- What were the Beatles behind closed doors, according to George Harrison?
- Blaming the Beatles Was a Defense Mechanism
- But he couldn’t hide his excitement about playing in America.
In The Beatles’ heyday, each member was portrayed as a larger-than-life caricature of a rock star. But what were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr really like? Harrison answers that question in one of his columns for the Daily Express in 1964. Here’s how each of the Beatles worked behind closed doors, and why they kept that famously “blass” attitude.
The personality of the Beatles from the point of view of George Harrison
“A lot of crap has been written about our personalities,” wrote Harrison with the help of daily Express Author Derek Taylor, as recorded in the book George Harrison on George Harrison. So he went straight to making the record himself.
“John is supposed to be a relaxed, concise comedian,” he began. “But it’s not the whole picture or even true. John is a bit shy, defensive, always mindful of people, interested in their motives and not always pleased with what he finds.”
On the other hand, the star was the “party boy” of the group.
“In public, Ringo sings less and says less,” Harrison wrote. “But personally he is a far-flung star of the four of us party boy. He talks a lot, in a funny way, in a dry, extravagant manner. She is the one with whom the girls want to dance. Life and Spirit. “
And then there’s McCartney.
“Paul, easy, wide eyes,” he wrote. “Paul has hidden the depths. He has strong views on everything, great belief in himself and immense ambition. He is a born leader, though no one takes the lead within the Beatles.”
George Harrison writes about The Beatles’ famously ‘blass’ attitude
“As a foursome we are aware of our success: grateful and pleased but no more than that,” Harrison wrote. “We never boast and try not to think with pride, because we know there’s a rock to the point where vanity exceeds confidence. And we’re not ready to die just yet.”
His collective disaffected personality was the result of an effort to process all the amazing things that were happening to him at the time.
“With so much happening over the past year we have built a defense mechanism to keep things in perspective,” he wrote. “We have been deliberately blasphemed because if we hadn’t we would have gone round the corner with nervous excitement.”
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That’s why he used to joke so much.
“We’re getting most of our kicks from soft things—like singing the wrong line or almost missing a plane,” Harrison wrote. “As the four of us when you’re together – and often under pressure – you laugh at the simple things. We play life slow and that’s how we avoid rows.”
This easy-going, funny attitude also helped keep the peace.
He wrote, “We never have bad arguments, which is amazing because beneath the surface there is so much artistic flair and one of us just doesn’t like the other.”
The Beatles were excited to move to America
But there was one thing that got The Beatles outwardly excited, and that was traveling to America to play Carnegie Hall.
“John, Paul, Ringo and I are full of confidence,” Harrison wrote. “For once we went out with excitement and anticipation.”
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Their mission was to prove to their American audience that the Beatles really deserved the hype.
“We will step into the piercing spotlight on the great stage at Carnegie Hall and sing and play as much as we can, as we always and always do,” he wrote. “There’s no more we can do than that and we believe that will be enough.”
It was enough.