Why George Harrison felt sorry for Elton John

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Fame has two sides to it. On the one hand, it may be the key to granting everyone their heart’s desires and giving them access to locations they could previously only have imagined. George Harrison, the guitarist for The Beatles, learned the hard way that celebrity can also cost individuals in the spotlight their privacy and hinder them from leading a normal life.

George Harrison has a lifelong obsession with learning his guitar and didn’t join a band with the goal of becoming a well-known rock star. His life was dramatically altered when The Beatles became the largest band on the globe. While it was initially enjoyable, the guitarist soon began looking for a deeper source of fulfillment, which eventually took the artist on a spiritual path in later life.

Harrison found purpose in religion, which allowed him to escape the meaninglessness of a famous existence. Money and celebrity don’t make up for the things in life that are truly essential, as he discovered on his journey of discovery. George Harrison’s life underwent a significant shift in the decade following The Beatles’ breakup, and he preferred to live a quieter life away from the spotlight.

Elton John continued where The Beatles left off and assumed the title of the most in-demand artist in the world as the music business advanced into the 1970s. It seemed like anything he touched would turn into a smash song. But much like Harrison decades before, John had to make personal sacrifices to reach his level of fame, which led the former Beatle to feel sympathy for Elton.

Harrison provided the following explanation to India Today in 1976 when asked about his fame complex: “It was such a strain having to live up to people’s conceptions of The Beatles and not be able to do what I really wanted to do. I’m not knocking it, man; I’ve done it all: got drunk, fooled around, done crazy things and had a great time. But that’s not where it’s at. It’s OK for a while, but finally, you want something deeper. I think that we all ought to increase our God-consciousness and try and find a purpose in life.”

He added, “Now that the initial ‘love generation’ fad is over there is a more genuine recognition of the need for a spiritual fulfilment. Look at Elton John: he’s the only one who’s come near to the Beatles and I feel so sorry for him. All that fame and all that money, and ultimately it means so little.”

Harrison had cause for concern about Elton, who at the height of his stardom was battling a heroin addiction. Years after Harrison passed away, the ‘Rocketman’ recalled how the late Beatle had reached out to him in his darkest hours and advised him against going down a certain path. Elton told to Rolling Stone, “It’s very hard to put into words. He was very forthright, and he actually administered quite a few tellings-off to me about my drug problem.”

He added, “I think he was the kind of sage of the Beatles. He was the youngest member. But as people said, he was very spiritual and very serious about his religious beliefs. It wasn’t just a five-minute-wonder thing with him. He found something worth more than fame, more than fortune, more than anything. I think that helped him the last few months of his life. Because he was pretty stoic.”

Thankfully, after receiving a wake-up call from Harrison, Elton dealt with his drug issues successfully and has maintained his sobriety for many years.

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