A Beatles fan club has presented George Harrison’s parents with a gold plaque for ‘the time and effort they gave to the Beatles all over the world’


While traveling the world and making music with the Beatles, the only thing George Harrison’s parents, Louise and Harold, could do to support their son was to help his fans.

Initially, Harold was unhappy with his son’s career choice. George had quit his job and school and gone on the road with the band. During this time, George’s mother supported him and bought him his first guitar.

When the Beatles’ popularity skyrocketed, Harold knew he had been wrong about his son’s ambitions. Together, Louise and Harold have done everything to strengthen the foundations of their son’s success. They answered fan mail and even invited lucky fans for tea. In exchange for their services to the Beatles around the world, they received a one-of-a-kind gift.

A Beatles fan with Louise and Harold, the parents of George Harrison | Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images

George Harrison’s Parents First Supported His Love of Music

At a young age, George developed a love for music. Back from school, he first turned on the family gramophone and played hits by Jimmie Rodgers, Big Bill Broonzy, Slim Whitman and English music hall tunes. He also composed his own songs.

His parents supported his love of music.

When George was 10, Louise gave her son 3 pounds and 10 shillings (a lot of money at the time) buy a beginner guitar from a school boy. According to Joshua Greene Here Comes the Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George HarrisonHarold arranged George’s first lessons.

“His dad had a friend who ran a pub and played guitar, and he showed George how to play chords to tunes from the 20s and 30s such as ‘Dinah’ and ‘Whispering’,” Greene wrote. George practiced until his fingers bled and the neck of the cheap guitar bent. Louise often stayed up all night with her frustrated son while he worked out. She reassured him that he would be fine.

Soon, music became George’s entire world, and his father began to doubt his decision to give his son guitar lessons. George quit his job and studies and started playing with the Beatles (then the Quarrymen). Harold gave his son tools to encourage him to find a job, but it didn’t work.

During this time, Louise went to see her son and his band play whenever she could. She was their first loyal fan.

“George’s mother, Louise, became a regular, and when her son came forward to sing ‘Sheik of Araby’ or another of the few songs in his repertoire, she clapped with the enthusiasm of a young fan. “, wrote Greene.

George Harrison's parents, Louise and Harold, vacationing in Jamaica in 1964.

George Harrison’s parents, Louise and Harold | Keystone/Hulton Archives/Getty Images

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George’s parents received a special gift for their dedication to ‘Beatles everywhere’

When The Beatles rose to popularity, the sheer force of Beatlemania hit the four like a ton of bricks. However, it also hit George’s parents just as hard. They have experienced an outpouring of love from their son’s fans around the world. Soon excited girls started visiting and pointing fingers at George’s house.

Instead of being afraid of the constant attention from the fans, Louise and Harold invited them. Louise, in particular, made an effort to interact with her son’s fans as much as possible, responding to fan mail and communicating with fan clubs. Eventually, it became apparent to fans that George’s parents were ready for anything for them.

“Harold’s hesitations were swept away by the deluge of his son’s success, brothers Harry and Pete feasted on the reflection of their little brother’s brilliance, and mother Louise cared for George’s fans.

“Each week she would go to the Beatles Fan Club headquarters in Liverpool to collect batches of promotional photos. Then she went home and stayed up late to answer fan mail, often writing two thousand letters a month. Shelves along one wall of their new home displayed gifts sent from all over the world.

“On another wall hung a gold plaque from the United Beatles Fans of Pomona, California, which read, ‘Presented to Harold and Louise Harrison for the time and effort they showed to the Beatles all over the world.’ “

On George’s twenty-first birthday, nearly a million cards, letters and gifts arrived at the Harrison household. There were seven truckloads of mail filling the driveway of their home. The Postal Service said it was the highest number of mail delivered to an address outside the Royal Family. Meanwhile, screaming fans invaded the house. Some even kissed the doorknob.

Suddenly, Harold and Louise became celebrities, just like their son. “People still think we have to be different now, because of George,” Louise said. “We went to a fan’s wedding the other day, and people were like, ‘How can you have fun with people like us?’ They expect us to wear mink all the time.

George Harrison's parents, Louise and Harold, sorting through fan mail for their son's 21st birthday in 1964.
George Harrison’s parents, Louise and Harold | Manchester Daily Express/Getty Images

Louise was a pen pal for a super Beatles fan for five years

George’s mother was also a pen pal with a super Beatles fan named Lorraine O’Malley for five years until Louise’s death in 1970. O’Malley first wrote to Louise when she was 16 .

“At 16 of course I was convinced I was going to marry George and after he got married I wrote to her and told her I was sad and didn’t know if I should write more and she said said I’m gonna miss you if you stop,” O’Malley told the Daily Mail. “And I just thought I liked doing that. As time passed and I got married myself, our correspondence dwindled a bit, but she even sent me a wedding card when I got married.

“She wrote to about 200 girls, I can only imagine how long it took, I don’t know if she wrote to others as often as I did. She always knew what to say to the fans to indicate that George was involved.

George was blessed to have such supportive parents throughout 10 of the most stressful and turbulent years of his life.

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