George Harrison 1943-2001

Nov 30, 2001 by Ian Evans

Former Beatle George Harrison has died in Los Angeles after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 58.

His family issued a brief statement on Thursday, saying “He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends. He often said, ‘Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.’”

He was in Los Angeles to receive chemotherapy treatment at the UCLA Medical Center. He had just returned from New York, where he had been undergoing experimental radiosurgery.

Questioned outside his home in London, fellow Beatle Paul McCartney said “He was a lovely guy and a very brave man and had a wonderful sense of humor. He is really just my baby brother.”

Ringo Starr said George was “a best friend of mine. I loved him very much and I will miss him greatly. Both Barbara and I send our love and light to Olivia and Dhani. We will miss George for his sense of love, his sense of music and his sense of laughter.”

John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, said that “George has given so much in his lifetime and continues to do so even after his passing, with his music, his wit and his wisdom. My deep love and concern goes to Olivia and Dhani. The three of them were the closest, most loving family you can imagine.”

The last few years were full of struggles for the youngest Beatle. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1997. On New Year’s Eve 1999 an intruder broke into Harrison’s home and stabbed him repeatedly. Cancer then moved to his lungs and, earlier this year, his brain.

George was the Beatles’ lead guitarist, but he also helped to introduce his bandmates to the influences of Eastern music. Though much of the attention was on the Lennon-McCartney songwriting team, George was a great writer too, penning such Beatles tunes as Something, Here Comes the Sun and While My Guitar Gently Weeps.