George Harrison was born this week in 1943, and we’re all the better for it. Some reports say the birth was actually just before midnight on February 24th, but the preponderance of evidence points to the 25th, so we’ll go with that.
His birthplace is 12 Arnold Grove, the tiny family home on a cul-de-sac with an outdoor toilet and one foot wide flower bed.
He must have loved eventually having a flower bed the size of his choosing, as gardening became a passion. In fact, he’s thought to have been responsible for the planting of 10,000 trees during his lifetime.
Germans were bombing Liverpool in February ’43. He contemplated that fact, and his birth, while visiting Arnold Grove in the 1990s.
“When you consider the whole planet, all the planets there may be on a spiritual level. How do I come into that family, in that house at that time, and who am I anyway?” (from Dark Horse: the Life and Art of George Harrison.)
He was the youngest of four, and youngest of the fab four.
The baby Beatle would’ve been 73 today… or tomorrow… and still seems omnipresent.
Maybe it’s because we’ll hear a leftover George recording on Eric Clapton‘s new album next month.
Or that GeorgeFest: Celebrating the Music of George Harrison comes out Friday.
Or maybe it’s that he received that Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Or that his Apple Years catalog was recently remastered.
Or that his son looks just like him .
I just don’t know.
Or… is it because when you can write, sing and play like George, by George, we’ll keep listening to it for decades. I hear his influence on most days here at KLUV. The compelling guitar refrains of And I Love Her, and Taxman… the sitar on Norwegian Wood. Early solo hits: What Is Life, My Sweet Lord, Give Me Love. Or random iTunes from his later work.
Liner notes from George’s final album released a year after his death include this quote from the Bhagavad Gita:
“There was never a time when you or I did not exist. Nor will there be any future when we shall cease to be.”
So, greetings, George, wherever you are. Which apparently is…