George Harrison, 1964
Photo: Monitor Picture Library / Retna UK
"George was the friendliest of the Beatles. He always spoke close to your face - was interested in being a good listener. George was very affectionate. He did not have an ego in the normal range of a music superstar, and he was the most serious musician of the group. Ironically, because he was such an inward, creative person, he was most affected by the hysteria of Beatlemania. Occasionally, he let his disenchantment with celebrity show." - Tony Barrow, quoted in Larry Kane’s Ticket To Ride
A photo and two autographs, from 21 August 1963:
Love to Julie from the Beatles
John Lennon xxx
From a Bonham’s auction held on 18 November 2003, found here
21 August: On this day in 1964, The Beatles performed at the Seattle Center Coliseum in Seattle, Washington.
'Beatlemania so consumed Seattle that the Edgewater had to install cyclone fencing around the hotel to keep the screaming fans at bay,' the hotel's website says. 'Some fans even tried swimming across Elliott Bay to reach the Fab Four.' (Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2014)
When [Marty Murphy] got there [room 272 of the Edgewater Hotel, Seattle, WA], she said, ‘John was sitting in bed reading in 274. George was asleep in 270. Ringo and Paul were in 272 by the cocktail bar and they were hyper.’ She continued, ‘The room reeked of smoke and they wanted to do something like play games or go to the pool, so I quipped, “well you could jump out the window into the bay,” to which they howled in laughter.’ She finally called security at the Space Needle and got clearance to take them up to the Observation Deck. ‘They were thrilled’, she said.
To get there, they had to sneak out disguised, to Marty’s car, a ‘57 Chevy, and crouch down on the floor in the back, and they laughed all the way to the Space Needle. They enjoyed the view of Seattle from the deck and chatted for awhile then went back to the hotel. Marty was given an autographed ‘[A] Hard Days Night’ album the next day when they were leaving, by Mal Evans, a souvenir she still has.
What were the Beatles like? I asked her.
'John was business-like, George was quiet, Ringo had a great sense of humor, and was always laughing. Paul had a mischievous glimmer in his eye, like he was up to something.' (Examiner.com, 9 September 2010)
'The band hit the stage at 9:25 and all 14,720 girls in the audience seemed to have brought their cameras. The auditorium was illuminated with sheet lightning from the flash bulbs. While the band was onstage, the police recruited Navy volunteers from the audience and formed them in a double chain from the stage exit to the dressing room corridor. The Beatles played their final note, dropped their instruments, leaped to the back of the stage and out through the door. Hundreds of teenagers swept down the ramps straight into the cordon of United States Navy officers, standing with locked arms. The Beatles put their heads down and ducked their way through the narrow passage between the straining bodies and made it to the corridor mouth which the police promptly plugged after them. The car that was to have taken The Beatles back to the hotel was so badly damaged by fans that it had to be abandoned and it was another hour before the crowds had thinned enough for the group to be spirited out of the building in an ambulance.'
George Harrison - “I Don’t Want To Do It” - Beware of ABKCO
George Harrison’s cover version of Bob Dylan’s 1970 song, recorded on acoustic guitar as a demo during the All Things Must Pass sessions. (In 1985, a full studio version by George was included on the Porky’s Revenge soundtrack.)
George Harrison: George on bed with guitar, 1964
Photo: Curt Gunther
Beatlemania in 1964: ‘This has gotten entirely out of control’ - By Al Aronowitz
”[…] George Harrison is the youngest of the Beatles. ‘He doesn’t have the maturity of the others, so he tends to play it a little safe,’ says a member of the troupe. ‘It’s as if he is the baby of the family.’ Being the baby of the family is a role to which George is accustomed. The son of a bus driver, he is the youngest of four children. ‘George was always the one who tried to please,’ says his sister, Mrs. Louise Caldwell, the pretty platinum-blond wife of an engineer who lives in the Midwest. ‘When the fire needed more coal, he would always say, “Mummy, I’ll do it. Let me get the shovel.” Or, when we’d be going to church, George would polish everyone’s boots.’
George plays lead guitar for the Beatles, often with a look of unconcern that seems to reflect a desire to be strumming elsewhere. ‘Well,’ he says, ‘the songs that Paul and John write, they’re all right, but they’re not the greatest.’
His boyhood idols were guitarists Chet Atkins and Duane Eddy, although he recently discovered Andres Segovia. He listens on the radio to other pop artists from the start of his day, which often begins when road manager Aspinall drags the boys out of bed at 10:30 to keep some 10 A.M. date. He keeps a transistor radio in his hand, even during conversations. He adjusts the volume according to his interest in what is being said.
'You have to be very careful of what you say to George,' says disc jockey Murray (the K) Kaufman of New York's WINS, who glad-handed the Beatles when they stepped off the plane in New York and who was George's roommate when the Beatles travelled to Miami Beach. 'You have to be sure that every word means what you want it to mean. He takes what you say very literally.'
'George, as a matter of fact,' says manager Brian Epstein, 'is the only one who asks questions. He's the only one who takes an active interest in the business aspect of the Beatles. He wants to know how I book them, how the discs are distributed, and everything that has to do with the financial working.'
George’s ambition, he says, is to retire with ‘a whacking great pile of money.’ He recalls that in the early days of the group in Liverpool, ‘we got what would work out to two dollars a night apiece – and all the soda we could drink. We drank until that stuff came out of our ears, to make sure we got our money’s worth.’
Although by no means the quietest of the Beatles, because none of them really is quiet, George remains the least prominent. At a press conference for fan magazines in New York’s Plaza Hotel, a young woman asked, ‘Mr. Starr is known for his rings, Mr. McCartney obviously for his looks, and Mr. Lennon for his wife. What about you, Mr. Harrison? ‘George swallowed a bite of chicken sandwich, fluttered his long eyelashes in the same manner that Paul often does, and answered, ‘As long as I get an equal share of the money, I’m willing to stay anonymous.’” - Rock’s Back Pages, via The Guardian [x]
This is one of three letters sent to fan Jenny Rose (you may remember the wonderful letter she’d written to George - and the equally wonderful reply she received from him, posted previously at thateventuality) - found at the fantastic Meet The Beatles For Real; thank you so much to Sara for sharing this in the first place!
As it’s a really lovely insight into Louise’s obvious love for her son, I thought I’d post it here as well for anyone who hasn’t seen it; again, all credit to Sara at MTBFR (x).
Samped 13 March 1964 and written by George’s mother Louise, it reads:
Sorry George can’t get a spare minute to write, so here I am, poor substitute Eh!
Well you ask about George’s Bad habits, I don’t really know.
I am worse than the fans, and the only thing he does is leave all things spread over the room, but even then I don’t care, as I love him home.
He is sincere, thoughtful, & sympathetic.
Always thinks of others before himself, he is happy & likes a good laugh.
Must get some sleep now 2 AM
P.S. New single is marvellous 3,000,000 orders now in shops Eng & USA
From John Fugelsang’s Twitter, 19 August 2014:
JohnFugelsang: I shot this of @EricIdle @PaulMcCartney Olivia & Dhani Harison at George’s star unveiling, Hollywood. Good morning.
The Beatles - “Glad All Over” - Live at the BBC
Broadcast: 20 August 1963, on Pop Go The Beatles
George on lead vocal for this cover of a Carl Perkins song, recorded for Pop Go The Beatles in 1963.
Eric Idle and George Harrison
"I was on an island somewhere when a man came up to him and said, ‘George Harrison, oh my God. What are you doing here?’ And he said, ‘Well, everyone’s got to be somewhere.’" - Eric Idle