George Harrison ‘paralyzed’ John Lennon with fear during brutal fight

Right after The Beatles broke up in 1970, things were very tense between the Fab Four. This was exemplified in 1973 when George Harrison (who would have turned 80 today, February 25, 2023) lost his temper during a meeting with John Lennon that ultimately left the Imagine singer stunned with abject fear. Obviously, the wounds from the band’s breakup were still quite fresh for the young Quiet Beatle.

At the time, Lennon was on what he called his “lost weekend”. The name is a reference to a book and movie of the same name, where a man makes bad decisions and struggles with the consequences. Lennon’s version of this involved him breaking up with his wife, Yoko Ono, and beginning a relationship with his former assistant, May Pang. The appointment – which was approved by Ono – only lasted 18 months. But during that time, Lennon walked around New York City and Los Angeles with his new young girlfriend.

One night, he and Pang ran into Harrison in a hotel suite and he was ready to break up. Pang wrote about the scenario in his book, Loving John. She explained that Harrison seemed “nervous” as soon as they got together. Eventually, Lennon offered to play Madison Square Garden with Harrison, but this was enough for the young singer to snap.

“Then George’s anger really flared,” Pang wrote. “It was the first of a series of explosions, each followed by moments of tense silence.”

Pang explained that Harrison’s outright anger “paralyzed” Lennon where he was sitting. He didn’t dare to reply to his former bandmate.

Harrison was known for being the most reserved member of the band, hence the nickname The Quiet Beatle, so exploding with such ferocity meant he was genuinely upset.

Pang said they stayed together in the hotel suite until well after midnight, but the argument eventually ended.

The next morning at breakfast Harrison buried the hatchet.

Pang wrote: “As soon as George saw John, he hugged and kissed him.”

Harrison asked Lennon: “Please forgive me. I wasn’t feeling well last night. I didn’t mean to get mad.”

Lennon complied and accepted the apology. Pang said, “It was like last night hadn’t happened.”


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