and the other Beatles were an enormous part of my life
in every imaginable way" Howie Castle
is a page of personal tributes from around the world.
was initially compiled on December 8th, 2001, a day that commemorated
the 20th anniversary of the death of John Lennon
O'Quinn, Georgia, USA
As Programme Director of Swinging Radio
England, Ron (pictured, right, with George)
represented the station on the Beatles' August 1966 USA Tour,
alongside Kenny Everett, representing Radio London and Jerry Leighton,
representing Radio Caroline. Ron has very generously agreed for
his own photographs taken during the tour to be used on this page
and has penned the following personal tribute:
Just like the rest of the world I am deeply saddened
by the death of George Harrison.
Over the 35 years since the 1966 Beatle Tour I have been asked
many times, "Which of the four was your favorite?" I always replied,
"George Harrison." George was genuine and not a little perplexed
with his good fortune. Several times while I was interviewing
him he would ask about my background. He seemed fascinated with
American Radio and when he found out that I came to SRE from WFUN
in Miami he expressed his desire to visit Miami Beach incognito.
said that the success of the group made it impossible to just
be a tourist. He lamented that he had been everywhere, but could
never "see the sights." George asked many questions about American
television and some of the commercials that were on the air. As
a matter of fact he joked about the amount of feminine hygiene
products that were advertised.
(Left: Ron's Tour Pass)
George, like the vast majority of us in that time period, smoked
cigarettes, and my recollections of him include the memory of
George being the fastest draw in the west with a cigarette lighter.
He almost always had his lighter and going when anyone near him
put a "fag" in their lips.
(Right: Yet another Press Conference)
The Beatles were not just a group. They were a "happening." My
job put me in contact with a lot of famous acts, but nothing can
ever replace the memories of fans screaming so loudly that the
music was totally unrecognizable.... of fans holding all night
vigils outside the hotels where we stayed.... of fans crying and
screaming when George handed me a newspaper and I threw it into
the crowd so that I would not be attacked ...The memory of people
stopping me so that they could "shake the hand that shook the
hand of the Beatles." Still pretty unbelievable after all these
The family of George Harrison has suffered a great tragedy and
I like millions of fans around the world feel that loss. We all
have access to George Harrison music, but I am luckier than most
because I also have personal memories. I knew George Harrison
and George Harrison knew me.
Webb, Queensland, Australia
I first met George at the Sydney press conference in 1964
but only shaking his hand. It wasn't till July 1965 in Madrid, Spain
that I got to spend time with him and the other three Beatles. I
was very privileged to be invited by Brian Epstein to have a private
interview with the boys in their Phoenix hotel room. After a round
of handshaking and many questions about Australia in their best
"Aussie" accents, we finally got around to a "One-On-Four" interview
which lasted longer than half-an-hour.
My impressions of all...............
John: He was the boss and most talkative.
Paul: The friendliest who helped me take two wonderful photos of
John in the window (since lost)
George: The quietest who seemed to be more of an observer.
Ringo: Talkative but not very friendly; more cynical than the others.
Overall, I must say that after my initial nervousness about meeting
the world's most famous quartet they did seem to be very natural
and mostly unaffected by their fame.
Castle, San Diego, California
Our Program Director told the KOGO news staff quietly on
Monday, November 26th that George Harrison was "days, maybe only
hours away" from passing on and that we should be prepared. Then
I heard the news when I awoke this morning. It makes you feel kinda
old and a little lonely. He and the other Beatles were an enormous
part of my life in every imaginable way.
Respect to the late George Harrison who turned me
on to soul music in a big way. I was a massive Beatle nut when I
was a kid and one week, I was watching 'Ready Steady Go' when 'The
Fabs' were on. When Cathy McGowan asked George what music he liked
to listen to at home he replied, "The Miracles, Impressions, Mary
Wells, Marvin Gaye". That was the start of my love of soul in all
Of course George later produced Billy Preston, Doris Troy and Ronnie
Spector on Apple, and great records they were too.
PY paid tribute to George during his BBC LDN
show of December 5th, by playing 'Jacob's Ladder' by Doris Troy,
'That's the Way God Planned It' by Billy Preston and The Beatles'
'For You Blue' from 'Let It Be'.
man who touched our lives
Anyone who, like me, was a teenage Beatles fan, will
feel a tremendous sense of personal loss at George's untimely
death. Losing John Lennon and accepting that four brilliant
musicians would never reunite to create their magic was hard.
Knowing that George has gone and the Fab Four is now reduced
to two, is a bitter pill to swallow.
"I wore an Official Beatles
Sweater and styled my hair like theirs; I lived and breathed
It's hard to believe that it was thirty-eight years
ago, in 1963, when the first Beatles Fan Club Christmas Record
was delivered to delighted club members. Years later, it's apparent that the Fabs were
improvising on a script which had been intended to sound
like 'wacky teenage fun', but had been penned by someone of
more mature years. On December 25th, I was in floods of tears
because my mother didn't want me to play the record in the living-room
for all to hear. "But I promised them!" I wailed hysterically.
The Beatles' Christmas message was much too important to be
confined to my bedroom; they were family. I played their records
every day; knew everything about them; poured my heart out to
them in letters when I was meant to have been taking notes in
class; wore an Official Beatles Sweater and styled my hair like
theirs; I lived and breathed Beatles. They simply had to be
a part of my Christmas. Earlier that very same month,
I'd been privileged to meet them at the Southern Area Fan Club
Convention, at London's Wimbledon Palais.
George and I exchanged merely a handshake and a single word
each on that afternoon of December 14th 1963. We said "Hello".
Sad to say, it was the only time our paths ever crossed.
This is my personal tribute to George, on behalf of the
3,000 fans who were there that afternoon, experiencing the thrill
of their young lives in meeting the Beatles. All of those present
that day will now be at least fifty years old, but surely not
one of us can ever have forgotten the occasion when George and
the others literally touched our lives. Each encounter with
each fan was a small moment in George's existence, and it must
have been wearying having to shake 3,000 people by the hand.
For every one of us, however, it was a major and unforgettable
George's family cannot help but be comforted by the knowledge
of how much he contributed to the world and how very
much he was loved.