Olivia Trinidad Arias was born on May 18, 1948. Her grandparents had emigrated from Mexico to California, and grew corn in their front garden. Like Harrison, whose father was a bus driver, she came from a working class family; her mother was a seamstress; her father, a dry-cleaner. Olivia has two siblings, Peter and Linda. Olivia attended Hawthorne High School and by 1965, Olivia started working as a secretary.
A gentle American accent is all that is left of the Californian upbringing that found her, aged 23, working as a secretary for George Harrison's record label in Los Angeles. Olivia had spoken to George many times over the phone. George was impressed and sent a friend to scout her out. George and Olivia met at a party and the two soon formed a romantic relationship.
Excerpts from 2004 interview :
.Today, this road leads to a smart, white house in a Knightsbridge square, where Olivia works at keeping the memory of her husband alive. She has become a kind of self-appointed curator of the George Harrison industry, dealing with the steady demand for books and DVDs and re-releases of his music.
Although the tastefully furnished room is certainly more of an office than a shrine, it does, at first, seem anomalous for the still-grieving Olivia to choose to work in an environment where George is all around. Dozens of copies of his autobiography line the glass bookshelves, a sheaf of glossy George photographs spills across her desk and a platoon of George awards march along the mantelpiece, while George music is played at every opportunity. Then, Dhani, the very image of his dark-eyed, handsome father, wanders in to say hello. All things must pass, but is this mourning period going to take longer than most? Not at all, says Olivia. It's quite the opposite.
"Oh, no. It helps. It helps a lot. There is no way of going around grief, I think it's better to just go right through it. In fact, I probably torture myself a bit because I love listening to his voice, I love watching our home movies, I love listening to his music and reading about him. For half of my life, I heard his voice every day, so to not hear it is very strange."
. George had a lot of friends, says his widow, but he sometimes didn't appreciate quite how affectionately he was regarded. "Sometimes, he would say, 'Oh, there is a lot of love out there.' Other times, he would just be in his world and not really know what was going on.
Although George had a reputation as a taciturn loner, all his associates would tell you, she claims, that he was never really like that. "He was so generous and open, so much more patient with people than me. He took everybody along with him, like a driftnet fisherman. If we were going on holiday, everybody would come. If we were having dinner, everybody was welcome. He was Pisces, so he swam in a school."
The second Mrs Harrison is credited with providing a calming influence on the musician's life.
"Well, I just gave him a good chance to have a nice home life and a son. If he said I calmed him down, then I probably did calm him down. I used to tell him to cheer down, not cheer up."
She is dismissive of a claim made in Behind Sad Eyes, a recent, unofficial biography of Harrison by Marc Shapiro, that when George first met Olivia at a party in 1974, he had her 'checked out' by investigators before they began dating. Supposedly, this was because he was still burnt by Patti Boyd leaving him to Eric Clapton.
"Oh, that's funny! That is so far from the truth, and so unlike anything George would ever do. He did say to his friend, 'Go check her out'. He didn't mean to investigate me, if that is what the writer is implying. He was flirting!"
Throughout their 23-year marriage, the Harrisons lived a low-key life, never seeking publicity except when canvassing for good causes -- including her Romanian Angel Appeal, a charity which helped orphaned children -- and they lived quietly at home in more modest circumstances than have been reported.
"Yeah! I keep reading that we live in a mansion with 120 rooms. How could anyone possibly have 120 rooms? And someone once said to me, is it true that you have tunnels that run down to the river? No, I don't. But it is bizarre."
Read some more of this pleasing interview here :