DEAD: ON THIS DATE
George Harrison (aged 58)
British musician, lead guitarist of the Beatles
George Harrison (25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001) was an English musician, singer-songwriter, music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Often referred to as “the quiet Beatle”, Harrison embraced Indian culture and helped broaden the scope of popular music through his incorporation of Indian instrumentation and Hindu-aligned spirituality in the Beatles’ work. Although the majority of the band’s songs were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, most Beatles albums from 1965 onwards contained at least two Harrison compositions. His songs for the group included “Taxman”, “Within You Without You”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something”.
DEATH: In May 2001, it was revealed that Harrison had undergone an operation to remove a cancerous growth from one of his lungs, and in July, it was reported that he was being treated for a brain tumourat a clinic in Switzerland. While in Switzerland, Starr visited him but had to cut short his stay in order to travel to Boston, where his daughter was undergoing emergency brain surgery, prompting Harrison to quip: “Do you want me to come with you?” In November 2001, he began radiotherapy at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City for non-small cell lung cancer which had spread to his brain. When the news was made public, Harrison bemoaned his physician’s breach of privacy, and his estate later claimed damages. On 12 November in New York, Harrison, Starr and McCartney came together for the last time.
On 29 November 2001, Harrison died at a friend’s home in Los Angeles, aged 58. He was cremated at Hollywood Forever Cemetery and his funeral was held at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, California.