How can anyone describe the full impact the Beatles had on pop culture? Four young men who helped turn the world upside down in just a few short years, they became larger than life, icons of the modern age. Their images are burned into our minds, whether it be the early days of suits and mop-tops or the psychedelic band uniforms of Sgt. Pepper. Yet, it has been hard for us to realize that all along, John, Paul, George, and Ringo were mere mortal men.
Let's be honest. We haven't even dealt with the death of John Lennon. He was struck down so quickly, still in his prime; the shock lingers to this day. Perhaps we're just a little greedy. We all feel cheated, because there was never a chance for a reunion, never a chance to see if the magic was still there.
And, now, we have lost another. Not from the hands of some cold and cruel criminal, but lost to the cold and even more cruel, faceless grip of cancer. It is no less painful, no less of a heartache. We all mourn for a man we knew only through his songs. Songs that became our friends through the years.
As a Beatle, George Harrison could not match the prolific fury of Lennon and McCartney. It had to be frustrating to live in that shadow. Yet, somehow he was able to give us some of the best work the Beatles ever recorded. Would the Beatles be the same without "Taxman," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Here Comes the Sun," or "Something"? He may have been "The Quiet Beatle," but George Harrison did not go quietly.
Thank you, George, for the music.
P.S. Tell John we said hello.