1950 teddy boy

Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison at the wedding reception held for George’s brother Harry and his bride, Irene, Liverpool, 20 December 1959. Photo © The Harrison Family.

“Our original intention was to be in a band as opposed to having a job. The goals were quite small, really.” - George Harrison, 1987

George Harrison, late 1950s (most likely during his and Paul’s hitchhiking trip, in Gloucestershire… summer of 1959. Photo: Paul McCartney.

“He was cocky, a cocky little guy. He had a good sense of himself, you know, he wasn’t cowed by anything. He had a great haircut. He had this long hair that he quiffed back. We had a, a friend, Arthur. And he used to describe it as, ‘a fuckin’ turban. Like a fuckin’ turban.’ And it did. It looked like a great, big marvelous thing.” - Paul McCartney, Living in the Material World

“[John Lennon said] ‘He had a real kind of wild style on the guitar. It’s as though… you know, that he and the guitar were joined together. He also looked like a Teddy boy, but as you know, Larry, he was hardly that.’
Hardly. Sensitivity to others was George’s great talent as a human being. On the aircraft and in the hotel suites, it was George who was always asking, ‘Everything all right, Larry?’” - When They Were Boys by Larry Kane [x]

Scan - George Harrison outside Upton Green, Liverpool, 1950’s, scanned from I Me Mine. Photo © Harrison Family.

It was most likely on 6 February 1958, when The Quarrymen performed at Wilson Hall, Garston, that George Harrison joined The Quarrymen.

“I first saw the Quarrymen when they were playing at the Wilson Hall at Garston. Paul was playing with them and said I should come and see them. I’d probably have gone anyway, just for the night out and to see if I could get in any groups. With knowing Paul, I was introduced to John.
There was this other guitarist in another group that night, Eddie Clayton. He was great. John said if I could play like that, I could join them. I played ‘Raunchy’ for them and John said I could join. I was always playing ‘Raunchy’ for them. We’d be going somewhere on the top of a bus with our guitars and John would shout out, ‘Give us “Raunchy”, George.’” - George Harrison, The Beatles Authorized Biography [x]

Scan - Arthur Kelly and George Harrison, aged 16, at Blackler’s Christmas Dance, Grafton Ballroom, Liverpool, December 1959

“The finest photograph of these best buddies was taken here, their hair defying all known laws of gravity, two 16-year-old working men wearing smart suits and big natural smiles for the camera before they moved in to check out the birds.” - The Beatles - All These Years: Tune In by Mark Lewisohn

“[G]iven the job [as an electrician’s apprentice] of maintaining the lights in Blackler’s Christmas grotto, he’d fused them, casting a Scouse Santa and a queue of excited kiddies into darkness. It was something for George and Arthur Kelly to laugh about during Blackler’s Christmas dance at the Grafton Ballroom.” - The Beatles: All These Years - Tune In by Mark Lewisohn [x]


Paul McCartney (center) and George Harrison (far right) with an unknown acquaintance, and just George and Paul, 1956/1957, screen capped from The Beatles Anthology

This image might possibly have been taken during one of George and Paul’s hitchhiking trips during the summer of 1956 and 1957…

“Paul and George became firm friends right away [upon meeting on the bus to Liverpool Institute]. They enjoyed life in a very carefree way in those days. They remember going hitch-hiking together when once they went 36 hours without being able to find anything to eat. ‘We’d often cook tins of spaghetti by the side of the road on a primus,’ said Paul.” - The Beatles Book, September 1963

“Me and George. Oh man, I had the best times with George. We hitch-hiked to a place in Wales called Harlech when we were kids, before The Beatles, and we just hitch-hiked our way there. We’d heard a song, ‘Men of Harlech’, and saw a signpost - ‘Yeah!’ There was a big castle, and we just went. We had our guitars, took them everywhere, and ended up in this café. We tried to go to a central meeting place in Harlech, and it was this little café. It had a jukebox, so it was home, and we sat around there. We met a guy and started talking. He was into rock ‘n’ roll and so we went and stayed at his house. It was great. Me and George top-and-tailing in a bed. And he had a mother! It was kind of a bed and breakfast, but we didn’t realise. Years later we realized we hadn’t paid anyone, and now we were rich and famous. She wrote to us and we said ‘Oh, sorry! Herewith payment!’ But it was great, we just had so many laughs. Just with these guys, these Welsh guys. One was called John and the other was Aniron - a big Welsh guy who played bass. We sat in with their band one drunken night in a Welsh pub.” - Paul McCartney, Living in the Material World

George Harrison: “Remember that house we stayed at in Harlech?”
Paul McCartney: “No, which one?”
George Harrison: “Yes, you do, there was a woman who had a dog with no legs. She used to take it out in the morning for a slide.”

George Harrison with pen pal Jennifer Brewer at the Sandy Bay holiday camp, Exmouth, Devon, August 1956; screen capped from Living in the Material World, and also included in The Beatles Anthology book.

Photo © Harrison Family

“[W]hen the Harrisons caught up with their friends the Brewers in again, back at the Sandy Lane holiday camp in Exmouth, George had a new obsession to share with his friend Jenny. ‘He was now mad on music. He asked if I’d heard the real one. It was Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley. I said, ‘Who?’ 'Elvis! Elvis Presley!’ He didn’t have his guitar with him, but he loved the music with a passion.’” - The Beatles - All These Years: Tune In by Mark Lewisohn

“In June 1968, George was filmed with Ravi Shankar in California for the movie Raga. 'It was the last time I really played sitar. I thought I am never going to be a sitar player, because I’ve seen a thousand sitar players in India who are better than I’ll ever be and, out of them, Ravi only thought one was good. Ravi was more worried for me than I was. He was trying to find my background or some roots and he was saying, 'What about Liverpool?’ and I said, 'No, I feel more at home in Benares, India than I do in Liverpool.’ Then I thought, 'What’s my root?’ The first thing that I could call a root, musically speaking, was riding down the road on my bike and hearing 'Heartbreak Hotel’ by Elvis Presley coming out of somebody’s house. On my way home (from California) I went to New York. When I checked into the hotel, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton happened to be staying there, which is another little cosmic point. From then on I thought, 'Well, maybe I am better off to get back into being a pop singer, guitar player, song writer; whatever I am supposed to be’. So it was Ravi really, who helped me get back into being a pop singer and guitar player again.” - George Harrison, quoted in The Apple Years 1968-1975