George Harrison was the youngest Beatle. He was 15 years old in 1957 when Paul McCartney brought him to audition for John Lennon's Quarrymen, which Paul had only recently joined. Always known as the quiet Beatle, George had a major impact on the band's direction both musically and in terms of their look, attitude and interests.
For me, Harrison's guitar solos were always impressive in terms or their brevity. He was not a flashy player. In the early days he worked hard to reproduce the rock'n roll solos he heard on his favorite records. He brought that same spare but melodic playing to the Beatles original material. In later years he developed a distinctive slide style that became a signature of his solo work.
George was very a very active vocalist in the early days, he, John and Paul trading off on lead and of course providing harmonies. I urge anyone who is a Harrison fan to listen to the recently released BBC sessions to hear just hard George can rock.
For me, growing up, Harrison was the mystical Beatle. It was his interest in Indian music that led the Beatles to incorporate new exotic sounds. His interest in philosophy and in the Hindu religion came to dominate his view of the world. He led the Beatles to Maharishi and Transcendental Meditation. Where John's songs were cryptic, George's could be incredibly direct. From his very first song "Don't Bother Me", through "I Need You" to "Within and Without You" and later "Something" Harrison told it like it is. From love to the very nature and essence of our existence in the material world - he was incredibly articulate.
George, like his mates, had a particularly dry sense of humor - it was he who broke the ice with George Martin when the Beatles first met the producer in 1962. After outlining his expectations of the band, Martin asked if there was anything they did not personally like? Harrison, paused and then said, "Well, there's your tie, for a start."