- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
George Harrison, acclaimed singer, songwriter, guitarist and founding member of one of the world’s most famous pop groups, the Beatles, died 10 years ago today at age 58.
Harrison lost a years long battle with lung cancer in 2001 but his life was also threatened in 1999 when he was stabbed by an intruder at his home in at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.
The former Beatle, who met his fellow band members John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr where they grew up in Liverpool, was just 27 when the band split in 1970. They managed to conquer the world musically, achieving 27 number one records in the UK and the US during their career.Their most recent album, 1, compiling all of the band’s number one hits, topped both the UK and the US charts in 2000.
Harrison’s post-Beatles career started with the critically acclaimed solo album All Things Must Pass.
His role as a film producer took off when he launched HandMade Films with business partner Denis O’Brien in 1978, producing Monty Python’s Life of Brian in 1979. He was also responsible for The Long Good Friday, Time Bandits, Mona Lisa and Withnail & I.
This year, director Martin Scorsese made Harrison the subject of an HBO documentary, Living in the Material World, borrowing the title from the name of Harrison’s 1973 solo album.
In the 1980s Harrison teamed up with Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison as The Travelling Wilburys. The supergroup’s debut album sold more than 3 million copies in the US.
Watch the Wilburys’ 1988 hit “Handle With Care” along with four more musical moments from the Harrison archive below.
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (1968)
Eric Clapton played the guitar solo on this Harrison-penned Beatles classic. It was inspired, Harrison said in interviews, by the I Ching, a book of eastern philosophy that he was immersing himself with at the time. The 2006 Love remix features a string arrangement by Beatles producer George Martin.
“Here Comes The Sun” (1969)
During a trying year during which Harrison was arrested for marijuana possession and the band was increasingly involved in business affairs came one of the Beatles most popular songs, “Here Comes the Sun” from the album Abbey Road.
“My Sweet Lord” (1970)
Harrison’s first post-Beatles single, it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1970 and stayed there for four weeks. With references to Jewish, Christian and Hindu prayers, it features Eric Clapton on guitar, Billy Preston on piano, Klaus Voormann on bass and Ringo Starr on drums. Shortly after it was released, a copyright infringement suit followed claiming that it lifted a melody from the Chiffons’ hit “He’s So Fine.” The case dragged for 10 years with a U.S. district court finding that Harrison had “subconsciously” copied the earlier song.
The Concert for Bangladesh (1972)
Harrison organized two benefit concerts and played to a total of 40,000 people at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The purpose: to fund relief efforts for refugees from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) following the 1970 Bhola cyclone and atrocities during the Bangladesh Liberation War. Joining Harrison on the bill were performers Ravi Shankar, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Badfinger, and Ringo Starr.
“Handle With Care” (1988)
In the late 1980s, Harrison was one-fifth of pop-rock supergroup Traveling Wilburys, which included legendary artists Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty, accompanied by drummer Jim Keltner. The band recorded two albums in 1988 and 1990, though Orbison died just after their debut was finished, and saw two modest hits, 1988’s “Handle With Care” and “End of the Line.”