The ‘quiet Beatle’ who played rock and roll with a sitar: remembering George Harrison on his 74th birthday

Saturday, February 25, 2017

“All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.”

George Harrison didn’t exhibit the moody genius of John Lennon. Neither did he possess the charming boyish delight of Paul McCartney or the brilliant dry humour of Ringo Starr. But the ‘quiet Beatle’ owned a personality that went far higher and beyond that of his fellow bandmates. With strikingly good dark looks, an inherent musical tendency, and the soul of an Indian sage, George Harrison’s extraordinary life as a leading but humble musician of the greatest age of rock is perhaps the most interesting one to speculate, possibly because of his incessant urge to keep it behind closed doors.

Born into a working class family in Liverpool, Harrison claimed that he received his musical affinity from his mother, who while expecting him would tune into the mystical tunes of the sitar and tablas from Radio India every Sunday. A backbencher in school, Harrison would spend class-time doodling pictures of the greatest guitars. On a bicycle-ride back home, enlightenment hit him in the form of Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel, strumming its way out of a neighbour’s window. Determined to harbour this new kindling, Harrison recruited his brother Peter and friend Arthur Kelly to this sudden passion and the trio formed their first band, naturally called the ‘Rebels’.

Their rising popularity among the school circles piqued the interest of Paul McCartney, a year senior and studying at the same campus. McCartney then invited him to join his then band led by John Lennon, the Quarrymen. This would later, with the addition of Ringo Starr, become one of the greatest bands in music history, the Beatles.

By: Sanjana Ray

Source: Your Story


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