Discovering the Hidden Gems of Olivia Harrison: A Journey into a Musical Oasis 

 March 1, 2023

Discovering the Hidden Gems of Olivia Harrison: A Journey into a Musical Oasis

Olivia Harrison is an English-Mexican author, film producer, and the widow of the legendary musician, George Harrison, who was the lead guitarist of The Beatles. Though she is less known for her musical pursuits, she has been a source of inspiration for many of the late George Harrison’s songs and has collaborated on many musical projects. In this blog post, we take a deep dive into discovering the hidden gems of Olivia Harrison, her contribution to music, and her life beyond the spotlight.

1. The Early Years of Olivia Harrison

Olivia Trinidad Arias was born in Mexico to a Mexican mother and a German-British father. Raised in California, she worked for Dark Horse Records, which was founded by her husband, George Harrison. Olivia Harrison played an integral part in the making of George Harrison’s album, ‘Somewhere in England’, after his death.

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2. The Quiet One – A Documentary Film

The film, ‘The Quiet One’, is a documentary about George Harrison’s life, directed by Olivia Harrison, which includes interviews with friends and family. It explores his time in The Beatles, his solo career, and his spiritual quest. The documentary premiered at the 2011 New York Film Festival and has since been widely acclaimed.

3. Collaborations with Other Musicians

Olivia Harrison has collaborated with various musicians, including Eric Clapton, the Traveling Wilburys, and many others. She contributed to Phil Spector’s ‘A Christmas Gift for You’ album and played the autoharp on the track ‘My Sweet Lord’ by George Harrison.

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4. Harrison’s Contribution to the Material World Foundation

Olivia Harrison and her son, Dhani Harrison, established The Material World Foundation in memory of George Harrison. It provides grants to charitable organizations for music education, disaster relief, and the promotion of Indian culture and spirituality.

5. Handmade Films

Olivia Harrison co-founded Handmade Films with George Harrison and George’s business manager, Denis O’Brien. The company has produced various films, including Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’, ‘Time Bandits’, and ‘Mona Lisa’.

6. Collaborating on the Beatles Anthology

Olivia Harrison collaborated on The Beatles Anthology project, which includes books, albums, and documentaries about the band. She also donated rare footage and photographs from her personal collection.

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7. Olivia Harrison’s Philanthropy

Olivia Harrison and her son, Dhani, have been involved in several charitable organizations, such as the George Harrison Fund for Unicef, which helps provide clean water and sanitation to children in Bangladesh.

8. The Love of Gardening

Olivia Harrison loves to garden and has created a beautiful garden in her home in England. Her love for gardening is evident in her book, ‘George Harrison: Living in the Material World’, where she shares photos of the garden she created with George.


Olivia Harrison’s contributions to music and philanthropy are often overlooked, but they are significant nonetheless. Her work with The Material World Foundation, Handmade Films, and the Beatles Anthology project are testament to her love for the arts and her husband’s legacy. Olivia Harrison remains an inspiration for many and continues to nurture her passions, especially her love of gardening.

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5 FAQs on Discovering the Hidden Gems of Olivia Harrison

Q1. How did Olivia Harrison meet George Harrison?
A1. Olivia and George met when she went to work at A&M Records in 1974, where George was working on his solo album, ‘Extra Texture’.

Q2. What kind of musical contribution has Olivia made to George Harrison’s work?
A2. Olivia played the autoharp on the track ‘My Sweet Lord’ by George Harrison.

Q3. What is The Material World Foundation?
A3. The Material World Foundation is a charity organization that Olivia and her son, Dhani, established to help people in need.

Q4. What is Handmade Films?
A4. Handmade Films is a film production company co-founded by Olivia Harrison, George Harrison, and Denis O’Brien.

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Q5. What inspired Olivia Harrison to write a book about George Harrison?
A5. Olivia Harrison was inspired to write her book, ‘George Harrison: Living in the Material World,’ as a tribute to her husband’s life and work.

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