February 25 would have been George Harrison's 70th birthday. Unfortunately for all of us, he died in 2001 of cancer.
When I was a kid my favorite Beatle was Paul. He was the cute and out-going one, and he was very seldom shown with really long hair and a beard. To me as a kid I thought bearded and long-haired John and George were kind of intimidating or even scary. Ringo was the comic relief.
As I got older I came to side with John against Paul's "silly love songs" and actually started to dis-like Paul. However, for years John was a bit too radical for me. So that means I just naturally came to like George more. I definitely think it's part of my personality...I like the supporting characters over the leads, and Aquaman instead of Batman. Obviously, all of the Beatles were musical geniuses, and I like them all. But to me George had a sense of class that stood out above the rest.
George took his fame and used it for the good of the world. He was the performer who helped organize the charity concert for Bangladesh, for example, which was the first world-wide rock and roll charity event of its kind.
George took his money and helped fund HandMade Films, which produced Monty Python's Life of Brian, Time Bandits, and Mona Lisa, among other movies.
George was also the one who recorded two songs dedicated to John Lennon, "All Those Years Ago" and "When We Was Fab." We played his song, "I've Got My Mind Set On You" at our wedding. He was the one who helped co-create The Travelling Wilburys, a wonderful non-band of other musical geniuses Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne.
When all is said and done, George left a lot of good music and movies out there for us to enjoy.
Happy Birthday, George Harrison!
We miss you
art by Steve Lightle
The last time the three surviving Beatles played together?
For the ANTHOLOGY project in 1995.