REMEMBERING THE ‘QUIET BEATLE’ of "George Harrison" that who embraced the Hare Krishna tradition

 "George Harrison" that who embraced the Hare Krishna tradition
February 25 is the birth anniversary of George Harrison, the popular British songwriter and musician  known best as a member of the famous Beatles Group.

 It is now well-known that  Harrison  wrote a song especially for Dehradun  during his stay at the ashram of Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh in the late sixties . For the Beatles,  their stay in India was their most creative period. When they were in Rishikesh for several weeks in February, March and April of 1968 (They stayed at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's spiritual centre in  Rishikesh), they wrote many  songs, most of which were included in their "White Album", one of their best known.

 Born on February 25, 1943, in Liverpool, England, Harrison formed a band with schoolmates to play in  clubs around Liverpool.  The Beatles became the biggest rock band in the world and Harrison's diverse musical interests took them in many directions. Like his future band mates, Harrison was not born into wealth.  His mother  was largely a stay-at-home mom while her husband Harold drove a school bus for the Liverpool Institute, an acclaimed grammar school which George Harrison attended and first met  Paul McCartney.

   By the age of 14, Harrison, whose early rock heroes included Carl Perkins, and Buddy Holly, had purchased his first guitar and taught himself a few chords.

By 1960 Harrison's music career was in full swing. Lennon had named the band  The Beatles the young group(Harrison, McCartney and John  Lennon)  began cutting their rock teeth in the small clubs and bars around Liverpool and Hamburg,Germany. Within two years, the group had a new drummer,  Ringo Starr..

Before the end of 1962, Harrison and the Beatles recorded a top 20 U.K. hit, Love Me Do. Early that following year, another hit, Please Please Me, was churned out, followed by an album of the same name. Beatle mania was in full swing across England, and by early 1964, with the release of their album in the US and an American tour, it had swept across the States as well.

 The song  named  “Dehra Dun” missed getting included in the White album. This song is seen now as a rare gem of  the Beatles. The song captures the past simplicity of the valley and is very special for Doonites ,especially for those who have seen the days when the Beatles came here.     The nostalgia in this song and the fact that it was sung by  Harrison  makes it unique .   The Beatles  were so taken in  by the charm and beauty of the Doon valley that they were inspired to create  many numbers here .Harrison composed  the number  titled “Dehra Dun” in the spring of the year 1968  during the time the group was in Rishikesh .

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 This song    remained unavailable for years .It was not included in any album but its studio recording can now be heard on the net. It is one of the rarest Beatles’ songs.
George Harrison" that who embraced the Hare Krishna tradition
Harrison , known as the “Quiet Beatle”, passed away at the age of 58 on November 29 ,2001 .He was  cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Ganga , according to his wishes. Harrison had  embraced the Hare Krishna tradition and remained a devotee till his death. In the summer of 1969, he produced the single "Hare Krishna Mantra", performed by the devotees of the London Radha Krishna Temple. That same year, he and fellow Beatle ,John Lennon, met A.C. Bhaktivedanta  Swami Prabhupada, founder - acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Soon after, Harrison embraced the Hare Krishna tradition and became a lifelong devotee.

   Harrison  is remembered for  his introspective manner and his keen interest in Hinduism. In the mid 1960s  he began playing the sitar, which influenced the sound of the Beatles music in such songs as "Norwegian Wood" and  "Love You To". His experimentation with the sitar brought him in touch with Ravi Shankar, who became a close friend .

 On November 29, 2002, the first anniversary of his death, the  Concert For George saw the two remaining Beatles Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr join many of Harrison's friends for a special memorial concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London..     The Beatles Ashram, which lay abandoned for years, is now receiving attention from the state government and will hopefully become a popular tourist destination.


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