As a way of wishing Happy Birthday to the late George Harrison — lead guitar player of The Beatles and songwriter of such Beatles classics as "Here Comes The Sun," "Something" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" — Beach Boy Mike Love released a new song in tribute to his departed friend.
George Harrison would have been 71 years old on Tuesday. The Beatles guitarist, who also organized one of the first all-star benefit concerts when he staged the Concert For Bangladesh in 1971, passed away from cancer at the age of 58 on November 29, 2001.
The new Mike Love song is entitled "Pisces Brothers." Love, 72 years old himself and a member of The Beach Boys since the group's formation in 1961, wrote the song in 2004 but released it on Tuesday to coincide with George Harrison's birthday.
The song is a look back at the journey that Mike shared with The Beatles and several other musicians to the town of Rishikesh in northern India, where they spent several weeks studying Transcendental Meditation with the founder of the practice, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
The experience had a profound effect on both Mike Love and George Harrison. Harrison practiced TM and Indian religion for the rest of his life, while Love became a TM teacher and continues the practice today.
The title of the song, "Pisces Brothers," refers to the fact that both Love and Harrison were born under the Pisces zodiac sign, Love on March 15, 1941, Harrison on February 25, 1943.
"This being the 50th anniversary of The Beatles coming to America, I wanted to commemorate this incredibly significant trip we all took together to India, at the Maharishi's invitation," Mike Love said, in a statement accompanying the song's release on the internet platform SoundCloud Tuesday. "It was enormously influential on all of us, most especially George. The song is really sentimental for me, and meant to honor George Harrison's remarkable contribution to music. And how, in this one moment in time, we got together, as the song says, not fortune or for fame, but for enlightenment."
George Harrison had been interested in Indian music and philosophy for several years before the Rishikesh trip. He learned to play the sitar on the set of The Beatles second movie, Help! and recorded several Indian-influenced songs on Beatles albums, including the epic lead-off to side two of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, "Within You, Without You."
Happy birthday to you, George Harrison. Here's a video about The Beatles' trip to Rishikesh.