You’d better send me a letter. I don’t faint from letters.
In which some adoring Beatles fans write to George Harrison
Because today would have been the 79th birthday of Beatles guitarist George Harrison, and because it’s important that you read something entirely unrelated to world events, even just for ten minutes, here’s a little treat. All but one of the following letters have been plucked from Dear Beatles—a long-out-of-print book, originally published in 1966, which contains a bunch of spirited correspondence sent to the Fab Four by their adoring American fans at the height of Beatlemania, selected by the book’s editor, Bill Adler, from a pool of 250’000 letters. Because it’s Harrison’s day, I’ve ignored the other band members; but maybe I’ll do something similar when their birthdays come round.
I’ve also included, at the end, a letter sent to Harrison twenty years later by Spike Milligan, who was growing increasingly frustrated by his famous friend’s inability to reply. Spike’s letter is taken from More Letters of Note.
Dear George, Have you ever thought of becoming a minister? If you were a minister, everybody would go to church all the time. Love, Hilda M. Detroit, Michigan
Dear George, If you ever called me on the telephone, I would faint right on the spot. And if I fainted, I wouldn’t get a chance to talk to you, so you’d better send me a letter. I don’t faint from letters. Love to you from, Nancy R. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dear George: All I want to do is mother you. So do most of the girls I know. It must be a marvelous feelings, George, to realize that all around the world you have millions of mothers. Love, Kate M. New Orleans, Louisiana
Dearest George, my favorite Beatle, Let my spend one precious glorious minute with you. I’ll even take 45 seconds. With love, Hannah L. Jacksonville, Florida
Dear George, Please try and understand that I don’t love you because you’re a Beatle but because you’re you. Now you are probably saying, “Ooh, all the girls tell me that". But I can prove it. I know and you know that you won’t last forever. So, I don’t want you to call me now. You better wait till you fizzle out. Always and forever Lois B. New York City
Dear George, I am the girl who touched you at Kennedy Airport, and I am never going to wash that hand again as long I live. Forever Mona W. Milwaukee, Wisconson
Dear George, What do you do when you are not singing? Do you gargle a lot? Your fan Henrietta Z. Toledo, Ohio
Dear George, I would like to fix you up with a blind date. I know that most boys don’t like to go out on blind dates, but this girl is sensational! I should know, the blind date is me! Forever yours, Gladys C. Knoxville, Tennessee
Dear George, I want to send you a present for your birthday. Please send me a list of things that don’t cost more than 25 cents that you want. Love, Cynthia L. Albany, New York
Dear George, Could you please tell me what size socks you wear? I am knitting you a surprise. With love from, Jackie W. Providence, Rhode Island
Dear George, I would give everything I have to be with you, and I don’t have much. I adore you. Mona M. Seattle, Washington
6th December, 1983 Dear George, You once said to us—the world is full of arseholes, and I’m not one of them. I have a love for certain people and I have one for you, but by sheer lack of contact it’s running out. I phone you frequently and never get a reply. This is what you do, it’s very simple; you stand in front of a telephone and you insert your fingers in the holes and carry out a series of numbers which have been given to you. Of course, if you are rich you have two buttons, which Irishmen usually sew on their coats. Of course, if you are extremely rich you don’t have to get in touch with anybody, and that’s what I am worried about. The funeral takes place at Golders Green Crematorium, no flowers please, just money. You will recognise me, I am the dead one. Love, light and peace, Spike Milligan
This batch of letters is delightful! I speak as an expert: I embroidered a tee shirt for George with illustrations of a dozen of his songs and sent it to Dark Horse Records when I was fifteen.
I could have written all of these, as I wholeheartedly agree with every one. George was brilliant, sexy, ethereal, cute, and immensely talented. Miss his spirit and his soul.