Monday, August 20, 2012

Welcome to Crackerbox Palace

Angela and George.  Photo:  Leslie

George and Leslie.  Photo:  Angela Rennie

George and Angela with George the Spider in the Friar Park Kichen

Angela, George and Olivia in the garden.  Photo:  Leslie

Olivia, George and Angela look at Angela's photo album

Angela, George and Leslie in the garden.  Photo:  Olivia Harrison

Angela and George.  Photo:  Leslie

George and Angela with Angela's Krisha drawing.  Photo:  Leslie

George Harrison August 25, 1977  Photo:  Leslie
Have I got a treat for you!  Thanks to a very kind donation from a fan (who sells on ebay under the name angelsattic11 and sells Beatles stuff.  Buy from her!)  I have a Harrison Alliance Magazine that has a very long but very amazing story of Angela Rennie who went to Friar Park on August 25, 1977 and met George and Olivia inside of their home.   I spend a very long time typing up this article tonight and trying my best to scan the photos that aren't the best of quality because of nature of the fanzine.   The Harrison Alliance itself does not have an issue number on it.  But it was from the fall of 1977 (according to the articles and stories dated inside).   

There is a bootleg of Angela and George's meeting called "The Little Girl Tape Vol 2."  It is the audio recording that is mentioned in this article.  I have never heard the interview and I have been looking for this for a long time.  If anyone has it or knows where I can locate it, please email me. 

Things that stuck out to me while reading this
  • the lack of security at Friar Park at that time.  wow!
  • George's Dad lived on the same property as him and he hadn't seen his son in 8 months and hadn't talked to him in 3.  How does that even happen?
  • Who brings their dogs to George's house and allows them to pee on George's tree?  
  • George's overall kindness to this young girl and his willingness to autograph anything, answer any questions, pose for photos and talk to her.  He really was good with his fans on a intimate basis.  
  • George calling Olivia Livy.  Never heard that before and it is adorable!
  • the detail of the Friar Park kitchen.  
  • George talks about people running out to buy Elvis records right after his death and that is exactly what people did right after George passed away.
 So take the time when you can to read this article.  Believe me I know that it is a long one.  But it is very enjoyable.  

Welcome to Crackerbox Palace
Editor’s note:  Several months ago, it was discovered that Angela Rennie had leukemia.  One of her life long dreams has been to meet George.  Angela’s mother and some of her friends wrote letters to George’s brother Harry, who lives at Friar Park, and to George’s office in London to see if George would consent to even the briefest of visits with Angela.  George was moved; he sent word back that he would see her during August, that his office would notify her when to come down to London for a meeting.  Everything was arranged, and Angela and her friend Moira were off to London in mid-august.  This article is a compilation of three sources:  a letter tape by Angela, the actual taped conversation during her visit with George and “One Sweet Dream Came True Today” which appeared in a recent issue of “With a Little Help from my friends.”  We would like to thank Angela and Pat Simmons for their help with putting this article together.

On Thursday the 11th of August (1977), my friend Moira and myself set out for England (they live in Scotland).  We were going to meet George at his office in London, as it had been arranged; well, so they said.  While in London, we would stay with a friend named Leslie.

The dates I’d been given by George’s office were the 13th thru the 16th of august; I would meet him one of those days.  For two weeks I waited on them saying to come to the office.  They kept saying that George wasn’t going to be in his office that day.  After a week Moira had to go home as she has children and it was time for them to go back to school.  I should have been at school too.  Moira went home; that upset me a lot.  Instead of staying in the house, I went to work with Leslie.  In the afternoon, Leslie decided to phone up his office and find out what was going on, as I was missing school and my parents didn’t like me being away so long.  The lady at the office then said that it would be Monday, and they’d phone us after 2:00 to tell us to come.  So somehow I had to survive the weekend.  I just hoped they’d keep this date, ‘cause for a week they’d been saying dates and not keeping them.

All through the weekend I didn’t sleep.  I really was a bag of nerves.  Monday came and I put on clean clothes and got my stuff together, and Leslie and I set off for her office.  I had to somehow pass a few hours away and wait on a phone call.

