George Harrison’s son, Dhani, grew up surrounded by legendary musicians. Harrison had many friends in the industry who would visit often, and Dhani got to know many stars that the average person could only dream of meeting. Reflecting on his childhood, Dhani said it was “mindbending” to see so many rock stars just casually hanging out in his house.
George Harrison’s son hung out with many rock stars at his home
George Harrison was friends with many classic rock stars. In addition to the other members of The Beatles, Harrison was also close with the members of The Traveling Wilburys, which included Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne. He was also close friends with guitarist Eric Clapton.
Since he worked closely with these excellent musicians, they often recorded and rehearsed at his home studio. Harrison’s son, Dhani, grew accustomed to coming home from school and seeing some legendary rock star. While many would consider him lucky, it did give him an interesting perspective on his situation.
“I hung out with my parents. I was always trying to be with the big kids, and the big kids at my house were like [ELO frontman] Jeff Lynne,” Dhani told Daily Mail. “You’d come home and it was like, ‘Bob Dylan’s here.’ It’s hard to get a bit of perspective on, like, ‘How did your school test go today?’”
While he wasn’t allowed in the recording studio, he often snuck in to catch a glimpse of what they’d be working on.
“I grew up in that studio,” he added. “As a kid, I remember sneaking in, seeing how far I could get in before anyone saw me. You’d smell cigarette smoke, and I’d be thinking: ‘I’m not supposed to be here.’ You might catch Roy Orbison singing ‘Not Alone Anymore’ or Carl Perkins or Duane Eddy doing an instrumental. It was mind-bending. It offers you a different perspective on life to have these people around the house. It made going to school easier because you wouldn’t take yourself so seriously.”
Dhani Harrison was shocked to discover his dad was in The Beatles
While George Harrison was one of the most famous musicians in the world, his son didn’t know he was part of The Beatles for a while. In Martin Scorsese’s documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Dhani said he confronted his dad about being in The Beatles after kids at school started harassing him about it.
“I came home one day from school after being chased by kids singing ‘Yellow Submarine,’ and I didn’t understand why,” Dhani shared. “It just seemed surreal. Why are they singing that song to me? I came home, and I freaked out on my dad: ‘Why didn’t you tell me you were in The Beatles?’ And he said, ‘Oh, sorry. Probably should have told you that.’”
Dhani remembered seeing his dad in the garden for many years, so he thought he was a gardener until he discovered the truth.
“My earliest memory of my dad is probably of him somewhere in a garden covered in dirt, somewhere hot, a tropical garden, in jeans, khakis covered in dirt, just continuously planting trees,” Dhani recalled. “I think that’s what I thought he did for the first seven years of my life.”
Dhani remains close to the other Beatles’ kids
All of The Beatles members had kids at various stages of their lives, so they are all different ages. The kids bonded whenever the families connected, and many remain close today. According to Harrison, many of them had to work harder to get out from under their parent’s shadows, which is precisely what he did.
“I always knew that if I was going to do anything and be taken seriously in my life, I had to work and work very, very hard. Because you can get a foot in the door by being George Harrison’s son, but you can’t stay there,” Dhani explained. “It’s why I think I’m most like Stella and Mary McCartney. They’re the same.”
Source: Cheat Sheet
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