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Rock 30/11/2001

Tributes flood in for Harrison

LOS ANGELES (Top 40 Charts) - Public figures, friends and colleagues of George Harrison have been paying tribute to the former, who has died at the age of 58 after a long illness.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "People of my generation grew up with the Beatles, and they were the background to our lives.

"He wasn't just a great musician, an artist, but did a lot of work for charity as well.

"He'll be greatly missed around the world."

One of Harrison's best friends, his neighbour, the comedian Kenny Lynch, sobbed: "It is not fair. I'm so upset about it. I was only talking to him a few weeks ago.

"Why should someone like George die when Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden are still on this earth?"

Writer Carla Lane said: "I hope Liverpool pays homage to him.

"He had a wonderful, dry sense of humour. "He was a very nice, warm full-of-fun guy in a very droll way."

Former Monty Python comedian Michael Palin said: "I was amazed and delighted he was such a Python fan.


"He enabled us to make Life of Brian and other films like A Private Function - none of these would have happened without his enthusiasm.

George with his wife Olivia
George with his wife Olivia
"Death had no terrors for George at all, he had his spirituality, he was going on somewhere else.

"Also he was very funny - George had a great sense of humour, some of the best laughs I've had have been with George.

"I saw him in August. His mood was optimistic as usual. He wasn't very well, but we ended up sitting up with him listening to Hoagy Carmichael - it was the same old George."

Bob Geldof said he was "shocked and stunned" to hear of Harrison's death.

"I doubt there's a person listening to this show that can't remember each one of his guitar lines," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Geldof said Harrison had given him advice when he was organising the Live Aid concert in 1985, adding: "I remember him with a profound sense of gratitude.

"All the way back he measured up. Maybe because of the necessary competition between the other two, his standard of song-writing was incomparably better than lots of their contemporaries.

Former EMI publicist Max Clifford said: "There was never any arrogance about George Harrison.

"He was always very pleasant to all of us at EMI - he'd always stop and pass the time of day.

"The success of My Sweet Lord was wonderful for anybody that knew George, because he always been in the shadow of John and Paul.


"People realised he was a talented songwriter in his own right.

"He always seemed quite shy, he always appeared quite baffled by what was going on.

"He was always very good natured and very pleasant to everyone.

"He was very calm and rational, right from the very start, and those qualities emerged right through his life.

"Anyone who knew Goorge had nothing but nice things to say about him."


Philip Norman, who wrote the Beatles biography Shout, said: the news had come as an "awful shock".

"The group were an entity in peoples lives.

"He was overshadowed by Lennon and McCartney, and he was never really happy about that.

"There was a certain bitterness about him, but later in life he realised what good fortune he had enjoyed.

"He had a happy marriage and a son and realised there was more to life than being a Beatle."

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