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All Things Must Pass, George Harrison

Legacy of Love: Finding Comfort in 'All Things Must Pass'

Last week, I visited my son Diego in Alaska. It was a joy to see how he has made his love for nature and the outdoors a lifestyle. As we planned his road trip from Homer to Juneau, selecting camping equipment and mapping out hikes, I felt a mix of pride and joy watching him eagerly anticipate the adventure. Yet, worry crept in, too, knowing he would be alone in the vast wilderness. I had to constrain my protective instincts and let him go.

On my way back, memories of my first camping trips at his age flooded in. I remembered how my dad helped me plan, pushing me to spread my wings. Though my early adventures were pale compared to Diego’s expedition, they testify to the tiny seeds parents plant, can grow into mighty trees over time.

The memories and emotions left me wishing my dad could have shared these moments with us. Although it would have been possible in his early 80s, he left us way too soon. But as life constantly reminds us, all things must pass.

All Things Must Pass is the first George Harrison album, and I venture to say it is the best solo record by a Beatle. During the Beatles' decade-long career, George was always overshadowed by Lennon/McCartney, and this is no surprise given their talent and personalities. But this doesn’t mean Harrison couldn’t write; gradually, he started to contribute. Proof that his songs were at par or better than those of his colleagues is “Here Comes the Sun,” the most-listened Beatles song on Spotify. During the last years of the decade-long Beatle's history, George’s frustration grew, and the number of songs he wrote increased. At the Beatles break-up, he had enough songs to fill a triple album; the result was All Things Must Pass.

The song All Things Must Pass reflects themes of impermanence and acceptance of life's changes, like the death of a loved one like my father. Harrison was deeply influenced by Eastern philosophy and spirituality, particularly the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and the concept of the transient nature of existence; he uses the song to convey that no matter how complex or joyful a situation is, it is temporary and will eventually pass. The lyrics encourage a sense of resilience and hope, suggesting that better days will come even in times of sorrow. The song can be seen as a meditation on the cyclical nature of life, offering a comforting reminder to remain grounded and mindful, understanding that everything, good and bad, is part of a more significant, ever-changing journey.

The album also has another classic song, one that most people on earth must have heard: My Sweet Lord. With a chant-like quality and a magical slide-guitar jingle, Harrison tells us about his devotion and connection to God, incorporating both Christian and Hindu elements to signify his interest in spiritual paths.

"All Things Must Pass" was released in 1970 and stands as George Harrison's critically acclaimed triple album and his first significant solo effort following the breakup of The Beatles. 

As the first triple album released by a solo artist, "All Things Must Pass" was groundbreaking. It featured two discs of studio recordings and a third disc of jam sessions, aptly titled "Apple Jam." The album was rich with spiritual and philosophical themes, reflecting Harrison's deepening interest in Eastern spirituality and his quest for inner peace.

Phil Spector, known for his "Wall of Sound" technique, produced the album, contributing to the lush, layered sound that became a hallmark of the recordings. The album also featured contributions from a host of talented musicians, including Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, and members of Badfinger, adding to its rich and diverse sound.

"All Things Must Pass" is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time. It redefined Harrison's career and left a lasting impact on rock music with its spiritual depth, innovative production, and introspective lyrics, solidifying Harrison's legacy as a solo artist.

As I reflect on the memories of my father and the time spent with my son, I am reminded of the timeless wisdom in George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass." The themes of impermanence and acceptance resonate deeply, echoing my journey through life's changes. Witnessing Diego’s adventurous spirit and recalling my youthful explorations brings a poignant sense of continuity and growth. My father’s guidance helped shape my path, much like I hope my encouragement has done for Diego. Though my father is no longer here, his influence endures, reminding me that while all things must pass, the legacy of love and wisdom we leave behind continues to flourish in the lives we touch. Harrison’s music, with its rich spiritual themes, offers comfort and teaches us that, despite the inevitable passage of time, the seeds we plant today can grow into something beautiful and lasting.

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