For my guest post I want to share some photos and thoughts on the passing of George Harrison on November 29, 2001. While I love all the Beatles, George was my favorite and the one I turned to for “comfort music” when I needed a boost.
At the time of George’s death I was living in Los Angles (the San Fernando Valley) and I heard that fans had turned the Beatles star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame into a memorial site. I wanted to pay my respects so that weekend I took the subway to Hollywood (traffic in Hollywood is often congested and parking is hard to find and expensive). I didn’t know the star’s location so I started at one end of the Walk of Fame and kept going.
The walk, consisting of the stars embedded in the sidewalk, stretched for many blocks along Hollywood Boulevard and also onto the side streets. The Beatles star is at the western end of the walk at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue (each Fab also has an individual star at 1725 Vine Street, north of Hollywood Boulevard, but that spot probable didn’t have enough room for fans to gather). The stars for The Beatles and Elvis Presley are both on a grassy island in the middle of the street! Those are the only two stars in this location, a place of honor for the kings of rock.
I used the marked crosswalk to reach the star. The entire island was buried beneath a mountain of mementos left by fans—candles, photos, flowers, messages, a copy of the LA Times announcing George’s death and even a guitar. Only a portion of the star was visible. The items partially covered Elvis’ star (I’m sure he didn’t mind).
A number of people were standing vigil on the island. One man was seated and singing and playing a guitar. I took photos and then left a note, a guitar pic and stick of burning incense.
The first photo shows only a small amount of the fan tokens. The second picture is of some posters with heartfelt messages left at the site.
Then I headed east to the other end of Hollywood Boulevard (a long walk!) where one can see the Capital Records Building (in case you don’t know, the building was designed to resemble a stack of records). Capital, of course, was the company that released The Beatles’ music in America. As you can see in the third photo, the American flag atop the roof flew at half-mast in mourning and the top of the building was draped with black bunting. What a nice gesture from the folks at Capital.
On Sunday afternoon a public memorial service was held at the Greek Theatre. I meant to attend but for various reasons did not go. The day was overcast with light rain, a change from LA’s usual sunshine. But I was glad all over that I managed to get to Hollywood and joined dozens of other Beatles lovers in showing my affection for a musical giant.