A new tree was planted in Griffith Park in Los Angeles in honor of George Harrison on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. The ceremony took place on what would have been his 72nd birthday. His sister Louise Harrison and sister-in-law Linda Arias were present, along with many other officials and fans. Afterwards, his star was decorated outside Capitol Records, where songs were sung and cake was served. Pat Tyson has sent us a report of both events as well as several pictures.
Tree planting at Griffith Park
The new tree planted George for is a yew pine, and replaces the original tree, a Canary Island pine, that was planted in 2002 but died in 2014 from—ironically– a beetle infestation. The new tree should be a better fit for survival in this location and more resistant to disease. The official invite to the new tree planting, sent by Paula Greenstein read: “In 2002 the City of Los Angeles planted a tree in Griffith Park, in memory of George Harrison. Then in 2004, on George’s birthday, a plaque was unveiled at the thriving tree, and Councilmember Tom LaBonge declared it ‘George Harrison Day’ in LA. It was my joy to help coordinate both of these events.” Friends and family were invited to the new ceremony, which was coordinated with Olivia Harrison’s agreement to plant the new tree on his birthday.
“Against the backdrop of the gleaming Hollywood sign at Griffith Park yesterday, George Harrison’s tree was replanted” Pat Tyson wrote. “Councilman Tom LaBonge, Louise Harrison and Linda Arias all thanked the crowd for attending and those who made the event possible. Louise said, ‘George was a gardener at heart’ and related a humorous story of him trying to ‘fix’ a broken branch on his property at Friar Park!” Keith Chagall performed music at the event.
Pat wrote that Chris Carter entertained the crowd with various news headlines from around the world about the beetles that devastated George’s tree, saying “as you might imagine, some were pretty funny.” After he assisted with the tree planting, she said, “several fans lovingly placed handfuls of dirt around the tree.”
The plaque for the tree reads, “In memory of a great humanitarian who touched the world as an artist, a musician and a gardener. ‘For the forest to be green, each tree must be green.’ George Harrison (1943-2001)”
Walk of Fame Star at Capitol Records
The crowd progressed on to Capitol Records, where George’s birthday celebration continued. Jerry Rubin and Chris Carter presided over the gathering and Chris told the crowd a lovely story about speaking to Olivia Harrison by phone. “She called me from Friar Park” he exclaimed, “She said her mother in Los Angeles listened to the special tribute show to George (on Breakfast With the Beatles) and really enjoyed it.”
Pat said, “Chris was overwhelmed that (1) George Harrison’s mother-in-law was listening to the show, and (2) that Olivia took the time to call him personally from England to tell him!” Pat said Louise Harrison, George’s sister, took questions from the crowd, and assisted in cutting George’s birthday cake. Zane Suarez, Jason Berkus and Michael Culhane were the musicians who performed for the crowd. One adorable little girl named Avery who is already an ardent fan sat by George’s star and declared that she would be back en force to celebrate John Lennon’s birthday on October 9.
Pat recalled a story that Louise told about the Beatles. “Louise also told the crowd that she would go to the record stores in Illinois in 1963 and ask them to play The Beatles. She also ordered ‘Billboard’ (and the other trade publications) to get a sense of the music business. She said she told Brian Epstein that The Beatles should be signed by Capitol, Columbia or RCA and she recommended he try to get them an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.”
Louise has recently published a book called “My Kid Brother’s Band: aka the Beatles”.
Thanks to Pat Tyson for her report and photos, and to all of those who made these two events for George possible.
John Lennon birthday event announced: Jerry Rubin has announced he is already working on a 75th birthday milestone celebration for John Lennon at the Walk of Fame Star at Capitol Records October 9, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. Check out a new Facebook page for the event set up by Sal Gomez.