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Tom Petty said George Harrison never left without telling him how much he loved him, which is no surprise. George’s widow, Olivia Harrison, said her husband often had loving relationships with his friends.

Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Brian Setzer at the 1992 Billboard Music Awards.
Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Brian Setzer | KMazur/Getty Images

Tom Petty said George Harrison was ‘aggressive’ when becoming friends with someone

Petty met George in 1974, but they didn’t click as friends until the mid-1980s.

In a special edition of Rolling Stone called “Remembering George,” Petty explained, “I reminded him that we’d met, and there was some kind of weird click. It felt like we had known each other all our lives, and in a very personal way. We wound up just hanging a lot.”

That’s an understatement. After Petty and George “clicked,” Petty returned to Los Angeles, only to happen across George in a random restaurant. George thought it was weird that they’d bumped into each other because he’d just asked Jeff Lynne for Petty’s number.

Petty said, “He said, ‘Where are you going?’ I said, ‘I’m just going home.’ He said, ‘Do you mind if I go with you?’ He came to my house and stayed for days.” George did stay for days. That was how he got to know someone he knew he wanted to be friends with. However, that wasn’t the first time he’d done something like that.

When he met comedian Eric Idle at the premiere of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, they smoked pot in the projection room, left the premiere, and, as Idle describes it, engaged in a 48-hour dialogue getting to know each other.

It all goes back to what Petty told NPR, “He was the kind of person that, when he came across a good thing or the potential for a friend, he really was aggressive about it. And he had a way of knocking out anything that was extracurricular, or in the way of what was really going on. He could get you comfortable with him very quickly.”

Petty said George never left without saying how much he loved him

Once George became friends with someone, he made sure to show them how much he loved them.

Petty said George “treasured his friends. Mike Campbell was saying, ‘George was the only kind of friend I knew who would bring you a gift every time he saw you.’ He once brought me four ukuleles in a week.

“George was the kind of guy who wasn’t going to leave until he hugged you for five minutes and told you how much he loved you. We knew where we stood with each other.”


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Why the former Beatle formed loving relationships with his friends

George formed loving relationships with his friends because it brought him closer to God.

In Martin Scorsese’s documentaryGeorge Harrison: Living in the Material World, Olivia explained, “They say in this life you have to perfect one human relationship in order to really love God. You practice loving God by loving another human and by giving unconditional love. George’s most important relationships really were conducted through their music and their lyrics.

“And he was very unabashed and romantic about it in a sense. I found that he was very-he had these love relationships with his friends. He loved them.”

So, George put a lot into his friendships and relationships because he loved God and the people God brought to him.