George Harrison was known for many things, but after retiring from the music industry, this Beatle enjoyed the finer things in life. He especially enjoyed the Austin Powers film. But did you know he wrote a letter to Mike Myers for it?
George Harrison wrote to “Austin Powers,” Mike Myers,” creator and director. He expressed his appreciation for Myer’s work in the last of his days. Myers received the letter on the day Harrison died.
Who was George Harrison?
On February 25, 1943, George Harrison was born in Liverpool, England. He was the youngest child of a working-class family. His father was a steward in the merchant navy, while his mother was a clerk in a grocery store. (Source: Britannica)
Harrison was not much of a student, and he recalls, but he had an inkling for music. He had an epiphany when he was around 12 or 13 while he was riding his bike. Harrison first heard Elvis Prestley’s Heartbreak Hotel, which motivated him to purchase his first guitar and learn a few chords on his own.
Harrison soon met Paul McCartney. At the time, McCartney was part of the band Quarrymen, along with 17-year-old John Lennon. He was then invited to see the band perform. McCartney soon asked Lennon to let the 14-year-old Harrison join them. Lennon disagreed with the request but later on reconsidered after Harrison’s wowed the two with his rendition of famous American rock riffs when he was granted an opportunity to audition.
By 1960, the Quarrymen had renamed themselves to what would be known as the greatest rock bands of all time, The Beatles. The young band started playing in small clubs and bars around Liverpool and Hamburg, Germany. They were soon joined by a new drummer, Ringo Starr, in 1962. In the same year, they recorded their first top 20 hit Love Me Do, marking the start of Beatle Mania across England. In 1964, the Beatle Mania spread to the United States, with the band doing an American tour.
Harrison was known as the quiet Beatle, often taking the backseat to the band’s other members. Despite McCartney and Lennon penning most of the band’s songs, Harrison also contributed with his songwriting. He started with Don’t Bother Me in 1963. His songs were regarded as some of the most popular songs the band has ever played, like While My Guitar Weeps in 1968, Here Comes the Sun, and Something in 1969. (Source: Biography)
Harrison was also known to be interested in Indian culture. He studied playing the sitar Ravi Shankar, featuring his skills in Norwegian Wood. The band soon explored transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India. Their trip influenced several songs, but it was noted that only Harrison incorporated these religious practices into his life.
Harrison released his first solo work in a soundtrack in the 1968 film Wonderwall. When the band broke up in 1970, he continued with his musical career as a solo artist, releasing successful triple albums and staging concerts to raise money to fight starvation in Bangladesh. Harrison’s fundraiser concerts soon became the prototype of star-studded fund-raising events.
Harrison continued his career in the music industry well into the seventies and eighties but soon kept a low profile after Lennon’s assassination. He passed on November 29, 2001, succumbing to cancer. (Source: Britannica)
Harrison’s Dying Letter
In an interview with GQ magazine, creator and director of the Austin Powers franchise, Mike Myers, confirms that the very last letter the quiet Beatle wrote before he passed was a letter to him.
Myers, a son of a Liverpudlian and an avid Beatles fan, was shocked to have received the letter since he never met Harrison in person. Incidentally, Myers received the note on the same day Harrison passed while shooting Austin Powers 3. Myers claims that he felt both sad and awesome upon receiving a letter from a Beatle praising his work on the franchise. (Source: GQ)