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Old Nov 30, 2001, 07:08 AM   #1
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Default News Coverage of George\'s Death

I think that, as news stories and not our own reminiscings or statements of feelings, these really belong in What Goes On, but the moderators feel they should all be here in Crackerbox Palace.



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Old Nov 30, 2001, 07:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: News Coverage of George\'s Death

Beatle George Harrison dies
November 30, 2001 Posted: 8:09 AM EST (1309 GMT)


LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- George Harrison, the lead guitarist in the most influential pop group of all time, The Beatles, has died aged 58, his spokesman confirmed to CNN.

Harrison died in Los Angeles at 1:30 p.m. (2130 GMT) on Thursday after a battle with cancer, spokesman Geoff Baker said, but further details were not available.

His family issued a statement saying: "He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends. He often said, 'Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another."'

"He died with one thought in mind -- love one another," friend Gavin De Becker told The Associated Press, adding that Harrison's wife, Olivia Harrison, and son Dhani, 24, were with him when he died.

His former band-mate Sir Paul McCartney told the Press Association: "I am devastated and very very sad. We knew he'd been ill for a long time.

"He was a lovely guy and a very brave man and had a wonderful sense of humour. He is really just my baby brother."

Harrison was known as the quiet one of the Fab Four, which conquered the world with 27 number one hits in the United States and Britain.. His credits with The Beatles include the songs, "Taxman," "Here Comes the Sun" and "Something," the latter described by Frank Sinatra as the greatest love song of all time.

The youngest member of the world's most famous pop group will always be remembered for his devotion to Oriental mysticism. It was he who persuaded the other Beatles to fly to India and sit at the feet of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

After The Beatles broke up in 1970 Harrison produced a few solo albums, and was the first of the four to top the UK singles charts as a solo artist with "My Sweet Lord." Later he helped form the group The Travelling Wilburys.

With Harrison's death, there now remain two surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. John Lennon was shot to death by a deranged fan in 1980.

In 1998, when former smoker Harrison disclosed that he had been treated for throat cancer, he said: "It reminds you that anything can happen."

The following year, he survived an attack by an intruder at his mansion in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire.

He was stabbed several times and suffered a punctured lung. In July 2001, he released a statement asking fans not to worry about reports that he was still battling cancer.

It wasn't immediately known if there would be a public funeral for Harrison. A private ceremony had already taken place, De Becker said.

Lennon's widow Yoko Ono paid tribute to Harrison, who she said brought magic to the lives of those who knew him.

"George has given so much to us in his lifetime and continues to do so even after his passing, with his music, his wit and his wisdom," she told The Press Association.

"His life was magical and we all felt we had shared a little bit of it by knowing him.

"Thank-you George, it was grand knowing you."
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Old Nov 30, 2001, 07:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: News Coverage of George\'s Death

Flags lowered as Liverpool mourns
November 30, 2001 Posted: 9:39 AM EST (1439 GMT)


LIVERPOOL, England -- Flags are flying at half mast in Liverpool, birthplace of The Beatles, as the city mourns the death of former Fab Four guitarist George Harrison.

Lord Mayor Gerry Scott said Harrison would be much missed by the people of the city, and a memorial service was planned to mark his "exceptional and gifted life."

"George Harrison was one of the great Liverpudlians. He was a warm, peace-loving man who much more than just a talented musician," Scott told Reuters.

Liverpool has always been fiercely proud of its famous sons and news of Harrison's death, although not entirely unexpected, had sent a wave of sadness through the city, a council spokeswoman said.

Flags had been lowered to half-mast and a book of condolence had been opened at the council offices. People began queuing up to sign it as soon as the news broke, she said.

"Everyone who knew of George Harrison knew he was a true Scouser who never forgot his roots. He was a great ambassador of for the city," council leader Mike Storey told Reuters.

Harrison, the youngest member of the Beatles, was awarded the freedom of the city in 1984.

Fans also gathered outside Harrison's Oxfordshire home on Friday to pay their respects.

