You may remember the following excerpt from Alistair Taylor’s book, posted last year at thateventuality:
"Sometimes, being the Beatles resident Mr Fixit didn’t seem such a great idea. Like the day George sent me a note from America. I’m not sure exactly where it was from, but then neither was he. The address was given as ‘Somewhere in America’ and the date as ‘Sunday the something’. George told me he had seen a great picture of him in the US papers taken in an unguarded moment when he was pulling an angry face and flashing a well-known two-fingered salute. George thought this was the most hilarious photo of him ever taken. He enclosed a scrap of a newspaper with this image on and my task was to track down the original. He wanted to buy the negative, have a lifesize print made of it, and have it mounted on hardboard and have it screwed on the outside of his front door. There are a lot of photographers in America and tracking down the one who had taken this particular snap took a great deal of time and effort. But eventually a friend in Fleet Street provided a vital contact and I managed it. George was delighted with the result, but the lifesize image was so alarming he did relent enough to switch it to his bathroom door. And he had them printed on the front of his Christmas card with the seasonal greeting ‘Why don’t you…?’ George always did have a rather individual sense of humour. George wrote, ‘To Al and Lesley, without whom it would not have been possible.’" - With The Beatles by Alistair Taylor
It seems the following item at Heritage Auctions is both the letter and photograph in question. Here is the auction site’s description:
"George Harrison to Alistair Taylor Archive Including a Handwritten Signed Letter, a Large Signed Photo, and a Signed Christmas Card. This lot contains four fabulous items sent from George (and wife Patti [sic]) to Alistair at various times in the 1960s. As follows.
Autograph Letter Signed: From ‘America’ and dated ‘Sunday the Something’. By context, it was almost certainly written during the Beatles American tour, August 19 - September 20, 1964. Taylor was Beatles Manager Brian Epstein’s personal assistant and for years was known as ‘Mr. Fix It’ in the Beatles inner circle. He was always there to do personal favors, expedite real estate deals, and handle various other logistical matters. Here, George asks him for a favor.
The one and one half page letter is on plain paper and reads, in full:
'Dear Alistair, I hope you are O.K. Will you do me a favour please? This enclosed photo [see item below] is from a United Artists Song album which is out over here, and I would like you to find the photographer or whoever has the negative, and get him to make me a blow up of me about 5 ft. high. You may think this is very strange, but don't worry I haven't gone mad yet! If you can get it done and keep it at the office until I get back, then I will fix you up with whatever it costs. I have just thought, could you have it mounted on cardboard that wont bend. -Thanks. It's the funniest picture I have seen for some time and I couldn't resist a big one for my front door! The tour and everyone are/is (take your pick) O.K. and send their regards. Give ours to your wife, and also best of luck to you too! See you soon. George (Harrison) Remember Me?' Fine condition.
Signed Photo: An 8.25” x 13.25” B&W mat-finish photo of Harrison giving a gesture that would be considered quite rude in the UK It is humorously signed at upper right: 'To Alistair 'Why Don't You' ……….!!! George (Harrison)'. One wonders if Alistair was able to get the five foot enlargement done for George’s door. Lightly creased at bottom, generally fine.
Signed Christmas Card: We don’t know about the photo on George’s door, but we do know that he used the same photo for the front of this Christmas card of 5.5” x 8.5” (folded). On the inside is printed: 'Don't be offended. Be happy 'cos it's Christmas'. It is signed by George: 'Without whom, it would not have been possible___…. George + Pattie'. Very fine.
Signed Christmas Card by Pattie: A 4.5” x 6.25” (folded) card with an image of an antique page from a Missal found in the Victoria and Albert museum. It is signed on the inside by George’s wife: ‘from George and Pattie’. Very fine.
A unique and interesting grouping. From the Joe Pope Archive. COA from Heritage Auctions.”
Tom Petty and George Harrison; George was the first recipient of Billboard’s Century Award, 9 December 1992.
Q: ‘You spent quite a bit of time with the late George Harrison, and sang with him in the Traveling Wilburys. What do you think was his biggest influence on you?’
Tom Petty: ‘We became very good friends, really, for decades. I don’t like to bring it up that much, because The Beatles are so special that people might see it as boasting or something. But he actually became my friend, past being a Beatle to me. It was like having an older brother that had a lot of experience in the music business, someone who I could go to with my troubles and questions.
I think [spirituality], probably, was the greatest gift he gave me. He gave me a way of understanding a higher power without it being stupid, or having tons of rules and books to read. But the best thing I can say to people that are curious about that is George was probably everything that you thought he was, and then some more. Very funny man; he could just kill me with his humor. He was a great guy and I miss him terribly.’
Q: ‘I know you’ve talked a lot about first seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 — I guess you’d have been 13 — and that was basically what made you think, “Music, band, that’s what I want to do.” So to go from that to being that close with him and that intimate with him must have been quite something.
TP: ‘Strangely enough, we got along very well right away. He was the kind of person that, when he came across a good thing or the potential for a friend, he really was aggressive about it. And he had a way of knocking out anything that was extracurricular, or in the way of what was really going on. He could get you comfortable with him very quickly. I was always asking Beatle questions, and probably annoyed him. But, you know, he liked The Beatles, too. He liked talking about it and remembering it.’
Q: ‘Do you have one George Harrison memory that really stands out?’
