George Harrison Autographs and memorabilia | The Beatles
Authentic George Harrison Autographs and memorabilia | The Beatles Autograph Examples
Born on February 25, 1943, in Liverpool, England, George Harrison autographs formed a band with schoolmates to play clubs around Liverpool and in Hamburg, Germany. The Beatles became the biggest rock band in the world, and Harrison’s diverse musical interests took them in many directions. Post-Beatles, Harrison made acclaimed solo records and started a film production company. He died of cancer in November 2001.
Forming the Beatles
Impressed with his younger friend’s talents, Paul McCartney, who had recently joined up with another Liverpool teenager, John Lennon, in a skiffle group known as the Quarrymen, invited Harrison to see the band perform. Harrison and Lennon actually shared some common history. Both had attended Dovedale Primary School, but oddly had never met. Their paths finally crossed in early 1958. McCartney had been pushing the 17-year-old Lennon to let the 14-year-old Harrison join the band, but Lennon was reluctant to let the youngster team up with them. As legend has it, after seeing McCartney and Lennon perform, George was finally granted an audition on the upper deck of a bus, where he wowed Lennon with his rendition of popular American rock riffs.
By 1960 Harrison’s music career was in full swing. Lennon had renamed the band the Beatles, and the young group began cutting their rock teeth in the small clubs and bars around Liverpool and Hamburg, Germany. Within two years, the group had a new drummer, Ringo Starr, and a manager; Brian Epstein, a young record-store owner who eventually landed the Beatles a contract with EMI’s Parlophone label.
Before the end of 1962, Harrison and the Beatles recorded a top 20 U.K. hit, “Love Me Do.” Early that following year, another hit, “Please Please Me,” was churned out, followed by an album of the same name. Beatlemania was in full swing across England, and by early 1964; with the release of their album in the United States and an American tour, it had swept across the Atlantic as well.
‘The Quiet Beatle’
Largely referred to as the “quiet Beatle” Harrison took a backseat to McCartney; Lennon and, to a certain extent, Starr. Still, he could be quick-witted, even edgy. During the middle of one American tour, the group members were asked how they slept at night with long hair. “How do you sleep with your arms and legs still attached?” Harrison fired back.
From the start, the Beatles were a Lennon-McCartney driven band and brand. But while the two took up much of the group’s songwriting responsibilities; Harrison had shown an early interest in contributing his own work. In the summer of 1963 he spearheaded his first song; “Don’t Bother Me,” which made its way on to the group’s second album, With the Beatles. From there on out, Harrison’s songs were a staple of all Beatles records. In fact, some of the group’s more memorable songs; such as While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Something—the latter of which was was recorded by more than 150 other artists; including Frank Sinatra—were penned by Harrison.
But his influence on the group and pop music in general extended beyond just singles. In 1965, while on the set of the Beatles’ second film, Help! Harrison took an interest in some of the Eastern instruments and their musical arrangements that were being used in the movie, and he soon developed a deep interest in Indian music. Harrison taught himself the sitar, introducing the instrument to many Western ears on John Lennon’s song, “Norwegian Wood.” He also cultivated a close relationship with renowned sitar player Ravi Shankar. Soon other rock groups, including the Rolling Stones, began incorporating the sitar into their work as well. It could also be argued that Harrison’s experimentation with different kinds of instrumentation helped pave the way for such groundbreaking Beatles albums as Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Over time, Harrison’s interest in Indian music extended into a yearning to learn more about Eastern spiritual practices. In 1968, he led the Beatles on a journey to northern India to study transcendental meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. (The trip got cut short after allegations arose that the Maharishi; an avowed celibate, had engaged in sexual improprieties.)
The End of the Beatles
Having grown spiritually and musically since the group first started; Harrison, who was feeling the pangs to include more of his material on Beatles records, was clearly uneasy by the group’s Lennon-McCartney dominance. During the Let It Be recording sessions in 1969, Harrison walked out; leaving the band for several weeks before he was coaxed to come back with the promise that the band would use more of his songs on its records.
But tensions in the group were clearly high. Lennon and McCartney had ceased writing together years earlier; and they too were feeling the yearning to go in a different direction. In January 1970, the group recorded George Harrison’s “I Me Mine.” It was the last song the legendary group would ever record together. Three months later, Paul McCartney publicly announced that he was leaving the band, and the Beatles were officially done.
All of which proved to be a great boon to George Harrison autographs. He immediately assembled a studio band consisting of Ringo Starr; guitarist Eric Clapton, keyboardist Billy Preston and others to record all of the songs that had never made it on to the Beatles catalog. The result was 1970’s three-disc album, All Things Must Pass. While one of its signature songs, “My Sweet Lord,” later deemed too similar in style to the the Chiffons earlier hit “He’s So Fine;” forcing the guitarist to cough up nearly $600,000, the album as a whole remains Harrison’s most acclaimed record.
Not long after the album’s release, Harrison brandished his charitable leanings and continued passion for the East; when he put together a series of groundbreaking benefit concerts held at New York City’s Madison Square Garden to raise money for refugees in Bangladesh. Known as the Concert for Bangladesh, the shows, which featured Bob Dylan; Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Badfinger and Ravi Shankar, would go on to raise some $15 million for UNICEF. They also produced a Grammy Award–winning album; and lay the groundwork for future benefit shows such as Live Aid and Farm Aid.
Following the release of that last album, George Harrison autographs took a short break from music, winding down his self-started label, Dark Horse, which had produced works for a number of other bands, and started his own movie production company, Hand Made Films. The outfit underwrote Monty Python’s Life of Brian and the cult classic With nail and I and would go on to release 25 other movies before Harrison sold his interest in the company in 1994.