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George Harrison Death Anniversary Passes

With news that Heath Ledger will not make a cameo in the new Batman film, people turn their thoughts to other deceased but loved entertainers.  George Harrison, the lead guitarist of famed rock band The Beatles, died on November 29, 2001, having lived for 58 years, following a battle with lung cancer. Undoubtedly the quietest member of the Fab Four, George Harrison was still a very influential member of the band both in their musical style and in their life philosophy. It was his influence this led them to visit India, and his mastery of the sitar and introduction of that instrument to Beatles music are things of lore for fans. Though he took a back seat to John Lennon and Paul McCartney in terms of song writing for the band, he did contribute a number of songs for the group. "Something," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and "Here Comes the Sun" are a few examples of his compositions that became Beatles standards through the years.

Legendary Rock Guitarist

Although he did master the sitar and implement its use in the studio with the Fab Four, it was his mastery of the guitar that has cemented the place of George Harrison in among the greats in rock music for all time. His work is considered not only technically perfect, but also stylistically remarkable, a brand that continues to speak to new fans and influence guitarists coming up through the ranks. He could take simple McCartney and Lennon compositions and embellish them with his own personal touch, adding nuances that neither of the other two were technically capable of achieving in their own recordings. There was a very good reason why it was George Harrison and no one else who played the lead guitar in the band.

George Harrison became a Hindu and embraced Western culture in the middle part of the 1960s, encouraging fellow musicians and others along the way. Fans of his band were also drawn in to many Western living principles he espoused, so one could say that in some ways the quiet public life he led was almost part of the message he shared with others and perhaps part of what drew certain fans in to such an extent. The group from Liverpool was transcendent in their popularity and fame, and it was the fact that the four members all had such differing but in their own ways endearing ways about them that helped fuel this success. With George Harrison, there was just a feeling of genuineness and kindness in the eyes, a feeling that he played a very soulful tune when he composed and performed.

Traveling Wilburys and Other Projects

When the Beatles broke up, George Harrison put together a triple album from a back log of music he had accumulated through all the years of McCartney Lennon compositions taking precedence over his own. The album was called All Things Must Pass, and it was a critical and commercial success, spawning a few singles as well. He performed as a solo artist and also ended up getting together in the late 1980s with Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne to form the Traveling Wilburys, a sort of folk rock supergroup. George Harrison has been a movie producer and done other things as well with his fame and notoriety.

In a group with massive personalities like Ringo Starr as well as Lennon and McCartney, George Harrison was probably the one most often overshadowed as a showman. George Harrison's contributions give normal folks more exciting things to think about than automobile insurance policies and there is no denying his talent or the fact that he belonged in this band. George Harrison is still loved by music fans everywhere.


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