Sunday, August 30, 2009

An Encounter at Abbey Road Turns out just as Hoped for

This fan story first appeared in the Jan-Feb 2002 issue of Beatlefan magazine (this was the George Harrison tribute issue). It was written by Ken Sharp. The photos go with the story, but were not from the magazine.

They say you should never meet your heroes because they are destined
ultimately to let you down. Having had the treasured opportunity to meet George
Harrison, I can safely say that he proved to be anything but a

Let me share a story...

My personal encounter with George happened in September 1993 inside studio
Two at the famed Abbey Road Studios. I was part of an international gathering of
journalists attending the press launch of the Red and Blue Albums. Tipped off
the day prior by George Martin that "the quiet Beatle" might make a surprise
appearance, I kept my eyes open for a sign of L'Angelo Mysterioso. Believe me,
just to be spending time inside Studio Two where the Fab Four recorded such
legendary tracks as "Help", "While my Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Here, there and
everywhere" was a real treat, but the chance to encounter a Beatle on his own
home turf was immensely exciting.

The event kicked off with a 30-minute video show comprising various Beatles
promotional films. The lights quickly dimmed and the videos began to roll. Early
into the proceedings, I noticed a security guard briskly walk down the aisle
towards the entrance of the studio. Eminently curious, I followed his

Immediately, I noticed Neil Aspinall and Derek Taylor languishing in the
studio's hallway. Looking around, I caught a glimpse of George speaking to
someone. Having waited for this opportunity my entire life, I decided to open my
conversation with George with a question he certainly had not been asked over
and over again. After shaking hands with me, George asked where I was

"Philadelphia," I told him. Then I said, "George I know that you have
been asked this time and time again but do you think The Rutles will ever get
back together?" I knew that George was a major Rutles fan, too. The real "Stig"
let out a hearty chuckle and the ice was broken. For the next 10 minutes, I
talked with George about everything form The Rutles to electric guitars, Bob
Dylan to Badfinger.

Relaxed and smiling, George couldn't have been friendlier. He freely spoke
to me like a friend, devoid of any pretense or artifice. I also distinctly
recall that throughout our conversation George held a burning stick of incense,
its exotic smell wafting through the hallowed halls of Studio Two. George
graciously signed the Red and Blue album press kit for me, too. Later, before
George was introduced as a surprise guest by George Martin, I grabbed my trusty
tape recorder to ask him a few questions about his guitar playing more to
crystallize my chance encounter with the reclusive star than anything

Now that George is sadly gone from this mortal coil, I feel eternally
blessed to have shared a few small moments in time with such a gracious and kind
soul. Long may this dark horse run....

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