Dylan cartoon


by Chris Cooper

Once again we approach the anniversary of the death of our former member John Green. In my work I have attended/talked about bereavement and I am well aware of a worn statement that deaths that occur near festive times are harder to forget as the event becomes  linked with the bereavement. To be honest I said it but never truly appreciated that significance till the kidda died. Christmas holds little joy for me these days.  You can couple that with kids growing up and leaving home and my own inner struggle with aging and life generally I guess. But either way this is a hard time nowadays. So when Dizzy phone me I was not expecting what she said, “Have you heard, George Harrison has dies?” I put the phone down and stood there stunned. After a minute I was asking myself “had I heard that right?” So I walked to out newsagent and got the papers on Friday November 16th the front page news really hit home.

“Beatle George Is Dead” it said in plain type.

I don’t know about you but I was a Beatles fan, still have all their records and quite a lot of the solo stuff that followed, and yes, I bought “All Things Must Pass” when it was reissued on CD.

I must say that the public response to George’s death has surprised me. He was the shy, quiet one, always in the background, though I often felt he was musically the most competent of the quartet.  Since the Beatles split he has remained very low profile, so its no surprise that his death is handled in a similar quiet manner. Already cremated, no fuss and no “big star” gathering. His family left alone with their grief. George handled his life with poise and dignity and it’s reassuring to see the end handled in that self same way.

Obviously John Lennon’s death was more shocking due to it being violent but in many ways I find the death of George somehow seals the Beatles in time in a way that Lennon’s death did not.  Maybe because George’s was a natural end as it were.

Dizzy phoned me back to tell me there were things on the telly and I watched a very distressed Paul McCartney  trying to make sense of the loss of his “little brother” as he called George. I know people want to see this stuff but really I feel we should leave them alone. You could see the guy just wanted to get away and the press were pursuing him. After all he had lost his own wife Linda to the same problem. They were not permitting Paul the one thing that George will always remind me of Dignity.

Now the day in question was also the day of our bi-monthly Cambridge meetings. We always play some video and whilst I had things all arranged I changed the program at the last minute to include some George stuff.  Of course it’s a bob evening so it had to be Bob and George together so I used one track from Wembley 17-10-87 and the George bits from the 30th Anniversay gig including “Pages” and “Knockin” as George can be seen on both. We usually get 25-30 people at these events but there were a lot more this night, the place was packed.

I stood at the back some of the time so I can see it from Punters land and I was soon tapped on the shoulder by one of our regular faces whose name I confess escapes me. “Thanks for bringing this” he said nodding to the TV as George was singing “Absolutely Sweet Marie” I nodded “OK” and commented “there’s a lot of people tonight”  the guy looked around “I wasn’t coming but I had to go out tonight, I couldn’t stay in after I heard the news”. I’m pretty surprised because this guy is easily 20 years my junior and won’t remember the Beatles. So I ask him “well I wouldn’t have thought you were a Beatles fan?”. He smiled back and I could see that he had a lump in his throat. “I’m not”, he said ”but this means the end of an era now doesn’t it?”

Does it???

“Life goes on within you and without you”

Rest easy George.

And if you want some music to listen to look out for a smiling guy with a large case of cds, it’ll be John Green.

Till Next Time.