Remembering George Harrison on his 74th Birthday

Whether or not you consider yourself to be a fan of The Beatles, there is no denying the impact they had on the world, not just music. Eventually with help from The Rolling Stones and other members of the British invasion, The Beatles helped pioneer a new wave of rock music. They may have started out as a pop boy band, with the craziness of Beatlemania often overshadowing their true talent, but with the influence of people like Bob Dylan, The Beatles soon began writing meaningful songs that completely captured the ideals of a whole generation in the 1960s.

Often times, bands become popular with a certain age group or demographic, simply because it’s hard to please large groups of people. In the 1960s, however, everyone was listening to The Beatles. They had songs for everyone; slow, introspective songs like “Blackbird” for the parents who want something easy on the ears, and fast, upbeat songs like “I Feel Fine” for the younger people who wanted something to dance to. Other songs, like “Come Together” and “Revolution” were perfect for the misunderstood counterculture movement. The Beatles introduced numerous innovations into the world of popular music, making it impossible for us to have the music we have today if it weren’t for them. The Rolling Stones, as influential as they are in their own way, even took concepts that were working for The Beatles and shaped them to fit the Stones.

Each Beatle brought one forth of an equation the other three did not have; John was witty, Paul was charismatic, Ringo was quirky, and George was effortlessly cool. Without one of them, the other three could not have climbed the charts the way they did the in the 1960s. Decades have passed, and people still listen the albums The Fab Four released. Longevity is The Beatles’ middle name; they did not just create good music for their time period, they created good music for eternity.

On a day like today, February 25th, one can’t help but think of the impact of The Beatles. After all, it is George Harrison, “the guitar player’s” 74th birthday. Or, at least, it would have been.

No, George is not the one who dated Yoko Ono; or the one who went on to create The Wings in the 70s; or even the one who now always wears sunglasses and cool earrings. No, George was the quiet one. George was the one who may have been easy to overlook if you weren’t looking for him. He was the first to become annoyed with the generic questions reporters consistently asked the Fab Four; “What’s your favorite color?” “What do you eat for breakfast?” causing George to become silent in most interviews. However, if you have heard the songs “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Something,” or “Here Comes the Sun,” you have heard the work of George Harrison. Through various trips to India, George developed a love the Eastern World, causing him to introduce the West to sitars and synthesizers. George played the sitar in songs like “Norwegian Wood” and “Within You Without You,” the latter of which he actually wrote.

George passed away November 29th, 2001 at the age of 58. George did not gain the attention John did through his relationship with Yoko Ono and call for peace, or the later consideration for being the last two surviving Beatles, as Paul and Ringo now do. George did not bask in publicity; he was the shy one, the quiet one. He lived with an air of mystery around him that he kept until he left the world. George slipped away quietly, leaving the ripples of the brilliant music he made to leave a message he himself rarely vocalized.

credit to whomever the beautiful photo of George belongs to