Christine Corrêa meets George Harrison in Rio de Janeiro (as told to friend Lizzie Bravo)
A week before he arrived, I read in Jornal do Brasil (newspaper) that George was arriving in Brazil with Jackie Stewart for the Formula One races in São Paulo.
I felt sad since he was going to be so close and I couldn’t see him (Christine lives in Rio). I was very, very sad, but I sort of got over it after a few days.
On the day – February 7th, 1979 – it was 2:00 pm, I had to go to the gym but was still at home and decided not to go to the gym. The phone rang; it was my friend Regina (huge George fan) and she said get over here quick because HE is here. I hadn’t seen Regina in years. I became quite tense, took a shower, looked for my best outfit and got dressed rather slowly, thinking there wouldn’t be enough time. Then I got in a taxi and went to the Warner Brothers offices, a house at the Jardim Botanico (Botanical Gardens) section of town.
When I arrived at the front of the house there were a lot of fans and I thought I wouldn’t be able to get in. Meanwhile, I spotted Frederico (Frederico Mendes, well-known Brazilian photographer and Christine’s ex-boyfriend) who was there to photograph George. I told him, “Frederico, I have to get in!”. He said stay close to me and come in with me. If anyone asks, you say you are Isabel, my wife. We got in, and so did Regina.
I arrived at the second floor, in a hallway with 3 or 4 closed doors and Frederico told me George was going to get out of this door and get into the door in front of it. There was a large table in this hallway and I sat on it.
A while later the door opened, George came out and got into the other door as planned. Andre Midani from Warner Bros. was with him. Frederico got in and I was hypnotized. They kept walking, I got in after Frederico and the door closed behind me.
George was relaxing between interviews, reading a magazine, having something to eat and drink and I was just looking at him. What I found most amazing was the color of his skin. The real person had a skin tone that no photo could reproduce. That was what most got my attention.
Frederico said for me to go talk to him so he could take a photo of us together. I thought – “What can I say to this man, I am already so happy to see him in person!”. But I did go. The only thing I could talk to him about - since I am an astrologer - was astrology.
I asked him at what time he was born and he said there was some confusion since he had been born around midnight but wasn’t sure if it was before or after the hour. He was also unsure because apparently they were on daylight savings time because of the war.
|George talks to Christine|
We talked about that, he signed two autographs for me, one of them on an envelope I got from his mother, but I was too shy to point that out to him. As you can see in the photo, for those brief moments he was concentrated on talking to me, which was so very special.
The other autograph is on a page I tore out of a book.
My English turned out really good. It seemed I had left England that day… I spent 10 to 15 minutes in that room.
He then started another interview and I stayed and watched.
I left the building by myself, walked down a hill to the main street, got on a bus and stopped for a Coke before coming home. That's when it started to hit me, that I had met my idol, my dream had come true... and it made me shiver inside.
P.S. From Lizzie: at that time, I was an assistant to a major Brazilian musician. His office was very near the Warner Bros. location, I could have walked there. When I got to work, I told him George would be there that day. He said, as a joke “Do you want to sit on his lap?”, then he said he could cal Mr. Midani at Warner Bros. and ask him to let me in. I went into a slight panic and said, no thanks.
I was still “traumatized” by having spent so many days standing outside EMI, Apple, Paul’s house, etc. and I thought George would be upset to see me. When I think back, that was a totally STUPID idea. Why would he be upset? I was in my city, would have been a guest of the Warner Bros. CEO at the time. You know when you wish you could turn back time and do the right thing? I do!