My name is Mike. I live in Lancsater County. I used to live in Hawaii. i like Burritos, Guitars and Stuff.
Sometimes, just being a working member of a great band will bestow iconic status. For decades, the debate as to whether or not Ringo Starr is a capable drummer has been going on. And for the record, I will submit, Ringo is not only capable but one of the best to walk the earth.
George Harrison’s role in the Beatles, had him relegated to being “quiet”. With the songwriting output of Lennon / McCartney, it wouldn’t be hard to get obscured by such heavyweight output. George’s output with the Beatles, was always strong, often given only 2 songs per album, George had to offer up the best of his songbook, to even be heard. Only A Northern Song, Something, Taxman, Don’t Bother Me are just snapshots of Harrison’s genius.
Harrison, like John Lennon came into his own after the split of the Beatles in 1970. In the sunset of the Fab Four, Harrison released to forgettable albums, “Electronic Music” and “Wonderwall Music”, under Apple’s more experimental arm “Zapple” records. George’s first solo album as an ex Beatles was a 3 lp offering of many of the songs that did not make it to a Beatles album. Backed by Derek and The Dominoes, and a who’s who of studio elite, along with the entire band of Badfinger on acoustic guitars, All Things Must Pass, was George’s “Abbey Road”, a superb collection of songs, incredible playing but suffering under the bloated production of Phil Spector .
Harrison’s solo career was sporadic, touring once in 1974, and a brief Japanese tour in support of the Cloud Nine album, with friend Eric Clapton remained the extent of George’s public involvement. In the twilight of his life, George’s side project The Travelling Wilburys gave George new spark in hitting the road. Sadly, George would be the only Wilbury interested in touring.
I admired his never ending spiritual quest. He had a huge hit with a prayer, My Sweet Lord, one of the most beautiful songs to plead to above, was one of his finest hours, still marked by legal trouble, for infringing upon the copyright “He’s so fine”, by The Chiffons, Harrison eclipsed the plaintiff’s effort, but it cost him.
Losing George Harrison was like losing a friend. Seemingly like the nice guy in the Beatles. His struggle was not with himself, but with his spirit. He said “Everything can wait except for the search for God”. Today with be George’s 70’th birthday. I’m spending it with some of his best musical moments. And thinking of the trail markers on his spiritual quest.