George Harrison Documentary to Air on HBO

September 5, 2011 by Amy Gold

George Harrison Living in the Material World book cover

The film, "George Harrison: Living in the Material World," will air in the US on HBO in two parts on October 5th and 6th. When Harrison died, many movie studios asked Harrison's widow Olivia for permission to tell her husband's story, but George had not wanted a dramatization. Eventually, she agreed to this documentary directed by Martin Scorsese. Olivia retained involvement in the project as the producer.

George Harrison was often referred to as "the quiet Beatle," but being quiet didn't mean George didn't have things to say when the occasion called for it. While not the prolific songwriter that Lennon and McCartney were, Harrison did lend his pen to a number of hits, including "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Here Comes the Sun." When the Beatles broke up in 1970, Harrison released the album, "All Things Must Pass," which included much of his Beatles era material. His follow-up album, "A Concert for Bangladesh," led to a fall out with John Lennon after Harrison refused to include Yoko Ono in on the project. When Harrison published his autobiography, "I, Me, Mine" in 1980, he barely mentioned Lennon in the book. It wasn't much later that Lennon was killed, leaving Harrison crushed despite the estrangement. He recorded the hit, "All Those Years Ago," as a tribute to John Lennon.

Throughout his life, Harrison would emerge into the public on occasion, such as his brief involvement in forming and performing with the Travelling Willburys, which included music legends Jeff Lynn, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and, of course, George.

George Harrison was married twice, first to Pattie Boyd from 1966 to 1974 and later to Olivia Trinadad Arias. They had one son, Dhani Harrison. They had been married for 23 years at the time of Harrison's death in 2001. As if suffering from throat and lung cancer wasn't difficult enough, Harrison received a few more hard knocks near the end of his life, including a 1999 knife attack and exploitation by his physician while he was undergoing treatment for cancer.