George Harrison’s Views on Police Enforcement in 1967: ‘The Moment They Put a Uniform on They’re Bullsh*tting Themselves’

When The Beatles first came on the scene, George Harrison was assigned the reputation of “the quiet Beatle.” Of course, as time went on, after enough interviews, he shed that title. By the late ’60s, he’d had a spiritual awakening and was often sharing his thoughts and feelings about the way the world worked. In one interview in 1967, he went off on a tangent about police and all the other people “who look at the scene negatively.”

1967: Beatles John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and George Harrison (1943 - 2001) in Newquay while filming 'The Magical Mystery Tour'.
John Lennon and George Harrison of The Beatles | Keystone Features/Getty Images

George Harrison’s thoughts on police enforcement in 1967

In an interview with the International Times in 1967, Harrison spoke at length about what it means to be part of police enforcement.

“All those nasty people aren’t really nasty if they’d realize it,” he said, as recorded in the book George Harrison on George Harrison. “All those policemen can’t be themselves and they’ve got to do that game and pretend to be a policemen and go all through that sh*t about what’s in the book, they’ve got to make themselves into a little part of themselves which is a lie and an untruth. The moment they put a uniform on they’re bullsh*tting themselves, just thinking that they’re policemen, because they are not policemen.

“They think that they created a thing called policemen and so then they try and enforce their creation on others and say ‘Now we’ve made a thing and it’s called The Police and we want you all to believe in it and it’s all for your own good and if you don’t look up to it you’ll get your a** kicked and you’ll go in the craphouse.'”

George Harrison’s rant about newspapers

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Police enforcement wasn’t the only subject the Beatle went on about. He made a point to air his grievances about newspapers as well. He particularly despised the emphasis they put on advertising.

“That things about the sales, thats all they’re concerned with how many… all this bullsh*t, on the front page how many papers we’ve sold today, and we’re selling more than the Daily Express, hup year,” he said. “All their silly little games, all that crap. And another thing they’re always saying. ‘The Daily Mirror carried 13,000 inches of advertising”— and f*ck-all to read, just a lot of sh*t. Actually bragging about how, it’s stupid isn’t it, it’s a newspaper, anyway, we forgive them, as always.”

Everybody’s pretending

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But just as Harrison felt police enforcement was pretending, and journalists, he said that we all are. Quoting William Shakespeare, the Beatle said: “The world is a stage.”

“Well he was right, because we’re Beatles, and it’s a little scene and we’re playing and we’re pretending to be Beatles, like Harold Wilson’s pretending to be Prime Minister and you’re pretending to be the the Interview on IT,” he said. “They’re all playing. The Queen’s the Queen. The idea that you wake up and it happens that you’re Queen, it’s amazing but you could all be Queens if you imagined it.”