18 December 2012
Ron Nasty said
Beatlemania affected them all to a greater or lesser extent, and that George had the most negative feelings toward the phenomenon is hardly a surprise.
Yet, it seems to me, part of the question asked here collates with the thread about his attitude and feelings about the Anthology project, was George’s problem with Beatlemania what made him the increasingly reluctant Beatle as the years went on, and was that because he was suffering from PTSD.
If George suffered from PTSD following Beatlemania it certainly didn’t display itself much during the ’70s, when he was as active as most, but more active than one. What changed George was John’s assassination.
Maybe the question here should be, did the combination of the worst of Beatlemania and John’s assassination leave George with PTSD during his last two decades? For that I think there is an argument.
Yeah, in the 70’s the gates of Friar Park weren’t even locked.
A guy who knew George told a story about a time when he hung out with him and Olivia in India in 1976. At one point George said this:
“Well,“ he continued, “we’re going up to Benares. It’s either now or twenty years from now, and I’m not sure if I’m going to be around twenty years from now. We’re targets for assassination, you know.”
“Oh, George, stop that,” Olivia said. “Just stop that!”
And then there’s stories like these:
“George himself was a generous and intelligent man who suffered no fools, and he was always very private. He used to enjoy a drink at the Row Barge pub in Henley but he didn’t go into the town as much after John Lennon was shot. Mr. Robb’s wife, Mina, added: ‘That really shook him — he used to say that if he landed after a flight, and came out onto the steps of the plane, he would be wondering which person might have a gun.’” [x]
“I remember him visiting me on tour in Germany. He would come to the side of the stage and look out. But he really didn’t want to go on. He would go, ‘It’s so loud and smoky, and they are acting so crazy. I just feel better back here.’” – Tom Petty
“George opts to drive with me from Soho Square to Knightsbridge, but when I can’t find where I left my car, I feel he wishes he hadn’t. A bit like an animal caught in a searchlight is our George when out on the streets and I can see him getting a little twitchy as he and I – a Beatle and a Python – parade up and down before the diners on the pavements of Charlotte Street, looking for my car.” – Michael Palin
I can imagine that when John was killed, it basically confirmed all of George’s worst fears. It honestly breaks my heart thinking about what it did to him to be attacked in his own home. Tony Barrow also made an observation which I think is true. He said that because George was still practically a child when The Beatles took off and had a normal life growing up, it was a lot more difficult for him to handle Beatlemania than the others.
The following people thank bewareofchairs for this post:Beatlebug
28 March 2014
28 June 2015
It is fact that in the three years when Beatlemania was as its height that they experienced things that is more than anyone would experience in several lifetimes. There is no doubt that the attention they received would make anyone who is the centre of that attention want to escape being in the spotlight, and get a little twitchy in crowds. There is the famous interview that George Harrison did with Dick Cavett that described why people escaped into drugs, and why they would escape, and came back to the life experience of being in a band that millions wanted to be with.
George wanted to escape and find contentment in what he did after 1966. In some ways he managed it, and in others he could never find the peace that he wanted, because he never knew if someone wanted to target him, and probably thought it would happen in the decade or two after The Beatles disbanded. When the attack happened in late 1999 it was long since Beatlemania and the idea of people being murderously fixated should have long passed.
It wasn’t just The Beatles it happened. If you watched The Culture Show documentary about Keith Richards, made in 2010 and from 18:26 on https://www.youtube.com/watch?…..ones50yrs3 then you could make the same discussion about Keith Richards as well. The Rolling Stones went through the same experiences as well, and it is also shown in Crossfire Hurricane the mania of the fans.
It is unknown if George Harrison had PTSD as he was never diagnosed with it, and it would need to be examined by Medical Professionals whose expertise could make a definite diagnosis.