Ex-Beatle Harrison Says 'I Feel Fine'

By | July 10, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Former Beatle George Harrison told his fans on Monday “I am feeling fine” after successfully undergoing radiotherapy at a Swiss cancer clinic.

A statement from his London lawyer disclosed that the 58-year-old guitarist and singer underwent treatment at the hospital in Bellinzona over a month ago.

It said Harrison had a course of radiotherapy. Doctors do not see any need for further treatment.

In a message to fans, Harrison said: “I am feeling fine and I am really sorry for the unnecessary worry which has been caused by the reports appearing in today’s press. Please do not worry.”

Swiss cancer specialist Franco Cavalli confirmed that he had recently treated Harrison.

“Mr. Harrison successfully completed this course more than a month ago and we foresee no need for further treatment here,” he said.

His statement did not spell out the nature of Harrison’s illness but radiotherapy is normally used in cancer treatment.

The Swiss newspaper Sonntagszeitung reported on Sunday that Harrison had been treated for a brain tumor at the hospital.

According to Sonntagszeitung, Harrison was in Bellinzona in the Italian-speaking south of Switzerland during May and June for radiotherapy.

Harrison, the youngest of the Beatles who has a history of cancer, had rented a house in Luino in Italy, a 40-minute drive from Bellinzona, during the cobalt radiation treatment.

At the beginning of May he had surgery at the Mayo Clinic in the United States to remove a cancerous growth from one of his lungs.

WIFE HIT ATTACKER

Harrison overcame throat cancer in 1998, which he blamed on smoking. He was given the all-clear after radiation therapy.

“I gave up cigarettes many years ago but had started again for a while and stopped in 1997,” he said at the time. “Luckily for me, they found that this nodule was more of a warning than anything else.”

Just over 18 months ago, Harrison survived a life-and-death struggle of a very different kind – with a knife-wielding intruder who stabbed him in the chest.

The former Beatle was almost killed in the attack at his home near London in late 1999.

Only the actions of his wife Olivia, who hit the attacker on the head with a poker and table lamp, saved him.

Harrison was known as the “quiet Beatle” during the “Fab Four’s” heyday in the 1960s. “I guess if you’ve got to be in a rock group it might as well be the Beatles,” he once quipped.

He was rated as a major musician in his own right only after the breakup of the Beatles.

His main claim to fame during their reign as the kings of pop music was his devotion to Oriental mysticism. He persuaded the other Beatles to travel to India to sit at the feet of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

He learned to play the sitar, and incorporated the instrument into a number of their songs.

The reserved Liverpudlian lived for many years in the shadow of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and was liberated by the band’s breakup in 1970.

He soon released a triple album “All Things Must Pass” which proved his worth as both a guitarist and songwriter, and enjoyed a worldwide smash hit with “My Sweet Lord.”

Related Content