November 29, 2018
The Beatles take a break during the filming of 'The Magical Mystery Tour'

Photo by Jim Gray/Keystone/Getty Images


It was 17 years ago today (November 29th, 2001) that George Harrison died after a long battle with cancer, at age 58. Harrison, the first of the Beatles to embrace Eastern philosophies and culture, will also be remembered for his humanitarian efforts, such as his 1971 Concert For Bangladesh for famine relief. Today also marks the 16th anniversary of the all star Royal Albert Hall tribute show for Harrison, The Concert For George. The concert, which was organized by Eric Clapton, featured heartfelt performances by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Jeff Lynne, and Billy Preston, among many others.

Harrison's son, Dhani Harrison, supervised the recent release of the box set, The Apple Years: 1968-'75, which features such beloved solo works as Wonderwall Music (1968), Electronic Sound(1969), All Things Must Pass (1970), Living In The Material World (1973), Dark Horse (1974), and Extra Texture (Read All About It) (1975). The collection, which came 10 years after the release of the first Harrison box -- The Dark Horse Years 1976-92 -- features an exclusive DVD with “several video pieces, including a new seven-minute film with previously unreleased footage, an exclusive perfect-bound book with an introduction by Dhani, new essays by award-winning radio producer and author Kevin Howlett, and rare and previously unpublished images.

In 2012, the Martin Scorsese HBO documentary George Harrison: Living In The Material World snagged two awards at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony held at L.A.'s Nokia Theatre. The critically acclaimed doc won the prizes for Outstanding Nonfiction Special and Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming.

After the Beatles split in 1970, Harrison's solo career kicked off with the Number One hit "My Sweet Lord" and the Number One album All Things Must Pass. He was also responsible for organizing 1971's The Concert For Bangladesh, which was the first major rock fundraiser, which paved the way for countless other music-supported benefits over the years.

Harrison wrote such Beatles classics as "Don't Bother Me," "I Need You," "You Like Me Too Much," "Think For Yourself," "If I Needed Someone," "Taxman," "I Want To Tell You," "Love You To," "Within You, Without You," "Blue Jay Way," "It's Only A Northern Song," "It's All Too Much," "The Inner Light," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Piggies" "Long, Long, Long," "Savoy Truffle," "I Me Mine," "For You Blue," "Old Brown Shoe," "Something," and "Here Comes The Sun," among others.

Other solo hits included "What Is Life," "Bangla Desh," "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)," "Dark Horse," "You," "This Song," "Crackerbox Palace," "Blow Away," "All Those Years Ago," and his 1987 comeback single "Got My Mind Set On You," which is the last solo Number One single by any former Beatle to date.

In 1971, Harrison produced Ringo Starr's initial solo singles "It Don't Come Easy" and "Back Off Boogaloo," as well also co-writing Starr's first Number One hit "Photograph" with him in 1973.

Shortly after his return to the spotlight in 1987, Harrison co-founded the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty. In 1991 he undertook a brief tour of Japan with Eric Clapton and his band.

His widow Olivia Harrison has led a successful reissue campaign of the Harrison solo catalogue, including a recent box set of the Traveling Wilburys material. An upcoming collection featuring highlights of Harrison's sole North American solo tour from 1974 is said to be in the works for the near future. Olivia also served as the executive producer for the Living In The Material World documentary.

CHECK IT OUT: George Harrison with Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Jeff Lynne, and Phil Collins on June 6th, 1987 performing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at Wembley Arena: