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George Harrison in the Words of Friends and Family

Olivia Harrison, Dhani Harrison, Tom Petty and Harrison himself reflect on the quiet Beatle

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"George had a really curious mind, and when he got into something he wanted to know everything." -Olivia Harrison

George Harrison with friends from a Hare Krishna Temple in March, 1970

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"He told me he really, really admired John. He probably wanted John's acceptance pretty bad, you know?" -Tom Petty

Harrison with Lennon during the filming of 'Magical Mystery Tour'

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"Sometimes I felt a thousand years old. It was aging me. It was a question of either stop or end up dead." -George Harrison

Harrison in London, England in 1991

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"If you had something like two million people screaming at you, I think it would take a long time to stop hearing that in your head. George was not suited to it." -Olivia Harrison

Harrison during the filming of 'A Hard Day's Night'

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"George talked a lot about his nervous system, that he just didn't want to hear loud noise anymore. He didn't want to be startled. He didn't want to be stressed." -Olivia Harrison

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"George wasn't seeking a career. He didn't really have a manager or an agent. He was doing what he wanted. I don't think he valued rock stardom at all." -Tom Petty

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"The only things I felt I had to do in my life are to be happy and meditate." -Dhani Harrison

Dhani and Olivia Harrison at the posthumous ceremony honoring George Harrison with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in April, 2009

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"Every time George had a joint and a few beers he would start talking about touring. I think once or twice we even had serious talks about it, but nobody would really commit to it. We never thought we were gonna run out of time." -Tom Petty

Harrison and Petty at the 1992 Billboard Music Awards

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"He didn't want to have any obligations. He kept writing and recording songs in his home studio, but turned down offers to appear on award shows, or to do almost anything." -Olivia Harrison

Harrison in 1991

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"He would say, 'Look, we're not these bodies, let's not get hung up on that. I just want to prepare myself so that I go the right way, and go to the right place.' I'm sure he's got that worked out." -Tom Petty

Harrison and Eric Clapton in 1999 at the Christie's Auction benefiting Clapton's Crossroads Centre in Antigua

Quotes excerpted from the September 15, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone.