George Harrison loved all Beatles fans. However, he had a hard time understanding some of them. He had a problem with the fans who wanted the group to live on, despite their issues with each other as bandmates or how much they wanted to move on.
How much Beatles fans loved the group didn’t amaze George Harrison
During a 1974 press conference (per George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters), a reporter asked George if he was “amazed by how much the Beatles still mean to people today.”
It didn’t impress George. Actually, he thought it was a problem that some people were still attached to the band. Living in the past was not good. “Not really,” he said. “It’s nice. I realize the Beatles did fill a space in the ’60s, and all the people the Beatles mean anything to have grown up. It’s like anything; if you grow up with something you get attached to it.
“One of the problems in our lives is that we get attached to things. I can understand that the Beatles did nice things and it’s appreciated that people still like them. The problem comes when they want to live in the past, when they want to hold on to something. People are afraid of change.”
George didn’t like that some Beatles fans wanted the group to live on
The Beatles fans who yearned for them to reunite continued to frustrate George. It didn’t help that interviewers brought it up in virtually every post-Beatles interview George did. During a 1979 interview, Rolling Stone mentioned people didn’t want the memory of The Beatles to die. “There’s an incredible need people still feel to have the Beatles,” they wrote.
At some point, George had grown sick of people wanting to live in the past. Then, he thought it was a little selfish of some Beatles fans to want a reunion. Were George and his bandmates supposed to completely disregard their personal and financial problems, their well-being, wanting to explore other things, and whatever else just so Beatles fans could have more music?
George bluntly replied, “Well, they’ve got ’em. They’ve got the films – Help!, A Hard Day’s Night, Let It Rot, Tragical History Tour. They’ve got lots and lots of songs they can play forever. But what do they want? Blood? They want us all to die like Elvis Presley?
“The Beatles fortunately did that hit-and-run. But every year we were Beatling was like twenty years; so although it might only have been five or six years it seemed like eternity. That was enough for me, I don’t have any desire to do all that.
“It might have been fun for everybody else, but we never saw the Beatles. We’re the only four people who never got to see us. [Laughing] Everybody got on a trip, you see, that was the thing. We were just four relatively sane people in the middle of madness.
“People used us as an excuse to trip out, and we were the victims of that. That’s why they want the Beatles to go on, so they can all get silly again. But they don’t have consideration for our well-being when they say, ‘Let’s have the Fab Four again.'”
George didn’t think people wanted to see the group record again
The guitarist told Rolling Stone that he “never” wanted to be with The Beatles again. George pointed out that being in the band wasn’t always easy. There were a lot of times when Beatlemania got dangerous. “Not in this life or any other life,” he said. “I mean, a lot of the time it was fantastic, but when it really got into the mania it was a question of either stop or end up dead.
“It was aging me. But we had a great time. I think fondly of it all.”
Unfortunately, reporters never stopped asking George about a Beatles reunion. Count Down Holland asked him about possibly recording with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. By 1988, George didn’t think Beatles fans truly wanted them to record together again. He’d recently come to terms with being in the group and didn’t think they were that good.
Count Down said the whole world was waiting for it. “Nah, they’re not waiting at all,” George replied. “There’s about six people waiting. I’m serious. Well, it depends; if we end up being good friends again, it will happen naturally. But we can’t force anything.
“There were times I thought they got carried away with The Beatles. The Beatles were good, and sometimes I think, ‘But they weren’t that good.’ But then other times, I look around and see other things that’s happened, and then I think, ‘Well, actually, they were very good.’ Because there’s not much else-there’s a couple of things- mainly the old rock ‘n’ roll I like a lot, but I don’t hear a lot of things since The Beatles.
“I mean, there’s some good music, but nobody actually says anything of any much value. Maybe Bob Dylan.”
George wrestled with The Beatles’ legacy for a long time. Coming to terms with it all helped, as did attending the group’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 1988. He understood why Beatles fans wanted more. However, George didn’t like that fans continued to want a piece of him. All George wanted was to live in peace and privacy. Nothing he did, including making music, was for anyone but himself and God.