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John and George Relationship Post-Beatles
2 August 2013
4.32pm
parlance
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^^ Yes, I think complex is the key word to keep in mind here. Paul loved George, but he was also condescending to him. George was bitter, but he looked up to John and had the clarity to recognize when Paul was generous to him. John often dismissed George, but it's been said he also worried about him. The intense hurt wouldn't have existed without intense love behind it.

The comparison of their bond to that of brothers always feels the most apt, because I think many/most of us can relate to the idea of love-hate relationships with our siblings.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

2 August 2013
4.36pm
DrBeatle
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Definitely. Well said. I was very touched the first time I read You Never Gave Me Your Money by how worried about Ringo the other 3 all were right after the breakup...they did love each other. Hell, Paul paid for George's treatment the last year of his life and let George use one of his houses to spend his final weeks in. And George knew this...even though it has no bearing on my life, I'm very happy to know that at least they made peace before George's passing.

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

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2 August 2013
5.04pm
mccartneyalarm
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Fabulously interesting debate here! They were very complex people indeed. I think George hated Yoko so much that those feelings certainly contributed to the rift between George & John. (Though, they certainly weren't the basis of the rift, as you all pointed out....there were many reasons for it). At the end of John's life, Yoko kept George & John from reconciling (see Seaman's book), though I imagine John was ambivalent about the whole thing. The one thing that seems so strange to me (bugs me, really) is that George could be so close to Clapton after he stole Patti Boyd away from him. I know that the whole thing w/Patti was more involved than his just moving in on her. George was sleeping with Maureen Starkey and Patti had enough, and let herself become seduced by Clapton. Anyway, point is, George could forgive and accept Clapton, but not John whose sins against George were considerably more tolerable. For that matter George & Ringo stayed close even after George's affair with Maureen. Now there's proof they were complex people (and George wins the prize for hardest to figure out!) 

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

2 August 2013
5.28pm
DrBeatle
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^all great points. It's also be documented, and again I can't remember exactly where I'd read it, where it was common knowledge that George was by far the nastiest to Yoko from day 1, while Paul was actually quite nice at first (hell, he let them fucking MOVE IN with him and Linda when they were between Montagu Sq (kicked out) and Weybridge (Cynthia moved back in)). And Paul was the one, inexplicably, who helped Yoko get John back in '74.

I suspect George felt the same jealousy toward Yoko that he did toward Paul with regards to diverting John's attention from him.

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

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2 August 2013
5.49pm
meanmistermustard
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For me the Beatles relationships with each other are that of brothers right from the off when they were so close for do many years, they had all these in-jokes and such a strong bond that no-one else could penetrate (something that I feel Yoko was jealous of with Paul and John). Eventually they grew up and moved on, occasionally they pissed each other off meaning they wouldn't speak for a while and said crap in the papers but when it came down to it and any one of them needed anything or something happened to one the others were there regardless. Despite all the crap between Paul and George, after Johns murder they got together and recorded All Those Years Ago, whatever crap between them at that moment didn't matter in the slightest.

Although John and George weren't on best terms when John was killed if he hadn't have been the air would have been cleared and it would have been forgotten.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
2 August 2013
5.57pm
DrBeatle
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^all great points, except that don't forget that All Those Years Ago was originally a piss-take of John by George (ala How Do You Sleep?) that George only changed after John's murder. It wasn't as if he whipped that up out of thin air in January 1981.

 

BTW, Joe or some other mod, shouldn't this thread be in either the John or George forum and not in this off-topic one?

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

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2 August 2013
6.31pm
meanmistermustard
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Totally agree DrBeatle. My point was that despite the original intent it didn't matter anymore after Johns killing, sadly coming too late.

 

The lessen learnt here should be don't let silly crap get in the way of important relationships (obviously some things are far too big to overcome and understandably so but petty squabbles over possessions, who said what over what, or who burnt the toast again aren't worth it when its too late to make up). 

