George Harrison is well-loved for his career with the Beatles and as a Grammy-winning solo musician. But while he enjoyed many professional and personal successes, his life was also marked by dark moments. This is his tragic life story.
When he passed away in 2001, Harrison had a net worth of $400 million. But he did not grow up in the wealth and comfort of post-World War II England. He was born on February 25, 1943, in Wavertree, Liverpool, the youngest of the four children of Harold and Louise Harrison. All the rooms on the ground floor of his childhood home were 10 square feet, and during the winter the house got very cold. George used an outdoor toilet, as they did not have hot running water indoors.
In 1949, the Harrison family moved to a public housing area in Speke, England. In 1954, Harrison began attending Liverpool Institute Secondary School, still away by bus. It was on one of these long bus trips that he met an upper-class student who lived in the area and they struck up a friendship. That student was Paul McCartney and the rest was history.
He was the first to release a solo album, he was the first to reach the top of the charts, the first to go on a solo tour, the first to venture into mergers with music from other regions: a precocious world music, the first to succeed in film production, the inventor of benefit concerts.
On the ’74 tour, his wife Patty Boyd was leaving him for Eric Clapton. Despite the deception (which George tried to remedy by sleeping with all the women he came across, including Maureen, Ringo’s wife), the friendship between Eric and George did not suffer. Harrison was not only invited to Clapton’s wedding to Patty but he and Ringo played for the bride and groom. When they asked him, he said that he preferred that Patty is with a friend, with someone he loves.
We all have our favorite Beatle. It does not necessarily have to be a reasoned decision, it can be guided by feelings and not by solid intellectual reasons. It is a matter of the heart. Those of us who elect George know, we are convinced, that our decision has solid rational foundations. It’s our Super Beatle. His freedom, his songs, his low profile, his search, and his carefree smile are our impregnable allies.
George’s withdrawn and sometimes elusive character earned him the nickname “the silent beatle,” “serious,” or even “mystical,” because of his fondness for Eastern religions, as opposed to the exuberance and magnetism of his bandmates. . However, upon his death, his friends mainly remembered his humanity, his caustic sense of humor, and his ability to enjoy life and worldly hobbies such as gardening and sports cars.