Harrison tells court of Beatles `junk'

THE High Court was warned yesterday against "experts who wallow in Beatle trivia." It was "junk" said the man giving evidence - former Beatle George Harrison.

Harrison, 54, donned reading spectacles to pore over large bundles of court documents as he gave evidence to stop an amateur recording of the group made at the beginning of their fame 36 years ago.

"Unlike the experts who wallow in Beatle trivia I spend a lot of time getting the junk out of my mind through meditation so I don't know or remember - I don't want to know or remember - every last detail because it was trivial pursuit," he said at one point.

Mr Harrison, Ringo Starr, Sir Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono, who is executrix of John Lennon's will, are asking a High Court judge to ban sales of a CD produced from the recording made at The Star Club in Hamburg in 1962.

In his evidence Mr Harrison told of the "wild early" days which involved "a lot of teenagers getting drunk playing rock'n'roll". He said: "That's how it was. It was just a wild thing."

The ex-Beatles and Yoko want the original tape at the centre of the case, or proof that it has been destroyed. It was made by Edward Taylor, leader of obscure Sixties band King Size Taylor and The Dominoes, on his own reel-to-reel machine when he was playing a double bill with the Beatles.

Mark Platts Mills QC, representing the Beatles, told Mr Justice Neuberger at the start of the case that there had been "various attempts to exploit" the tape by people associated with the defendants, Lingasong Music Ltd, of Waltham Abbey, Essex.

Lingasong is claiming that John Lennon, who was shot dead in 1980, gave his verbal consent to the recording, but the other group members say they did not even know it was being made.

Mr Harrison said that Ted Taylor was not a close friend. "He was a leader of another one of the groups. In those days, everyone was friendly to one another but only saw one another if they happened to play the same club at the same time."

Harrison then went on to talk candidly about The Beatles' early days. He said that Lennon was "like the loudest of us" and the eldest - before Ringo joined. "But we had a democratic thing going between us. Everyone in the band had to agree with everything that was done."

Harrison said the record at the centre of the case was the "crummiest" ever made in the group's name. "The only person who allegedly heard anything about it is the one person who is dead, who can't actually come here and say it's a load of rubbish."

He said John Lennon would have said something about the tape if he had known about it: "He never said anything to anyone. He didn't say anything to Brian Epstein or to Paul McCartney."

Even if anything had been said between John Lennon and Ted Taylor it did not constitute a business deal: "One drunken person recording another bunch of drunks does not constitute business deals."

The case continues

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk