How could I possibly pay tribute to someone I never even met, but who is
such a significant influence? Ten years ago this 29 November, we lost George far too soon... thus, it's in tribute of an amazing
musician and person that I write this.
To get this out in the open right from the start: I think George was completely
brilliant and unbelievably talented. I've adored him since the first time I saw and heard him at the age of eleven. Through
the years, that feeling toward George and his music music has increased steadily and been firmly secured. Those beautiful
chords, the wise and witty lyrics, that inimitable humor and his entire personality are all highly influential factors in
my life. Traveling to India? That was due to George's influence. That's just one of the many ways in which he has touched
my life, and continues to do so.
Even the ten years that have gone since George's untimely passing can’t
lessen his impact. Ten years ago, my eighteen-year-old heart was filled with grief at the news, even though I'm sure George
mastered the "art of dying" magnificently. Ten years – it seems difficult to believe. So much has occurred in that decade,
positive and negative. Whatever highs and lows I've encountered, it's always been George's music that has the ability to put
a smile on my face, hope in my heart and to open my mind. How could I possibly find the adequate means to express my gratitude?
Despite never having met him, he continuously influences me more than words could properly convey.
George once sang "beware of sadness" – and while I try, I hope I'll
be forgiven for being sad about a few things. I know, I know – "all things must pass", but that doesn't mean they are
forgotten. How could the immense talent and complexity George shared with those willing to listen ever lose its significance?
George's music, that astonishing legacy, remains timeless. No matter how many years pass, he will be greatly missed not only
by his family and friends, but by his dedicated fans as well. Wherever this life may continue to lead me, I know for sure
that I will always respect, admire and adore (who am I kidding - love) George. All that's left for me to
say, I suppose, is thank you to George – for his songs, his inspiration, his humor, for being himself… and for
the way he and his music continue to touch me.
* * * *
"What I feel, I can't say..."
Nearly 18 years ago, my young heart was immediately, unalterably
taken with George. 11 years ago, the sad news devastated me.
Although I very obviously never personally knew him, George’s
music, as well as his personality, humor, honesty and complexity continue to impact my life. He was a brilliant musician and
songwriter, and effectively introduced Indian music to the Western world. His voice has always gone straight to my heart,
as cheesy as that may sound. Moreover, in my admittedly biased opinion, George was the greatest guitarist. From the earliest
efforts through his solo career, and that awe-inspiring slide guitar, he was absolutely amazing.
He was complex and didn't
claim to be perfect – that's part of what makes him so enigmatic, genuine – and endearing.
legacy remains astonishing and timeless. Each note, each word, is uniquely George... and each has the power to touch us, to
make us reflect and contemplate, to bring a smile to our face and make us laugh, to inspire and to comfort us, and to brighten
our day... To make us, quite simply, happy. As long as we listen, the songs George gave to the world are infinite.
I'll never stop respecting, adoring and missing you – or being grateful for your existence... and I'll always have a
space in my heart for you.