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Public celebrates George Harrison day in Los Angeles

Musician, Humanitarian and "Gardener" Lauded by Council member LaBonge, Many Others in Free Public Event in Griffith Park as Bronze Plaque is Unveiled to Sounds of Harrison's Music

LOS ANGELES (February 22, 2004) - The City of Los Angeles proclaimed Sunday, February 22, 2004 "George Harrison Day" in the City of Los Angeles and marked his life and work in a special celebration hosted by Council member Tom LaBonge with live performances of his music, remembrances by friends and associates and the unveiling of a bronze plaque in his memory at the base of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park.

"George Harrison was and always will be one of our favorite Angelinos," said Council member LaBonge. "His performance with the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl was unforgettable. He lived on Blue Jay Way in the Hollywood Hills and wrote a haunting song about it. He married a native Angelino, Olivia Arias, and they were a devoted team. His legacy as a humanitarian has few equals in the world. And, sadly, he died in Los Angeles. But upon his demise, he became an angel in the City of Angels and we are forever grateful for his contributions to the world."

These sentiments were echoed by a number of special guests who assembled on site for the afternoon event emceed by KLSX radio's Chris Carter, host of "Breakfast with the Beatles": "George Harrison was always called the 'quiet' Beatle, but his spirit, wisdom, humor and beautiful melodies were nothing short of deafening. While all things indeed may pass, George's words, music and inspiration will be with all of us forever. He is greatly missed."

Billy Preston, sometimes referred to as the Fifth Beatle who played on "Let It Be," "My Sweet Lord," and "Concert for Bangladesh" who was scheduled to appear but unable to attend, sent a statement that was read to the crowd: "How lovely that a mighty tree has been planted in George's honor and memory. He loved nature and its beauty so. My career took root and grew because of George. I had always been only a musician but I'd never sang. George had me branch out when he took me under his wing, he gave me my voice so his impact on my life and career was profound and my love and gratitude for his friendship is never-ending."

Harrison's impact and influence on music, and his legacy as a humanitarian began with the first charity rock concert ever held that became the best-selling, "Concert for Bangladesh." Harrison's effort to benefit a suffering nation was noted by British Consul General Peter Hunt, who grew up in Liverpool.

Singer-songwriter Keith Chagall performed "Soundlight" written as an homage to Harrison in Beatles-esque style and was later joined by members of the Fab Four to sing two of Harrison's best known compositions, "Here Comes the Sun" and "My Sweet Lord."

Jackie Lomax, one of the first solo artists signed by the Beatles' Apple Records and a longtime friend of Harrison's, was also in attendance. He sang an acoustic version of a song he wrote for Harrison.

Linda Arias read a message sent by Olivia Harrison thanking everyone for remembering her husband George.

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Jane Galbraith Director of Communications Office of Council member Tom LaBonge 213.485.3337

Published February 23, 2004

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