PRESS RELEASE: 9TH APRIL, 2009
WHERE: 1750 Vine Street in front of the legendary Capitol Records building
WHEN: Tuesday, April 14, at 11:30 a.m.
DETAILS: Over a period of decades, George Harrison earned a reputation as one of the most enigmatic and creative individuals born to rock and roll. As signaled by his first post-Beatles release, 1970’s epic All Things Must Pass, here was a man with a story all his own. His list of accomplishments is long and eclectic in its scope.
George Harrison was born on February 25, 1943 in Liverpool. After a stint playing with his group the Rebels, George, together with his schoolmate Paul McCartney, joined John Lennon’s Quarrymen. He was fifteen at the time, and the stage was set for The Beatles to emerge as the best possible news in post-War Britain.
Over the course of The Beatles’ career, Harrison played the role of guitarist, singer and songwriter. His contributions to The Beatles’ catalogue include “I Need You,” “Taxman,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun,” to name only a few. His lifelong interest in Indian culture advanced considerably through his friendship with Ravi Shankar and affected all of The Beatles and their musical explorations.
In the years immediately following the break-up of The Beatles, George released his first solo album All Things Must Pass to worldwide acclaim, followed by further major recordings, the bulk of which went gold or platinum. One could argue that The Concert for Bangladesh, featuring George’s friends Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Leon Russell, Ringo Starr, and others, has had the greatest impact. As a response to a world crisis, it was like nothing that the music business had witnessed up to that point and earned a Grammy for Album of the Year in 1973.
After a five-year hiatus from recording, George Harrison came back on top with 1987’s Cloud Nine. The album made the top ten in both the US and the UK. It was in this same period that George formed the Traveling Wilburys. “Handle With Care” was the Wilburys’ first single, and it caught the world by surprise. The Wilburys would go on to earn a Grammy and are still remembered as the “supergroup” with no equal.
In the years 1994-96, George and the remaining Beatles gathered together to work on The Beatles Anthology. The Anthology project was an enormous success, as a movie, a recording, and a book. It would be George’s last adventure in Beatles territory
After a life of excursions in the arts and spiritual adventures, George Harrison passed away in 2001. The following year, A Concert for George was organized by Eric Clapton and Olivia Harrison. Filmed at The Royal Albert Hall his former bandmates Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne created a magical night. The event captured something of the warm and intense impact George had on those fortunate enough to know him well.
His songwriting was powerful enough to generate standards in the field. His love for humour and film turned him, almost inadvertently, into an important movie producer. And, without a doubt, his contribution to The Beatles left an indelible mark on that band’s music and character—we hear it still.
Martin Scorsese is currently directing a documentary feature about George’s remarkable life, and on April 14, Capitol/EMI will announce plans for a new George Harrison music release.