By the 1990s, George Harrison was used to authors writing books about him. Some were more truthful than others. However the authors chose to portray him in their books, George couldn’t complain.
George Harrison used to be written in books
Since the Beatles rose to fame, the press and other writers have written about George. The fan magazine made false accusations and the press held meaningless interviews and stereotyped the group.
In the early 1960s, Larry Kane spoke with George about Beatles fan magazines (for George Harrison on George Harrison: interviews and encounters). The radio DJ asked if the rumors bothered him. They did it.
“It drives you up a wall sometimes,” George replied. “Since we’ve been here, they’ve been asking us, ‘Is John leaving?’ Well, the news today is that I’m leaving. You know, it’s just because some idiot in Hollywood wrote in the papers that I’m leaving, so now I’ll have for weeks people coming over and over and asking me, ‘Is it true you’re leaving? ?’
It was also at the start of the Beatles’ career. Imagine how tiring the rumors became towards the end of the band’s life and beyond. In 1969, George turned stupid lies into jokes.
In 1992 Bob Coburn of Rockline (by George Harrison on George Harrison) asked George, “It’s common knowledge that you’re a pretty private person, and I was wondering, with all the multitudes of books and articles and movies and TV specials and everything that’s been documented about you – and the Beatles, of course, does it bother you to think that there are so many people who know so much about you probably better than you know yourself?”
George replied, “I don’t mind that side, really. It’s been going on for a long time, so I got used to it in the 60s.”
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George couldn’t complain about what the authors said about him in their books
The authors and the press did not leave George alone after the Beatles. Once the group became nostalgic, more and more writers began writing articles about the Fab Four. However, their material was not always factual.
George told Coburn, “What bothers me is what information they know, where what they think they know me is okay, because most of the time you read things that are absolutely wrong, and you feel, or a writer has given you the impression, that his concept of who I am. And that’s the only problem, that’s what bothers me.
However, George couldn’t do much about what the authors said about him in their books. Coburn asked, “What do you do in these cases?” Sometimes you let it slide, and other times you’re like, ‘Hey, I can’t stand this…’?
George replied, “I think ninety-nine percent of the time I let it slide. ‘Cause the moment you get tense [and] I start saying, “Hey, this book stinks, it’s not true”, all I do is give the book more publicity.
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The former Beatle said the authors maliciously wrote
In 1987, George told Charles Bermant (per George Harrison on George Harrison) that most authors wrote books about the Beatles out of malice.
Bermant asked, “If I had read all the Beatles books and seen all the documentaries, generally speaking, what would I have missed?”
“A lot of things in books are [sic] wrong,” George said. “A lot of them are written out of malice, or by people with axes to grind for one reason or another. And they’ve perverted some things for their own gain.
“Few people are actually factual and honest. There’s a saying in the old house I have, it’s in Latin, translated it says, ‘Those who say all they have to say say more than they know.’ So you probably know more about the Beatles from reading these books than there actually was.
On what people miss, George said, “Well, there’s this expression, you don’t see the forest for the trees. Basically, the Beatles phenomenon was larger than life. The reality was that we were only four people as caught up in what was going on at that time as anyone else.
Outside of print, many Beatles films, documentaries, and even musicals have attempted to tell the Beatles story. However, they also made things for their own profit. If there was one thing George hated most about his legacy, it was the lies people told about him and the Beatles.
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