George Harrison Said He Liked The Beatles’ ‘Polythene Pam’ Because It Reminded Him of Liverpool

Despite often having critical views of The Beatles‘ music, George Harrison did like some of his band’s songs, including “Polythene Pam.” He said it reminded him of his home, Liverpool, and the risqué songs people used to sing there. It wasn’t a bad rock ‘n’ roll tune either.

George Harrison in a colored jacket in Munich, Germany, 1988.
George Harrison | United Archives/Getty Images

George Harrison said he enjoyed The Beatles’ ‘Polythene Pam’ because it reminded him of Liverpool

For decades after The Beatles’ split, and even occasionally during their lifetime, George often revealed his contradicting views of his band. On the one hand, he thought what they did culturally was astounding and sometimes didn’t believe what a significant phenomenon they were. Meanwhile, George couldn’t help but question whether what The Beatles accomplished was all that good.

However, George revealed he thought some songs were good, including “Polythene Pam.”

During an interview for The Beatles’ Anthology, George said, “I liked ‘Polythene Pam because of its Liverpool-ness. [Sings with a heavy Liverpudlian accent] ‘She’s the kind of a girl that makes the ‘News of the World’/ Yes, you could say she was attractively built.’ Nobody writes kind of comic stuff but that still has a certain seriousness about it.”

George also loved that ‘Polythene Pam’ was a true rock ‘n’ roll song

In Anthology, George continued to explain that he liked that “Polythene Pam” was a true rock ‘n’ roll song.

He said, “Like ‘Polythene Pam’ was like a really good rock ‘n’ roll song really, but it bothers me sometimes when something is so obviously funny, and nobody laughs, and nobody ever gets it.”

Interestingly, George called “Polythene Pam” a good rock ‘n’ roll song. He once said he didn’t think The Beatles made rock ‘n’ roll.

In 1992, during an interview with Bob Coburn on Rockline (per George Harrison on George Harrison), George said, “You know, nobody is doing rock ‘n’ roll anymore, to my concept of rock ‘n’ roll,” he said. “There is none, there’s none left, except all that old stuff.

“I don’t even think the Beatles did rock ‘n’ roll, really. We took music, popular music, into other areas, but … we could rock when we did live shows and stuff, but I don’t think our music was rock, not like Little Richard. That was the greatest stuff. Larry Williams? Can’t beat it.”

Despite his thought on what kind of music The Beatles made, George couldn’t deny that “Polythene Pam” had that rock ‘n’ roll feel. He contributed to its sound by adding those hard guitar licks.


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The spiritual Beatles thought ‘Abbey Road’ was a good album

George didn’t only like “Polythene Pam.” In 1969, George told David Wigg (per George Harrison on George Harrison) that he liked many of the songs on Abbey Road.

“I thought it was quite nice,” he said. “On the whole I think it’s a pretty good album. I like … I like—my favorite one is, I think, ‘Because.’ Just because I like three-part harmony. We’ve never done something like that for years, I think, since a B-side, [sings opening line to ‘Yes It Is’] ‘If you wear red tonight, and what I said tonight.’

“So I like that. I like, I dunno—I like lots of them. I like ‘You Never Give Me Your Money‘ and ‘Golden Slumbers’ and things.”

Interesting, considering the next thing George said was that he didn’t know if any of The Beatles’ songs would’ve been hits if any other band in the world had recorded them.