When The Beatles were in Hamburg, George Harrison found himself in a highly uncomfortable situation with a friend. Fellow musician Gene Vincent believed his tour manager was having an affair with his girlfriend and wanted to confront him. Harrison, who was still a teenager at the time, tagged along. Suddenly, he found himself in far deeper than he’d been expecting.
George Harrison found himself in a frightening situation with a friend
The Beatles met Vincent in Hamburg. While they liked the other musician, they found him a bit intimidating. John Lennon described him as a “wild guy,” and Paul McCartney said Vincent was always offering to knock him out.
“Gene had been a marine, and he was always offering to knock me out; he knew two pressure points,” McCartney said in The Beatles Anthology. “I said, ‘Get out of it. Sod off!’ He’d say, ‘Oh come on, you’ll only be out for a minute.’”
Gene Vincent | Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images
One day, Vincent recruited Harrison to help confront his manager.
“I met Gene Vincent in the Star-Club bar one day, on a break,” Harrison said. “He said, ‘Quick, come with me.’ We jumped in a taxi and went up the Reeperbahn to the apartment where he was staying. I began to notice that he was all uptight — he thought his tour manager was bonking his girlfriend!”
Harrison had initially been happy to tag along, but the situation quickly spiraled out of control.
“We ran inside, up to the front door, and Gene opened his coat and pulled out a gun,” Harrison recalled. “He handed it to me, saying, ‘Hold this,’ and started knocking on the door and shouting, ‘Henry, Henry, you bastard!’ I thought to myself, ‘I’m out of here,’ gave him the gun back, and cleared off quick.”
George Harrison was a fan of Gene Vincent before they were friends
Long before this happened, Harrison and the rest of his bandmates were fans of Vincent as a musician. Harrison saw him perform in 1960 when The Beatles were still in their earliest days as a band.
“A lot was happening at the beginning of 1960,” Harrison said. “I remember there was a show at the Liverpool Stadium in which Eddie Cochran was due to appear, but he got killed a couple of days before so Gene Vincent topped the bill.”
When they first began performing in Hamburg, The Beatles also played Vincent’s songs to their audiences.
“We had to learn millions of songs. We had to play so long we just played everything. So it was all the Gene Vincent — we’d do everything on the album, not just a lazy ‘Blue-Jean Bop,’ whatever,” Harrison said. “We’d get a Chuck Berry record, and learn it all, same with Little Richard, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino — everything. But we’d also do things like ‘Moonglow,’ which we used to play as an instrumental. Anything, because we’d be on for hours — we’d make up stuff.”
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Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet