John Lennon Thought He Deserved a Much More Prominent Place in George Harrison’s Book

by Jeremy Spirogis
George Harrison and John Lennon speaking as Yoko Ono looks on in 1968

When Paul McCartney had George Harrison play guitar for John Lennon in 1958, George was 14 and regarded even youthful. Thinking again on these days earlier than The Beatles existed, George famous how he small he was — and the way he most likely appeared to the 17-year-old John and his artwork faculty buddies.

“I think he did feel a bit embarrassed about that because I was so tiny,” George instructed Crawdaddy Magazine in 1977. “I only looked about 10 years old.” But George might play guitar elements from the nice Sun Records releases of the day. That was sufficient to get him into John and Paul’s band.

Two many years later, after the Beatles’ unparalleled success — each as a gaggle and solo artists — John nonetheless considered George as somebody he’d helped make. “I think George still bears resentment toward me for being a daddy who left home,” John mentioned within the 1980 Playboy interviews collected in All We Are Saying.

And since he thought their relationship started as “one of young follower and older guy,” John thought he ought to have had a way more important place in George’s 1980 e book, I Me Mine. John felt disillusioned that didn’t occur.

John Lennon felt his affect on George Harrison warranted a a lot greater point out in ‘I Me Mine’

George Harrison and John Lennon speaking as Yoko Ono looks on in 1968
May 1968: John Lennon and George Harrison communicate on the opening of a Beatles store in London. | M. McKeown/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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I Me Mine, first launched in ’80 in a restricted version of two,000 copies, featured George’s music lyrics together with some autobiographical materials and commentary. Derek Taylor, the Beatles’ longtime press officer, helped within the e book’s creation with a foreword and narration.

After getting maintain of a duplicate, John didn’t recognize the shortage of Lennon-related content material. “By glaring omission in the book, my influence on his life is absolutely zilch and nil,” he mentioned in All We Are Saying. “I was just left out, as if I didn’t exist.”

John famous that George had talked about different musicians in I Me Mine. However, he didn’t see his personal identify amongst them. “He remembers every two-bit sax player or guitarist he met in subsequent years. I’m not in the book.”

Yoko Ono got here to George’s protection for the therapy of John in ‘I Me Mine’

Beatles George and John at a 1965 press conferenceBeatles George and John at a 1965 press conference
George Harrison and John Lennon of The Beatles communicate at a press convention in 1965. | Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

While George didn’t embody a lot of something about John in I Me Mine, he did the identical as regards to most issues Fab Four. “George more of less omits to tell … what happened in the years of The Beatles,” Blake Morrison wrote in a 2002 Guardian evaluation.

All instructed, of the 400 pages in I Me Mine, Morrison famous that solely 60 rely as autobiographical. Clearly, George might have written all about The Beatles however determined towards it. So although John felt slighted by the shortage of mentions George seemingly didn’t intend that.

In All We Are Saying, John’s spouse Yoko Ono got here to George’s protection on this level. “I don’t think he really meant it,” Yoko mentioned. (John had simply spoken at size of how George adopted him round like a fan within the early years.) “The book was probably edited by people around him.”

When John disagreed, Yoko held her floor. “I think he was strongly not advised to mention–” she continued earlier than John minimize her off. “Not mentioned once!” he mentioned. Before the interview ended for the day John requested so as to add a word.

“I am slightly resentful of George’s book but don’t get me wrong,” he mentioned. “I still love those guys. The Beatles are over but John, Paul, George, and Ringo go on.”

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