George Harrison was furious when the Beatles’ presser added more interviews to his schedule. He threw orange juice at him in frustration.
When George decided to join The Beatles, he could not have imagined that he, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr would become internationally famous. Around 1963, Beatlemania broke out. Suddenly, the four Liverpool boys, who were so poor that years ago their girlfriends held their microphones on broomsticks, were caught in a tornado.
He soon realizes that the huge fame he and his band are getting is more than expected and it scares him.
George Harrison began to get sick of interviews early on
The Beatles didn’t become famous overnight. They spent years in Hamburg, Germany playing for gangsters. They then honed their performance skills during their residency at the Cavern Club in Liverpool.
By 1963, they had won a recording contract and a manager, Brian Epstein. They conquered England, then Europe.
According to Joshua M. Green Behold the Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George HarrisonGeorge soon realized the price he had to pay to be a famous rock star.
“Fame made him stand out,” Green wrote. “Strangers claimed to love him. People had things to sell him and favors to ask for. Young girls wrote to him about their fantasies.
Fame soon caught up with him. In addition to the noisy fans, the journalists gave George a headache with their interviews. “Businessmen waved schemes in front of him, and reporters insisted on broadcasting his every move,” Green continued. “You get used to it,” George told a London reporter, “signing autographs, waving at people.”
“It’s funny,” George told a Manchester TV reporter. “You see your pictures and read articles about George Harrison. . . but you don’t really think, “Oh, that’s me. Here I am in the paper.” He smiled and added, ‘It’s like he’s a different person.’
George did reap some of the benefits of fame, though. He bought fast cars and nice homes. However, George claimed in interviews that he was still an “egg and chip man”.
George still felt miserable. In his 1980 memoirs I Me Mine, he wrote: “… in the real world… we had no place… like monkeys in a zoo.”
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George didn’t like that the Beatles’ press gave him more interviews
The Beatles played to half a million people in 25 cities during their 32-date US tour in 1964.
Green writes that the band toured the UK seven times between 1961 and 1965, including three in the US, one in Europe and two around the world. “They played more than fourteen hundred club dates, often up to three a day, in addition to fifty-three radio shows, thirty-five television programs, and one of the most prolific and exhausting records in pop history,” Green wrote .
“George’s world became claustrophobic, shrinking to the confines of hotels, cars, stages and recording booths. On those rare occasions when he had a day off, fame followed him home.
In the end, George and the rest of The Beatles couldn’t go anywhere or do anything. “To watch a movie with friends, he had to hire a private screening room and arrange the arrivals and departures like a military maneuver. Celebrities and VIPs clamored to see him, usurping any personal time he might have had. George rebelled.
George shouted to the press Derek Taylor that he will not meet Shirley Temple. However, Geoge was unable to get out of interviews. “Usually George just bought into the caricature of himself portrayed by the reporters and offered snappy lines and quotable one-liners,” Green continued. “What do you do when you’re locked in your rooms between shows?” “Ice skates.”
“It was just the quickest way to get the reporters off his back. Wit and irony were natural to him, but occasionally the constant concern over his every move pushed him over the edge.
Before The Beatles toured the US, George was at his wits’ end with interviews and tripped up The Beatles’ pressman, Brian Somerville, for adding more interviews to his schedule.
George got so angry that he threw orange juice in Somerville’s face. The strainer then boxed in George’s ear.
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It wasn’t the last time the Beatle threw a drink in someone’s face
Six months later, George threw a drink at United Press International photographer Robert Flora during a night at the Whiskey A Go Go.
George didn’t hit Flora, though. He hit actor Mamie Van Doren. Taylor had arranged for the group to meet actor Jane Mansfield, but it didn’t turn out well. Somehow Mansfield, George, John and Ringo ended up at the famous club.
“Someone tricked us into going to the Whiskey A Go Go,” George recalled Anthology. “It seemed like it took us twenty minutes to get from the door to the table and instantly all the Hollywood paparazzi descended.
“It was a complete arrangement by Jane Mansfield to take pictures with us,” said George. “John and I sat on either side of her and she had her hands on our legs, on our groins – at least mine.
“A photographer came and tried to take a picture and I threw the glass of water at him. He took a photo of the water coming out of the glass and drenching – by accident – actress Mamie Van Doren, who happened to be walking by.
“We got out of there; it was hell. The next day we left town and I remember sitting on the plane reading the paper and there was the picture of me throwing the water.
George would have liked his fame better if everyone had stopped wanting a piece of it all the time.
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