Scan - George during that hitchhiking trip he took with Paul, August 1959 (scanned from The Beatles Anthology)
“One year, Paul and I decided to go hitchhiking. It’s something nobody would ever dream of these days. Firstly, you’d probably be mugged before you got through the Mersey Tunnel, and secondly everybody’s got cars and is already stuck in a traffic jam. I’d often gone with my family down South to Devon, to Exmouth, so Paul and I decided to go there first. We didn’t have much money. We found bed-and-breakfast places to stay. We got to one town, and we were walking down a street and it was getting dark. We saw a woman and said, ‘Excuse me, do you know if there’s somewhere we could stay?’ She felt sorry for us and said, ‘My boy’s away, come and stay at my house.’ So she took us to hers - where we beat her, tied her up and robbed her of all her money! Only joking; she let us stay in her boy’s room and the next morning cooked us breakfast. She was really nice. I don’t know who she was - the Lone Ranger? We continued along the South coast, towards Exmouth. Along the way we talked to a drunk in a pub who told us his name was Oxo Whitney. (He later appears in ‘A Spaniard in the Works.’ After we’d told John that story, he used the name. So much of John’s books is from funny things people told him.) Then we went on to Paignton. We still had hardly any money. We had a little stove, virtually just a tin with a lid. You poured a little meths into the bottom of it and it just about burned, not with any velocity. We had that, and little backpacks, and we’d stop at grocery shops. We’d buy Smedley’s spaghetti bolognese or spaghetti milanese. They were in striped tins: milanese was red stripes, bolognese was dark blue stripes. And Ambrosia creamed rice. We’d open a can, bend back the lid and hold the can over the stove to warm it up. That was what we lived on. We got to Paignton with no money to spare so we slept on the beach for the night. Somewhere we’d met two Salvation Army girls and they stayed with us and kept us warm for a while. But later it became cold and damp, and I remember being thankful when we decided that was enough and got up in the morning and started walking again. We went up through North Devon and got a ferry boat across to South Wales, because Paul had a relative who was a redcoat at Butlins at Pwllheli, so we thought we’d go there. At Chepstow, we went to the police station and asked to stay in a cell. They said, ‘No, bugger off. You can go in the football grandstand, and tell the cocky watchman that we said it was OK.’ So we went and slept on a hard board bench. Bloody cold. We left there and hitchhiked on. Going north through Wales we got a ride on a truck. The trucks didn’t have a passenger seat in those days so I sat on the engine cover. Paul was sitting on the battery. He had on jeans with zippers on the back pockets and after a while he suddenly leapt up screaming. His zipper had connected the positive and negative end in the battery, got red hot and burnt a zipper mark across his arse.” - George Harrison, The Beatles Anthology
Scans - George and Paul through the years… in tribute of their friendship that began in 1954, when they met on the bus journey to the Liverpool Institute.
From the February 2001 webchat - Q: Does Paul still piss you off (tell us the truth) George: Scan not a friend with a microscopic glass — You know his faults — Then let his foibles pass. Old Victorian Proverb. I’m sure there’s enough about me that pisses him off, but I think we have now grown old enough to realize that we’re both pretty damn cute!
“Something like George passing, it makes you think, ‘God, things are so impermanent: suddenly there’s this little friend of mine, he used to get on the bus, and now he’s passed away.’ There’s that whole lifetime of a friendship that physically has ended, not emotionally.” - Paul
“I remember thinking I just want more. This isn’t it. Fame is not the goal. Money is not the goal. To be able to know how to get peace of mind, how to be happy, is something you don’t just stumble across. You’ve got to search for it.” - George Harrison
Scans - George, Olivia and Dhani Harrison; scanned from the Somewhere in England album booklet and Harrison by the editors of Rolling Stone.
Photos: Brian Aris; the Harrison Family
“My son looks more like George Harrison than I do.” - George Harrison
“When he died I remember thinking we’d left nothing unsaid and that was good. But then you get older, and there have been so many times I miss my dad. Getting married, going on your stag do – pick any moment and you wish he was there.” - Dhani Harrison
Scan - young George (right) with his father and brother Peter
“‘George was always a very independent child,’ Louise would explain. ‘He liked to do things by himself, no one to help him. He was also very intelligent and fun-loving, and helped a lot around the house.’” - The Beatles - All These Years: Tune In by Mark Lewisohn
Scans - George in 1958/1959 (photographed by Paul); George in early 1960; backstage at the Cavern, 1961 (photographed by Mike McCartney); and at home with his mother, 1961 (scanned from “Living in the Material World”)