Thanks, George

It’s certainly not very clear in the photo, but written on George’s chin and neck is “To Dennis, Best Wishes, George Harrison.”

I’ve always been a big Beatles fan, right from the beginning. I was a fan before they even played the Ed Sullivan Show. I went through my teen years with them. I saw them live in Toronto during their last-ever tour. I got drunk and stoned listening to them, and, if I was very lucky, made out with chicks in back seats of cars or at parties to the sound of George, Paul, John, and Ringo.

I still love the Beatles, and I especially like The White Album.

Along with great tunes, the White Album contained four 8×10’s of Beatle head shots, and at one point in my life, I decided that having at least one signed would be a nice thing. I knew George lived in a castle outside of London called Friar Park, so I put George’s picture from the White Album into an envelope, enclosed a self-addressed envelope, and added a Sharpie pen and a dollar. Then I mailed it to Friar Park and waited.

It was months later, but out of the blue, stuck in my mail slot, was the envelope. It was mangled pretty bad, in fact it looked like it had been handled by someone very angry, but it came back signed. The dollar was gone and he used a thin-tipped pen, not the Sharpie.

Of course I can’t be sure if George signed it, but it looks like he did when I compare it other examples. Maybe it was the laundry lady or the guy who waxed his Bentley. I believe it’s his signature, although I feel he didn’t want to.

I have a theory about what happened and why the envelope looked like it had been through a war. George hated touring, fans screaming, and all that went with being a Beatle. He was one of the first of the four who entertained the idea of the Beatles breaking up.

He probably would have hated to see a letter requesting an autograph. So he opened up my package, cursed, rolled it up in a ball, and threw it in the garbage. Of course his wife Olivia, the level-headed one, would have been disgusted with his performance and told him he shouldn’t do that, that a nice Canadian fan wanted an autograph and how hard would it be? Heck, a staff member would even take it the post office.

So George reluctantly retrieved it from the garbage, muttered something about her probably being right, and signed it. He kept the dollar because it was his way of protesting, but why did he change pens?

Hmmm.

I think when he scrunched it up in anger and threw it in the waste basket, the Sharpie broke. So he grabbed another, which had a fine tip. He also thought to himself, “I’m being forced to do this so the signature’s going to suck a little. Hah!”

Olivia just shook her head at his little tantrum. “Ringo doesn’t act like this,” she replied sternly. “The meditating just isn’t working. Now get up and help me with the groceries.”

 

One thought on “Thanks, George”

  1. This is a great treasure Dennis. I wonder if you can have it authenticated in some way.
    Like you, I was a Beatles fan from the get-go. I remember hanging around the record department at our local Towers store and how kind of eerie and mysterious was when I first laid eyes on the cover of Beatlemania, with showed their faces in half-light.
    I was fortunate to see them the first time in Toronto in 1964.
    Being so young, I didn’t even realize that regardless of not being able to hear virtually a single note what with all of the hysteria in Maple Leaf Gardens, but the show itself lasted only about half an hour.

    On another note..

    Apropos to the blog you posted a few months ago, I wanted to tell you about me hitchhiking to California, hanging at the iconic birthplace of the Doors, who I idolized, the Whiskey-a-Go-Go and seeing the Grateful Dead in San Francisco at Filmore East on the third last night before it closed for good in 1971.

    The summer of ’71. I remember walking down Sunset Blvd in LA on a beautiful hot sunny July afternoon, maybe I was high but I can’t remember, and stopping in my tracks as my eye caught the headline inside a sidewalk newspaper box…JIm Morrison was dead. It was so surreal to me because you couldn’t be anywhere in LA that summer without tracks from LA Woman playing everywhere.

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