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Friday, April 17, 2009

George Harrison Gets Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

George Harrison became the newest recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Tuesday with a little help from his friends.

By "friends" we mean former Beatles mate Sir Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Tom Hanks and a number of other luminaries. Fittingly, Harrison's star, unveiled by his widow, Olivia, and son, Dhani, is right in front of the Capitol Records building and a few stars down from that of John Lennon, who is the only other Beatle to have his own star.

McCartney didn't speak, but catered to the crowd -- several hundred people strong -- at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. He waved, smiled and charmingly pretended to polish Harrison's star.

Actor Eric Idle gave a hilarious speech that played more for laughs than sentiment. When he was first asked to speak, he wondered what he should say about Harrison. "Then I thought I heard his voice. He said, 'It's a load of all bollocks.' So then I asked Ringo [Starr], 'Well, what should I say about George's star?' and he said, 'Well, what about mine?' And then I said, 'Well, they don't give drummers stars.'"

Hanks, in a passionate talk that resembled a sermon more than a presentation, revealed that Harrison's first guitar cost 75 cents. "Seventy-five cents created this," he said. "Seventy-five cents and a desire to make that thing sing, to make that guitar weep."

"He was such a deep feeling person," Olivia Harrison said, in a short, but moving speech. "He was a beautiful, mystical man living in a material world."

Spinner attended the exclusive reception in Capitol Records' famous Studio A immediately following the unveiling. We asked McCartney his favorite Harrison song. His diplomatic answer? "All of them." We moved on to Harrison's fellow Traveling Wilbury Jeff Lynne; He said he couldn't pick just one. However, uber-producer David Foster very quickly chose 'Something,' because "it's so melodic." Hanks also needed very little time to pick have favorite. His choice? 'I Need You,' in part, because he remembers seeing Harrison play it live, and that memory had always stayed with him.

Harrison's first ever career-spanning solo hits collection, 'Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison,' will come out June 16.


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