At last 2:00 came and then 3:00, then half past 3.  Leslie decided she’d phone them and tell them she’d leave now as she didn’t want to be caught in the rush hour traffic in the middle of London.  When she phoned the woman said, “Well, George still isn’t in yet,” but that she’d phone his home and see if he was still going to come in that day.  (On one of the phone calls, the woman said George had to come into the office to do some filming.  I don’t know what of though).  Ten minutes later she phoned back and said that Peter (George’s brother) said that George wasn’t coming in – maybe the next day.

I was really upset, as you can well imagine.  I mean, I’d really been ill with nerves, physically sick as they’d let me down so often; to get a time and everything and then be told he wasn’t coming into his office after all.  I mean, I came into London having been told I’d meet him by the 16th at the latest.
Anyhow, the next day came and still nothing; we phoned again.  Leslie told them I wasn’t well and I couldn’t go on indefinitely like this.  The woman was really rude.  She said George did want to meet me, that she’d told him about my being sick and everything (but when we met George he said he hadn’t been told I was sick) – but she was really rude to Leslie – I don’t know what she said exactly but I know it wasn’t very nice.

On Wednesday my mum phoned me.  I was at the home of a friend of Leslie’s.  Leslie’s friend told my mum how upset I was at being let down.  My parents wanted me home on Friday so if George didn’t come in on Thursday, what would I do?  My mum heard how rude the woman at his office had been, so she decided to phone up George’s Dad and see if he could possibly do anything.  It’s not as if I were barging into George’s office, I’d been given dates and we’d come hundreds of miles on that basis, but they were bashing me about like a bag of washing.  Mum said she’d phone George’s Dad and phone me back.  About a half an hour later she phoned back, saying how nice Mr. Harrison was, but that he didn’t know anything about it.  He said the last time he’d seen George was about 8 months ago and the last time he’d spoken to him on the phone was about 3 months ago.  But he said he’d phone up George’s office in the morning and find out what they’re playing at.

The next day came which was Thursday, 25th of August.  I’d nearly given up hope of seeing him as I had to go home the next day.  At about 10:30am, Leslie phoned and told me to get ready as we were going out to Henley!  She said she’d phoned the office and the woman again was rude, and said, “Look, why don’t you drive out to Henley, drive right up his driveway and go and knock on his door; but don’t tell him I told you to do it.”  So Leslie said it was our only chance seeing how I was to go home the next day.

So I dove round the house looking for my stuff and waited for Leslie to come and collect me.  I was worried in case George would be angry about us going out to his house, as he wouldn’t know we were coming.

At last Leslie arrived and we bundled me into the car and Leslie’s two dogs, and then set off for Henley.  On the way there Leslie stopped at a bakery and bought some hot bread and cakes and stuff ‘cause she was hungry.  I couldn’t eat a thing.  I mean, I hadn’t eaten all week and I certainly couldn’t eat now!

Leslie reckoned it would take us an hour and a half or two hours to get to Henley.  God!  I thought we’d never get there! At last we saw signs saying “Henley.”  We followed them along a motorway and then along these lovely little country roads.  At last we hit the town; we drove straight up the market place, which was pretty busy.  At the top of the market place is his house! We were both praying the gates were open as we didn’t fancy having to get out and open them.

They were open, so we let out sighs of relief, but I was still shaking.  We drove past Harry’s home (which is at the gate), and then we reached another home which was set back from the driveway, and beside it was a sign saying, “No unauthorized vehicles or persons past this point.”   That really got me - I just wanted to turn around and get out.  Then we were at his house.  It’s really beautiful.
Up against a tree on the left-hand side of his driveway outside his home, he had a wooden sign which read, “Welcome to Crackerbox Palace.”  I’d sent him a sign last Christmas which said the same thing.
We parked at the front door, his front door, lovely front door, a big wooden thing.  Leslie said to me to stay in the car just in case whoever answered the door was nasty.  So she went to the door.  I sat there looking at his beautiful home.  I looked at Leslie and she signaled that someone was coming ‘cause she heard footsteps.  From where I was sitting I could see the door had been opened, but I couldn’t see who had opened it.  Of course it never once entered my little head that he’d answer it!  Anyway, Leslie was all sensible so I never took it to be anyone special.  Then this sexy body came out the door and pointed round the back of the house.  I couldn’t see his face – I knew it was him but I kept saying, “Naw, it can’t be!”  His hair was all curled; he had the mustache and was wearing faded jeans and baseball shoes, a blue grey jersey and a white shirt with red leafy flowers on it.  He took a look at the car and smiled at me. I was in shock, I’ll tell ya, I thought I was gonna have kittens!
Leslie came back to the car and told me we were to go to the back of the house into his kitchen.  George had gone back into the house.  I couldn’t get out of the car.  Leslie told me I should try unfastening the seat belt.  Somehow, I managed to get out; Leslie started to help me walk; I was surprised I could walk, my legs felt like jelly and Iw as all shaking.  I told Leslie, “I can walk myself.”  As we came to the corner of the house, Olivia came round and said hello and apologized for keeping me waiting for so long.  She was pretty small, about my size, and I’m 5’2”! She had on a brown dress and brown boots; it was nice.

She and Leslie started talking and I walked slowly behind them, looking at the house.  Then I looked ahead of me and Olivia and Leslie were standing on some little wooden steps and looking at me.  I walked up to them and looked inside and there he was all sexy and very, very gorgeous.  His pics don’t’ do him any justice.  His long curly hair was soft and shiny.  In his left hand he held a cigarette.  I finally walked up the three steps and into the kitchen, looking at him all the while.  When I got in he picked up my hand and shook it. He said, “Hello, how are you?”  I didn’t answer him.  I just stared at him looking at him straight into his eyes.  He shook Leslie’s hand and I said something – it would have been better if I hadn’t bothered, but I did.  I said, “You’re awful small.”  He’s not very tall.  I knew he’d be skinny, but he was so small, I came up to about his shoulders.  He was smiling.  He was so beautiful!
He shook hands with Leslie and she said, “You might not remember me” (as she had met him before).  Leslie said she was sorry we barged in, coz he had guests in, an American woman and her two children.  Anyway, Leslie told him how I hadn’t eaten in four days and he asked, “Why  not?”  I told him I had been sick and couldn’t eat.  George asked, “Would you like something to eat now?” looking straight at me while he said it.  I said, “No thank you.”  He said his office hadn’t told him I was bringing food up, even though they’d told us they had told him.  Then he asked me if I’d like to sit down.  I said, “Yes please.”  So we sat down at the table with George facing me.  He kept looking straight at me and grinning.

I didn’t really say much; Leslie did almost all the talking.  I just stared at him, he’d stare at me and then I’d realize I was staring at him and he’d just give me a smile.

He asked me what part of Scotland I came from and I told him Edinburgh.  He said the woman guest had originally been from Scotland, from Helensburg and her name was Helen.  He kept calling her “Helen Queen of Scots.”  He said he’d just found out it was a Scottish king who became the first joint king of Scotland and England.  I told him it was James the 6th of Scotland and James the 1st of England (How I remember that at that moment I’ll never know).  I told him I was born the day that “Please please me” got to No 1 and he was telling everyone in the house that!  He asked our ages and I said 14.  He said, “14!” and asked me what did I think of punk rock bands.  He said I should like the punk rock bands and what did I think of them.  I told him I thought they were rubbish.

His kitchen is lovely.  He has a sort of service thing in the middle and behind that there’s the sink and other units on the back wall.  And he’s got a fridge which was covered with all sorts of stickers.  On the door leading out of the kitchen and into the rest of the house, he’s got empty wine bottles on the top of the door; one or two had sort of straw-like flowers on them.  Down from the table we were sitting at, he has a chest of drawers sort of thing, and has assorted things on top of that, and then he has a chair, then the big fireplace.  His clock is lovely; it has a dog at either side of it (not real ones!)  He had two color photos up, one of a little girl and the other of a little boy – I don’t know who they were.  And on the wall he had a big color poster of Ravi Shankar.  Someone has scribbled something on the wall above the fireplace – it read “Arrias ’74,” it was in read crayon I think.  I know it was red anyway.  Also someone had made a sign which read “I fancy a cup of tea” and they’d stuck that up on the wall at the back too.  He had tiles all along the back wall, not all the way up, and I never saw one that was the same – they were all different colors and designs.  I know it sounds crazy but it really is a beautiful kitchen.  He has red or brown tiles on the floor and the tablecloth was a light blue velvet.  He kept picking at it when he was talking.  Also he had a cassette recorder on the floor beside the service counter thing in the middle of the floor.