Bouquets of flowers were being left outside the gates of his £10 million ($15 million) estate, Friar Park, Henley-on-Thames.

One family friend told the Press Association: "I just wanted to pay my respects. We've got lots of nasty people in the world who seem to live forever.

"It seems to be the good ones who pass away before their time. George said in one of his songs 'all things must pass' -- he understood the cycle of things."

A crowd of students from nearby Henley College gathered alongside members of the media outside the 120-room gothic mansion, which is set in 34 acres of gardens and was home to the superstar since 1971.

Pupil Dan Western, 16, from Reading, Berkshire, said: "He was a great rock and roll star. He led a very good life, it's just a shame he's gone now."

His friend Roy Davidson, 16, who lives locally, said: "I grew up with his songs. Whenever we went on holidays, the Beatles always came on, Sergeant Pepper and all that."

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Old Nov 30, 2001, 07:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: News Coverage of George\'s Death

George Harrison Dies
Former Beatle Had Long Struggle With Cancer
abcnews.go.com


Nov. 30 — George Harrison, known to a generation as "the Quiet Beatle," has died. He was 58.

"He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends. He often said, 'Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another,'" his family said in a statement.
Harrison died at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at a friend's Los Angeles home following a battle with cancer, family friend Gavin de Becker said in statement released to The Associated Press.

"I am devastated and very very sad," former bandmate Paul McCartney told the BBC in London. "I remember all the beautiful times we had together and I'd like to remember him like that, because I know he would like to be remembered like that."

Funeral arrangements are not yet known, but De Becker said a private ceremony had already taken place.

Harrison had been fighting cancer for years. He was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 1997 and was treated in Switzerland earlier this year for a brain tumor.

He underwent experimental radiosurgery at New York's Staten Island University Hospital earlier this month and later moved to UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles for more conventional treatment, but it failed to stop the cancer.

"George has given so much to us in his lifetime and he continues to do so even after his passing with his music, his wit and his wisdom," Yoko Ono, widow of former bandmate John Lennon, said in a statement. "His life was magical and we felt we had shared a little bit of it by knowing him. Thank you George. It was grand knowing you."


A Mop Top With a Dry Sense of Humor

Harrison was widely known as the "Quiet Beatle." Lennon and McCartney wrote and sang lead on most of the songs. Ringo Starr clowned his way through the movies.

Harrison, the youngest member of the group, was content to play lead guitar. The Mop Top with a dry sense of humor, he stepped to the fore in the Beatles' later years, writing such classics as "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun."

While he was the most media-shy of the Fab Four, in many ways, he was the most influential. At a time before Westerners were flocking to yoga classes, Harrison became one of the first proponents of Eastern culture, studying meditation and Indian music.

On the Beatles classic "Norwegian Wood," Harrison introduced the Indian sitar to Western ears. Later, Harrison brought awareness to the Third World through The Concert for Bangladesh — the first large-scale pop music fund-raiser — featuring such giants as Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton. It was the forerunner for such events as "Live Aid."

Liverpool Roots

Like the other Beatles, Harrison started out as a working-class lad in Liverpool, England. He was born on Feb. 25, 1943, the youngest of three sons.

His parents ran dance classes for several years, but it was not until Harrison was 14 that he showed any interest in music. When the skiffle group craze hit Britain in the 1950s he learned a few chords on a second-hand guitar he bought from a classmate.

Soon afterward he teamed up with Lennon and McCartney and the group played at Liverpool's Casbah club, run by the mother of Pete Best, then the group's drummer.

As The Silver Beatles, the group played gigs in Hamburg, Germany, until it was discovered that the 17-year-old Harrison was too young to have a work permit and they had to return home.

In 1962, the Beatles signed a recording contract and unceremoniously dumped Best, replacing him with Starr. Within a year, the Fab Four had girls screaming on both sides of the Atlantic, and a new word entered the public lexicon: Beatlemania.

As Harrison later quipped: "I guess if you've got to be in a rock group it might as well be the Beatles."

