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George Harrison to be knighted: report


From AFP



FORMER Beatle George Harrison, who died last month, is to be knighted posthumously by Britain's Queen Elizabeth, according to a report.


The paper said his death on November 29 had come too late for him to be added to the queen's traditional New Year honours list due to be published this week, and would instead feature on her birthday honours list in June.


The report quoted a senior government source as confirming the knighthood, which if true, would be the first to be awarded posthumously.


In 1965, Harrison and the other Beatles were each awarded the MBE, a middle-ranking honour.


The guitarist, singer, songwriter and recluse died aged 58 in Los Angeles after a long battle against cancer.


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Dying held no terrors for George. He said he was going on somewhere else

By Hugh Davies, Entertainment Correspondent

(Filed: 01/12/2001)



FOREVER remembered for his experimental riffs and for songs such as Here Comes the Sun and My Sweet Lord, George Harrison was the gentle but dark-humoured Beatle who embraced death with stoicism but wanted desperately to live.


The Fab Four pose with their early silver discs in 1963

Michael Palin, his old friend from the film world, recalled his last night with the musician at his home in Henley-on-Thames. "We ended up, sitting together for three hours listening to the music of Hoagie Carmichael. He played tape after tape.


"Death held no terrors for George at all. He'd got all that worked out. He had a spirituality. He said that he was going on somewhere else. He didn't want people to grieve and feel this was the end." But even as he was dying, Harrison retained a paranoia for the safety of his family, fuelled by his stabbing by an intruder two years ago.


When surgeons at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Centre told him that chemotherapy was no longer worth the pain, he took Olivia, his Mexican wife, and son Dhani to the fortress-like West Los Angeles home of Gavin de Becker, one of America's most prominent security consultants to rock and film stars.


De Becker developed a close friendship with Harrison in the aftermath of the case of the celebrity stalker Ralph Nau who, a decade ago, pursued Olivia Newton John and Cher. Harrison moved behind de Becker's gates last week, after his final days started to mirror the last months of Steve McQueen, another enigmatic icon with cancer.


McQueen, portrayed two decades ago as an anguished actor frantic for a cure, ended up with a ju-ju man giving him alternative medicine in Mexico. Harrison, invisible as usual to the media, tried experimental radiosurgery at New York's Staten Island University Hospital after stints at a Swiss hospital and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.


Then, curiously, he ignored the nearby chemotherapy facility at the renowned Memorial Sloane-Kettering facility in Manhattan, where the West Side Story composer Leonard Bernstein was treated as an ex-smoker, to have one last attempt at prolonging his life on the West Coast.


Noted for gallows humour, he found time to credit to "RIP Ltd 2001" his last composition, Small World, Big Friends, which he wrote with his son, recording it with Jools Holland, former keyboard player with Squeeze, in Switzerland.


Harrison, like Yul Brynner before him, never flinched from blaming his cancer on smoking. Jimmy Tarbuck, the comedian, recalled Harrison as rarely being without a cigarette. "He used to have it fixed to the top fret of his guitar, burning away, as he played."


Two weeks ago, as a tumour on Harrison's brain was being treated in New York by Dr Gil Lederman, who used exceptionally high doses of radiation in what other doctors would call a hopeless case, Sir Paul McCartney spent six hours with him.


Sir Paul, 59, who met Harrison on the bus to their Liverpool school, said he wept during their last talk. Both have had their differences, amid numerous slights on Harrison's talents.


Always in awe of those such as Ry Cooder, whom he called "real" musicians, Harrison was said to have been stung by McCartney recalling a stranger telling him during a Jimi Hendrix concert: "You ought to get a bloke like that in your band, mate."


Harrison was asked why, when in Los Angeles, he hadn't attended a concert by McCartney's Wings. He replied: "The Beatles are gone. Why should I watch one now?" However, in the early days, he had been eager to impress McCartney.


Lennon and McCartney watched him on stage at a youth club. Harrison, who learned his chords from Bert Weedon's book Play In A Day, stood out with his hard-learned solo of Bill Justice's Raunchy.


He also played Duane Eddy's Rebel Rouser and so became a regular lead guitarist with The Quarrymen. The band became Johnny and the Moondogs in 1959, briefly, the Silver Beetles and then the Beatles in 1960.


Much has been made of the later creative tension between them. There was also the fact that Harrison seemed to prefer the company of Eric Clapton. He originally warmed to the guitarist musically after Clapton wrote in Disc and Music Echo in praise of his work on the album Revolver.