TP: ‘I have thousands, you know. Thousands and thousands. We’d be here all day talking about George.’ - NPR Music, 4 August 2014
The Beatles - “And I Love Her” - A Hard Day’s Night
"[F]oremost among Harrison’s arrangement contributions [to the album A Hard Day’s Night] is the leitmotif he created for McCartney’s excellent ‘And I Love Her.’ Again, Anthology 1 reveals the development of the song’s final arrangement by uncovering its electric setting. Not until the third day of work on the track, when George tried out his new Spanish guitar, did he conceive the opening theme, which is now so central to the piece that ‘And I Love Her’ seems unimaginable without it. This was the first time a Harrison part had completely changed a song." - While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison by Simon Leng
Scan - The inspiration for the Dark Horse Records logo, on a tin box from India
The Dark Horse Logo
"On one of George’s many visits to India, the drawing of a seven-headed horse on the side of a tin box caught his eye. Always one to appreciate a mystical symbol, he carried the small tin back to England and adapted it as the logo for Dark Horse Records.
Known as Uchchaisravas, the seven-headed horse appears often in Indian art and mythology (the Puranas). His story of origin tells of a time when there were so many demons threatening the world that the gods had become weak. Lord Vishnu whipped up a tonic - an elixir of immortality - by churning the Ocean of Beginnings. Uchchaisravas, the seven-headed horse appeared from the milky sea as did the goddess Laxmi and many other creatures. In some stories the enchanted horse pulls the chariot of Krishna and his disciple, Arjuna, Sometimes he is seen hitched to the chariot of the sun god, Surya or the mounth of the god Indra.
In the West, of course, we often refer to a person with hidden talents as a dark horse, a thought for which George had an affinity. It was not unusual for George to express himself with symbology that contained both Eastern and Western connotations.
'Create and preserve the image of your choice,' said Mahatma Ghandi. It was a quote George used frequently, and his choice of this horse was as deliberate as any other image he associated with his music or himself.
George’s name and music according to his own plan. George chose this symbol to be at the forefront of his musical legacy - a legacy now firmly imprinted in this material world and the spiritual sky beyond.”
- Olivia Harrison, November 2003; the Dark Horse Years booklet
George Harrison - “P2 Vatican Blues (Last Saturday Night) - Brainwashed
"[T]his was another cut from 1987 - a buoyant R&B chart first taped for possible inclusion on Cloud Nine, filled with the kind of Claptonesque blues guitar licks that Harrison hadn’t played since the 1974 Dark Horse Tour. George also adopts a radically different vocal style, consciously ‘putting on’ a thick Liverpool accent, as if the emphasize this journey back to his youth and home city. Although conveying a serious message from an ‘ex-Catholic,’ at heart, this was meant to be two and a half minutes of gentle rib tickling, and underlines the natural humor that was always a part of Harrison’s solo work, although not part of the George of media cliche.” - While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison by Simon Leng
"August 2, 2014
Beatles collector and author Dave Morrell confirmed to Beatles Examiner the existence of a rare George Harrison tape that was put on auction in 2010 but not sold that featured him singing Beatles songs he didn’t do with the Beatles. In his book, ‘Horse-Doggin’, Volume 1,’ Morrell details stories of his encounters with members of the Beatles and some ultra-rare Beatles collectables.
Included in the sale was an acoustic guitar, a Yamaha FG-340, that was signed on the guitar body twice by Harrison, according to the auction description. The auction house, Julien’s Auctions, also said Harrison likely played the guitar at the jam session that produced the tape.
The tape, approximately 45 minutes long, was described as an impromptu jam session with musicians at the Taj Holiday Village in Goa, India. The music begins 11 minutes into the tape. On the tape, Harrison sings ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ ‘You’re Going to Lose That Girl’ and ‘Norwegian Wood.’ According to the description, ‘Harrison is also heard giving instruction on chord structure and being joined in song by the other musicians present.’
So is this an auctioneer’s fantasy? ‘It exists. I did hear it,’ Morrell said. ‘I know of at least two others have heard it.’ Morrell said it was ‘very good’ and ‘one of the best rare tapes I have ever heard!’
Morrell talked about what he heard on the tape. ‘It’s a wonderful listen. George teaches the others (the restaurant house band) a new song he’s working on. They struggle. He’s patient. When it doesn’t come together, George starts by saying, “Here’s a Beatles number.”
'George is heard talking to the fellows. Then one hands him something that sounds like a ukelele. George then starts that song that the Threetles do in “Anthology” (likely “Dehra Dhun”). Then they join in with him. he then starts to show them a new song he thinks they all can learn and it goes on and on and on. Then, “A Hard Day's Night,” “You're Going to Lose That Girl” and the one that sent me to the moon!, “Norwegian Wood!!”
'Then he notices someone is recording it and he scolds them. He says that always happens and he hates getting ripped off. So he stops, signs the guitar and it ends.'
Morrell said he had an idea that Martin Scorsese would have been interested in it. ‘I tried my best to get the info to Martin Scorsese in hopes that he would use it in the Harrison HBO movie he worked on.’
More intriguing is the fact that ‘there is much more like this.’ Morrell says that at a past auction at Sotheby’s several years ago Yoko Ono sold John Lennon’s Walkman. ‘Little did she know a cassette of John’s songs were in there, never heard or bootlegged (with) titles not known by fans.’
Hopefully, some of these things will surface while we’re still around to hear them. Morrell also says he’ll have plenty more stories like this in his upcoming books.”
Scans - George, Olivia and Dhani Harrison
“I stopped being as crazy as I used to be because I want this child to have a father a bit longer. Also with a child around I can realize what it was like to be my father. At the same time, you can relive certain aspects of being a child. You watch them and have all these flashbacks of when you were a kid. It somehow completes the generation thing.” - George Harrison, 1988
"My father was very lovely when I was growing up. I might have gotten in trouble for anything to do with hurting trees or guitars but not much else. That would land you in a lot of trouble at my house. He was very reasonable. But he didn’t mess around. He was stern, but he was very cool. He would play his guitars and have a cup of tea in the garden. That was the way it went. He liked to just plant trees all day long." - Dhani Harrison, Filter magazine, Fall 2011