Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Special Day

I just got in a batch of Harrison Alliance fanzine from the 1970's that are new to me.   So expect to see some stories from these in the next few weeks.  

This one is something different, but really neat.   It is a story of a fan who hung out with Mr and Mrs Harrison in the summer of 1969.    Mrs. Harrison was very open about her feelings during this time (which I am sure George hated that she would share so much with fans since he tended to be more private).    It is very interesting to say the least.

This story was taken from the January 1979 issue of the Harrison Alliance.


A Special Day
By Susan Maier

June 4, 1969 – I will never forget that day, because my friend Sima and I spent it with George’s parents at their home in England.  I had been writing to Mrs. Harrison for a couple of years and when I told her Sima and I were coming to England, she invited us to come and visit them.
We took the rail to Warrington and then a taxi to the Harrison’s home in Appleton.  They were working in their garden when we arrived.  I introduced myself and Sima and then we all went into the house.  I don’t recall every word that was said (I was too excited), but I would like to share my memories of that day.

The house was lovely.  There were thick gold colored carpets in the living room and scattered Indian rugs.  A huge stereo stood nearby with stacks of records on top of it.  Mrs. Harrison proudly played us “Old Brown Shoe” at top volume!  There were two painting, both from George and one BY George.  He had painted it while in India (it was very modern).  There were pictures of George, Pattie and the rest of the family all over the house.  A beautiful portrait of George hung in the foyer.  There was a carved ivory statue enclosed with a dome and an old-fashioned clock, also in a dome.  The dining room had a gorgeous old wooden table and chairs, and a golden set of cups, jug and platter from India – all presents from George.  Almost everything in the house was from him.

Mrs. Harrison, Sima and I sat on the porch and talked.   I told her how upset I was because we had missed seeing George, by just a couple hours a few days earlier (He was off to Sardinia with Pattie).  Mrs. Harrison told us that George had called them before he left and said he would be gone two weeks, but if the weather was good, they might stay longer.  She told us about the time George walked out of the “Let it Be” sessions.  Pattie was away modeling or visiting her family at the time, so George drove home to them.  Mrs. Harrison tried to convince George that the other three were conspiring against him by playing too loud while he sang.  She played him various cuts to show him, but George didn’t see it that way.

She talked to us about John and wondered “what was happening to him!” (Sima didn’t like this since she is a John fanatic!).   Mrs. Harrison had even asked George if she should go down to London and talk some sense to John, but George told her it would do any good.

Another time, she went to visit Paul’s father because he had been ill.  When she got there, Paul answered the door and introduced Linda to her.  “I want you to meet my girlfriend.”   Mrs. Harrison said she did a double take and wondered where Jane was!  The house was full of relatives and Heather (being only 5 at the time) was excited being in a new place and all and didn’t finish her dinner.  Linda wouldn’t let her have dessert and sent her off to bed instead.  Mrs. Harrison thought that was horrible!

While we talked, a few flies would buzz around from the garden and Mrs. Harrison went to hit them.  She said she couldn’t do that when George was there because he believed that everything had a right to live – no matter how small.

She told us about the time George hired a gardener for his house in Esher but the garden never seemed to look any better.  One day she was visiting Pattie, and the tow of them found the gardener sitting in back of the greenhouse doing nothing.  The gardener was fired and Mrs. Harrison ended up doing some of the garden work for George herself.

Mrs. Harrison glowed when she talked about George.  It was obvious how proud she was of him and she was so happy and down-to-earth.  We went back inside the house and Mrs. Harrison started to set the table.  Sima and I (thinking this was a hint that we had stayed long enough) said we should be going.  “Before tea?” Mrs. Harrison asked, surprised.  She was setting the table for us!  Mr. Harrison joined us now and we had tea, salad, fruit, bread and jam.  They said to help ourselves because as George always says, “he who hesitates is lost.”

I couldn’t believe this whole thing was happening – sitting there, eating and talking with George’s Mum and Dad!  Mr. Harrison kept winking at me whenever I looked at him and I could see so much of George in his face.  His face was strong but kind and his eyes were beautiful!

While we were eating, Mrs. Harrison was saying she had given birth to all of her children at home, not in a hospital, and that made her the first girl that George was even in bed with!  I nearly choked!!

After we finished eating, Sima and I helped with the dishes.  Mrs. Harrison talked about how she still worried about George sometimes, and if our parents were worried about us being away on our own?  George always told her not to worry but she in turn told him, “I’m still your mother no matter what, and I do worry!”  She talked a bit about George and Pattie’s arrest in March of that year (for possession of marijuana) and how the whole thing was set up by the police themselves.  The police even took away all of George’s incense as evidence.

Finally we went into the living room and she showed us a bunch of photos of George.  Most were taken just before he went to America for the first time (on his own in 1963).  The photos showed Mrs. Harrison packing his suitcase while George just sat and watched!

When the time came to leave, Mr. and Mrs. Harrison drove us to the rail station.  Mr. Harrison squeezed my hand real tight and Mrs. Harrison came all the way up to the platform and waited for the train with us.  When it came, she kissed me and said goodbye and I kissed her in turn.

I was in a daze!  I couldn’t get over how wonderful George’s parents were to us.  We spent over six hours with them – hearing about George, sharing stories and laughing – it was beautiful!  You could feel the love in that house and the closeness Mr. and Mrs. Harrison had with each other and their family.  I’ll never forget it and I’ll always remember Mr. and Mrs. Harrison with special feelings.


  1. Oh my god, this is priceless!!! Thanks for typing this up, Sara!!!!! And have a great weekend (and I hope you're feeling better!) (and one more thanks to you!!!)

  2. Absolutely fascinating ! This blog is the best !

  3. I have to put another comment under this one.....what a story!!! So many hilarious nuggets!! I'm not sure which is my favorite part: Mrs. Harrison blasting "Old Brown Shoe" at top volume.......her conspiracy theory about the other three Beatles......or offering to go down to London and straighten John out!!!! There are many great stories here on MTBFR....and this is definitely one of them!!!! Highly recommended for an entertaining read!!!

  4. Lovely people. It's that generation: they had such a strong sense of courtesy and selflessness, stuff that's hard to find today, and in actuality, not far off an example of living that George was always pressing for. His parents had 'it' all along!