by Anirudha Agnihotry
George Harrison was the lead guitarist of the Beatles and then had a tremendous solo career after the band broke off. He wrote some of the best music ever and inspired a lot of musicians.
At the time, when he was in the Beatles
He was very sensitive to public issues. He had protested for civil rights movement, against Vietnam War and worked with UNICEF to raise funds for a cyclone hit Bangladesh. He was deeply involved with the Hare Krishna Movement of Swami Prabhupada (whose ISCON is known to all of us). He was very close to his friend Pandit Ravi Shankar. They both had together, with a fusion of western and classical Indian music, raised funds all over the world for humanitarian causes. We can write a book each on every aspect of his disposition.
In 1997, Harrison was diagnosed with a deep malignant growth in the oral cavity. It was cancer in his throat. That time, it did not present as a big tumor and seemed harmless. Chemotherapy and radiation showed effective results.
with Pandit Ravi Shankar
But in 2000, while working on a reissue of All Things Must Pass, Harrison underwent a treatment for another cancerous growth in the lung, which had metastatised from his primary lesion of the throat. Later, he was found to have an inoperable brain tumor too. At that time, Harrison was working on a new album and had already released a single, “Horse to Water,” that he co – wrote with son Dhani.
with Swami Prabhupada of ISCON
Harrison underwent a new type of cancer treatment therapy in a Swiss clinic, but he finally succumbed to his disease on November 29, 2001. He was in Los Angeles, at a friend’s house, when he died. He was 58 years old. News of Harrison’s death sparked global reaction with extensive tributes to the legend. If the cancer was screened and diagnosed in time, we might have been blessed with more of his music.