Kim Kizyma
Graphic Designer + Creative Technologist

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Happy 75th George

While growing up and getting super invested in the huge music catalog of The Beatles, I got very into George Harrison. It's kind of funny actually.

John was my first favorite Beatle. I was just initially drawn to him. I went on to study him and his lyricism and his years beyond The Beatles with a magnifying glass. He was the best Beatle in my eyes. He was the leader of the band and the reason it was, and still is, what it is, today.

But then I studied George next. The quiet Beatle. Or the funny Beatle. Though he didn't write a large amount of Beatle songs, the ones that he DID write, I loved. They were so deep and spiritually inclined. He was the lead guitarist of the group. And as I was learning guitar (many years ago...I don't really play anymore), I paid close attention to his instrumentation and his guitars. They were extensions of him, in my eyes.

And in light of his 75th birthday, I'd like to write a bit about him here.

Probably his most famous Beatles song, "Here Comes the Sun," is great. It really is. And when Paul plays it at his shows in memory of George, I love it. The whole crowd does. But it's really not a top favorite of mine.

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" from the White Album is an absolute rock and roll classic anthem. You can gain great insight into this song, and most all of his others, when reading his autobiography, "I Me Mine." Click here to view or buy his book. It's really one of my all time favorite books. ("I Me Mine" is a great song, as well.)

As far as Beatle songs that George wrote...I have to say, my top favorite is probably "Within You Without You" off the Sgt. Pepper album. It's one of the Indian influenced tracks and the music is quite a bit more "abstract" than the Fab Four was known for prior to their trips to India and meeting with Ravi Shankar. The lyrics in the song are beautiful and very worldly. Read them below:

I also remember this funny clip of George singing an "alternative version" of his classic "My Sweet Lord" on Monty Python. It's so funny. Very SNL-esque. Watch below:

Another funny, almost petty, move on Harrison's part was after he got sued for "My Sweet Lord." He was found guilty of plagiarism of the Chiffons "He's So Fine." Harrison then went on to write this song, ironically titled, "This Song." The video is hysterical in context with the lawsuit. Watch it below.

Aside from the humor, George really wrote some deep and substantial songs. His whole solo album, "All Things Must Pass," I would argue as one of my top favorites of all time. Definitely my favorite Harrison album. I love his spiritual side and his expression of it in his music. It is eye-opening and done with such grace.

Sunrise doesn't last all morning
A cloudburst doesn't last all day

Seems my love is up and has left you with no warning
It's not always going to be this gray

All things must pass
All things must pass away

Sunset doesn't last all evening
A mind can blow those clouds away
After all this, my love is up and must be leaving
It's not always going to be this gray

All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
None of life's strings can last

So, I must be on my way and face another day
Now the darkness only stays at nighttime
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
It's not always going to be this gray

All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
All things must pass away

Mr. Harrison and Dylan at the Concert for Bangla Desh

Mr. Harrison and Dylan at the Concert for Bangla Desh

He, of course, also was in charge of the HUGE Concert for Bangla Desh. It's one of my absolute favorite live concerts to watch over. It had such great names all performing at Madison Square Garden for relief for Bangla Desh. It starred George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Ravi Shankar, Billy Preston, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman, Badfinger, and many more. It's really a remarkable live performance all for charity, and one I recommend all music fans to spend time watching. Sidenote: Dylan's performance here is one of my favorites. His version of "Love Minus Zero / No Limit" is SO GOOD. His voice is on point.

Happy birthday George. Your legacy, music, and message live on.

kk