McCartney, Others React to Harrison's Death

ByABC News
November 30, 2001, 1:55 PM

Nov. 30 -- To borrow from Shakespeare, George Harrison was a man of most excellent differences.

By his early 20s, he was the most famous lead guitarist in the world. When the Beatles were at the height of their fame, he turned to Eastern mysticism, sparking millions of Westerners to study meditation.

When the Beatles broke up, nobody expected Harrison to succeed fastest, having quietly stood in the background, behind John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Yet, "My Sweet Lord," became the first No. 1 hit by any ex-Beatle, and Harrison's first solo album, All Things Must Pass, outsold the releases of his former bandmates.

The hits didn't come all that often in later years, but he was constantly re-emerging, as a film producer, musician and humanitarian.

Some folks say that his success producing Monty Python's Life of Brian helped save the British film industry. And when John Lennon was slain in 1980, he was the one who rounded up the other Beatles to record the tribute "All Those Years Ago."

Here's what friends, family and music experts had to say in wake of Harrison's passing.

Friends, Family, Music Lovers Offer Condolences

Paul McCartney: "He was a lovely guy and a very brave man and had a wonderful sense of humor. He is really just my baby brother."

"We were school friends together, you know. And we joined the Beatles together and went through all of that together so it's a very sad day."

"I was lucky enough to see him a couple of weeks ago and he was still laughing and joking."

"His music will live on forever. He was a very strong, loving man. But he didn't suffer fools gladly."

Dhani Harrison (George's Son): We're truly grateful for the tremendous support we've received from friends and from the very many members of the public whom we don't know personally, but who thought of us and send us good wishes."

Ringo Starr: "George was a best friend of mine. I loved him very much and I will miss him greatly We will miss George for his sense of love, his sense of music and his sense of laughter."