Article Highlights:

  • How George Harrison spent his time off
  • His first house was an Australian bungalow
  • Why the Beatle could never live in the Bahamas

In 1965, The Beatles were at the top of the world; they were officially international superstars. George Harrison finally bought his own home and enjoyed what leisure time he had in it. In an interview he did for KRLA BEAT that year while filming The Beatles’ second film, Help!, he spoke about what his life was like at home back in London.

How George Harrison liked to spend his time off

In the Bahamas, David Hull and Derek Taylor interviewed Harrison when he was shooting The Beatles’ film Help!. They asked him about how he liked to spend his downtime.

“On Sunday I have a lie-in, I suppose,” he said, as recorded in the book George Harrison on George Harrison.

Harrison was a notorious “sleep worshipper,” as his interviewer called him. But there was a downside to having a lie-in on an off-day: having to eventually get up.

“It’s just trying to get up,” he said. “Since I’ve gotten my house I used to just lie around in the backyard last summer when it was quite hot. But now, as it’s sort of freezing cold in England, on a Sunday I just get up and have a late breakfast about 12 o’clock.”

On a typical Sunday, after his late breakfast, Harrison would read the papers and go out for a drive “and sometimes go out for lunch with some people.”

Harrison had a woman named Mrs. Margaret Walker come over each day to cook and clean. During the week, he tended to eat out. On the weekends, he ate at home. “I usually, on Sunday, have friends over and just stay in and have dinner and watch TV,” he said.

George Harrison’s first house

Harrison bought his first-ever house around that time.

“It’s a bungalow, actually, just a big long bungalow,” he said. “Anyway, originally the fellow who built it is the fellow I bought it from [and he] was an Australian. He built it like an Australian ranch bungalow. It’s about ten years old. Two years ago he had a new part built on the end so it’s ten and two years old.”

Upon moving in, Harrison hired someone to furnish his new home. But he didn’t like what the man chose. So he was slowly redecorating it to suit his own taste.

“Really being the first house ever of mine I’ve just tried to get it so that it pleases me,” he said. “At first I got some fellow to get some furniture and he bought a lot of rubbish. Since then I decided I didn’t really like it. He just bought odd stuff just so I could move in straight away. Since then I’ve changed it around a lot. Things I’d like to do if ever I buy another house is stay in this one until I get the new one furnished just how I like it and then move. I’m not a great believer in interior design and all that because it ends up you’re living in the designer’s house and I’d much rather do it myself.”

There’s no place like London

The home had a nice garden with “lots of big lawn with trees and things.” And Harrison was having a pool installed.

“They started about two weeks before we left England, and actually the morning we left the airport there was a massive great hole dug out and mud all over the place, and one of these big diggers in the backyard,” he said. “The workmen have got sheds built up. Every time I go out there I just hear music in the little shed and they’re all playing cards and singing. They never seem to do any work. I’m hoping by the time I get back most of the mess will be gone.”

At the time of the interview, Harrison was in the Bahamas. It was tempting for the musician to imagine himself in a place like that permanently. But he anticipated it wouldn’t be before long that he’d grow bored and miss the city.

“With a place like, say this beach we’re sitting on now, I think it’s marvelous and I’d love a house. . . but probably after two or three weeks of this I’d get fed up,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind living in a place like this. . . nice beach, nice sea, and sort of hot climate. But it’s so boring after two weeks. But still I wouldn’t mind a place like this say. . . every time I got fed up with the cold in England you could just fly out here. But still I prefer to live in a place like London anytime.”

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