Leslie reminded me that I had brought a tape recorder and I asked George if he minded if we taped the conversation and he said, “No.  Go ahead.  I don’t mind.”

When I put the tape on George leaned over and said, “So this is Radio Edinburg…Ed-in-berg.”  I asked “Why didn’t you come to Edinburg on your promotional thing?  Nobody ever comes.”  Leslie butted in with, “Don’t complain, you had Elton John and Wings.”  George explained, “Well, you know, you can’t go everywhere.  If I do a tour I’ll go to Edinburgh.”  I jumped out of my seat and said, “Will you?  Go to Usher Hall!”  “The National Hall?”  he asked.  “Usher Hall.”  “Usher Hall,” he repeated after me.  I explained, “It’s bigger, you can camp out there for tickets.”
“I’m not sure if we played there in the ‘60’s.  You won’t remember because you were only….born….”
“No, you played the Regal, across the road.  It’s ABC now, and the back is still there where the window got smashed in.”
“Yeah?  You would’ve been only two or three then.”
“I was one.”
“One… he said thoughtfully.  Then he added, ‘Did you go to the concert?”  Everyone laughed.

Leslie mentioned that she had left America in the mid-60’s because of the war in Vietnam; George said, “Oh!  You’re from America!”  “I’m from New York,” explained Leslie, “I’ve been living here now for 10 years, doing my thing made it my life.”  “So what are you doing, do you have…”   She interrupted him saying, “I’m a journalist, but I breed dogs for pocket money.  I do a house journal.”
“Oh, for the dogs?”  “That’s another story,” said Leslie.  She explained what type of dogs she worked with and said that she had them outside in her car.  She even told him how she dresses her dogs and drag and different costumes for parties.

Olivia asked if she would like some tea.  Leslie said yes and asked if I also wanted a cup.  Then George asked me if I wanted tea again looked straight into my eyes.  I said “Yes please” and Olivia went to make it over at the other end of the kitchen.

Leslie asked him if he had an album due out and he said, “I’m sort of writing at the moment, trying to write the songs for the next album which…I’ve been pretty lazy this year, I mean after…” Leslie interjected, “After you’re 33&1/3 plus…terrible isn’t it, getting old!”  “Well” he began, “I don’t mind getting old, it’s just that 17, what was it?  17 years, 18 years, obviously the thrill is not as much as it was when I was 17.  I mean then it was guitars all the time, that’s all you wanted to do.  I mean, the novelty wears off after 17, 18 years but this year I’ve just been going to the motor races instead, y’know, just for a break (he laughs).  “I’ll make an album probably before the end of the year and probably have it out have it out next January . Also I don’t know, 1977 didn’t feel like a good year for doing much.  I’m hoping ’78 will be okay.  Well, ’78, it adds up to the number 7.  I like 7, it’s good.”
Leslie mentioned she had no desire to go back to the States.  George said she didn’t sound American and asked her what part of New York she was from.  “Were you from the city or New York State?”  “I lived in the middle of Manhattan.”  “Oh God!” he exclaimed, “that’s okay for a couple of days maybe…”   “17 years was enough.”  “Yeh, y’know, like some people love it,” he said, “like y’know Paul Simon, who lives there – Rhymin’ Simon- John Lennon likes it, but it’s not for me.  It just drives me crazy.  I can’t even stand going into London these days.  The crowds, the tourists – it’s ridiculous.”

Leslie told him my sister was a mad Elvis fan and said that Elvis’ death was so tragic.  George began to talk about Elvis, “Oh wow, yeah, oh it was sad.  All these magazines, these are the trade magazines, but the saddest thing, but it’s only to be expected, is when you think of all the record companies with their presses and they’re pressing out millions of records, backlogs, and everybody’s and the people too are crazy.  It said in one paper as soon as they heard he died they all ran into the record stores and tried to buy records.”  I told him my sister had bought a record player which cost what it would have cost to see Elvis in America with his fan club; the reason she didn’t was because my mum and dad were on holiday and by the time she’d found out that my parents would be back in time for her to go, it was too late.  I told him her friends saw him and he asked, “In America?” I said, “Yeah Cincinnati and some other place.  Her friend got a scarf off Elvis.”  “Off Elvis?” he asked.  “Yeah he went to see him in Cincinnati 4 or 5 weeks ago.”  Olivia asked if my sister ever saw Elvis do a show.  I told her no and that she was upset because she never got to see him.