Harrison then raised Lennon's eyebrows by bringing Clapton to a Beatles recording session and insisting on a duet. There was tension between the two when Lennon died, as well as antagonism between McCartney and Yoko Ono, Lennon's widow.


But that was long ago. Yesterday Sir Paul called Harrison "my baby brother". He said that he spoke to Harrison's wife "about the moment" that Harrison died. "I understand that he went peacefully - it was a very peaceful golden moment."


Recalling their recent meeting, he said: "He was full of fun, a brave lad. I always hoped some miracle would happen. I am very, very sad." Ringo Starr, 61, whose daughter Lee Starkey is undergoing treatment for a brain tumour, also visited Harrison in hospital.


Speaking in Vancouver, Starr said: "George was a best friend of mine. Barbara, my wife, and I will miss him for his sense of love, music and laughter." Ono said Harrison brought "magic" to the lives of those who knew him. "Thank you George, it was grand knowing you."


Gerry Marsden, of Ferry Cross The Mersey fame, recalled becoming close to Harrison when their bands played in Hamburg. He said: "A great musician gone to heaven. George was just a nice guy and a gentleman. At least through his death he will have been released from all the pain he has been going through."


Cilla Black, also from the Brian Epstein stable, spoke of their camaraderie on the road after they met at the Cavern club. "I am so sad." Her husband, Bobby Willis, died from cancer in 1999. Michael Palin worked with Harrison on Handmade Films.


He said: "He actually mortgaged his house in Henley to put the money down. George had sent a note to the Monty Python team on the very first night of recording in 1969, saying how much he enjoyed us. From then on, a friendship developed, based on his love of humour and my amazement at his music.


"He enabled us to make The Life of Brian in 1978. My film, The Missionary, Alan Bennet's first and only film, Private Function, Time Bandits, The Long Good Friday, Mona Lisa, all wouldn't have happened without George's enthusiasm and inspiration.


"Quite apart from his music, he was an enormous influence to the British film industry." Palin recalled him coming on the set in The Life of Brian. "He played a man who wanted to give his money away, and the crowd wouldn't listen to him. He had a great sense of humour. Some of the best laughs I've had have been with George."


Palin dismissed the notion of Harrison being "the quiet Beatle". "When I was with him, he never stopped talking, especially about his enthusiasms." These included gardening and George Formby.


His last "live" performance, before becoming a recluse, was with his son on ukelele in Blackpool singing I'm Leaning On A Lamppost at a George Formby Society gig. Harrison's first wife, Patti Boyd, said at her home in Kensington: "I'm just so sad. I loved him so much."


Sir George Martin was perhaps closest to Harrison in the early Beatles days as their record producer at the Abbey Road EMI studios. "John and Paul used to collaborate on songs, but of course George didn't have anyone to work with.


At our first meeting in 1962 when I took them into the studio I tried to work out what kind of sound I was supposed to be dealing with. "I did a rough tape and asked them to listen to it. I said, 'Have a listen to this and tell me what you don't like about it.'


"George said, 'I don't like your tie.' That was typical of his sense of humour. I think he would have always have preferred to have been anonymous. He always tried to keep a low profile."


The producer said he always insisted on top-quality work and "George accepted that". He said: "George worked at it - and of course it came through wonderfully. In fact, when the Beatles broke up he became the strongest one.


He sold millions of his triple album All Things Must Pass - and he wrote some fantastic songs, of which Something is my favourite." Sir George was one of the last of Harrison's old friends to visit him before he left for America.


He said: "He was enormously optimistic - and still fighting all the way. But when you have the disease as far as he did, it is a lone battle and a long one. He never really gave up, and worried too much about what was going to happen."


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Does anyone happen to have access to the Ravi Shankar article written in the NY Times on Dec. 9th, 2001 eulogizing George Harrison? I tried accessing it but NY Times wants me to in order to read the article....I thought maybe someone out there had read it and saved a copy? Its called, "George Harrison, World-Music Catalyst And Great-Souled Man; A Childlike

Simplicity, Full of Love" and Fun by Ravi Shankar, NY Times, Dec. 9, 2001

ARTS AND LEISURE DESK | Thanks! Keeshori

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Ananova :


Charity for children and poor to get George Harrison single profits


Profits from a tribute single to the late George Harrison will go towards a long-standing charitable body he established.


His solo number one My Sweet Lord is being re-released later this month following the former Beatles star's death from cancer in November.


Record label bosses at Parlophone say the proceeds will go to the Material World Charitable Foundation, which supports those working with children and the poor.


