual bliss.”
Somewhere in England to Cloud Nine
Harrison in his forties, wearing a white shirt and a black jacket.
Harrison, performing for The Prince’s Trust charity in 1987, playing “Here Comes the Sun” at Wembley Arena

The murder of Lennon on 8 December 1980 disturbed Harrison and reinforced his decades-long concerns about stalkers. It was also a deep personal loss, although unlike McCartney and Starr, Harrison had had little contact with Lennon in the years before his death. Following the murder, Harrison commented: “After all we went through together I had and still have great love and respect for John Lennon. I am shocked and stunned.”

Harrison modified the lyrics of a song he had written for Starr to make it a tribute song to Lennon. “All Those Years Ago”, which included vocal contributions from Paul and Linda McCartney, as well as Starr’s original drum part, peaked at number two in the US charts. The single was included on the album Somewhere in England in 1981. Harrison did not release any new albums for five years after 1982’s Gone Troppo received little notice from critics or the public.

During this period he made several guest appearances, including a 1985 performance at a tribute to Carl Perkins titled Blue Suede Shoes: A Rockabilly Session. In March 1986 he made a surprise appearance during the finale of the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert, an event organised to raise money for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The following year, he appeared at The Prince’s Trust concert at London’s Wembley Arena, performing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Here Comes the Sun”. In February 1987 he joined Dylan, John Fogerty and Jesse Ed Davis on stage for a two-hour performance with the blues musician Taj Mahal. Harrison recalled: “Bob rang me up and asked if I wanted to come out for the evening and see Taj Mahal … So we went there and had a few of these Mexican beers – and had a few more … Bob says, ‘Hey, why don’t we all get up and play, and you can sing?’ But every time I got near the microphone, Dylan comes up and just starts singing this rubbish in my ear, trying to throw me.”

In November 1987 Harrison released the platinum album Cloud Nine. Co-produced with Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra, the LP included Harrison’s rendition of James Ray’s “Got My Mind Set on You”, which went to number one in the US and number two in the UK. The accompanying music video received substantial airplay, and another single, “When We Was Fab”, a retrospective of the Beatles’ career, earned two MTV Music Video Awards nominations in 1988. Recorded at his estate in Friar Park, Harrison’s slide guitar playing featured prominently on the album, which included several of his long-time musical collaborators, including Clapton, Keltner, and Jim Horn, who recalled Harrison’s relaxed and friendly demeanour during the sessions: “George made you feel at home, in his home … He once had me sit on a toilet and play my soprano sax, and they miked it at the end of the hall for a distant sound. I thought they were kidding … Another time he stopped me in the middle of a sax solo and brought me 3 p.m. tea—again I thought he was kidding.” Cloud Nine reached number eight and number ten on the US and UK charts respectively, and several tracks from the album achieved placement on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart – “Devil’s Radio”, “This Is Love” and “Cloud 9”.

george harrison1988–2001: later life
The Traveling Wilburys
Main article: Traveling Wilburys

In 1988 Harrison formed the Traveling Wilburys with Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. The band had gathered in Dylan’s garage to record a song for a Harrison European single release. Harrison’s record company decided the track, “Handle with Care”, was too good for its original purpose as a B-side and asked for a full album. The LP, Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1, was released in October 1988 and recorded under pseudonyms as half-brothers, supposed sons of Charles Truscott Wilbury, Sr. Harrison’s pseudonym on the first album was “Nelson Wilbury”; he used the name “Spike Wilbury” for their second album.

After Orbison’s death in December 1988 the group recorded as a four-piece.[135] Their second release, issued in October 1990, was mischievously titled Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3. According to Lynne, “That was George’s idea. He said, ‘Let’s confuse the buggers.'” It reached number 14 in the UK, where it went platinum with certified sales of more than 3,000,000 units. The Wilburys never performed live and the group did not record together again following the release of their second album.

In 1989 Harrison and Starr appeared in the music video for Tom Petty’s song “I Won’t Back Down”. Starr is filmed playing the drums, but did not play on the track; Harrison played acoustic guitar and provided backing vocals. In December 1991, Harrison joined Clapton for a tour of Japan. It was Harrison’s first since 1974 and no others followed. On 6 April 1992, Harrison held a benefit concert for the Natural Law Party at the Royal Albert Hall, his first London performance since the Beatles’ 1969 rooftop concert. In October 1992 he performed at a Bob Dylan tribute concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City, playing alongside Dylan, Clapton, McGuinn, Petty and Neil Young.
The Beatles Anthology

In 1994 Harrison began a collaboration with McCartney, Starr and producer Jeff Lynne for the Beatles Anthology project. This included the recording of two new Beatles songs built around solo vocal and piano tapes recorded by Lennon as well as lengthy interviews about the Beatles’ career. Released in December 1995, “Free as a Bird” was the first new Beatles single since 1970. In March 1996, they released a second single, “Real Love”. Harrison refused to participate in the completion of a third song. He later commented on the project: “I hope somebody does this to all my crap demos when I’m dead, make them into hit songs.”

Following the Anthology project, Harrison collaborated with Ravi Shankar on the latter’s Chants of India. Harrison’s final television appearance was a VH-1 special to promote the album, taped in May 1997. In January 1998, Harrison attended Carl Perkins’s funeral in Jackson, Tennessee, performing a brief rendition of Perkins’s song “Your True Love”. In June 1998, he attended the public memorial service for Linda McCartney, and appeared on Starr’s album Vertical Man, playing guitar on two tracks.
Knife attack

On 30 December 1999, 36-year-old Michael Abram broke into the Harrisons’ Friar Park home and attacked Harrison with a kitchen knife, puncturing a lung and causing head injuries before Olivia Harrison incapacitated the assailant by striking him repeatedly with a poker and a lamp. Following the attack, Harrison was hospitalised with more than forty stab wounds. He released a statement soon after regarding his assailant: “[he] wasn’t a burglar, and he certainly wasn’t auditioning for the Traveling Wilburys.”
Illness and death

In 1997, Harrison was diagnosed with throat cancer and treated with radiotherapy, which was thought at the time to be successful. In May 2001 it was revealed that he had undergone an operation to remove a cancerous growth from one of his lungs, and in July, it was reported that he was being treated for a brain tumour at a clinic in Switzerland. While in Switzerland, Starr visited him, but had to cut his stay short to travel to Boston, where his daughter was undergoing emergency brain surgery, prompting Harrison to quip: “Do you want me to come with you?” In November 2001, he began radiotherapy at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City for lung cancer that had spread to his brain. When the news was publicised, Harrison bemoaned his physician’s breach of privacy, and his estate later claimed damages. On 12 November, the three living former Beatles met for the last time at Harrison’s hotel in New York for lunch.

Harrison died on 29 November 2001, aged 58, from metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. He was cremated at Hollywood Forever Cemetery and his ashes were scattered in the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers near Varanasi, India, by his close family in a private ceremony according to Hindu tradition. He left almost £100 million in his will.

Harrison’s final album, the posthumously released Brainwashed (2002), was completed by his son Dhani and Jeff Lynne. Included in the album’s liner notes is a quotation from the Bhagavad Gita: “There never was a time when you or I did not exist. Nor will there be any future when we shall cease to be.” A media-only single, “Stuck Inside a Cloud”, which Leng described as “a uniquely candid reaction to illness and mortality”, achieved number 27 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. The single “Any Road”, released in May 2003, reached number 37 on the UK Singles Chart. “Marwa Blues” went on to receive the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, while “Any Road” was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. George Harrison,Great musician !

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