- How George Harrison Thought John Lennon’s Marriage Influenced the Beatles
- The success the band had achieved so far in 1964
- The Beatles Weren’t Worried About the Future
In 1964, only one member of The Beatles was married: John Lennon. Here’s what George Harrison thought of his bandmate’s wedding, how it affected the group’s image, and what the coming years had in store for The Beatles (including marriages for the rest of the group).
George Harrison at the wedding of John Lennon in 1964
John Lennon married Cynthia Lennon After getting pregnant in 1962. They remained married until 1968, when John left Cynthia for Yoko Ono. The former couple met in a calligraphy class at the Liverpool College of Art.
In 1964, Lennon was the only Beatle to be married. Harrison wrote about his friend’s wedding in his column for the Daily Express. He didn’t think it negatively affected the group, but he also thought the band (or, rather, their fans) could only handle a marriage.
“John did no harm,” he wrote with the help of Daily Express writer Derek Taylor, as recorded in the book George Harrison on George Harrison. “One married beetle is fine but two or more, no.”
At the time, he was writing about the longevity of the group – what the future holds for The Beatles. Eventually, more members will get married. What will happen to the band then?
“We can’t all be single forever,” he wrote. “And I don’t think the Beatles’ image can stand another marriage.”
The Beatles had already achieved massive success
In 1962, England was introduced to The Beatles with their single, “Love Me Do”. Exactly two years later, he was an international superstar. At the time, Harrison and the rest of the band felt there was nothing they couldn’t do.
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“We once thought there would be a broadcast [one of] The greatest things that can happen,” he wrote. “We got one. Then we thought TV would be fab. What happened. Then we wanted a series. Got one. The momentum picked up. The top of the bill at Palladium kicked us out with excitement. But the Royal show was great. The headlines and we thought nothing could be bigger than this. We went to Paris and found they liked us. Then we found out we topped the US hit parade. This, we thought, was the ultimate. What’s left to do Was? What? Carnegie Hall. The largest concert hall in the world. Is there anything bigger for us? The answer is probably yes.”
On the horizon was his film, a hard day’s Night, which opened even more doors for the group.
George Harrison wrote that the Beatles weren’t worried about the future
In 1964, The Beatles frequently asked the question, “How long are you going to last?”
“Many people want to know what the distant future holds for us,” Harrison wrote. “We don’t. We live for the present or, at the most, for the day after.
“That doesn’t mean we’re saying the future doesn’t matter,” he continued. “Just so that we don’t go looking for trouble in 1965 or 1984.”
Although the Beatles were not making a five-year plan at the time, they had big dreams.
“You haven’t seen anything yet,” Harrison wrote. “Remember we haven’t traveled beyond Northern Europe yet. A month ago we were completely clueless in America. Then all of a sudden it all happened. We all topped the charts. And we just got to personally Introducing. There’s a huge continent to conquer when we land at Idlewild on February 7. And there’s Australia, the Middle East, Africa, Canada. All these places to go and our first British record at No. 17 on the charts It’s only been 16 months since I arrived.
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Certainly things would change for the band, Harrison wrote, but in 1964, The Beatles were nowhere close to reaching the stars.
“We have years of life and high hopes as a foursome,” he wrote. “And although we will, one day, lose the position of the number one teen rave, although we may have to leave Liverpool and establish ourselves in London, and although we may all be married, there is still a lot of work to be done. And a lot more to sing.”