George Harrison Shared Why He Felt Closer to John Lennon Than Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr
When George Harrison met John Lennon, he began to idolize him. Harrison was several years younger than Lennon and wanted to spend as much time as possible with the older boy. As they aged, their relationship changed through their collaboration in The Beatles. While Harrison often felt frustrated with Lennon, he also said that he felt closer to him than his other bandmates. Here’s what contributed to this shift in their relationship.
George Harrison shared what his relationship was like with John Lennon
In the mid-1960s, every member of The Beatles took acid. Paul McCartney was the most cautious about the drug, but Lennon and Harrison took it often. Harrison thought that this improved their relationship.
“After taking acid together, John and I had a very interesting relationship,” Harrison said in The Beatles Anthology. “That I was younger or I was smaller was no longer any kind of embarrassment with John. Paul still says, ‘I suppose we looked down on George because he was younger.’ That is an illusion people are under. It’s nothing to do with how many years old you are, or how big your body is. It’s down to what your greater consciousness is and if you can live in harmony with what’s going on in creation.”
Their shared consciousness brought them closer than they’d ever been.
“John and I spent a lot of time together from then on and I felt closer to him than all the others, right through until his death,” he said. “As Yoko came into the picture, I lost a lot of personal contact with John; but on the odd occasion I did see him, just by the look in his eyes I felt we were connected.”
The two Beatles rarely saw each other as the 1970s wore on
The Beatles spent much of their time together in the 1960s, but they drifted apart in the 1970s. Harrison said that while he maintained contact with Lennon, they rarely saw each other in person.
“Paul and Ringo I see from time to time. I haven’t seen John for a couple of years,” Harrison told Rolling Stone in 1979. “I get postcards from him – it sounds like the Rutles [smiling], but he keeps in touch with tapping on the table and postcards.”
According to some, Harrison and Lennon also clashed often in the 1970s. According to Lennon’s girlfriend, May Pang, Harrison once shouted at Lennon for not being there for him when he needed him.
John Lennon didn’t initially like George Harrison
Harrison immediately liked Lennon, but the feeling did not go both ways. Lennon thought Harrison was too young to join his band and would damage their reputation.
“I think [John] did feel a bit embarrassed about that because I was so tiny,” Harrison said, per the book George Harrison: Behind the Locked Door by Graeme Thomson. “I only looked about ten years old.”
Harrison often dropped by Lennon’s house unannounced, which Lennon resented.
“He came round once and asked me to go to the pictures with him but I pretended I was busy,” Lennon said. “I didn’t dig him on first sight.”
Luckily, they were able to establish a better relationship over the years.