Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A trip to England in 1969

We have all seen Pat Kinzer's great photographs of George Harrison at Kinfauns in 1969.   And if you have her book, Do you Wanna Know a Secret, you have read about it.   While the book is one of my all time favorites, it doesn't go into a lot of detail about that trip, most likely because she didn't get to spend as much time with George as she did in 1968.  So I have typed up from the Harrison Herald the story of when she and her two friends went to England and got to see George.      

Harrison Herald
September 1969
By Pat Kinzer

I had a wonderful three weeks in England this year, as many of you know.  I could never begin to tell you all about it in the newsletter.  However, I have prepared a 13 page trip diary telling about the trip in detail.  If you would like a copy of this, you’ll welcome to it.  All I ask is that you send me a long, self-addressed stamped envelope with 2 6 cent stamps on it.   Since I can’t tell you about everything happened in this newsletter, I made up a list or two of some “interesting” things which is meant to be slightly humorous…but if you don’t laugh, that’s okay because I’m not exactly a born comedian!  Also, I’m printing an exert from my trip diary telling all about the day we (Pat, Lynn and myself) went to visit George at his home.  And now for my humorous lists:

Happiness is:  Heathrow Airport with sun shining for a change…staying in a hotel around the corner from Apple…George’s ponytail…Getting some sleep for a change….2 pm at EMI…”Orangie” orange juice…Paul’s green mini…Kevin and Mal both coming to the EMI door at the same time and realizing that someone’s either coming or going…Chasing Ringo up the stairs to get a good picture, and then running into him and ending up with a close-up of his right eyeball…leaving Paul’s house before the cops come around the corner…Hyde Park on a Sunday….realizing that it was Paul behind the wheel of the car that almost ran you down…seeing John and Yoko giving the peace sign with their hands as they drive away in their white Rolls…running around like idiots in the grass at Hyde Park just to let off some steam and relax…a light burring in the window of Apple late at night…touching John Lennon and realizing that he’s real after all…Ringo saying “Excuse me” when you’re standing in front of him trying to take a picture…George’s Mercedes parked outside Apple…singing “Hare Krishna” outside EMI while watching playback of the song they just recorded…looking at all the mail Mrs. Harrison gets and thanking God that I don’t get that much…Hearing “Remember Love” for the first time on Mr. and Mrs. Harrison’s stereo…the round-about and the policemen in Penny Lane…taking a “ferry across the Mersey”…standing outside the house that George was born in….seeming the primary school George, Paul and John went to and being thankful that I never had to go there….looking at George’s nephew Ian in amazement because he looks just like George did in baby pictures…the Esher train station after riding trains from Liverpool all day just to get there…talking to George at his home and not having to introduce myself because he already knows me…George’s eyes….watching George crack up after being asked to sign a Postcard of Esher…talking about Thames Ditton singing “Little Boxes Made of Ticky Tack”…Mal Evans supplying water form EMI for taking pills and fixing contact lenses…Pat mistaking Heather for Linda on Paul’s intercom system…getting winked at by Mal…shaking to death all the way up Claremont Drive and then wondering why I was shaking…Ringo….John….Paul…George…

Misery is…lugging 8 suitcases from one end of England to the other when there’s only three of you to carry them…warm Coke…being so sleepy you don’t’ know if it’s 5am or 5pm…riding a London bus…the rising cost of room service in the hotels….a copy guarding Paul’s house until after Paul has gone…tipped thirty cents for a twenty-four cent taxi ride and not realizing it until later….sore feet…missing the Hare Krishna march in Hyde Park because you didn’t hear the announcement of the date change due to the fact that you were at Hyde Park waiting for it to start—on the wrong day…getting lost in the Tube when you’re starving to death…finding out that George spent the whole day at Apple and you didn’t know it because you were out seeing lousy movies just to pass the time….seeing George’s car outside of Apple and finding out that it was only Terry who was there…sleeping thru the alarm when you have to check out of the hotel by noon…walking five miles when you’ve only had four hours of sleep the previous night…walking around dark alleys in Liverpool late at night…to miss seeing Jackie Lomax at Apple because you were busy watching the Rolling Stones on TV…seeing the Beatles leave EMI after the last recording session…watching the nude scene in “Hair” when you’re entirely too close to the stage…hearing guitars coming from Savile Row but not being able to find where they’re coming from…getting on the plane to go back home.

Here is the exert from my diary about the day we went to George’s:  Monday August 4, 1969
Got up about 9:00 and ate breakfast.  Mrs. Damon (the lady we were staying with in Surrey) took us to Kingston so Pat could rent another movie camera.  From Kingston we took a bus to Esher, bought postcards and flowers and then went straight to George’s house.  Since Pat and I had been there last year, we found it without any trouble whatsoever.  Then we got there, Terry Doran was out washing George’s Mercedes in the garage and politely tried to pretend we weren’t really there.  Went to the door and Lynn rang the bell.  Margaret (the housekeeper) answered.  I asked her of George was in and she said he was but he was busy getting ready to go to work.  I told her I’d sent him a registered letter and that I was his fan club president from the States so she said to wait a minute.   She came back and said he’d see us for a few minutes and asked us to wait.  A couple minutes later, George came out.  I introduced Pat and Lynn to him (I had forgotten to introduce anybody last year).  He was wearing fared blue jeans, a sort of blue pinstriped shirt, a black jacket and black shoes.  His eyes are just as piercing as they ever were!  I asked him if he’d gotten my letter and he said he thought he did.  We knew he was in a rush to get to work, so I started to give him all the gifts and letters from various people.  I was about to hand him a note (without any envelope) from Pegi and he asked me if I had to give him small bits of paper because they get lost too easily.  So I merely explained that Pegi wanted to write a book about him and Pattie, just as people, and she just wanted to have his permission first.  He said she couldn’t write a book about him because she didn’t know that much about him.  He said he couldn’t even write a book about himself let alone someone else trying to do it.  He took the gifts in the house.  Lynn handed him the flowers we got, and he took them and asked her if they were for Hare Krishna.  Then I said we saw them recording the Hare Krishna song the other day and he said they were just listening to the playback.  He then commented that we were having good weather for our trip this year.  I said that anything was better than last year’s cold wave.  He then asked how we got the money to come to England every year.  I said we saved all winter!  All during this time we were taking pictures.  I asked him if he’d mind singing a few things and he said he didn’t.  I gave him a birthday card for club members that I had half-designed, and asked him to write the message on it, which he did.  Pat gave him some postcards of Esher to sign and he took one look at them and said, “Esher???” and cracked up.  He signed some pictures and scraps of paper for me and five Beatles Monthlies for Lynn.  Pat took some movies of him which I’m dying to see.  I only took about 5 pictures of him, but Lynn took 19 which is great since she’s our club photographer!  George was really rushed for time (he was eating breakfast when we got there).  We only stayed for about 15 minutes.  When we took the last pictures of him, he said, “Not don’t’ come back next year and get me to sign the ones you just took!”  We thanked him for his time, said our goodbyes, gathered up our junk and left.  We walked up Claremont Drive taking our good old time and taking pictures.  We were almost at the end of the road when Terry and George drove up the road real fast (rushing as usual) to the studio.  We ate lunch in the Wimpy Bar and then went shopping before going back to Thames Ditton.


  1. 1969 all over again with the gorgeous man

  2. Well, it’s a nice one, I have been looking for. Thanks for sharing such informative stuff.