brian vollmer

George Harrison, Top Ten Club, Hamburg, April 1961, photographed by Jürgen Vollmer

The following is an excerpt typed up from an online edition of My Beatles Hell - The Tragical History Tour of Beryl Adams by Lew Baxter. Beryl at one time worked at NEMS and was Liverpool born and bred; tragically, she passed away in 2003 from the human form of Mad Cow’s Disease.

“George Harrison had died of cancer in Los Angeles, his beloved second wife Olivia and 24-year-old son Dhani at his bedside; the quiet Beatle, the thoughtful Beatle was gone.

Sitting pensively on her cushion strewn, two-seater sofa Beryl suddenly opened up and began talking, babbling even, about her affections for the majority of the Beatles, and also her early and ongoing distaste for John Lennon; an individual she had found utterly disagreeable.

The trigger that loosened her tongue was poor old George (Harrison), the diffident one so many felt sorry for, reckoning he’d had his ‘nose pushed out’ by the dynamic duo of Lennon and [Paul] McCartney; although Beryl thought that those who felt this were a little misguided about his personality, in her humble opinion. After all, she knew Harrison throughout the formative days of the group and genuinely liked him. She knew he was a lot stronger than people realized, while acknowledging the extent of his talents was somewhat stifled by his ‘pals’ in the band.

When a year before cancer took him Harrison was viciously attacked in his home, frantically defended by his wife, Beryl’s reluctant memory of her past life was rekindled and she was dragged back to focus on all those years ago when they were young men, and she a young woman just a few years their senior.

Beryl had waxed lyrical - if rather simplistically - on that fateful day about how it is possible to live in a great big mansion, be wealthy and famous and still be nearly murdered inside your own house. It was dreadful, she railed, because she had known the lads when they were poor and reckless… when they had absolutely nothing and yet, she observed, were lovable rogues… very funny and witty.

For Beryl, George was always the quiet one, respectful but good fun as well. He could enjoy himself, she was fully aware of that side of his character. But she reckoned he had always appeared resentful about the way Lennon and McCartney treated him… that he was never pushy enough… just wasn’t his manner. And she told how he would always be the last in the queue to pick up his wage packet from her office, which wasn’t that much in those early days, she laughed girlishly, the fading memories slipping back into focus. Maybe about £15, she recalled, and always paid in cash.

But Beryl delighted that he was always ready with a friendly quip and was ever so polite and softly spoken. She felt he did write some tremendous songs - as was soon demonstrated, her own favourite, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ - but was convinced he was kept out of the limelight to a large extent by the other two - Lennon and McCartney. She thought it obvious, even as the Beatles were just beginning their roller coaster ride into the history books.

[…] There was no denying she maintained a soft spot for the late - the lovable as she calls him - George Harrison. She would describe him as that dear, witty boy and the funniest of all four in his own sweet way. […] George was by far the nicest.”