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George Harrison's selfless final words to Ringo Starr were heartbreaking

Daily Express logo Daily Express 30/11/2022 Callum Crumlish

George Harrison died on November 29, 2001, after losing a long battle against cancer. Before he died, his bandmate from , , visited him while he was on his deathbed. What followed was an emotionally-charged and tear-jerking interaction between two lifelong friends with an extraordinary history. And Starr couldn't help but get choked up while reminiscing about the meeting.


Harrison was in The Beatles from the very beginning in 1958 alongside , and Pete Best. Shortly after Best was kicked out of the band, The Beatles hired Starr as their new drummer. From then on, Harrison and Starr grew to become fantastic friends.

In a heartfelt video interview years later, Starr opened up about his final encounter with his lifelong friend. With a tear in his eye, he told the camera that he went to Europe to see Harrison in a hospice as his health deteriorated. He said: "The last weeks of George's life he was living in Switzerland, and I went to see him. He was very ill. He could only lay down."

Unfortunately for Starr, this visit with Harrison was extremely ill-timed. Around the same time, his daughter, Lee Starkey, was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

George Harrison ringo starr © GETTY George Harrison ringo starr George Harrison ringo starr © GETTY George Harrison ringo starr

As a result, Starr had to fly out to America to be with her as she received treatment.

He continued: "While he was being ill and I had come to see him, I was going to Boston 'cos my daughter had a brain tumour." Starr recalled telling Harrison: "I got to go to Boston," before beginning to wipe tears from his face.

Harrison would not let his best friend be sad, however. Starr chuckled at the thought of his friend's final touching gesture to cheer his best friend up.

Starr wiped his face as he said: "It was the last words I heard him say actually."

READ MORE: John Lennon's 'best Beatles song' written for his wife - not Yoko Ono

George Harrison ringo starr © GETTY George Harrison ringo starr

Bed-bound Harrison asked Starr: "D'ya want me to come with ya?"

Even as he lay dying, Harrison tried - and succeeded - to make his friend laugh. Starr smiled: "So, that's the incredible side of George."

Starr was forced to say his goodbyes and attend his daughter's sickbed in Boston.

Just a few months later, Harrison died. He was surrounded by his family - his wife, Olivia Harrison and his son, Dhani Harrison - as well as one of his closest friends, Ravi Shankar. His final words were: "Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another." Harrison was 58-years-old.

Starr wasn't the only member of the band who reminisced about Harrison since his death.


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McCartney later described the news of Harrison's death as "very sad". He eventually followed up: "[I am devastated] I've known he's been ill for a long time. I've spoken to Olivia [Harrison] and she has been very strong, and I'd ask people to be kind to her."

He added that Harrison "didn't suffer fools gladly" before describing him as "a lovely man, I love him dearly, I grew up with him and I like to remember all the good times". McCartney also assured fans that Harrison "went peacefully".



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