Unparalleled Dominance

No other rock group has ever dominated the charts as the Beatles did. On April 4, 1964, the Fab Four had the top five positions on the U.S. Hot 100 and placed another seven elsewhere on the chart. In descending order were "Can't Buy Me Love," "Twist And Shout," "She Loves You," "I Want To Hold Your Hand," and "Please Please Me."

The Beatles' record of 20 No. 1 singles in America still stands.

Even while he was known as the most famous lead guitarist in the world, Harrison needed more time to develop his voice. When the Beatles stopped touring in 1966, Harrison devoted more time to songwriting. On Abbey Road, the group's final album, his song "Something" became his first A-side single.

After the Beatles broke up in 1970, he was the first member of the band to score a major recording success, with the album All Things Must Pass, which included the controversial hit single "My Sweet Lord."

Unfortunately, Harrison was later successfully sued by the publisher of the 1962 Chiffons hit "He's So Fine," which bore a striking resemblance to "My Sweet Lord."

The two songs use the same notes and chord progression. Harrison maintained he hadn't been conscious of the similarities in the songs. Many pop music aficionados rushed to his defense, claiming that many songs in rock bear such similarities.

In 1976, a judge ruled Harrison's acts weren't intentional. Nevertheless, under copyright infringement law, he was found guilty and ordered to pay $587,000.

'No John, No Beatles'

Harrison's career suffered a slump in the mid-1970s. Many critics dismissed his work as preachy and sanctimonious.

In 1978, he embarked on a new venture, forming HandMade Films, which went on to produce Monty Python's Life of Brian and Time Bandits.

"George, always called the quiet Beatle, he never stopped talking when I was with him," said Michael Palin of Monty Python's Flying Circus. "He had an enormous number of friends who were terribly loyal to him, and will be very saddened."

In the wake of the fatal shooting of John Lennon in 1980, Harrison recorded the tribute "All Those Years Ago," a No. 1 hit, bolstered with musical contributions from McCartney and Starr, making it a near-Beatles reunion.

Still, his subsequent albums, Somewhere in England and Gone Troppo, were largely ignored by record buyers, and he went on a five-year recording hiatus.

He resurrected his recording career with the 1987 album Cloud Nine, which produced the hits "Got My Mind Set on You" and "When We Was Fab," a parody of the Beatles.

Harrison hit the charts again in 1988 as part of the Traveling Wilburys, a group that featured Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne.

Harrison grew tired of answering questions about the Beatles, especially after Lennon's death. "As far as I'm concerned, there won't be a Beatles reunion so long as John Lennon remains dead," he announced in 1989.

Still, the three surviving members of the Fab Four teamed up in 1996 to create a retrospective, The Beatles Anthology, which included three volumes of previously unavailable recordings.

The three reunited again in June 1998 for a tribute to Linda McCartney, Paul's wife, who died of breast cancer.

In 2000, the Beatles had a No. 1 hit again, with the release of a greatest-hits album called, simply, 1.

Battling Cancer, Intruders … And the Past

The media-shy Harrison had always been reluctant to share his private life with the public. In 1966, Harrison married British model Patti Boyd, whom he met on the set of the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night.

Boyd fell in love with his longtime friend, guitarist Eric Clapton, in 1970. She finally left her husband for Clapton in 1974, but the two musicians managed to remain friends. Harrison even attended the couple's wedding.

Four years later, Harrison married Mexican-born Olivia Arias, who gave birth to his only child, son Dhani.

In later years his reputation as a recluse grew and he spent much of his free time puttering in his garden at his huge mansion — reported to have more than 100 rooms — outside London.

After Lennon's death, Harrison spent a fortune improving security at his mansion near Henley-on-Thames, about 25 miles west of London. He also sometimes traveled under an alias.

Despite those precautions, an intruder broke into the home on Dec. 30, 1999, and stabbed Harrison. Olivia saved her husband by striking the attacker over the head with a fireplace poker and table lamp. The attacker was found to be insane and confined to a mental hospital.

Harrison recovered from the stabbing, but he soon was engaged in a new battle with cancer. He had first been diagnosed with lung cancer in 1997. In May 2000, he had a cancer-like sore removed from his lungs at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He blamed the condition on smoking. His publicist said at the time that Harrison had recovered, but earlier this year , Harrison checked into a Swiss clinic for treatment of a brain tumor. He later sought treatment at hospitals in New York and Los Angeles.

Despite his frail health, Harrison recorded a single with pianist Jools Holland, former keyboardist for the band Squeeze. Harrison co-wrote the song, "A Horse to Water," with son Dhani for Holland's album, Small World, Big Friends.

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Old Nov 30, 2001, 07:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: News Coverage of George\'s Death

George Harrison dies at age 58

Fab Four guitarist had cancer


ASSOCIATED PRESS



LOS ANGELES, Nov. 30 — George Harrison, the Beatles’ quiet lead guitarist and spiritual explorer who added both rock ’n’ roll flash and a touch of the mystic to the band’s timeless magic, has died, a longtime family friend said late Thursday. He was 58.

HARRISON DIED at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at a friend’s Los Angeles home following a battle with cancer, longtime friend Gavin De Becker said late Thursday.
“He died with one thought in mind — love one another,” De Becker said. De Becker said Harrison’s wife, Olivia Harrison, and son Dhani, 24, were with him when he died.
In 1998, when Harrison disclosed that he had been treated for throat cancer, he said: “It reminds you that anything can happen.” The following year, he survived an attack by an intruder who stabbed him several times. In July 2001, he released a statement asking fans not to worry about reports that he was still battling cancer.

The exact nature of Harrison’s recent cancer had not been disclosed. De Becker called it “a very private thing.”
With Harrison’s death, there remain two surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. John Lennon was shot to death by a deranged fan in 1980.

“I am devastated and very, very sad,” McCartney told The Press Association, a British news agency, early Friday. “He was a lovely guy and a very brave man and had a wonderful sense of humor. He is really just my baby brother.”
“George has given so much to us in his lifetime and continues to do so even after his passing, with his music, his wit and his wisdom,” Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono said Friday.
It wasn’t immediately known if there would be a public funeral for Harrison. A private ceremony had already taken place, De Becker said.

Harrison’s family has released a statement saying, “He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends. He often said, ‘Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.”’
The Beatles were four distinct personalities joined as a singular force in the rebellious 1960s, influencing everything from hairstyles to music. Whether dropping acid, proclaiming “All You Need is Love” or sending up the squares in the film “A Hard Day’s Night,” the Beatles inspired millions.

Harrison’s guitar work, modeled on Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins among others, was essential.
He often blended with the band’s joyous sound, but also rocked out wildly on “Long Tall Sally” and turned slow and dreamy on “Something.” His jangly 12-string Rickenbacker, featured in “A Hard Day’s Night,” was a major influence on the American band the Byrds.

Although his songwriting was overshadowed by the great Lennon-McCartney team, Harrison did contribute such classics as “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something,” which Frank Sinatra covered. Harrison also taught the young Lennon how to play the guitar.
He was known as the “quiet” Beatle and his public image was summed up in the first song he wrote for them, “Don’t Bother Me,” which appeared on the group’s second album.
But Harrison also had a wry sense of humor that helped shape the Beatles’ irreverent charm, memorably fitting in alongside Lennon’s cutting wit and Starr’s cartoonish appeal.

At their first recording session under George Martin, the producer reportedly asked the young musicians to tell him if they didn’t like anything. Harrison’s response: “Well, first of all, I don’t like your tie.” Asked by a reporter what he called the Beatles’ famous moptop hairstyle, he quipped, “Arthur.”
He was even funny about his own mortality. As reports of his failing health proliferated, Harrison recorded a new song — “Horse to the Water” — and credited it to “RIP Ltd. 2001.”

