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George Harrison George Harrison

At the height of the Beatles' popularity, he was often characterized as the “Quiet Beatle”, noted for his introspective manner and his growing interest in Hinduism.

In the mid 1960s he began playing the sitar, which influenced the sound of the Beatles music in such songs as “Norwegian Wood,” “Love You To”, and “Within You Without You”. His experimentation with the instrument brought him into contact with the sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, who became a close friend and mentor.

It was his meeting with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi that led him first into meditation. In the summer of 1969, the Beatles produced the single “Hare Krishna Mantra”, performed by Harrison and the devotees of the London Radha-Krishna Temple that topped the 10 best-selling record charts throughout UK, Europe, and Asia.

The same year, he and fellow Beatle John Lennon met Swami Prabhupada A.C. Bhaktivedanta, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Soon after, Harrison embraced the Hare Krishna tradition and remained a devotee till his death.

While not the primary composer in the group (Lennon and McCartney wrote most of the Beatles' material), as time went on his songs improved greatly and his material earned respect from both his fellow Beatles and the music-buying public. Notable examples include “Taxman”, “Here Comes the Sun”, “Something”, and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, which was strongly influenced by the music of his friend Roy Orbison and featured a guitar solo by Eric Clapton

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