Harrison's charity was set-up around the time of his 1973 solo album Living In The Material World. Royalties from nine of the 11 songs from the LP went to the foundation.


The record company says the release is "due to public demand". The single will also include a remix of My Sweet Lord which he did for the reissue in 2000 of his critically acclaimed album All Things Must Pass.


My Sweet Lord was originally released 31 years ago in January 1971 and became the first solo post-Beatles number one for any of the group. It topped the charts for five weeks, but prompted a court case because of similarities between the and The Chiffons' hit He's So Fine.


The re-released single features new artwork with an original photograph taken by Harrison.


Tributes were paid around the world after the death of the musician.


Story filed: 18:36 Wednesday 2nd January 2002


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To welcome you back with a big bang, we have a simply wonderful Sir Sriman George Hari Son video from Rolling Stone:


VIDEO - Long sequence including My Sweet Lord and Chant in the Names of Lord and You'll be Free


And this is nice: The only God we need is within ourselves


And a few George quotes: <A HREF="http://members.tripod.com/~peace_chic/indexgeorge3.html" TARGET=_blank> 11) What about drugs? Are you straight now?

Oh, yeah.

12) You were always the mystical Beatle. Are you still very religious?

Yeah, but now I just keep it to myself. It's still what I believe in, though, that we're looking for inner peace & knowledge.</A>


And George got his picture on the cover, on the cover of the Rolling Stone.

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That show tonight at 8:00 EST is a must see.


"Luther Vandross will also perform “My Sweet Lord” as a salute to George Harrison"


Get hip, dude. Hundreds of millions will be there. My Sweet Lord!!!!!!!

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A retrospective on the past 58 years

With love to George, and my Global Family of Beatle People /12.08.01

By Louise Harrison



(We're honored to print this letter from Louise Harrison. Please credit Abbeyrd's Beatles Page if posted elsewhere.)



George Harrison's sister, Louise Harrison (Photo by Alan Levenson.)

Dec. 8, 2001


Some fifty eight years ago when I was eleven, my Mom let me hold my new eight hour old, baby brother in my arms. I love all three brothers very much, but I suppose because I had now reached the mature age of eleven, I felt a greater sense of protectiveness toward George.



The four of us grew up in a strong and secure, good natured family atmosphere. Mum and Dad nurtured us in a way that helped us grow into self-confident individuals with a great compassion for our fellow Earthlings. Although we were not financially rich, we never felt deprived in any way. Due to WW2 even the really rich didn't have much of anything anyway!


George and I shared many experiences, including the excitement and fun of the early Beatle years, the search for a better understanding of our Creator, why are we here on Earth? and do we have any real purpose? George's search led him, amongst other things, to a book called "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda. In about 1969, George sent me a copy of the book and soon thereafter I joined the Self-Realization Fellowship which Yogananda founded in 1925 in California.


George was delighted when I showed him my membership card and with a mischievous grin said to me (knowing some of the goof-ups I had made in my life), "Maybe now you will become my divine sister!" With an equally mischievous grin I replied, "I'd like to try, but it won't come easy." His reply: "Nothing worthwhile ever does!"


During the Bangla Desh era, we spent much time together and both learned you cannot perform a spontaneous good deed, you have to have a (501) C-3 first!


Another significant experience we shared was the deaths about seven years apart, of both of our loving, strong and good-humored parents.


During the early Beatle days, Mum and Dad had eagerly embraced their growing global family of Beatle people, replying to thousands of letters, making personal appearances at many charitable events, often to raise money for orphans. They encouraged me to reach out also, noting it was logistically impossible for the Boys themselves to greet their fans individually, but that we, as 'the non famous" Harrison's could much more easily greet people acknowledge their support and return their love. Once Mum and Dad passed, having inherited their love for people, I became the unofficial Mum to the family of Beatle People. I have always seen this role as 1) a great responsibility, and 2) a great privilege. Not many people get the opportunity to foster love where ever they go!


Many of the Beatle People I met and hugged, throughout the years, are now my real and loving friends. (Thanks for your love and support at this time.)


I learned from SRF, if you truly believe the Creator is within you: a) You are connected with love to all who also contain that spirit. b) You can never think any thought, or perform any act 'behind God's back' and c) Your spirit cannot be adversely affected by the happenings in this finite and imperfect world. Living with those credos one can only think and act with total purity of purpose. In late 1992, I formed a non-profit environmental organization, called Drop-In! It was a continuation of the spirit of many of the "messages" embodied in the Beatle phenomenon. We also included some of the things I had learned from the SRF.


Initially I explained the general ideas of Drop-In to George and invited him to be on the Board, but he said to me, "No Lou, this is your mission or dharma. This is the task you have to do. Besides, it seems you have tapped into a "Power" greater than any help I can give. "


Although he did not join the Board, he DID offer to let me use his song "Save the World" as a musical backdrop to the 170 public service announcements called Good EarthKeeping Tips, which I researched, wrote and broadcast on 9,200 radio stations during 1993 and 1994.


An event occurred in the mid 90's which at first, though it was being touted as 'historical' I found, with Monty Python humor, to be rather "hysterical." The house, which George visited in 1963 -- the first visit of a Beatle to the United States -- was to be torn down to make a parking lot. Many people wanted to save the house. In answer to much prodding I agreed to help. To cut a long story short, the house was saved, a group of neighbors bought the house, then, owning a house they didn't need, wondered what to do with it! The solution was to make it into a Bed & Breakfast.


A historical marker will be issued in 2013, 50 years after George's visit. Many historical markers seem to commemorate a situation where "one bunch of humans slaughtered another bunch of humans." I, with a touch of whimsy, thought, "Maybe we are evolving to a higher state of consciousness if, instead of death and destruction, we now think it worth while to commemorate a kind and decent young man who gave only love, wonderful music and kindness to the world."


I expected George might be a bit embarrassed by all this, but knowing him to be the man who made such efforts for the people of Bangla Desh, I didn't think he would be too upset if the little, four bedroom B & B with the "slight Beatle connection" helped, in a tiny way, the nice friendly people he had known in 1963 . They are so proud of him and the area is not as thriving as it was in 1963, because most of coal mines are now closed. I tried to help the owners a bit, (they have done such a wonderful job) by getting involved in some publicity to promote the B & B.


A few weeks ago I was in Toronto on business when I learned that my brother was in Staten Island. I decided to take the long way home to Illinois via New York and stop to see him. We had a lovely visit, sharing a few old family jokes and were able to look into each other's eyes with love, just as we had 58 years ago when first we met. He will, of course, live happily ever after, with his Sweet Lord.



I still have to accomplish my mission here on Earth.



Foot-Note, or should I say Leg-End? (That's just an album plug) Four days after my brother's passing, I was informed that a minor segment of the press was involved in some Lou-bashing. This was NOT the best time to hear such news, but I know for sure, this now 70-year-old, single lady has not been involved in any scandal, so I am not concerned. The many thousands of people who know me will ignore any negativity, and as George once sang "Gossip, gossip, the Devil's radio!'

Having now seen the reports, all I can say is this: The house which supposedly caused a 40- or 11-year rift, depending on which report you read, only became a B & B in 1996! I personally do not, and never have, owned such a venture. Case closed.



So: Let it be, and as George said, All things must pass, even Gossip!


(Boy, those Beatles knew how to come up with great song titles, didn't they!)


Till next time, Cheerio! P.S., I love you. Please plant a tree!


Louise Harrison

Southern Illinois, USA

December 9th 2001.

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I wanted to mention that I recently purchased the "Remembering George" video. It is a tribute put together by Siddhanta, who creates the "Memories" series of Srila Prabhupada. It was a very nice video, with behind the scenes with George Harrison. They have a video of him leading kirtan with the Mahamantra from back in 1993, a number of photographs, and just talking and being one of the fellas. He was very quiet and humble. You can tell simply by how he carried himself, that he didn't care that he was "George Harrison" the famous musician. He was just very down to earth. The video also had some stories told by Gurudas and Shyamasundara Prabhu. It was very nice.



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Tomorrow My Sweet Lord will be released; expected to top charts.


This is from the Sunday Times:


Beatle’s $1m for Krishna shrine


THE former Beatle George Harrison pledged to help build a shrine to the Hindu god Krishna before his death. The temple is to be constructed on high ground near the banks of the River Ganges close to the spot where Harrison’s ashes may soon be immersed.

The ornate building will include a prayer hall where devotees of Krishna facing to the east can gaze out on a 30ft-high statue of the god. It is to be built at Varanasi, the holiest of Indian cities.


The 1Å-acre site has been donated by a company that manufactures traditional Indian medicines.


As well as the 6,000 sq ft temple, there will be dormitory-style accommodation for 100 monks and nuns and a guesthouse with 150 beds for pilgrims. Krishna supporters say Harrison promised $1m (£700,000) for the temple when he visited last summer.


