George Harrison was an English musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. This home, Friar Park, is a 120-room Victorian neo-Gothic mansion previously owned by the eccentric Sir Frank Crisp and bought by him in 1970.
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Born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England, on 25 February 1943, Harrison was the youngest of four children, and as a child, his mother recognized that nothing made George quite as happy as making music. In early 1956, George heard Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" playing from a nearby house, and by his account, the song piqued his interest in rock and roll. He received his first guitar a Dutch Egmond flat top from his father. On the bus to school one day, Harrison met Paul McCartney, who became a member of John Lennon's band the Quarrymen, and the pair bonded over their shared love of music.
In March 1958, Harrison auditioned for the Quarrymen at the age of 15, but Lennon felt that Harrison, was too young to join the band. During a second meeting, arranged by McCartney, he performed the lead guitar part for the instrumental "Raunchy" on the upper deck of a Liverpool bus. Soon afterwards he began socialising with the group, filling in on guitar as needed, and by the time he turned 15 they had accepted him as a member of the band. By 16, Harrison had left school, and by 18, the band, now calling themselves the Beatles, were booked to play shows at the Kaiserkeller club in Hamburg, an education seminal in the creation of the Beatles we know today. Guitar lessons taken from Tony Sheridan while briefly serving as his backing group laid the foundations of Harrison's sound and of his quiet, professional role within the group.
Brian Epstein became their manager in December 1961, polished their image, and secured them a recording contract with EMI. Soon after, the group's first single, "Love Me Do", peaked at number seventeen on the Record Retailer chart, and by the time their debut album, Please Please Me, was released in early 1963, Beatlemania had arrived.
In the Beatles, Harrison lead to many of their experimentations with Eastern music and culture. His introduction of the drone-like tambura part on Lennon's "Tomorrow Never Knows" exemplified the band's ongoing exploration of non-Western instruments, while the tabla-driven "Love You To" was the Beatles' first genuine foray into Indian music. Harrison's also chose Eastern gurus and religious leaders for inclusion on the album cover for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967.
As Harrison grew as a songwriter, his compositional presence on Beatles albums remained limited to two or three songs, which increasing his frustration, and significantly contributed to the band's break-up in 1970 Due to this, by the time of their break-up Harrison had amassed a stockpile of unreleased compositions. and soon released All Things Must Pass. It was a triple album, with two discs of his songs and the third of recordings of Harrison jamming with friends. Regarded by many as his best work, the album topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. At the Friar Park Estate, Harrison was photographed amongst garden gnomes located in the garden for the cover.
In addition to the cover, Harrison was photographed again with his father Harry, with the photo appearing in his album Thirty Three & 1/3. Harrison and his wife Olivia restored the extensive gardens and water features originally designed by Crisp after purchase.
George Harrison passed away in 2001, aged 58, from lung cancer. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India, in a private ceremony according to Hindu tradition. He left almost £100 million in his will.