George Harrison left the world too soon, and left behind a long lasting legacy. Harrison was often regarded as “the quiet Beatle,” but surely had a lot on his mind and creatively expressed it through his work. Mindfulness and music are synonymous with Harrison. It’s rather difficult to compile a list of his accomplishments and career highlights, however, his time with The Beatles, the Traveling Wilburys and exceptional solo career are of great importance.
Harrison first achieved international fame as lead guitarist in the early 1960s with The Beatles, the famous rock band formed out of Liverpool, England. They are easily one of the most influential music groups of all time.
Eli Moore, a SUNY Plattsburgh graduate and local musician, was introduced to Harrison’s music at an early age and respects his character as a person as well as his style of playing.
“I think he had his ups and downs, as did all The Beatles and as did a lot of people in the ‘60s and ‘70s rock scene,” Moore said. “[But] George wasn’t the worst of those people.”
Harrison was tame in comparison to other, more problematic members like John Lennon. Overall, Moore feels Harrison tried his best to devote himself to his spiritual life as much as his physical life, and that he and Ringo Starr were the least egotistical of the “fab four.”
Beatlemania hit America in 1964 and drastically changed the music scene. This inspired a generation of songwriters in the 1960s who were interested in pursuing a new style. Harrison delved into the music of India and took great interest in transcendental meditation and Hinduism.
“This led to him opportunistically experimenting with cultural flavor in their music,” Music major, Nelson Moore said.
Harrison was responsible for broadening the horizons of the band’s sound with Indian string instruments such as the sitar. This can be heard on tracks like “Norweigan Wood (This Bird Has Flown).”
Harrison’s interest in Bob Dylan and The Byrds also inspired him to include folk influence into The Beatles work. Though most Beatles tunes were written by Paul McCartnery and John Lennon, some of Harrison’s most popular songs with The Beatles include “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Here Comes The Sun” and “Something.”
After The Beatles parted ways in 1970, Harrison went on to release the solo album “All Things Must Pass.” Some well known songs from that album include “My Sweet Lord” and “What Is Life.” They truly enchant Harrison’s spiritual side and explore the depths of religion and reality.
The Traveling Wilburys was another popular phase of Harrison’s career. The musically genius fivesome collided, which consisted of Harrison alongside Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison.
After coming together to record in Dylan’s studio in his Malibu home, a song, originally meant to be a B side for “This Is Love” on Harrison’s album, “Cloud Nine” happened. The song “Handle With Care” became a driving force for an album of its own and was the start of a successful supergroup.
The Traveling Wilburys played from 1988 to 1991. Some of their best known songs include “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” and “Not Alone Anymore.” The members each had their own name within the band. Harrison was Nelson Wilbury on the first album and Spike Wilbury on the second album, as mentioned by Moore.
“He didn’t dig what didn’t sound authentic and physical,” Moore said.
Harrison was all about writing soulful songs with emphasis on perspective and bringing people together. His material with The Beatles and the Traveling Wilburys stood out to Moore as having some of the most deepest and heartfelt meanings.