April 14, 2009 / 10:01 PM / 11 years ago

Paul McCartney honors George Harrison in Hollywood

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former Beatle George Harrison received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday, with a little help from such friends as Paul McCartney, Eric Idle and Tom Hanks.

Paul McCartney (L) wipes off the star while posing for pictures with (L-R) Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Leron Gubler, Eric Idle, Olivia Harrison, city councilmember Tom LaBonge, Tom Hanks and Dhani Harrison at a ceremony where George Harrison is honored posthumously with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles April 14, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

As about one thousand fans looked on, Harrison’s star was unveiled outside the landmark Capitol Records tower by his Los Angeles-born widow Olivia and 30-year-old son Dhani.

“He was a beautiful, mystical man living in a material world, and he was as funny as the day is long, and just as perplexing,” Olivia said. “George, this day is for you.”

Added Hanks, “All things must pass, sure. But George is going to live forever.”

Harrison died of cancer in 2001, aged 58. Idle, a member of the Monty Python comedy troupe, noted that Harrison actually drew his last breath in McCartney’s Los Angeles home, “and it’s one of the reasons I won’t go and stay with John Cleese.”

McCartney did not speak to the crowd, but instead rubbed Olivia Harrison’s shoulders, joked with Dhani and waved to fans.

Other guests included Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty, who played with Harrison in the Traveling Wilburys, Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, producer T-Bone Burnett, and Olivia’s sister Linda Arias.

Security was unusually intense, a likely result of both the murder of John Lennon in 1980 and the 1999 attack on the Harrisons in their English home by a knife-wielding intruder. Even at the VIP luncheon afterward in the Capitol recording studio, the Harrisons were closely shadowed by a team of security guards.

Capitol, which paid $25,000 to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for the star, said it would release a hits collection spanning Harrison’s solo career on June 16.

“Let It Roll: Songs By George Harrison” will feature such tunes as “My Sweet Lord” and “Got My Mind Set On You,” as well as live versions of Beatle-era tunes “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun” from Harrison’s all-star Concert for Bangladesh concert in 1971.

Reporting by Dean Goodman; editing by Jill Serjeant

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