After befriending Paul McCartney on the bus to school, George started his career early joining The Quarrymen (as The Beatles were originally known) on February 6, 1958 at the tender age of 14. The band wasn't the only thing that changed names however as George briefly changed his name to Carl Harrison (in honor of his idol, Carl Perkins) for the bands first tour of Scotland in 1960. He was only 27 when the super-group parted ways.
A Man of Many Talents
A truly versatile musician, George played around 26 different instruments. As any Beatles fan knows, George could play the guitar and the sitar - which he learnt from his good friend Ravi Shankar- but his talents extended beyond this and he was also well allegeldy accomplished on the conga drum, the African drum, the xylophone, violin, harmonica and glockenspiel. Harrison also swapped out instruments whilst recording with The Beatles and actually plays both guitar and bass on the recorded version of She Said, She Said,
The Monty Python comedy classic Life of Brian struck disaster in pre-production when the original backer withdrew funding; scared that the religious jokes in the film may be too controversial. A friend of the Monty Python gang, Harrison set up his own production company (Handmade Films) to fund the project, even making a cameo in it, simply "because he wanted to see the film." Eric Idle is widely quoted as saying that this remains "the most money anyone ever paid to see a movie.
Blowin' in The Wind?
All four Beatles were fans of Bob Dylan fans but Harrison felt a special bond with him, and spent weeks at Dylan’s New York home in late 1968 where the pair co-wrote I’d Have You Anytime, which appeared on 1970's All Things Must Pass. The two would later become bandmates in the Traveling Wilburys, and maintained a close, lifelong friendship.
Something in the way he writes...
Largely inspired by a lyric from another Apple recording artist ‘’Something in the way she moves’’ (James Taylor) surprisingly Something is the only song written and sung by Harrison released as a Beatles single. It went on to reach No. 1 in the charts. Alongside Yesterday. Something went on to become one of the band's most covered songs with Frank Sinatra infamously giving credit to the song to Lennon and McCartney when he sang it onstage.
Here comes a hit!
Infamously written in Eric Clapton’s garden, this song was composed whilst Harrison avoided attending meetings at Apple HQ due to his increasing frustration of life in the band:
Here Comes The Sun was written at the time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: 'Sign this' and 'Sign that'. Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever; by the time spring comes you really deserve it. So one day I decided I was going to sag off Apple and I went over to Eric Clapton's house. The relief of not having to go and see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric's acoustic guitars and wrote Here Comes The Sun.George Harrison