He was the quiet Beatle… the philosopher… the seeker. Perhaps he was too quiet, because in the end, despite having written such lovely and timeless songs as Something and Here Comes the Sun, George Harrison’s talent was eclipsed by the more flamboyant songwriting “team” of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It took the breakup of The Beatles to get people to realize just how good this guy was.

Freed from the responsibilities of a band, Harrison was free to branch out in other areas, including film production (his company was responsible for such classics as Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Brazil). He never stopped performing, however. In fact, one might say that he ramped things up. From his wonderful album All Things Must Pass to his exuberant work with the Traveling Wilburys (his mind-boggling team-up with Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, and Roy Orbison), Harrison showed his mettle again and again. His fluid guitar sound and his expressive voice have proven to be powerful musical trademarks.

Unlike bandmate Lennon, Harrison was fortunate enough to survive the attack of a seriously deranged fan. Unfortunately, he succumbed to brain cancer in November of 2001, leaving behind a rich legacy of characteristically thoughtful, skillfully performed music, for which he will long be remembered, even as all things pass.

–D. Drummond