Tuesday, April 14, 2009
A star for Beatle George
George Harrison is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today.
I can't make it to the dedication ceremony at 11:30 this morning, but I want to pay my respects to the former Beatle. I'll stop by this evening on the way home from work.
George's star is near the Capitol Records building at 1750 Vine Street, not far from John Lennon's star.
In 1997, George learned that he had throat cancer. Four years later, a growth was removed from one of his lungs and he was later treated for a brain tumor. In November 2001, he died here in Los Angeles, with his death attributed to "metastatic non-small cell lung cancer."
George was only 58 years old.
Lennon-McCartney songs dominated on Beatles albums, but each Beatles album from "Help!" onward featured George's songwriting, too, at the rate of about one tune per LP side.
Toward the end, you could make the case that George's songs like "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Here Comes the Sun" were the highlights of the band's LPs. Even Frank Sinatra said that George's "Something" was one of the greatest love songs ever written, and George didn't mind that Ol' Blue Eyes often credited the composition to Lennon-McCartney when he performed it himself.
Following the Beatles' split in 1970, George unleashed his creativity and burst out with a triple-disc album that may be the best release by any of the former Beatles.
If not for cancer, there would be more Harrisongs in the world. But we can celebrate the songs that we have, and the man who wrote them.
Come visit George's star sometime.
And if you're struggling to complete your income tax return by tomorrow's filing deadline, drop the needle on the opening cut of the Beatles' Revolver album. "Taxman" is one of George's songs, too.