George Harrison and Eric Idle
"When they told me that they were going to induct my friend George Harrison into the Hollywood Bowl Hall Of Fame posthumously my first thought was, ‘I bet he won’t show up.’ Because, unlike some others one might mention - but won’t - he really wasn’t into honours. He was one of those odd people who believe that life is somehow more important than show business. Which I know is heresay here in Hollywood, and I’m sorry to bring it up here in the very bowel of the Hollywood but I can hear his voice saying, ‘Oh, very nice, very useful, a posthumous award - where am I supposed to put it? What’s next for me then? A posthumous Grammy? An ex-knighthood? An After-Life Achievement Award?’ He’s going to need a whole new shelf up there.
I think he would prefer to be inducted posthumorously because he loved comedians - poor, sick, sad, deranged, loveable puppies that we are - because they, like him, had the ability to say the wrong thing at the right time, which is what we call humour.
He put ‘Monty Python’ on here at the Hollywood Bowl and he paid for the movie ‘The Life Of Brian,’ because he wanted to see it. Still the most anybody has ever paid for a cinema ticket!
What made George special, apart from his being the best guitarist in the Beatles, was what he did with his life after they achieved everything. He realised that this fame business was, and I’ll use the technical philosophical term here, complete bullshit. And he turned to find beauty and truth and meaning in life and - more extraordinarily - found it.
Michael Palin said George’s passing was really sad but it does make the afterlife seem much more attractive. He was a gardener - he grew beauty in everything he did - in his life, in his music, in his marriage and as a father. I was on an island somewhere when a man came up to him and said, ‘George Harrison, oh my God, what are you doing here?’ and he said, ‘Well, everyone’s got to be somewhere.’
Well, alas, he isn’t here. But we are. And that’s the point. This isn’t for him. This is for us, because we want to honour him. We want to remember him, we want to say, ‘thanks, George’ for being. And we really miss you.” - Eric Idle’s speech marking the induction of George Harrison into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, 28 June 2002