George Harrison was born February 25, 1943, making him the youngest
Beatle. The only Beatle who's childhood was not marred by divorce or
death, he had two brothers, Harold Jr. and Peter, and a sister, Louise.
His father, Harold, was a bus driver, and his mother a housewife, who
all the kids in the neighborhood knew and liked.
George attended Dovedale Primary school, two forms behind John
Lennon, and then Liverpool Institute, one form below Paul McCartney. He
showed his independant nature at an early age, defying his school's
age-old dress code by wearing jeans and growing long hair. His strict
parents did not condone his disrespectful attitude and George soon
learned to tone down his rebellion. When the skiffle craze hit
Liverpool, George and his brother Peter formed a Skiffle band, but
because they were so young, they had to sneak out of the house to play
their first engagement.
George and Paul took the same bus to school, and soon found they had
music and guitars in common. They spent many hours together at each
other's homes practicing guitar. In 1956, Paul introduced the skinny and
pimple-faced George to the Quarrymen. George was only 14 at the time.
Not old enough to join the group, George hung around with the boys, and
came to idolize John, doing everything he could to emulate him. George
stood in the back of the room at all their shows with his guitar. A few
times he filled in for the regular guitarist who didn't show up, and the
boys were also welcomed in George's house by his mother to practice and
for an occasional "jam buttie", encouragement which infuriated John's
Aunt Mimi. Gradually, George became a member of the group, which by then
had come to be called Johnny and the Moondogs.
From the very start of the Beatles' popularity, George was as major a
vocalist as John and Paul. As the songwriting of Lennon and McCartney
became world-known, George started to concentrate more on writing songs
as well, although many of the early songs written while with the Beatles
went unrecorded. The first Beatles song written by George was Don't
Bother Me. George became a very serious musician who worked
dilgently to perfect his playing. His concentration to his playing was
apparent while on stage, especially compared to the wild antics of John
George almost missed the Beatles' biggest appearance in America, the
Ed Sullivan Show, on February 9, 1964, because of a sore throat. He met
teenage model Patty Boyd while filming A Hard Day's Night and
they got married on January 21, 1966.
In His Own Words
At their first session, when the Beatles were asked by George Martin
if there wasn't anything they didn't like, George replied:
"Well, I don't like your tie for a start."
About Indian music and philosophy, George said:
"After 'Norwegian Wood', I met Ravi Shankar at a friend's house in
London, for dinner. He offered to give me instructions in the basics
of the sitar, like how to sit, how to hold it, and the basic
exercises. It was the first time I had ever really learned music with
a bit of discipline. Then I started to listen to Indian music for the
next two years, and hardly touched the guitar, except for recordings.
Having all these material things, I wanted something more. And it
happened that at just the time I wanted it, it came to me in the form
of Ravi Shankar, Indian music, and the whole Indian philosophy."