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George Harrison: A Photographic Memoir

Updated on June 12, 2015
George Harrison
George Harrison | Source

Living in the Material World: Photographic book

When I first got this book, I realised that my mum and George Harrison had something in common; they were both hoarders. And the fact that George was is lucky indeed for us today.

A life in photographs

The book was compiled by his widow, Olivia, and shows photographs, doodles, letters and documents starting from George's earliest days in post-war Liverpool. Indeed, the book begins with photographs of the bombed city.

The Beatles

But we soon see pictures of the young George with his first guitar and then we move to the early days of the Beatles in the Cavern Club and in Hamburg. The Beatlemania years are covered in full too as we progress through George's life.

Previously unseen photographs

There is not one photograph in this book that I have seen before. Every one shows sides of George - and the Beatles - that I've never seen before. Throughout the book there are quotes, relevant to the images, from George's family and friends including quotes from George's own interviews and writing. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are often quoted alongside people I didn't know existed, such as George's brother Peter.

Letters, doodles, documents & lyrics

What a wonderful job it must have been to go through the memorabilia (I'm imagining a lovely old leather trunk in the attic) as now we can see George's passport (5' 10", brown hair and eyes), handwritten song lyrics (and guitar chords), doodles of guitars and motorbikes and even letters back to the family ('We make our next record on Monday, called She Loves You'.)

Life to the fullest: A good bloke

George Harrison was described in many ways - the quiet one, the mystical one - but looking through his memorabilia and letters give you a real insight into the man himself. George himself says that the 'Beatle George' was just a part he played and wasn't the real him. Who was he?

He was just a northern lad who had a great sense of humour, loved music, appreciated nature, wanted to learn & grow - but most importantly, he loved his family and lived life to the fullest.

This is a truly amazing book. And it's not just for the Beatles fan as it chronicles George's early life in LIverpool.

Thanks to the handwritten notes and postcards, it gives a true glimpse into the real man behind the George Harrison personna.

It's also intimate - readers really feel that they are seeing something truly special.It's almost like having a secret look into someone's memorabilia or private scrapbook.

Dhani Harrison

George just had one child, Dhani. (Who now looks remarkably like his father)

When he was a youngster growing up he thought his father was a gardener - more often than not he saw him pottering about in the garden.

I love the quote below - not only the question he asked his father but also George's laconic reply.

I love this quote

Also recommended:

This is also highly recommended. If you're buying the book as a gift (or even a treat for yourself) this makes the perfect companion piece.

Concert for George
Concert for George

The book I have described above is must for any Beatles fan or enthusiast. It truly makes a wonderful and thoughtful gift.The DVD you see here is the same. The concert for George was an amazingly upbeat celebration of his life put together by his closest friends and musicians. It's a wonderful tribute that makes me both laugh and cry. Stunning.


Nowhere Boy

The are so many videos of George available but I'm showing these which include footage from the brilliant and highly recommended film, Nowhere Boy. Although the film concentrates largely on the life of John Lennon, the two clips below are so interesting.

One shows George when he first 'auditioned' for the group - on the top deck of a bus. It's interesting too that it's interspersed with later-life comments from John, Paul and George himself.

The other has a special interest. I know it's hard to choose a favourite Beatles song but if I really had to, In Spite of All the Danger would be high on this list. Not only is it the first recording of the Beatles, it's the only song ever to be attributed to Harrison & McCartney.

© 2014 Jackie Jackson


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    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Elsie Hagley: Thank you so much!

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @David Stone1: Me too Dave. He really came into his own. The other guys had held him back and kept him out of the limelight - not intentionally, of course.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice review, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 4 years ago from New York City

      As the youngest of four brothers, I loved John and Paul, but I identified with George. I thought it was great when he set off on his own career with so much success.