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.
can couple that with kids growing up and leaving home and my own inner
struggle with aging and
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?”
“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.