“I saw him once when he was, um, well, he wasn’t…” said George, “I would’ve liked to have seen him in like 1958.”  Leslie burst out, “I would’ve liked to have seen you in 1958 or 1959!”  “Oh that was a bit early, that was in those days in Germany or something, we were.”  “What do you thin of that Hamburg album?” she asked.  “Well, it’s just crummy quality.  The thing is, even if we would have owned the tapes, you see, we didn’t want the tapes because it was like this microphone here and somebody on the other side of the hall over there singing; you’re going to pick up a little bit in the distance but it’s not exactly a record.”  “But it’s history.”  “Yeah, it is but those people, I just don’t like the way they know there’s a market for anything.”  “You’re not getting much from it, I should think.”  Leslie said flatly.  “Well, I’m not getting anything out of that.”  “But it’s history.”  “Yeah,” he said with an exasperated sigh.  I told him I thought it was good even if it was crummy quality. 
I took out some of the things I’d brought to show him, some pictures of him from his U.S. tour and his promo tour.  I explained to him that I had friends in America who sent me these things.  He commented on some of the people who played with him on tour, saying what great musicians they were.  When he was commented about pictures, he would hum a bit and he even started to whistle.  He laughed about his psychedelic house (where he used to live in Esher).  EH saw a picture of himself at the house and he and Olivia started to laugh at his “psychedelic” clothes.  Olivia said, “Looks like even yours arms are painted!”

He got excited when he spied a photo of his painted Mini saying, “Oh see, there’s that Mini!  You know I was saying I had to push that Mini out of the garage last night because it was – wow!  That’s…”  “That’s an incredible paint job,” said Leslie.  “That Mini when it was in good condition was just so fantastic!  You see, the car, I gave it away and I finally got it back but it had been all smashed up and it’s a wreck.”  Leslie gave him one photo of the car out of her book and promised to send him a print of another shot that she had the neg to.

George came across a photo in one of the book.  “There’s Livy Wonder where that was?”  I told him it was taken in Acapulco. “Where did you get this picture?”  he said, pointing his finger at it.  I told him a friend had sent me it and he exclaimed, “Incredible how they get hold of all this.”  “What were you watching?”  “We were sitting outside around a swimming pool, it was a private party.  Warner Brother Records had this big party and we were all drinking tequila from these little cups, see, that’s like a little cup around your neck and there was a Mexican band playing.”

While George and I were looking at my photos I asked him if he was going to tour Britain.  “I may do next year, I may do a tour of everywhere.”  “Who’s that?”  “Yoko.”  “Oh, at the Lyceum.  That was just madness.”  Olivia asked, “Did you play there?”  “Yeh, I recruited over half the band.  We were doing a session with Delaney and Bonnie Band with Billy Preston, making an album, and we just all went down there and then there was Keith Moon and everybody.  It was crazy.

He got very amused at the pictures of himself.  He was always laughing at them.

I remembered I’d brought a small present from him – one was a drawing I had down of Krishna.  George brought out the picture slowly.  He studied it and kept saying, “That’s really good.” I was embarrassed as I thought it wasn’t good enough but my mum said I should give him it, but he really seemed to like it.  I just hope he really did.  The other was a toy spider which was my favorite spider his name was George (of course).  “Here’s my favorite spider for you.”  George began to laugh.  Olivia shrieked, “Oh God!” and George laughed.  “You’re like my mum,” I said.  She only said, “Uh!”  “This is a nice one, isn’t it.  Look at his eyes!” laughed George.  “That’s a good one to put in someone’s bedroom,” said Olivia.  I said that I’d put it in my mum’s bed once and she got the fright of her life.  George put the spider on top of the clock on the mantel piece.  I was so pleased that he liked the things I brought him.  I know they don’t sound like much but the drawing took me hours to do and the spider I’ve had for ages and meant a lot to me. George is the only person I’d give them away to.

