The youngest Beatle would have been 75 Sunday.
George Harrison was the lead guitarist for the Beatles and also had a successful solo career. He was born Feb. 25, 1943, in Liverpool, United Kingdom. Harrison was the second member of the band to die, when he passed away on Nov. 29, 2001, in Los Angeles.
Harrison’s official Twitter account marked the milestone birthday with a remastered video of “Blue Jay Way,” a song the guitarist wrote for the 1967 album and movie, “Magical Mystery Tour.”
Harrison brought a guitar-playing style that would influence 1960s groups like the Byrds, and he learned how to play the sitar under the tutelage of Ravi Shankar, an Indian musician. Shankar’s influence was apparent in Harrison songs like “Within You WIthout You,” and “The Inner Light,” and also in the group’s hit “Norwegian Wood.”
Harrison’s most notable song with the group was “Something,” which appeared on the “Abbey Road” album along with “Here Comes the Sun.” Other hits included “Taxman,” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” along with his first composition with the band, “Don’t Bother Me.”
Harrison also made his mark on the band outside of music. He studied Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and persuaded the other Beatles to visit the the Maharishi’s camp in India during 1968.
Harrison was the first member of the Beatles to record a solo album, releasing “Wonderwall Music” on Nov. 1, 1968.
When he began his solo career, Harrison hit No. 1 with “My Sweet Lord” and organized a benefit called the Concert for Bangladesh, which included a surprise appearance by Bob Dylan.
Harrison ran into copyright problems with Bright Tunes, which alleged infringement of the Ronnie Mack song “He’s So Fine,” which was performed by the Chiffons. The courts ruled against Harrison and he was forced to pay royalties.
However, Harrison maintained his sense of humor, writing in his 1976 tune “This Song” that “This song, has nothing Bright about it.”
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.