Monday, 7 September 2015

Which Beatle had two birthdays?

George Harrison spent most of his life believing his birthday was February 25, 1943.
Very late on a family document revealed that this was erroneous. Perhaps the confusion came from the fact that George was not born at home but  in a small terraced house (with outside toilet) in Wavetree, Liverpool. The official time-of-birth is recorded as 23.50, February 24.

Age was always a problematic question for George.  Part of his later resentment about being undervalued as a Beatle was grounded in the fact that he had always been the youngest (and by implication the most junior) member of the  group. 

In fact, the three (school) year age gap  initially made John Lennon very reluctant to allow George to join The Quarrymen. And George's early hero-worship of his band leader brought out the harsher side of Lennon:
I couldn't be bothered with him when he first came around. He used to follow me around like a bloody kid, hanging around all the time. He was a kid who played guitar and he was a friend of Paul's which made it easier. It took me years to come around to him, to start considering him as an equal.
In Hamburg, George's youth caused a serious practical problem which forced him to (temporarily) leave the band. 


On 20 November 1960, he was deported when the police discovered he was under eighteen.  This was a difficult experience for George, particularly as The Beatles had just been engaged at a much more prestigious club.
It was a long journey on my own on the train to the Hook of Holland. From there I got the day boat. It seemed to take ages and I didn't have much money - I was praying I'd have enough. I had to get from Harwich to Liverpool Street Station and then a taxi across to Euston. From there I got a train to Liverpool. I can remember it now: I had an amplifier that I'd bought in Hamburg and a crappy suitcase and things in boxes, paper bags with my clothes in, and a guitar. I had too many things to carry and was standing in the corridor of the train with my belongings around me, and lots of soldiers on the train, drinking. I finally got to Liverpool and took a taxi home - I just about made it. I got home penniless. It took everything I had to get me back. source
The Beatles Digital Teaching Teaching Pack  (£3.99) 

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