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George Harrison : The Reluctant Beatle

George Harrison : The Reluctant Beatle

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by Norman, Philip | The arts
Published 24/10/2023 by Simon & Schuster Ltd in the United Kingdom
Hardback | 560 pages, 1 x 16pp 4-4 plate section
164 x 244 x 44mm | 768g


From the author of the million-copy selling Shout!: The Beatles in Their Generation and the bestselling John Lennon: The Life comes a revealing portrait of George Harrison, the most undervalued and mysterious Beatle.

Despite being hailed as one of the best guitarists of his era, George Harrison, particularly in his early decades, battled feelings of inferiority. He was often the butt of jokes from his bandmates owing to his lower-class background and, typically, was allowed to contribute only one or two songs per Beatles album out of the dozens he wrote.

Now, acclaimed Beatles biographer Philip Norman examines Harrison through the lens of his numerous self-contradictions. Compared to songwriting luminaries John Lennon and Paul McCartney he was considered a minor talent, yet he composed such masterpieces as 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and 'Here Comes the Sun', and his solo debut album 'All Things Must Pass' achieved enormous success, appearing on many lists of the 100 best rock albums ever. Modern music critics place him in the pantheon of Sixties guitar gods alongside Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards and Jimmy Page.

Harrison railed against the material world yet wrote the first pop song complaining about income tax. He spent years lovingly restoring his Friar Park estate as a spiritual journey, but quickly mortgaged the property to help rescue a film project that would be widely banned as sacrilegious, Monty Python's Life of Brian. Harrison could be fiercely jealous, but not only did he stay friends with Eric Clapton when Clapton fell in love with Harrison's wife, Pattie Boyd, the two men grew even closer after Clapton walked away with her.

Unprecedented in scope and filled with numerous colour photos, this rich biography captures George Harrison at his most multi-faceted: devoted friend, loyal son, master guitar-player, brilliant songwriter, cocaine addict, serial philanderer, global philanthropist, student of Indian mysticism, self-deprecating comedian and, ultimately, iconic artist and man beloved by millions.

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