I brought the stuff out I wanted signed; I had the cover to 33&1/3, the same photo of him, and two or three Extra Texture postcards I was getting signed for friends.  When George saw my album cover he said “I’ll tell you what…” then called to Olivia.  “Liv, go into the office and bring me a couple of copies of uh..”  “The album?” she asked.  “Yeah, because she’s got the English one but the American one is so much better.”  Then he turned and said to me, “I’ll give you one of the American ones, it’s really good…”

He signed a few things.  I then gave him a letter that a friend and her husband has asked me to give to George as it meant such a lot to them.  On the envelope was the name of a guru (Sai Baba) and when George saw it he said, “I had that book when you walked in.”  He turned to Olivia, “Livy, did you just move that Sai Baba book?”  “Yeah, it’s right here.” She said, getting it for him.  He showed me what Sai Baba was like in his last life and a picture of him in this life.  When George was looking for that pic I noticed some writing on one of the pages.  It said something like “to my son George” or something like that; I think Sai Baba had signed it and had written a little message for George.  George seemed to be happier when he was talking about religion and I’m interested in it so I didn’t mind.

He signed all my things (humming a bit), asking me if he should sign the front or the back of the postcards.  Just then Olivia said, “oh no!” and we looked outside.  It was pouring with rain.  George said, “It’s incredible, it just comes from nowhere…”  Leslie interjected, “And we had nothing last year.”  “Yeah, and this year it just won’t stop.”  He really looked gorgeous when he said that.
George began to hum as he picked up the American 33&1/3 lp, “See, this is the American one – it’s much nicer and inside – let’s just open it up (he split the shrink wrap with his thumbnail).  It’s also a better pressing.  I mean, that won’t make any difference unless you’ve got a really good record player.  It’s better, a bit better quality, coz the factory in England…”  When he finally got the wrapping off he crumpled it up and was going to put it in the wastepaper bucket, then without thinking I dove and grabbed the paper from his hand.  “Oh okay,” he laughed.  “No comment, “ said Leslie.  “Look, see, this is all silver.”  George began.  “Is that Dufax, the process?”  asked Leslie.  “Don’t know, it’s expensive and that’s why they’re reducing the cost in Britain and this is like they have to print this picture in one place, then they have to send all the album sleeves to another factory where they do this (the silver lettering) and it’s hot-stamped but this is nicer, you see, it’s all silver, but it’s all silver inside too.  So there, you can have one each.”  He also gave me a little book about all the religions.  It had sayings from Jesus, Buddha, Krishna and one or two others.

Leslie asked him way he had left at the interval when he went to see the play, “John, Paul, George, Ringo … and Bert” in London.  When he answered her I nearly died coz he screwed his face all up.  “The thing I didn’t like about it, they, the audiences, especially since a lot of them were tourists and that, were watching and they think that that’s what it was you know.  It’s such fiction!  The writers heard a few rumors about what it was and they read a few books and stories about it and somebody’s written a script, and it’s a totally fictitious story.  Everybody watching it was looking at it as if it was the real thing, as if it was a historical documentation.”  “Yes sir” said Leslie.  “Like Robert Stigwood’s tentatively making a lot of money out of the Beatles too.”  “Which you won’t get anything out of…” said Leslie sarcastically. “That’s not the point really it’s just that some people are more determined than others of ways of..”

Leslie asked if we could leave our bags inside while we went outside to take pictures.  George said, “Yeah sure.”  So we went out into the garden.  I told him beforehand he had a nice garden.  He was quite proud of it and told us about how it was so overgrown when he bought the house and the house itself was one step away from being bulldozed down.  George went out first and followed behind him.  We saw the gremlins and said how nice they were.

Leslie started arranging her camera.  George asked if I was staying with Leslie and I said yes.  I remembered I’d brought a camera.  It was really simple so I couldn’t break it.  I went into the house to get it.  Leslie told me later that when I was in the house she told George that she saw herself in me.  George replied, ‘We’ve each got a part of each other.”

I came out again and started to try and take a pic.  I took one while shaking!  But when it came to advance the film in the camera, the camera wouldn’t work, it jammed.  George told me to come to him.  He fixed it for me and I went to take another.  This time George told me my finger was over the lens.  I didn’t’ even see it, who was paying attention, all I saw was hm.  I managed to take a second pictures, then my camera jammed again, so I let it go at that.   Olivia came outside and took two pictures of George, Leslie and I.  Leslie wanted one with Olivia in it, so I started to walk away, but George said, “No, you’re in it too!” and pulled me back hard.  Then he put his left arm around Olivia and his right arm around me and pulled me right into him when he did that.  

