George Harrison, photographed by Aaron Rapoport

© Aaron Rapoport/Corbis

“‘It’s all bloody rubbish, like that stuff about me having a toilet that plays “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” when you lift the seat,’ [George] Harrison insists. ‘The truth was I’d simply had enough of living in a goldfish bowl, and after the Beatles, I just gradually decided to keep a lower profile, and not appear on TV chat shows all the time. But 'cause they didn’t see me at all the trendy clubs and restaurants, they started painting this ridiculous picture of me as some sort of Howard Hughes figure, with long nails and bottles of urine all over the place. It simply wasn’t true.’ What is true, apparently, is that Harrison, while no recluse, is still nervous about fans recognizing him in public, particularly since John Lennon’s tragic death. 'It scared all of us, and I still don’t like being in public,’ he admits. 'But it’s not only the shooting. It’s all those years of being in the Beatles and being the center of attention. I mean, we couldn’t even go to the bathroom without people watching us. 'But that’s the price you pay. And to be honest, I feel I’ve come through it all reasonably sane and in fairly good physical shape. I don’t have any real regrets. No, I think I’ve been pretty lucky. Look how many others didn’t make it.’” - “The Quiet Beatle Goes Public” by Iain Blair, Chicago Tribune, 18 October 1987 [x]

With sincere gratitude to friarparksoulclub for sending me this, from the July 2015 issue of Record Collector - a letter sent by George Harrison to Astrid Kirchherr in August 1963! It’s a letter mentioned in passing in a German book (Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand: Die Beatles in Deutschland 1960-1970, x) and I’m grateful and delighted to be able to share this. Many, many thanks again to friarparksoulclub. George mentions Klaus Voormann and Jürgen Vollmer, as well as Bettina “Betty” Derlien (or, as George called her, “Fat Betty”), Kingsize Taylor, Mrs. Sutcliffe, and the Fabs… but now, on to the letter!

Typed up for easier legibility, here is George’s letter:

DEAR ASTRID,

Do you remember me asking you in Tenerife to write to me as soon as you get back to Hamburg? You didn’t know how long you were going to stay at Klaus’ house, so you would write to me from Hamburg, then I would send you all the records and fun and games!

Betty (the great) comes to England all fat and sloppy saying, - “Vhy you no write to Astrid,” as if it was my fault, so just shut up. Anyway Asser, I bought you the records I told you about years ago, and they are still at home covered in dust, so if you have decided where about’s you are living lately, then let me know and I will send them to you with some other nice ones that you would like.

Fat Betty has seen all the Happy holiday Photos, hasn’t she? but I haven’t, oh-no. You won’t show them to me will you!

Actually if she had not come to England with King Size, then I would still be wondering which part of the world you where in!

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