George Harrison

Born: February 24, 1943
Wavertree, Liverpool, England
Died: November 29, 2001

Perhaps if you've been living in a cave since 1955, you've never heard of George Harrison or the Beatles. As the lead guitar player for the Beatles, Harrison would have enjoyed much fame, fortune and spotlight in his career, if that were the kind of thing that he actually enjoyed. Unfortunately for him, it isn't. And Harrison has been in the spotlight since he was a teenager. Even though he is one of the forefathers of rock and roll, it took a long time for him to actually get interested in the guitar. While many other famous guitarists claim to have been bitten by some kind of elusive "guitar bug", Harrison's interest came on gradually. He never actually asked his mother for a guitar. She found random doodlings and sketches of guitars all over his notes and notebooks, and she decided that a guitar would be a good gift for him. For three Pounds, she purchased a second-hand guitar from one of his school chums and gave it to him. And, although he practiced for hours on end, Harrison had trouble picking up music himself. After an illness that forced him off of his feet during his early teen years, he began playing the guitar all the time. He could do almost nothing else, and it kept him occupied while he was in the hospital and on his back at home. It was during this time that Harrison grew considerably better. After he was well, he began practicing with his brother, Peter, who Harrison idolized. Together, the Harrison brothers formed a band, and began booking dates for engagements. They had to hide the fact that they were playing at weddings and functions from their mother, because of their young age. They would sneak out of the house, their gear hidden in the bushes nearby, and walk to the gig. George knew Paul McCartney from school, and he knew of John Lennon, although John was two grades older than George, and much cooler than he was. He admired John from afar, secretly mimicking him and trying to be hip like his secret mentor. When he was fourteen, though, he met John Lennon through Paul McCartney, as well as the rest of the Quarrymen. He began hanging around the band, although they considered him too young to join. He would wait offstage with his guitar, and a couple of times he actually got to fill in for the guitarists when he was indisposed or unavailable. Finally, after a long while, George became a regular member of what was then called Johnnie and the Moondogs. George's parents were very supportive of his music career, but they weren't so supportive of the style of clothes he wore and the haircut he had. Nonetheless, they were not strict with rules for their son, and he had a lot of freedom with which to explore every possible avenue of creativity. The other boys liked George's mother, who encouraged them to jam at her house. Eventually, they would become the Beatles, and after meeting Brian Epstein, they would achieve worldwide fame and godlike adoration of millions of fans across the earth. Their music would influence generation after generation of musician and listener alike. Their career would persist through more than one style and generation change, and they would continue to awe new listeners even after they broke up. John Lennon's death had a huge impact on all of the Beatles, and George was no exception. Throughout the 1980's, George Harrison released a number of noteworthy solo efforts, including Cloud Nine and All Things Must Pass. In the late 1980's Harrison was one in a star-studded lineup that was the Travelling Wilburys, also featuring the legendary Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and other famous rock figures. In the 1990's Harrison toured Japan with Eric Clapton, and he also helped to put together the Beatles' Anthology albums.

Instruments Played / Skills:
Vocals Guitar Songwriter Sitar

Teen Idols British Invasion Boy Groups Psychedelic Rock

Bands That George Harrison Has Played For:
Beatles, The Traveling Wilburys

George Harrison Has Worked With:
Paul McCartney Alan Parsons Ravi Shankar Tom Petty John Lennon Ringo Starr Roy Orbison Jeff Healey Bruce Gary Mick Jagger Jeff Lynne Carl Radle

George Harrison Was Influenced By:
John Lennon Ravi Shankar

Artists That Were Influenced By George Harrison:
Daniel House Steve Miller Ozzy Osbourne Lucio Rubino
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"If you pick up a guitar and it says 'Take me! I'm yours!' - then that's the one for you."

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