Paul McCartney got very candid about the way that he still keeps communication open with his deceased friend and former Beatles band member George Harrison.
During a chat with “NPR” for “All Things Considered,” McCartney shared the unique way that he is able to “talk” to Harrison despite his death occurring nearly two decades ago.
The knighted star explained that a certain gift Harrison gave him when he was still alive allows him to feel his presence even so many years removed from his passing.
The 78-year-old star, who recently released his highly-anticipated “McCartney III” full-length album recorded entirely during quarantine, shared that he is able to connect to Harrison through an evergreen coniferous tree that is planted on the grounds of his East Sussex, England home.
Before the then-58-year-old Harrison succumbed to his battle with lung cancer at the turn of the century, he gifted McCartney the tree, which has grown strong ever since and remained as a living and endearing reminder of their friendship.
‘Very Into Horticulture’
“George was very into horticulture, [he was] a really good gardener,” the award-winning star told the publication during the interview. “He gave me [the] tree as a present. It’s a big fir tree and it’s by my gate.”
McCartney says being able to see the tree grow and flourish after all these years every time he leaves his property gives him happiness, and he considers it to be a living link to his late friend, which is why he communicates to him through it.
“As I was leaving my house [on the morning of Dec. 18], I got out of the car close the gate and looked up at the tree and said, ‘Hi, George,'” McCartney told “NPR.” “There he is, growing strongly… That takes me back to the time when I hitchhiked with him! [George and John Lennon still have] an ever-present presence.”
The veteran star calls the tree “lovely” and added that “as the years go by, every time I look at it I go, ‘That’s the tree George gave me.’ George has entered that tree for me. I hope he’s happy with that.”
Being There During His Battle
McCartney also touched on his presence during Harrison’s cancer battle, saying emotionally that, “We were in New York before he went to Los Angeles to die… We were sitting there, and I was holding his hand, and it occurred to me – I’ve never told this – I don’t want to hold George’s hand. You don’t hold your mate’s hands. I mean, we didn’t anyway.”
After a strenuous hunt for treatment worldwide, Harrison and McCartney agreed the best place for the former to spend the rest of his days was Speke Hall, a public garden/estate in Liverpool.
“That was one of the last things we said to each other, knowing that he would be the only person in the room who would know what Speke Hall was. Anyway, the nice thing for me when I was holding George’s hands, he looked at me, and there was a smile,” he concluded by saying.