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Liverpool George Harrison exhibition wows fans

by Katie Hickox

George Harrison was always known as the "quiet Beatle" but he outshines John, Paul and Ringo in this unique exhibition "For George" in George's hometown of Liverpool located on the third floor in St. George's Hall. This one of a kind exhibition features the largest collection of rare George Harrison memorabilia ever displayed and charges no admission.

The "For George" exhibition which runs through September 19th has no commercial sponsors and is put together by a small group of fans who wanted to celebrate all that George was able to do in his lifetime beyond being a Beatle. As George's favorite number was seven, the memorabilia is organized into seven phases, starting from George's early Beatles days which features rare handwritten lyrics that George wrote from the Everly Brothers' 'So Sad' song after having been deported from Hamburg for being underage. Also on display in this period is a rare signed photo in October 1962 by George as "George McCartney" as a joke by George because a fan asked if he was Paul's brother and George was known for his sense of humor. George's heart shaped sunglasses that he wore when he visited San Francisco's Haight Ashbury during the famous Summer of Love 1967 July visit have never been on display before.

Important items from George's Spiritual Journey phase on display feature several rare Indian instruments purchased and used by George in the late sixties. A sitar on display was purchased in 1966 by George, and Shambhu Das, a disciple of Ravi Shankar, gave him sitar lessons on this sitar. George so appreciated his time with Shambhu that he gave this sitar to Shambdu in appreciation.

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Inside the exhibition (Exclusive copyrighted photo)

The third phase in George's life titled "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" celebrates George as the gifted guitarist, composer, producer, lyricist and performer features four signed albums by George, a rare 1948 Abbott-Victor guitar which still has the original strings that George himself put on the guitar, a rare singles of My Sweet Lord and original Apple leaflet for My Sweet Lord. Also of historical note, the original Top 20 song charts are on display showing My Sweet Lord ranked at 15 on Nov 23rd 1970 and then rose to a number one on Dec 7th and stayed at number one until Jan 18th 1971. Original artwork created for George's 1974 Dark Horse tour are on display along with a one of a kind Dark Horse concert jacket that George wore.

The fourth phase shows George as a great humanitarian and philanthropist and features many rare photos of George from the ground breaking August 1st 1971 Concert for Bangladesh which was the first rock concert ever organized to raise money to help out a country in great distress when it wasn't politically correct at the time. Along with rare photos, a rare mold of George's handprint taken from his right hand is on display. Only 200 were made so it is interesting to look at the size and shape of George's hand and fingers--George didn't have a particularly large hand or long fingers but he was incredibly gifted as a musician. George used the proceeds from the sale of these hand molds to raise money for charity.

Another phase of George's life is: "Its What You Value: George the fan". George was very much a fan of other musicians such as George Formby and Bob Dylan but also was a fan of Formula One race driver Jackie Stewart and comedy shows such as the Goons and Monty Python. On display are items relating to these interests such as signed photos and programs from some racing events. Check out the rare 1928 Gibson Long Neck Banjole that George owned for several years before giving it away as a present to the President of the George Formby Society.

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Another look inside the exhibition (Exclusive copyrighted photo)

Also covered is of George's love of gardening "What is Life--the Gardener" which shows rare photos and maps of Friar Park and provide visitors with some idea of how dedicated George was to restoring Friar Park and his love for gardening and the great gardens of England. Even in his home town of Liverpool, George contributed in 1995 a substantial sum to restore Palm House at Sefton Park which was slated to be removed because it posed as a safety hazard but didn't want this publicized.

Don't forget that it was George the movie mogul who created a film company called "HandMade Films" which helped save the financing for Monty Python's Eric Idle's film project "Life of Brian" which has been called one of the funniest films ever made and one in which George played a small cameo role himself. Items include rare movie posters of films produced by HandMade Films. This is called George's "Dream Away" phase.

Don't miss this one of a kind George Harrison exhibition located at the giant neoclassical St. George's Hall building--across the street from the Lime Street train station. For more info, go to

The Exhibition for George Harrison runs through Sep 19, 2009, from 10AM to 5PM open everyday, at St. George's Hall in Liverpool. Tickets are Free of charge. Sorry, no photography allowed.

"The largest collection of George Harrison memorabilia to date. Organised by and for, but not reserved to, devoted George Harrison fans, this event has been curated with a lot of love and no funding to rejoice in the man and his music." The organisers would appreciate any contributions to help cover the cost of the exhibition; any surplus contributions will be donated to George's Material World foundation.

Published August 22, 2009

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