He always preferred being a musician to being a star, and he soon soured on Beatlemania — the screaming girls, the hair-tearing mobs, the wild chases from limos to gigs and back to limos. Like Lennon, his memories of the Beatles were often tempered by what he felt was lost in all the madness.
“There was never anything, in any of the Beatle experiences really, that good: even the best thrill soon got tiring,” Harrison wrote in his 1979 book, “I, Me, Mine.” “There was never any doubt. The Beatles were doomed. Your own space, man, it’s so important. That’s why we were doomed, because we didn’t have any. We were like monkeys in a zoo.”
Still, in a 1992 interview with The Daily Telegraph, Harrison confided: “We had the time of our lives: We laughed for years.”
After the Beatles broke up in 1970, Harrison had sporadic success. He organized the concert for Bangladesh in New York City, produced films that included Monty Python’s “Life of Brian,” and teamed with old friends, including Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison, as “The Traveling Wilburys.”
George Harrison was born Feb. 25, 1943, in Liverpool, one of four children of Harold and Louise Harrison. His father, a former ship’s steward, became a bus conductor soon after his marriage.


Harrison was 13 when he bought his first guitar and befriended Paul McCartney at their school. McCartney introduced him to Lennon, who had founded a band called the Quarry Men — Harrison was allowed to play if one of the regulars didn’t show up.
“When I joined, he didn’t really know how to play the guitar; he had a little guitar with three strings on it that looked like a banjo,” Harrison recalled of Lennon during testimony in a 1998 court case against the owner of a bootleg Beatles recording.
“I put the six strings on and showed him all the chords — it was actually me who got him playing the guitar. He didn’t object to that, being taught by someone who was the baby of the group. John and I had a very good relationship from very early on.”

Harrison evolved as both musician and songwriter. He became interested in the sitar while making the 1965 film “Help!” and introduced it to a generation of Western listeners on “Norwegian Wood,” a song by Lennon from the “Rubber Soul” album. He also began contributing more of his own material.
Among his compositions were “I Need You” for the soundtrack of “Help”; “If I Needed Someone” on “Rubber Soul”; “Taxman” and “Love You Do” on “Revolver”; “Within You, Without You” on “Sgt. Pepper”; and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on the White Album.
In 1966, he married model Patti Boyd, who had a bit part in “A Hard Day’s Night.” (They divorced in 1977, and she married Harrison’s friend, guitarist Eric Clapton, who wrote the anguished song “Layla” about her. Harrison attended the wedding.)
More than any of the Beatles, Harrison craved a little quiet. He found it in India. Late in 1966, after the Beatles had ceased touring, George and Patti went to India, where Harrison studied the sitar with Ravi Shankar. He maintained a lifelong affiliation with that part of the world.
In 1967, Harrison introduced the other Beatles to the teaching of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and all four took up transcendental meditation. Harrison was the only one who remained a follower - the others dropped out, with Lennon mocking the Maharishi in the song “Sexy Sadie.”

By the late ’60s, Harrison was clearly worn out from being a Beatle and openly bickered with McCartney, arguing with him on camera during the filming of “Let It Be.”
As the Beatles grew apart, Harrison collaborated with Clapton on the song “Badge,” performed with Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band and produced his most acclaimed solo work, the triple album “All Things Must Pass.” The sheer volume of material on that 1970 release confirmed the feelings of Harrison fans that he was being stifled in the Beatles.
But one of those songs, the hit “My Sweet Lord,” later drew Harrison into a lawsuit: The copyright owner of “He’s So Fine,” written by Lonnie Mack and recorded by The Chiffons, won a claim that Harrison had stolen the music.
Another Harrison project also led to legal problems. Moved by the starvation caused by the war between Bangladesh and Pakistan, Harrison in 1971 staged two benefit concerts at Madison Square Garden and recruited such performers as Starr, Shankar, Clapton and Dylan.