Harrison, pale and thin from the cancer that was to kill him, had returned to Varanasi, where he first discovered eastern mysticism in the 1960s, to bathe in the waters. According to Hindu philosophy, a believer must touch the Ganges before death to be cleansed of his sins.


Prasann Atama, president of the temple, said: “If the lord has given George Harrison strength to help us, all well and good.”


In 1973 Harrison bought a 400-year-old mansion and 17 acres of wooded grounds in the Hertfordshire village of Letchmore Heath for £220,000 and gave it to the Krishna movement.


My Sweet Lord, his No 1 single from 1971 in praise of Krishna, is being re-released tomorrow and is likely to top the charts once again. A last album recorded months before his death under the working title Portrait of a Leg End is also likely to be released later this year.


Krishna devotees say that tomorrow, the festival of Makar Sankranti when the sun moves out of a dark zone to symbolise renewal, would be a perfect time to scatter Harrison’s ashes.



Olivia Harrison, the musician’s widow, has accused her former brother-in-law of taking Beatles memorabilia, photos and records from one of her homes in the 1970s and then trying to sell them the day after the guitarist died.

The executors of Harrison’s estate have filed a law suit in Los Angeles against Carl Roles, the former husband of Linda Arias, Olivia’s sister, preventing sale of the items.


From http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/article/0,,9003-2002020596,00.html


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[This message has been edited by gHari (edited 01-14-2002).]

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Yes, that is a recent authentic Nancy toon. The cartoonist is obviously a true fan, judging by the lyrics chosen which really define our sweet George well.


Soon My Sweet Lord will begin to sweep the Americas. I keep listening to it. Can't believe how far I've come in thirty years.


Jaya Prabhupada.

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Here is my own little graphic for George:


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[This message has been edited by Gauracandra (edited 01-15-2002).]

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I quite enjoyed the extended fifteen minute visual morphing on the newly enhanced All Things Must Pass -- My Sweet Lord 2000 Version Site . I think I've learned to like the new vocal too.


At the end you can download it as a screensaver for either PC or Mac. Unfortunately it only cycles through the initial morphing sequences. Perhaps later it will be enhanced too.<Font color="#f7f7f7">


[This message has been edited by gHari (edited 01-21-2002).]

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(Reuters) Caption and credit Harrison Re-Release Soars to Top of British Charts


Jan. 20

LONDON (Reuters) - The late George Harrison has soared to the top of the singles charts this week, with his re-issued 1971 hit "My Sweet Lord" displacing another posthumously released single, according to the Official UK Charts Company.


The hit by the former Beatle, who died in November of cancer, toppled late singer Aaliyah's single "More Than A Woman."


It is believed to be the first time that consecutive posthumous hits have topped the British charts.


The single from the third album "Aaliyah" by the American R&B singer, who died in a light plane crash in the Bahamas last August, dropped to the No. 5 spot.


It is the second time the Harrison hit has held the No. 1 slot. It topped the charts for five weeks in 1971, becoming the first solo post-Beatles No. 1 for any of the Fab Four.


Sales of the tribute single are going to the Material World Foundation, set up by Harrison to support agencies that assist poverty-stricken children.

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Harrison Single Also to Aid SRF


Family to donate "My Sweet Lord"'s U.S. proceeds to California organization


Proceeds from U.S. sales of the January 14th reissue of George Harrison's 1970 song "My Sweet Lord" will go to the Self-Realization Fellowship, a California organization that promotes the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. Yogananda, who established the fellowship in 1920 to spread his philosophy of yoga and meditation, is best known for his Autobiography of a Yogi. He was frequently cited by Harrison as an important spiritual influence.

"We were very touched that the family selected us," says spokeswoman Lauren Landers. "But what George Harrison represented in terms of his spirituality is the most rewarding thing. Between his works and his whole manner, there was a profound thoughtfulness that spoke volumes about who he was."


As previously reported, profits from the single outside of the U.S. -- which includes "My Sweet Lord (2000)" and "Let It Down" -- will go to the Material World Charitable Foundation, which raises money for children and the poor worldwide. Harrison established Material World in 1973 and donated royalties from his album that year, Living in the Material World, to the charity.


The "My Sweet Lord" re-release will include new artwork with an original photo taken by Harrison. The song was a U.S. Number One hit -- the first for a solo Beatle -- for four weeks upon its release in 1970.



(January 10, 2002)




[This message has been edited by jijaji (edited 01-22-2002).]

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