George Harrison died eight years ago yesterday. (This post was supposed to be finished and published yesterday, but late Sunday night, something inside me demanded "Screw the blogs. Go to sleep, idiot!" And for once, I did.)
In spite of George's impressive and lengthy solo career, the Concert for Bangladesh, his work as a member of the Traveling Wilburys, his "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" associations with the Rutles, and a long list of other accomplishments, he will always be best remembered as one of The Beatles.
But then again, that ain't too shabby!
As I wrote approximately eighteen months ago on my old David'Z RantZ blog, "if you were one of The Beatles, you were one of the coolest people in the universe, ever. Or at least you were cool for a period long enough so that you'll be indelibly stamped in the minds of Earth's citizens as a 'former Beatle,' and nothing you can do -- not even a stint as Mr. Conductor -- can take that away from you. I mean, if Paul McCartney -- I'm sorry, I meant Sir Paul McCartney -- were to be elected Prime Minister of Great Britain, you just know that even if he were assassinated in office we'd read this: 'British Prime Minister and former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney was shot today outside of... ' Hell, Ringo could become an astronat and a serial killer, and the eventual news article would read, 'Ringo Starr, former Beatle, astronaut, and accused mass murderer, was apprehended today...' "
Anyway, this is not a full-fledged tribute to George. Basically, all I'm going to say about George and the other Beatles -- at this time, anyway -- is the following:
1. I was seven years old when the Beatles and their music made their big splash on American soil. (A "splash" on "soil?" Am I mixing metaphors there?) Therefore, while the teenage girls mostly chose -- "chose" meaning "had the hots for" -- Paul or John, my favorite Beatle was the comical, goofy Ringo. That changed as the years went by and I entered my so-called adulthood. George became my favorite. For some reason, I identified more with the spiritual, so-called "quiet Beatle" more than the others. (And to anyone who read that and said "You identified with somebody described as spiritual and quiet?"... leave the room, wiseguy.)
2. Although I was shocked and saddened at the fatal shooting of John Lennon in 1980, it was Harrison's death that had a more profound effect on me. Something about the youngest Beatle dying of lung cancer, a disease more associated with older people -- and yes, of course I realize that cancer far too often claims the lives of young adults, and even children -- forced me to face my own mortality.
Although tempted to include, like, 47 YouTube videos showcasing George's singing and/or songwriting skills as evidenced by his solo work, his Beatles contributions, his Traveling Wilburys stuff, et al, I decided on two.
This is the first song George ever wrote. I first heard it when my sister bought the American Meet the Beatles LP.
And this is a lesser-known Beatles tune that I simply love, from the soundtrack of the movie Help!
One final note: Coinciding with the 30th anniversary re-release of the All Things Must Pass album in 2001, George went online to do a webchat. The entertaining transcript of that chat may be found here. I recommend it; George was his usual clever self.
Thanks for your time.