 

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
2 August 2013
6.34pm
parlance
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DrBeatle said

I suspect George felt the same jealousy toward Yoko that he did toward Paul with regards to diverting John's attention from him.

That's a great point.

 

^all great points, except that don't forget that All Those Years Ago was originally a piss-take of John by George (ala How Do You Sleep?) that George only changed after John's murder. It wasn't as if he whipped that up out of thin air in January 1981.

DrBeatle, where did that info come from? I keep hearing it was originally a piss-take, but I can't find the source.

 

BTW, Joe or some other mod, shouldn't this thread be in either the John or George forum and not in this off-topic one?

I was thinking the same.

 

As for George and Clapton... I sometimes wonder if there's an understanding among male musicians that girlfriends and wives are collateral damage compared to the bond of two artists who truly "get" each other... bros before hos, to put it crudely. Maybe the betrayal from Clapton just didn't wound as much as the betrayal from John.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

2 August 2013
11.39pm
Linde
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Yeah, I'd love to read those original lyrics!

 

I think George may just not have loved Pattie as much as in the beginning. Things had changed and he was cheating on her a lot and on cocaine and stuff. I've read that made him really cold. So I think he just may have thought that Pattie deserved someone who loved her and that he just saw that he didn't do that as much as Eric did and so he didn't hold a grudge against Eric, also because it was his best friend and he maybe just wanted him to be happy or whatever.

Or he just didn't care about it.

And yes, it's sad to know George and John weren't really on good terms when John died. I can see why you'd be bitter and frustrated about that for the rest of your life.

3 August 2013
1.39am
acmac
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I think the tension between George and Paul post-1980 may appear to us to be more serious than it actually was. As they aged, their compatibility as music partners diminished (and who doesn't have a good friend they'd never want as a roommate/business partner/work colleague?), but I think there was (almost) always a lot of love there. Sure, George could say grouchy things about Paul in interviews, but I think interviews probably put him in a grouchy mood to begin with, lol. I think that may be behind the apparent tension in some of the Anthology interviews, BTW; camera-pressure was not good for their dynamic. Filmed interviews seem to ratchet up Paul's nervous energy, while they make George grouchy, which is a pretty bad combination. Also consider: George's speech at the Beatles RnRHoF induction; he seems totally sincere when he says "We all love Paul very much." The relationship between Dhani/Olivia and Paul/Paul's kids has always seemed quite warm and familiar (Olivia even published a sharp rebuke of Guiliano's criticisms of Paul), which doesn't seem likely if Paul and George had had a frosty relationship. There's also Tom Petty's quote that George could snipe about Paul, but "he hated it when anybody else did it and put a stop to it immediately" (this echoes Alice Cooper's description of John and Paul's relationship). And then, yeah, as somebody mentioned earlier in the discussion, there is the matter of George spending his final weeks in a house Paul provided; George had many rich and powerful friends, but it was Paul who he allowed to help him in that way. That speaks volumes to me.

As for George complaining more about Paul than about John when it's arguable John treated him worse... well, John was clearly a more dangerous person to piss off. Paul could be relied upon to forgive and forget. And then John died, which would make George more reluctant to diss him for a whole host of reasons.

3 August 2013
1.48am
acmac
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parlance said

As for George and Clapton... I sometimes wonder if there's an understanding among male musicians that girlfriends and wives are collateral damage compared to the bond of two artists who truly "get" each other... bros before hos, to put it crudely. Maybe the betrayal from Clapton just didn't wound as much as the betrayal from John.

parlance

Agreed. Apparently George engaged in quite a lot of "wife-swapping" over the years... which I admit totally skeeves me out, but there ya go.

