Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

George Harrison book revealed Beatles musician’s sarcastic response after being stabbed 40 times

Beatles star almost died in harrowing incident

Jacob Stolworthy
Friday 01 December 2023 08:36 GMT
Comments
George Harrison remembered

A new biography recently revealed George Harrison‘s typically witty response to being stabbed 40 times by an intruder.

The life of the Beatles musician, who died of cancer on this week (29 November) in 2001, aged 58, was the subject of a new book by Philip Norman.

One moment from Harrison’s life that the biography addresses is the harrowing house break-in that led to Harrison being stabbed by an intruder dozens of times. On 30 December 1999, a Liverpudlian named Michael Abram almost killed Harrison after breaking into his house.

While the incident has been documented before, a new extract published in The Mail on Sunday has revealed more details.

The extract explains that Harrison went to check out the commotion after hearing the sound of glass smashing. He found Abram holding a knife as well as a sword taken from a stone statue of St George and the Dragon from the musician’s garden.

Abram ran up a staircase in Harrison’s direction and when he tried to grab the knife, Abram fell on top of him and stabbed him repeatedly, puncturing his lung and narrowly missing his heart. Harrison’s thought at this time was: “I’m being murdered in my own house.”

Harrison’s wife, Olivia, managed to stop Abram by hitting him around the head with a lamp and police soon arrived and detained the intruder. It was Harrison’s son Dhani, then 22, who recalled his father’s hilarious response about the harrowing incident.

Despite almost dying four times, Harrison, who was known for his wry sense of humour, said of Abram: “He wasn’t a burglar and he certainly wasn’t auditioning for the Traveling Wilburys”.

The Traveling Wilburys were a supergroup formed by Harrison alongside Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynner and Tom Petty in 1988. Their songs include "Handle with Care", "End of the Line" and “Tweeter and the Monkey Man”.

Amazon Music logo

Enjoy unlimited access to 70 million ad-free songs and podcasts with Amazon Music

Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up
Amazon Music logo

Enjoy unlimited access to 70 million ad-free songs and podcasts with Amazon Music

Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

Abram evaded prison time, having been cleared of attempted murder on grounds of insanity. He was placed into a secure psychiatric unit near Liverpool and was released less than three years later.

George Harrison (Getty Images)

A spokesperson for Mersey Care Trust said at the time: “In this case, the tribunal has given a conditional discharge – the conditions, which remain confidential, are to ensure the safety and security to the public.”

Abram has expressed regret over his actions, stating: “If I could turn back the clock, I would give anything not to have done what I did in attacking George Harrison. But looking back on it now, I have come to understand that I was at the time not in control of my actions.

“ I can only hope the Harrison family might somehow find it in their hearts to accept my apologies.”

George Harrison by Philip Norman (Simon & Schuster) is out now.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in