Paul McCartney dusts off the new star for his former Beatles bandmate George Harrison during a posthumous Hollywood Walk of Fame star dedication for Harrison in Los Angeles on Tuesday. ((Chris Pizzello/Associated Press))

Hundreds of George Harrison's biggest fans and best friends, including Paul McCartney and Tom Petty, turned out Tuesday to see a posthumous star for the quiet Beatle unveiled during a raucous celebration on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Fellow former Beatle McCartney stood next to Harrison's widow, Olivia, and son, Dhani, as the star was unveiled in front of the landmark Capitol Records building. 

"Thank you very much!" he yelled to hundreds of screaming fans wearing Beatles T-shirts and holding signs, albums and flowers to honour Harrison.

The only other surviving member of the band, Ringo Starr, did not attend. But one of Harrison's friends, Monty Python's Eric Idle, said he had recently spoken to Starr. 

"He said, 'What about mine?"' Idle said. "I said, 'They don't give drummers stars."'

Harrison already shared a Walk of Fame star with all of the Beatles, but only he and John Lennon, who was shot to death by a deranged fan in 1980, have their own stars. Harrison, the youngest of the Beatles, died of lung cancer in 2001 at age 58.

"He was a beautiful, mystical man living in a material world," Olivia Harrison said of her late husband.

Standing next to her, Dhani Harrison uttered the mantra "Hare Krishna."

Incense smoke snaked into the air during the dedication as Petty, sporting dark sunglasses, mingled with such celebrity guests as Jeff Lynne, T-Bone Burnett and Tom Hanks.

"He had the most remarkable sense of humour," said Idle, who talked about having a hard time knowing what to say about his friend and fellow Englishman.

After the ceremony, Idle, Olivia and Dhani Harrison, McCartney and his girlfriend, Nancy Shevell, and others attended a luncheon at Capitol Records' spacious Studio A. Joining them there were Lynne, Petty, Ed Begley Jr., Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, and others who hugged and chatted while sipping champagne and dining on vegan food.