Anticipating such later superstar benefits as Live Aid and Farm Aid, the Bangladesh concerts were also a cautionary tale about counterculture bookkeeping. Although millions were raised and the three-record concert release won a Grammy for album of the year, allegations emerged over mishandling of funds and the money long stayed in escrow.
Despite the occasional hit single, including the Lennon tribute song “All Those Years Ago,” Harrison’s solo career did not live up to initial expectations. Reviewing a greatest hits compilation, Village Voice critic Robert Christgau likened him to a “borderline hitter they can pitch around after the sluggers (Lennon and McCartney) are traded away.”
Harrison’s family life was steadier. He married Olivia Arias in 1978, a month after Dhani was born.
The next year, Harrison founded Handmade Films to produce Monty Python’s “Life of Brian.” He sold the company for $8.5 million in 1994.
“George wasn’t head in the clouds all the time. When it came to business and all that he was feet very much on the ground,” Michael Palin, formerly of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, told BBC radio.
Fame continued to haunt him. In 1999, he was stabbed several times by a man who broke into his home west of London. The man, who thought the Beatles were witches and believed himself on a divine mission to kill Harrison, was acquitted by reason of insanity.
But fame also continued to enrich Harrison. The following year, he saw a compilation of Beatles No. 1 singles, “1,” sell millions of copies and re-establish the band’s status around the world.
“The thing that pleases me the most about it is that young people like it,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It’s given kids from 6 to 16 an alternate view of music to what’s been available for the past 20 years.
“I think the popular music has gone truly weird,” he said. “It’s either cutesy-wutesy or it’s hard, nasty stuff. It’s good that this has life again with the youth.”
John Chambers of the Liverpool Beatles Appreciation Society said Harrison’s death was the end of an era for Beatles fans.
“Until now there has always been the hope of a reunion, perhaps with Julian Lennon standing in for his dad,” Chambers said. “It really is the end of a dream, the end of an era.”

© 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Old Nov 30, 2001, 07:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: News Coverage of George\'s Death

George Harrison, the quiet Beatle
November 30, 2001 Posted: 9:13 AM EST (1413 GMT)


By CNN's Graham Jones

LONDON, England (CNN) -- George Harrison was The Quiet One. The Shy One. The Serious One. The Sad One. Not a Lennon, not a McCartney. Not as famous a songwriter as either. Perhaps not quite a legend.

But Harrison was so much an influence on the music of the Beatles his massive contribution to the success of the world's most famous group should not be underestimated.

He was the man who (egged on by his first wife, Patti Boyd) brought Indian mysticism and the Maharishi to the Fab Four.

He was the man whose lead guitar underpinned all those early Beatles hits and whose wistful, lyrical style later forged the psychedelic sound of the late 60s.

And he did pen the odd Beatles classic -- "Something," "Here Comes the Sun," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

Yet despite his musical talent Harrison, The Overshadowed One, never managed the same professional or public recognition as Lennon and McCartney.

Though outwardly uncomplaining, this did seem to irk him - he never made up with John Lennon before the latter's murder in 1980 and said he wouldn't want to join a band with Paul McCartney in it.

Harrison's former record company and 1974 album were named "Dark Horse" - his preferred epithet for himself -- "the one who suddenly pulls out from behind the rest and barrels ahead to actually win the race. That's me I guess."

To many, though, he was an enigma -- John Lennon said of him: "George himself is no mystery. But the mystery of George inside is immense."

Certainly, Harrison's life contained many contradictions.

The "quiet one" who, as Monty Python's Eric Idle remarked, never stopped talking. The melancholy one who was a wisecracker.

The spiritual man who liked Formula 1 motor racing. The rock star who was never happier than spreading fertiliser on his garden. He even dedicated his autobiography "I Me Mine" (1982) "to all gardeners everywhere."

George Harrison was born on February 25, 1943, in Wavertree, Liverpool, one of three children of a bus driver and a housewife. He attended Dovedale Primary School, two years below John Lennon, and Liverpool Institute, one year below Paul McCartney.

His rebellious streak was shown when he defied school rules to grow long hair and wear jeans. This didn't go down well with his strict Roman Catholic parents. Yet mum bought him a guitar and he and his brother Peter formed a skiffle group.

A more important musical friendship was with Paul McCartney, the two of them catching the same bus to school and finding they had guitars, Chet Atkins, Duane Eddy and Lonnie Donegan in common.

McCartney introduced him to his group The Quarrymen, though because of Harrison's age (14) it was some time before he became a regular member of the group.

