[B]oth [George and Paul] were Speke boys who caught the bus to and from school every day, either the 82D or the express 500. George boarded one stop after Paul, and they tended to sit upstairs, where smoking was allowed. Establishing even so much as a rough date for when they first talked is impossible, but, recognising each other’s school uniforms, they did. ‘Being close to each other in age, we talked,’ Paul confirms, ‘although I tended to talk down to him, because he was a year [sic: eight months] younger.’ George, in 1963, when filling out a questionnaire that asked for his first impression of Paul, wrote ‘fat and friendly’.
In his thirteenth year, Paul was going through a pre-pubescent chubby stage. He was touchy about it, and ‘had someone’ at school (punched him hard) for making fun of him. The friendly phrase within the family was ‘puppy fat’, though brother Mike would call him ‘Fatty!’ before running away fast. He later remarked of this period in Paul’s life that it was ‘the only time that anything outwardly affected him.’"
Scan - George Harrison (and that gaze), scanned from a 1995 Beatles tribute magazine
But when he did talk about the things I wanted to talk about, his mood changed. He became less intense, more reflective and even wistful.
He told me about how he would drive up to Liverpool for secret visits.
He said: ‘I just look at all the places and say, ‘there’s where I was born, there’s where I lived, there’s where I went to school, there’s where the Cavern got knocked down.’
'My friends were really John, Paul and Ringo and we all moved at the same time. I do miss Liverpool.'"
50 years ago, during the week of 4 April 1964, The Beatles occupied the top five spots on Billboard’s Hot 100, as well as numbers 31 (I Saw Her Standing There), 41 (From Me To You), 46 (Do You Want To Know A Secret), 58 (All My Loving), 65 (You Can’t Do That), 68 (Roll Over Beethoven) and 79 (Thank You Girl).
Thanks for your question, anon! :)
George proposed to Pattie on Christmas Day in 1965, while driving in the car. Here are Pattie’s recollections:
"We were just motoring along, listening to the radio when suddenly he very calmly told me he loved me and wanted us to get married. I think I just said yes or some such nonsense. But believe me, inside I was doing cartwheels. We really were very much in love." - Pattie Boyd, quoted in "Here Comes The Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison" by Joshua M. Greene
"One December evening we were in London and George stopped the car and said, ‘Let’s get married. I’ll ask Brian.’ He stopped in Chapel Street, outside Brian’s house, rushed in, leaving me in the car, came back fifteen minutes later, and said, ‘Brian says it’s okay. Will you marry me? We can get married in January.’
'Oh, yes!' I said. 'That would be fabulous!' I was thrilled - but George had had to ask Brian's permission in case another tour was planned.” - Pattie Boyd, Wonderful Tonight
Aw, thank you for the tag! :)
Photos: Henry Grossman
Underrated George Harrison albums, in no particular order:
Brainwashed (2002) [Full album above, courtesy of YouTube user 1lindentd23]
Tracklist: Any Road - P2 Vatican Blues (Last Saturday Night) - Pisces Fish - Looking For My Life - Rising Sun - Marwa Blues - Stuck Inside A Cloud - Run So Far - Never Get Over You - Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea - Rocking Chair in Hawaii - Brainwashed
This posthumous release should have been a much bigger bit than it was, in my humble opinion, because it encapsulates everything that distinguished George as an artist, and indeed, as a person. The album is a unique blend of George’s gift for melody; his wry, honest, witty and reflective lyrics; his singing voice which always managed to convey such emotion and soul; and his inimitable sound as a guitarist.
Guitar World: “Does listening to ‘Brainwashed’ make you sad?”
Dhani Harrison: “For me, it’s not a sad album. I mean, the saddest it gets for me is listening to ‘Marwa Blues.’ And that’s a real beautiful song, but ii’s also like real lament. It’s a man who wants to be somewhere else, or searching for something else. And it’s got no lyrics! So it might not necessarily be that the sad songs are ‘Looking for My Life’ or ‘Stuck Inside a Cloud.’ WIth my dad, it’s hard to tell, unless you’re really close to him. I don’t know: anyone who looks at life the same way would get it, but not many people really do.” (From the January 2003 issue of Guitar World)
Some have said that they can’t bear to listen to George’s last album, that it’s too sad to even give it a chance… which is such a shame, because I don’t think it’s that sad, either. Of course, there’s bound to be sadness when thinking of the fact that George is no longer physically here, that this album was one he couldn’t see released during his lifetime; and of course it tugs at the heart strings.
But as someone who bought the album on the day of its release back in 2002, and has listened to it countless times - I’m always left with a really positive feeling; a feeling that’s uplifting and hopeful, wise and thoughtprovoking. There are songs that instantly put a smile on your face, humor that will make you laugh. There are moments that make you emotional, yes. But then, that’s life - it’s constantly changing, with highs and lows and happiness and sadness.
Brainwashed is a very special album for me, because it’s helped me through some tough and sad times. This is one album on which I cannot possibly choose a favorite song, because from start to finish, each is brilliant. In thinking of the way George was, the way he dealt with life and death - the overall feel of the album is inspring and by no means sad. Instead, it seems to encapsulate everything that’s so loved about George as a person, an artist, a songwriter and a composer… It’s truly beautiful.
'One day George came home and said he'd got an audition, at the British Legion Club in Speke,' says Mrs. Harrison. 'I told him he must be daft. He hadn't even got a group. He said don't worry, he'd get one.'
George did get a group for his big night at the Speke British Legion. He got his brother Peter on guitar, his friend Arthur Kelly on guitar and two others, one on a tea chest basss and another on a mouth organ. He himself was on guitar. They all left the house one by one, ducking down behind the hedge. George didn’t want all the nosy neighbors to know what they were doing.
They got to the hall and found that the real artists hadn’t turned up. Not only did they get their audition, they had to go straight on and play all night as there was no one else.
'They were so excited when they came home, all shouting together,' says Mrs. Harrison. 'I couldn't make out at first what happened. Then they showed me the ten bob they'd got each, their first professional engagement. The poor boy on the tea chest looked awful. His fingers were bleeding from playing. The blood was all over the tea chest. They called themselves The Rebels for that night. They had it painted on in red. But I can't remember them playing together again.'"