3 August 2013
2.56am
DrBeatle
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acmac said
I think the tension between George and Paul post-1980 may appear to us to be more serious than it actually was. As they aged, their compatibility as music partners diminished (and who doesn't have a good friend they'd never want as a roommate/business partner/work colleague?), but I think there was (almost) always a lot of love there. Sure, George could say grouchy things about Paul in interviews, but I think interviews probably put him in a grouchy mood to begin with, lol. I think that may be behind the apparent tension in some of the Anthology interviews, BTW; camera-pressure was not good for their dynamic. Filmed interviews seem to ratchet up Paul's nervous energy, while they make George grouchy, which is a pretty bad combination. Also consider: George's speech at the Beatles RnRHoF induction; he seems totally sincere when he says "We all love Paul very much." The relationship between Dhani/Olivia and Paul/Paul's kids has always seemed quite warm and familiar (Olivia even published a sharp rebuke of Guiliano's criticisms of Paul), which doesn't seem likely if Paul and George had had a frosty relationship. There's also Tom Petty's quote that George could snipe about Paul, but "he hated it when anybody else did it and put a stop to it immediately" (this echoes Alice Cooper's description of John and Paul's relationship). And then, yeah, as somebody mentioned earlier in the discussion, there is the matter of George spending his final weeks in a house Paul provided; George had many rich and powerful friends, but it was Paul who he allowed to help him in that way. That speaks volumes to me.

As for George complaining more about Paul than about John when it's arguable John treated him worse... well, John was clearly a more dangerous person to piss off. Paul could be relied upon to forgive and forget. And then John died, which would make George more reluctant to diss him for a whole host of reasons.

All great points. Reminds me of what John had said in the early 70s, where it was OK for him to slag the Beatles but don't anyone else DARE do it or John would defend them to the hilt. THAT is a true love and bond between 4 brothers that transcends any ancillary bullshit.

 

parlance, I will try to find the source where I read that about All Those Years Ago...I can't remember off the top of my head because it was all those years ago I read it (pun intended :P )

 

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5 August 2013
12.06pm
robert
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I think if you read enough and watch Olivia Harrison's interviews in Living In A Material World you learn a few contradictory things about George. Namely that in spite of all his great qualities:

1) George never really reconciled with either Paul or John.

2) He remained bitter towards them to the end.

3) George remained the most money-focused member.

4) He was an incredible womanizer - remember he had an affair with Maureen Starr - while she was married to Ringo - and Olivia admits on camera that George never stopped fooling around.

The only point I would add about George and John's relationship is this - what is most weird to me is the Imagine period when George plays guitar on John's record (remember John never played on George's records). I think (and this pure conjecture), I think that Yoko fueled this - encouraging John to work with George in order to create greater distance between John and Paul. And then once John and George got too close - she sabotaged that.

I believe, that with Yoko's influence, John kept George and Paul at odds against each other to keep himself in the seat of control. This may sound wildly like psychobabble - but it is actually very common in these types of close, highly creative and competitive relationships.

 

 

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5 August 2013
1.28pm
DrBeatle
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I absolutely buy into that theory, especially with Yoko pulling the strings. One need only read Peter Doggett's excellent book to see how Yoko was also instrumental in keeping John and Paul apart, deliberately and calculatingly, from '74 until the end.

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5 August 2013
1.39pm
robert
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DrBeatle said
I absolutely buy into that theory, especially with Yoko pulling the strings. One need only read Peter Doggett's excellent book to see how Yoko was also instrumental in keeping John and Paul apart, deliberately and calculatingly, from '74 until the end.

Exactly - and if she did it with Paul we can easily imagine that she did it with George. Consider this - it has been reported that just before John's death Paul had called John and Yoko diverted the calls. We are also now reading that George was also trying to reach John and his calls never got through.

John in the studio during Double Fantasy was telling Jack Douglas that he was going to get the "boys together again for Ringo". The only one who loses from that is (wait for it) Yoko.

I am not anti-Yoko per se, but she is what she is. Before her defenders pile on me, just remember what she did to John's artwork - adding color to his drawings (after his death)  - (which he never wanted color added to his drawings) and selling them as John's work - adding his chop mark, after his death, and selling it as if John had done it.

Like her or hate her - those are the facts.

