The Day I Met George

By S. Logans, posted on RMB

This really is in reply to a post asking for info from people who met one or more of the Beatles, but I can't find the original request to reply to.

I used to work in the travel industry and had entree to some of the VIP lounges. One day in 1987 (or was it '88?) I had to fly from LA to Boston on business. I got to the airport early and went to the American Airlines Admirals' Club to hang around. As I went in, a friend of mine who worked there saw me and whispered, "Guess who's here today...George Harrison!" I asked where, and my friend nodded toward a remote section of the club near the bar (the place has been remodeled since then). I saw a long-haired guy wearing giant sunglasses. I remember thinking he looked more like someone trying to look like George than the real guy. Must have seen "A Hard Day's Night" too many times...

Now George had been my idol since I saw the Beatles first appearance on Sullivan. I knew, somehow, I had to meet him since I'd probably never have the chance again.

So I did what anyone in my position would do. I went to the bar and had a glass of wine to steady my nerves. And this was like 7:30 in the morning.

As I tried to think of something to say to George, the woman who was with him (I guessed she was either a "meet-and-greet" person from either American or a travel agency) walked off, leaving him alone.

Finishing my wine, I walked over to George and said, "George, 20 some-odd years ago I started playing guitar because of you and I just wanted to thank you for introducing me to something that's given me a lot of pleasure for a long time." Much to my surprise, instead of saying something like, "Thanks, now go away," he asked, "Do you still play?" I hadn't been in a band for years so I said, "Yeah, but now it's mostly just to piss off the neighbors." He laughed and invited me to join him.

I sat down on a couch with him and suddenly the hundreds of questions I'd been saving up for just such a meeting each evaporated. I looked at him. He looked at me. Finally, since the second batch of their albums had recently come out on CD (does anyone remember which year that was?), I said I had been listening to "And Your Bird Can Sing" on the way to the airport. I asked him how he played the lead. He said, "Oh yeah, I was just listening to that too. I liked that song. Actually, I played one part and Paul played the other part." I said, "Great, I've been trying to learn it for all this time and now you tell me it took *two* of you guys to do it!" We both laughed.

I asked him if he still owned what I refer to as "the guitar," the Rickenbacker 360-12 he used during the "A Hard Day's Night" era. He said, "Oh yeah!," like he'd never give it up. I asked if it was the first one made and he said no, some American lady had the first, that his was the second one, which came as a big surprise to me. Then he said, "A friend of you know Tom Petty? I said I'd heard of him. George continued, "He has one just like it."

I don't remember much else of the conversation. It wasn't really long but it was great. The lady escorting him eventually came back and told him his flight was leaving and they had to go. He stood up, smiled (and it was only when I saw his goofy-toothed smile that I kind of really felt like it was the real George, odd huh? Does this answer some questions I saw about dental work?) and we shook hands. He had a very gentle grip, and I remembered how "gentlemanly" he shook hands when I had seen him so many years before on Ed Sullivan. Just then I noticed he was wearing the same psychedelic sneakers he had worn in "Magical Mystery Tour, or they looked just like them. He said something like he enjoyed talking with me and I thanked him for not asking for my autograph. He smiled again and then he was gone.

Anyway, it was a wonderful moment in this Beatle fan's life and I still smile when I think of it. George was generous with his time, a very nice guy.

That's about it. Hope this memory brings a smile to you, too.

-"Slogans" (