On George Harrison's Birthday
by Wesley Schultz
posted February 24, 2004
In honor of what would be George's 61st birthday on February 25, I
thought it would be nice to list some of this contributions to music and
to life itself. Often overshadowed by the success of Lennon/McCartney
tunes, George fought to get his songs on The Beatles LPs and it wasn't
till the last single released that a Harrison composition was released
on the 'A' side.
- The Beatles very first studio recording was written by George "Cry For A Shadow,' chosen over selections written by Lennon/McCartney.
(Credits show written by Harrison/Lennon but was mainly a Harrison composition)
- As outspoken as John Lennon was it was George who wrote three 'social
comment' songs during the Beatles reign. Taxman, Little Piggies, I Me
- George brought in the first outside musician to play on a Beatles
record. (other than Beatles producer George Martin) It was Eric Clapton
who played on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." George and Eric were best
- George's first wife left him for Eric Clapton. George and Eric
remained best of friends till George's death. Eric appears on the recent CD release 'Tribute to George Harrison."
- George introduced a new sound with an instrument from India called a
sitar on the record Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) and recorded a
couple more songs with the Beatles with heavy Indian music influence.
- The Beatles were huge fans of Carl Perkins and recorded more of his
songs than any other artist. After the Beatles breakup George played
concerts with Carl Perkins and was responsible for Carl's comeback.
- The 2nd biggest selling Beatles single was "Something" written by
George. In recent interviews with producer George Martin, he admits
that he maybe should have paid more attention to George's song writing
- The first couple years after the Beatles breakup George had the best
record sales of the Beatles as individuals. His first release 'All
Things Must Pass' was a 3 LP set. Soon afterwards came the 'Concert for
Bangledesh.' This was the first 'aid' type concert by a rock artist which started the benefit concert trend.
- Ringo Starr was the only ex-Beatle to have 3 consecutive number one
hits of which he says it was due largely to the un-credited assistance
of George Harrison.
- One of the last number one hits by an individual Beatle was George's
cover of 'I've Got My Mind Set On You.' George was visiting his sister
in the U.S. before they were famous here, and heard 'Set On You,' bought
the record and took it back for the Beatles to do a version. It never
happened. Years later George worked on it and released it and it hit
- In later Beatle songs and many of George's songs he uses the 'slide'
guitar effect. Sounding different than most others, after his death his
son was asked why George's slide effects sound different than others.
He replied that most re-tune their guitars to an 'F' chord but George
played with standard tuning.
- Fans of 'The Byrds' know that guitarist / singer / song writer Roger
McGuinn plays a 12 string Rickenbacker guitar which now bears his name. McGuinn traded in some guitars in order to buy the 12 string after seeing and hearing George Harrison play one in the movie and song "A Hard Day's Night."
- Harrison co-produced and plays lead guitar on the huge hit "Day After
Day" by the group Badfinger.
- George used the 'wah-wah' effect before the infamous 'Wah-Wah" pedal
was invented. Once John Lennon turned the volume control up and down on
Harrison's guitar as he played. Later he used a volume control pedal.
- He produced many films including "Monty Python's Life of Bryan" and "Time Bandits."
- George was the most spiritual Beatle. When he learned he would die due to a brain tumor, he was totally at peace with his life, and the coming
For original Beatle fans as well as newer generation fans there is
currently a '40 Year Anniversary' magazine on the news stands. Great
magazine to re-hash your memories or learn about The Beatles for the
Your spirit will never die, Big George. I love you.