Olivia went inside; Leslie was setting up her camera again.  I said to George, “I can’t get over how small you are! I thought you’d be really tall.” He said that it was those Beatle boots with the high Cuban heels that did it.  He said he was only 5 foot 9 or 10; he bend down to my size, then stood up again and said, “I’m not that much taller than you.”  I said, “I know!”  I really loved it when he did that, he was so cute!

We got one more pic, and went back into the house to collect our things.  We said goodbye to Olivia, then George walked us round to the front to the car.  When we got to the car Leslie wanted one more picture.  While we were waiting for her to get her camera ready, I said “Please don’t get back together.”  He said, “Pardon?” and bent over and put his ear next to me.  I repeated what I’d said and he said, “I can’t see it ever happening, we all live in different places, we’re all on different paths.”
Leslie took her pic, and then let her dogs out of the car.  Leslie shaves the dogs’ bottoms, and George noticed this commented, “you shouldn’t shave their bums, it’s cruel.”  One of the dogs went up to a tree in the yard and did something on it.  George said, “Well I don’t think it will kill it.”
I asked George what kind of car he had and he said a Porsche, a German car.  I told him he had a beautiful house and he said, “It’s Crackerbox Palace!”  I asked how old it was.  He told me it was about 150 years old, but that I took 25 years to build it.

I also asked him to tour again.  He said he’d probably go someplace like Japan first, then Britain.  The problem was, he said, getting a band together and a place to rehearse.  I told him he could rehearse at my house!  He laughed and said he meant a country ‘cause if he did Britain first he’d get slagged for not warming up the band.  I said he was always getting slagged by the press and that was all they were good for.  He said, “Yeah.”

George then said he really had to go, and as we’d spend over an hour and half with him I knew how lucky I had been.  So we said goodbye.  I was trying not to cry.  I said, “Don’t forget to tour and do Edinburgh!”  He said he wouldn’t forget and walked away.  I stood and watched him and when he got to the corner of the house he waved and smiled.


  1. Thanks for typing that up..It was an interesting read.

  2. this is wonderful! Thanks for taking the time to type this up and sharing the photos as well. George was a beautiful soul and seeing his kindness to his fans says a lot about him.

  3. Thank you for sharing this article.....great read.

  4. I'm hoping/anticipating this will be posted soon on the Winn blog, within the next month or so, if so, I will make sure you get yourself a copy!

  5. Angela (Now Hepburn ) is my best friend I think she'd be surprised there's a tape of her conversation with George she still has the original Maybe Leslie has a copy too I should have been at that meeting but had to go home early ( I had young children back then ) Angela and I still do Beatle things together Saw Ringo in Glasgow in 2011 and 4 Paul concerts 2010/11 The last in Liverpool Moira Warren

    1. Leslie aka BeatleTripperJanuary 2, 2017 at 7:48 PM

      It's good to know that Angela is doing well. I am alive and well, and living in Texas. I have a wonderful treasure of Beatle memories.... would love to connect on facebook.... I was Leslie Samuels.... now married... Sara S knows who I am and can connect us!

    2. This as really wonderful, thank you for this Angela !!!������

    3. This was really wonderful! Thank you Angela !! 😊😊😊

  6. Thank you so much for your reply Moira (both on here and on the facebook page). Please send Angela our love from this blog. I am glad that she is doing well these days and you two are seeing Paul together. I really love her photos and story of meeting George. It has became one of my favorites.

  7. So glad to read this. Angela came into my head today for some reason so I searched for her and I found this. I'm the guy she refers to in her talk with George that went to see Elvis. I was good friends with her sister Jackie, the Elvis Fan Club Edinburgh Branch Leader at the time and I remember Angela getting excited about going. She was a lovely young lassie and I loved talking to her about the Beatles (but all he ever did was talk about George). I still remember her freckles.

  8. That was a great story! Thank you very much for posting it.

  9. Just a lovely story- thanks for sharing!