Happy Birthday George Harrison

by Chris Murray on February 24, 2012

I so much enjoyed Martin Scorsese’s recent film documentary on the the life of George Harrison, Living in the Material World, that was broadcast by HBO in October, 2011. I also treasure Olivia Harrison’s book of the same title that was published by Abrams at the same time. I was most fortunate to spend an afternoon with George at his home in England in 1982. Scorsese used a photograph of George in his film that I had taken while enjoying a walk with him through his wonderful garden.

George tending a lilly in his garden at Friar Park, 1982. Copyright ©Chris Murray. All Rights Reserved.

George Harrison: Living in the Material World by Olivia Harrison.

“He had everything – all the wealth, all the fame, whatever he wanted. But he was not attached to it. It didn’t seem to matter much to him, because he was searching for something much higher, much deeper.” – Ravi Shankar, from George Harrison: Living in the Material World by Olivia Harrison

George enjoyed my book Illuminations from the Bhagavad-Gita that I coauthored with the artist Kim Waters, originally published in 1981 by Harper-Collins. I happened to be in London when my friend and publisher extraordinaire, Brian Roylance, called me with an invitation from George to come to his home, Friar Park, for a visit. Brian was the founder of Genesis Publications who produce the most extraordinary limited edition books and with whom I enjoyed a close professional relationship as the U.S. distributor for Genesis Publications for over twenty years. Brian had given George a copy of Illuminations from the Bhagavad-Gita on my behalf.

Illuminations from the Bhagavad-Gita.

Brian Roylance outside George’s home, Friar Park, 1982. Copyright ©Chris Murray. All Rights Reserved.

It was a remarkable afternoon and one that I will never forget. George’s garden was absolutely magical and to walk through it with him was a very special treat indeed. George dedicated his first book, I Me Mine, “to gardeners everywhere”. He loved gardens and was a great gardener himself. After our walk George made me a cup of coffee in his kitchen while we looked through Illuminations together.

George enjoying Illuminations from the Bhagavad-Gita in his kitchen, 1982. Copyright ©Chris Murray. All Rights Reserved.

I Me Mine by George Harrison, Genesis Publications, 1980.

We love George Harrison at Govinda Gallery. In February of 2002 we organized a photographic tribute in honor of George that featured photographers Harry Benson, William Coupon, Barry Fenstein, Astrid Kirchherr, Gered Mankowitz, Linda McCartney, Max Scheler, Mark Seliger, Jurgen Vollmer, Robert Whitaker, and Baron Wolman.

Hamburg 1961 by Jurgen Vollmer and Los Angeles 1992 by Mark Seliger.

I miss George Harrison and Brian Roylance, and the inspiring creative work they both did will last forever. Hare Krishna!

  • Comments

    • Mayu Lasch

      Chris,

      Your tribute and love for George is greatly appreciated.

      George,

      You are everywhere and you always inspire. Thank you for helping serenity exist.

      Adoringly and Gratefuly…

    • lizzie bravo

      thank you for this very enjoyable article and photos. i sent the link to friends all over the world and placed it on my facebook page and beatle groups i belong to and everyone loved it.
      regards from rio de janeiro
      lizzie bravo

    • Revati devi dasi

      Hare Krishna Govinda , Gopala nandana, Govinda Govinda Gopala nandana, Happy and blessed be dear Friend, brother George, pamho, AGSP! Sing haribol Lord SriSri RadheRaman’s glories! Thanks a lot. yhs Revati d.d.

    • John Ritz

      Thank you. Thank you for this well thought,well written piece on George Harrison. You save the best for the best. My impression of George Harrison is that George was to the Beatles and to Rock and Roll as Larry Darryl was to Sommerset Maughm’s The Razor Edge. Especially in his later years as he developed on his own. Thanks again for the good work. Please keep up the good work. Please don’t post this. I sound like a sap. Let me also add that this is on the level of you coverage of Donavan. That was almost inspirational. If not.

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