Who was 'late but very clean'?
Soon after first seeing them at the Cavern, Brian Epstein invited The Beatles for a formal meeting at his office. This was arranged for the afternoon of Sunday 3rd December 1961 at 4.30.
Epstein wanted to manage the band but had doubts about their reliability and professionalism. The Beatles for their part had achieved success in Hamburg and Liverpool but had no record deal or national profile
John, George and Pete took the bus to the meeting. They arrived on time - but after forty five minutes there was still no sign of Paul.
A call was made to the McCartney family home. This revealed that Paul had just got up and was having a bath. Epstein exploded, "How can he be so late for such and important meeting?"
To which Harrison famously replied, "He may be late but he's very clean".
A frosty silence melted into laughter.
Why was Paul so late?
On one level Paul's lateness was symptomatic of what Epstein saw as impeding The Beatles: a general sloppiness when it came to important details.
In retrospect, it also hinted that the usually reliable McCartney was not yet convinced that Brian was the right manager for them.
This is how John remembered it, "Three of us chose Epstein. Paul used to sulk...he's more conservative.'
John's impetuosity would often land him in water hotter than that in Paul's bath. But as he later pointed out "I made a lot mistakes, character wise, but now and then I made a good one and Brian was one."
'Right Brian, manage us." 4 minute free read on Medium