 

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5 August 2013
1.47pm
DrBeatle
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Agree 100%. She drove the wedge between the band in the late 60s...and I don't believe she was THE reason they broke up, but she was definitely A reason. The thing is, after she got what she wanted (John, fame, money, etc) she continued to drive that wedge throughout the 70s...preventing John from writing and playing with Wings on V&M, scuppering a few planned writing sessions between Paul and John in the mid-to-late 70s, diverting phone calls, etc. Those are undeniable, as you said those are documented and corroborated facts, plain and simple.

 

That being said, I think the issues between George and John went deeper than that. Paul and John had made up and she kept them apart. George and John were not on speaking terms, but she did prevent them from rectifying that.

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

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5 August 2013
3.59pm
parlance
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I found this thread at the Steve Hoffman boards on why George left during "Let It Be" that had some great insights on this subject, and Ray Schweighardt, who cowrote the books with Doug Sulpy on the Get Back sessions, contributes to the thread at some point. It started in 2011, so it's quite long. But worth a read, I think.

This comment in particular was interesting because it talked about the early Paul/George dynamic and how that was affected by the Paul/John dynamic.

And I thought about the simple fact that George was probably bitter because it was bad enough he was treated like a junior Beatle. But then someone's tone deaf girlfriend comes along and gets better treatment than him and almost gets made an official member of the band? Yeah, I'd have half a mind to start swinging.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

5 August 2013
4.50pm
DrBeatle
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Yep, and that's what has bugged me for years...the conventional wisdom is that Paul drove George batshit crazy and caused him to quit, but George was having many more issues with John, Yoko, their heroin habit, and John's disinterest than any annoyance from Paul at that point. It's also been well documented that Paul was actually quite welcoming of Yoko from the start even though he didn't want her in the studio (neither did George and Ringo), and for all the shit she and John slung at him, he was quite accommodating of her (he could've told John to fuck off instead of helping him with the Ballad of J&Y, for instance). And he let them move in in late '68/early '69 after they'd been kicked out of Montagu Square and Kenwood but before they bought Tittenhurst Park. George, on the other hand, was nasty to her from the start. He only palled with John and helped with his early solo records, I suspect, because it was easy and fun to join in the bullying against Paul. Once John and Paul made up in '73/'74, where did that leave George? On an island of bitterness and resentment.

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5 August 2013
4.58pm
mccartneyalarm
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Excellent insights, guys I hope this comes across in the positive way that I mean it, but it is interesting (and I am guilty of this, too) that anytime someone tells the truth about Yoko, they find themselves apologizing for it cuz the facts make her look bad! We all say "I'm not Yoko-bashing" but...fill in the blank with the bad things she did. The truth is the truth. I've never met anyone who loves Yoko, and about the only good thing I can say about her is that she has done a remarkable job of keeping John and his music "alive.' But, then again, it has certainly been in her best interest financially (cha ching). Other than that, she is a manipulator; her reality is whatever she dictates it should be; she is fabulously self-centered; and she is completely self-serving. She went after John (she was still married to Tony Cox) with the sole purpose of grabbing his money and some fame. Then, she created the fantasyland of John & Yoko and realized this was a good thing. So, then she had to figure out how to keep it going while she went out and furthered her other needs & dreams (sexual, finacial, and artistic). She kept Julian away from John as well. She was a control freak. John fell for it. It wasn't his fault. So, is that Yoko-bashing? If it is, I am sorry. But, I wish I didn't have to apologize for telling the truth.

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5 August 2013
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parlance
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DrBeatle said
He only palled with John and helped with his early solo records, I suspect, because it was easy and fun to join in the bullying against Paul.

I meant to say this above, but I dont't think of it as being easy or fun to bully Paul, as George being unable or unwiling to direct his anger John. When they were younger, George was angry with Paul for pushing him aside for something newer and shinier, but he couldn't get mad at John, so he directed his bitterness towards Paul. Then he got pushed aside again when Yoko appeared, and she was the easier target. For various reasons. As acmac said, maybe it was because John was less likely to forgive. Maybe because George still admired him despite John's dismissive attitude. But it seems like someone other than John was always going to be on the business end of his John-rage.

parlance

 

 

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

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