George Harrison - “Cheer Down” (live) - Live in Japan
"…as journalist Rip Rense recounts, there was always a suspicion that George could have played hot licks… if he’d wanted to: ’ Eric Clapton tells a little story about seeing Harrison smiling in the wings at a concert once, and realizing that George could have played anything he or Hendrix did, if he’d wanted to….’
What Harrison wanted to do was to play music, not play up his own ego.” - While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison
Pattie & George’s Rose Garden - photo by Pattie Boyd
"I went to great pains to set up a tripod in front of the climbing rosebush I planted in the garden at Kinfauns, but George got bored waiting for the shutter to close and it caught him looking away." - Pattie Boyd, Wonderful Tonight
WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
Here’s the big surprise I’ve been waiting ages to tell you guys about. I brought Louise Harrison, George’s sister, to come speak at my college last term. She gave me a box full of “old things” and told me to sort through it for her. I have no idea what wonders could await me. I opened it up and the first thing I found was a book of photos of John, autographed by May Pang and Cynthia Lennon. Over the next week or so, I’ll be unpacking the box. I’ll post a list of all the Beatles treasures I find inside, if you guys want. Needless to say, it’s a bit daunting. ANYTHING could be in there. ANYTHING.
The Beatles - “Don’t Bother Me” - With The Beatles
“Don’t Bother Me. The first song that I wrote - as an excercise to see if I could write a song. I wrote it in a hotel in Bournemouth, England, where we were playing a summer season in 1963 - I was sick in bed - maybe that’s why it turned out to be Don’t Bother Me.
I don’t think it’s a particularly good song, it mightn’t even be a song at all but at least it showed me at all I needed to do was keep on writing and then maybe eventually I would write something good. I still feel now ‘I wish I could write something good.’ It’s relativity. It did, however, provide me with an occupation.” - George Harrison, I Me Mine
Scan - The Beatles with NEMS receptionist Maureen Donaldson and PA Valerie Sumpter, 1964
"[Watching ‘The First U.S. Visit’ and the first Ed Sullivan Show performance] [Maureen’s] face lit up as the group tore into ‘All My Loving.’
'My God, look how young George was!' she exclaimed. […]
Maureen Donaldson was sixteen-years-old when she went to work in the Beatles Fan Club offices in 1963. She was paid the equivalent of eighteen dollars a week to answer phones and sort the mail. As the band’s popularity increased, so did her chores. One day Derek Taylor, the group’s publicity director, asked her to take a crack at rewriting a press release. For most of 1964 that’s what she did, as well as serve as hostess at the Beatles’ press conferences. ‘I remember writing a press release when Ringo had his tonsils out. It said, “Ringo Starr had two soft boiled eggs for breakfast and is resting comfortably.”’
But the real reason she wanted to work for the Beatles was the she - like millions of other girls - was in love with Paul McCartney. ‘I was conviniced that once he met me, he would see I was unlike all the other girls who adored him. And he would marry me.’
Four days after starting work at the NEMS (North End Music Stores) offices in London, Maureen finally met Paul. ‘He’d come by to take all us hardworking girls to a Chinese lunch,’ she recalled. ‘I was so awestruck being in the same room with him, I couldn’t eat. I just picked at my plate. And all Paul talked about was Jane Asher. It was Jane this and Jane that. It broke my heart.’
Working for the Beatles, Maureen had an inside view of what the group went through during the hectic days of Beatlemania.
'It was amazing what they had to put up with from the fans and the media, but at least they always did keep a sense of humor. They were so funny, you could wet your knickers laughing when you were with them.'
One of her weekly assignments was to drop off an allowance check each Saturday to each Beatle. Occasionally they would ask her to run an errand for them. ‘Ringo might say, “Buy me a stereo,” so I would go in the taxi and buy him a stereo, or one of the boys would ask me to pick something up at the market.’
She continued, ‘The boys were so close back then. They were kids from ordinary backgrounds and they didn’t get big-headed. They were in awe of their own success. They didn’t really understand the magnitude of it then.’
Each Beatle had a very different personality. ‘John was the funny one, and after I got to know them all, my favorite. Paul was the sensitive one. If someone was poking fun at somebody, Paul would know when to stop. George was the serious one, but with a wicked sense of humor. And Ringo was the goodtime Charlie.’” - ‘Yesterday’ by J.P. Cantillon, The Beatles - Anthology Of A Band (1996)
Ringo Starr - “Back Off Boogaloo” - (1972 single)
Produced by George Harrison, slide guitar by George
"[A]ided and abetted by a roaring series of Harrison slide breaks that brought to mind Duane Allman." - While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison