It's about life - not "lifestyle"
NOVEMBER 30, 2001
I'm mindful of that old National Lampoon magazine cover that was perhaps one of the first signs of middle age for Rock and Roll: Wherein they jabbed a rock icon and called a venerable magazine "Rolling Tombstone".

This makes two obituaries in a row, a record for any subject here at, but the death of George Harrison is worth noting even for those who weren't born when the Beatles broke up.

Or more to the point, the
life of George Harrison is worth noting.

As one of the four most famous rock and roll musician/performers in the world, he was the least visible of the group, the first to get "spiritual", the most private, a quiet leader in social causes, a film producer, and a man who seemed to take the good and bad in life with equal grace. The past year had been one of health problems for him, yet his public comments on this were short and to the point, and from what a quick review this morning shows almost always to ease the mind of well-wishers.

In short, George Harrison seems to have lived his life quietly and in probably as much of a state of grace as someone with his monumental fame could.

"The danger of civilization, of course, is that you will piss away your life on nonsense."

This is currently my favorite quote, lifted from a Jim Harrison novel called "The Beast God Forgot To Invent". I don't know if Jim Harrison (no relation to George) wrote that or if his attribution of the line to one Jared Schmitz in the book is valid. Either way, the truth of that line is undeniable. The line leapt back into mind this morning after I did a quick tv channel scan upon hearing of the Beatle Harrison's passing.

CNN ran a beautiful piece, obviously previously prepared. MTV continued on with it's usual fashion/dance mix, and the various news channels mixed war and peace. VH-1 ran a live show for a while, however, that featured a 1997 (I think) in-house interview with Harrison in which he surprised them by playing several songs with only a borrowed acoustic guitar. Wearing a long sleeve shirt, pants, and what looked like lowtop canvas sneakers and smiling quite a bit, he was the picture of peace.

Western society in general, and certainly our sporting cultures, obsess on youth, money, performance, and fashion. The Big Pictures, should there  be any, are hidden behind the photographs and business models and sales figures and myriad other statistics. Relentless work, activities, and recreation are sold to us as necessities for a healthy life.

How nice it was to see a calm person enjoying himself, entertaining others, still enjoying his own art after decades of practicing it. Yes, it can be presumed that he was rich by any standard, but look at how many rich entertainment types self-destruct. George Harrison embodied the notion of "quiet leader". Take some time to enjoy the reviews of his life as they are presented, not in a sad way, but as an opportunity to discover or rediscover a person well worth knowing about.

-Nels Norene

View From The Beach
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