"I never asked to be famous, I just wanted to be successful," he would say later.

In 1960 the Quarrymen had a new name, the Beatles. The group set off to work in Hamburg. But back in Liverpool they met record store owner Brian Epstein -- the hits followed and Beatlemania was born.

He may not have been the Beatles' "leader" but polls showed Harrison the most popular of the Fab Four with U.S. audiences.

A more personal partnership came in 1965 when, making the zany film "A Hard Days Night" he met a teenage model, Patti Boyd, with one line in the film ("Prisoners?"). They married in January 1966.

This was the Beatles' best period, of course, culminating in the album "Sgt Pepper" in 1967. It was the era of psychedelia and LSD and experimentation ... and Indian mysticism.

Harrison had introduced the sitar to pop music in "Norwegian Wood." Now Patti introduced him to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and all four Beatles and their wives jetted to India.

Harrison went on to become a devotee of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, to which he donated large sums of money.

But despite his huge influence on the Beatles, there still seemed to be a reluctance to record his songs -- though in 1968 "Something" was "allowed out" as a single and sold a million copies in the UK.

When the Fab Four split up in 1970 their hesitancy in recording Harrison songs was cited as one reason and it is no surprise that he was the first Beatle off the starting blocks to record a solo album.

He was later to say: "The biggest break in my career was getting into the Beatles in 1963. The second biggest break was getting out of them."

The new album "All Things Must Pass" was hailed as a masterpiece. But there was controversy after "My Sweet Lord" -- which swept all before it as a single in Europe and the U.S. -- was deemed by a court to have been based on the Chiffons 1962 hit "He's So Fine."

In 1971 Harrison, by now indelibly linked with the Hare Krishna movement, produced two benefit concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden for the people of Bangladesh after Ravi Shankar had told him of the poverty there.

The resulting three-record set with guest artists won a Grammy. But the $10 million raised was held up until 1981 after a tax investigation into the Beatles company, Apple. Harrison's 1974 recording "Dark Horse" was a runaway success. Its brooding nature fuelled by the collapse of his marriage to Patti Boyd, pursued by his friend Eric Clapton.

But around this time Harrison met his second wife Olivia, an assistant in the merchandising department at A&M records. They had a son, Dhani, in 1978.

After "Dark Horse" music critics never had the same regard for Harrison's solo recordings.

But better reviews did come in the late 1980s when he formed an impromptu supergroup "The Travelling Wilburys" which featured among others Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison. Their album won Harrison a second Grammy.

In this period he also acted as a record producer and funded Monty Python's film "Life of Brian," going on to found Handmade Films, which produced "The Long Good Friday," "Mona Lisa" and "Shanghai Surprise."

There was one hint of the old days when, in 1987, Harrison's "Got My Mind Set on You" reached number two in the UK and number one in America.

In 1992 Harrison campaigned for the Natural Law Party, another example of his interest in all things mystic, at the UK general election.

Harrison's later years were dogged by more unwelcome publicity, including a January 1996 court case in which he was awarded £6 million ($11.6m) from a former adviser he had accused of mishandling his finances. Worse was to follow in 1999 when Harrison was attacked and almost murdered by a psychotic in his gothic mansion in Oxfordshire, southern England. He had a lung punctured by the stabbing and it was said that only the prompt action by his wife Olivia, who hit the intruder over the head with a poker and a table lamp, saved his life.

Harrison overcame throat cancer in 1998, which he blamed on smoking. He was given the all-clear after radiation therapy. But in 2001 it was revealed Harrison was having treatment at a Swiss clinic for lung cancer.

Harrison took much comfort from his religion and believed in reincarnation: "I don't know what as. You go on being reincarnated until you reach the actual Truth. Heaven and Hell are just a state of mind."

But above all Harrison will be remembered for his music. He once said: "I think people who can live their life in music are telling the world: 'You can have my love, you can have my smiles. Forget the bad parts, you don't need them.

"'Just take the music, the goodness, because it's the very best,' and it's the part I give most willingly."

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