On Tuesday, fans celebrated late Beatles guitarist George Harrison on what would have been his 77th birthday.
Harrison was born in Liverpool, England in 1943. He began playing guitar in 1956, after first hearing Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel.” In 1958, he auditioned for John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s skiffle group The Quarrymen, which later became the iconic group The Beatles.
By the mid-1960’s, Harrison’s interest in folk and Indian music began to shift the Beatles’ musical direction. The guitarist began introducing non-Western instruments to the band by 1965’s Rubber Soul, where he played a sitar on “Norwegian Wood.” On Revolver the following year, he played tambura on “Tomorrow Never Knows.”
In the band’s later career, he wrote a number of The Beatles’ most popular songs including “Here Comes the Sun”, “Something”, and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
After The Beatles’ 1969 break-up, Harrison released 12 solo albums, with All Things Must Pass being his first chart-topping album. Living in the Material World followed the album in 1973, earning him his second no. 1. Harrison also worked with influential Indian musician Ravi Shankar on his 1997 album Chants of India. He was diagnosed with throat cancer shortly after the album’s release and promotion.
Harrison passed away at 58-years-old on November 29, 2001 in Beverly Hills, California. His final album Brainwashed was released posthumously in 2002.