With the tenth anniversary of Beatle George Harrison’s death yesterday, Harrison’s sister Louise says she’s planning to write a book about her famous brother. She says she's hoping to correct inaccurate accounts that have been released over the years.
Harrison, who is now 80, says she will be able to bring a perspective no one else would because of her closeness to her brother and her memories of the Quarrymen and the Beatles when they were a fledgling band.
“Half of the stuff has been written by people who spent maybe an hour on a plane with the Beatles,” Harrison said in an interview with the Herald-Tribune. “There's been all kinds of myths and fantasies written about them. At least I have some facts to go on, because I was there – from even before they were the Beatles.”
Harrison said she hopes to include never-before-seen photos as well as letters between herself and her brother. She says she’ll also provide insight into how the Beatles started on their meteoric rise to fame, including how, she says, she was the one to convince them to make their historic appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Harrison was already living in America at the time.
“I told [Brian Epstein] that the Beatles weren’t getting any airplay over here," she said. "That they really needed to play on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,’ which they had never heard of but it was the most popular show on television, and that they needed to find a major record label here.”
Harrison says she’ll also be putting to rest some Beatles myths, including the idea that her brother was “the quiet Beatle.” She says the reason for this label was George Harrison getting sick before the band’s interviews in New York before their “Ed Sullivan” performance.
“George was told to use his voice as little as possible,” Harrison told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “That's why at all the press conferences he was so quiet, and so the press thought he was the quiet one. George used to have a good laugh about it.”
Harrison’s ex-husband Walt Kane will also be contributing to the book. He told the Herald-Tribune how Harrison implemented more stringent security measures at his home after John Lennon’s death in 1980, electrifying fences and using a bodyguard.
“He said, ‘It takes only one maniac to take me out,’ ” Kane remembered. “He got tired of the fame; he just wanted to be a gardener. He said he was planting for the next generation.”
Harrison said her brother worried about her after Lennon’s death.
“He did say to me, ‘Don’t be too out in the public, because I don’t want some lunatic to have their 15 minutes of fame,’” she told the Herald-Tribune. “He was more worried about his family than himself. That was George.”
Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.