George Harrison’s Son Dhani ‘Freaked Out’ When He Learned His Dad Was in The Beatles

George Harrison’s son didn’t know that his father was one of the most famous musicians of all time. While he was aware that his father was a musician, Dhani Harrison didn’t know that Harrison was a former member of The Beatles. When children at his school began singing Beatles songs to Dhani, he learned the truth. He got home that day and demanded why Harrison hadn’t told him about The Beatles.

George Harrison's son Dhani plays the guitar and sings into a microphone.
George Harrison’s son Dhani Harrison | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The former Beatle had one child

In 1966, Harrison married Pattie Boyd. After their divorce, he married Olivia Arias. They met in 1972, when Harrison was still married to Boyd. Olivia worked for Dark Horse Records, Harrison’s label. At the time they met, Harrison had been famous for years, and Olivia provided refuge from that.

“I was from outside of his world,” Olivia told the LA Times in 2005, adding, “I was shelter from the storm. I was simple, and he needed some simplicity at that point.”

Harrison and Olivia had one child, Dhani, in 1978.

“Having a son was good for him,” Harrison’s friend Chris O’Dell said, per the book George Harrison: Behind the Locked Door by Graeme Thomson. “But I don’t know that it changed him that much. I think he stayed pretty much the same.”

George Harrison’s son couldn’t believe his father hadn’t told him he was in The Beatles

Like Harrison, Dhani grew up in the United Kingdom. While he knew that his father was a musician, he didn’t have a sense of who he was. On the way home from school one day, he found out.

“I came home one day from school after being chased by kids singing ‘Yellow Submarine,’ and I didn’t understand why,” Dhani said. “It just seemed surreal: why are they singing that song to me?” 

Dhani put it together and was stunned.

“I came home and I freaked out on my dad: ‘Why didn’t you tell me you were in The Beatles?’ And he said, ‘Oh, sorry. Probably should have told you that.’”

George Harrison’s son is also a musician 

Like his father, Dhani is also a musician. In 2022, he won a Grammy for remastering Harrison’s 1970 album, All Things Must Pass. With the project, Dhani explained that he didn’t aim to “rewrite history” with the album. Instead, he wanted to refresh it with modern technology.

“I love the original version of the album,” he told Esquire in 2021, “but we would take every single song and A/B it with the original, and it’s actually quite shocking when you do that how much better it sounds.”

He explained that he wanted his father’s work to feel like a time capsule.

“We wanted it to be a time capsule, something that will last another fifty or a hundred years, so that’s why we put it in this artisanal-looking Victorian ale chest, something that captured the feeling of Friar Park and the passing of time,” he said. “I’m really trying to draw everyone into the feeling of what it must have been like for him to start off at 27, renovating a house that took him the rest of his life, and at the same time, his band had broken up, he had Hare Krishnas living here, he was separating from his wife, his mother passed away during the making the record — it was a lot of really spiritual moments for my dad with this record.”

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