Date: 6 September 1963
Location: Backstage at the Odeon Cinema, Dunstable Rd, Luton, Bedfordshire
Interviewer: Chris Hutchins
Published: 13 September 1963
New Musical Express, page 10
George hopes plane exits stay shut!
Flight fear before American holiday
Next week Beatle George Harrison flies to America for the holiday of a lifetime - but after an aircraft incident last week that might have robbed Britain of one of its top foursomes, the forthcoming trip over the Atlantic is causing him some concern - reports Chris Hutchins.
Backstage in a theatre at Luton at the weekend George told me of the hair-raising incident which, for a few fleeting moments, he thought had put paid to much more than his singing career!
"We were taking off from Liverpool for one of our frequent flights across the country, when the plane suddenly came to a halt just as it was about to leave the ground. They gave me the jitters but what was to follow will make me sympathise with Elvis Presley's fear of flying for the rest of my days!
"As we made the proper take-off the emergency exist by which I was sitting suddenly flew open!
"I had heard stories about people being sucked out of aircraft, and I don't mind admitting I was pretty terrified. Our manager, Brian Epstein, who was sitting next to me, grabbed my arm and I yellow out for the air hostess - but she thought I was fooling as we often do since we fly in this plane so frequently."
The exit was finally sealed, but for George, who frequently had nightmares as a child, the experience was one he won't forget in a hurry. Certainly not by the day next week when he steps, with his elder brother Peter, into a jet airliner that will carry them to the U.S.
After engagements this weekend, all four Beatles start a sixteen-day holiday and George will be visiting in St. Louis a sister he hasn't seen for nine years. "It's a trip I've always dreamed of and you can bet I'll make the most of it," he told me, though hastening to add, "Mind you, I wouldn't like to stay there."
John Lennon will start his holiday in Paris, the city where he first found The Beatles' haircut during a working visit last year.
"I intend to ramble through Europe just like we used to through England. Only difference is that this time I'll be able to pay my pay," John told me.
Nursing a heavily bandaged hand that he burned on the radiator of his car, Ringo Starr told me of his vacation plans with Paul McCartney.
They will be heading for the hot sunshine of Greece, taking in Athens on a trip that's "partly to look at the gear we've read about in the history books and partly because we feel we need a suntan after working under arc lights for so long," said Ringo.
Incidentally Paul will be taking a cine-camera with him. It's the latest craze for himself and George.
Paul told me: "Happily we've spent a lot of this year in front of television cameras. We've only just finished a film documentary for the BBC.
"Now George and I have got a yen to be on the other side of the camera and we aim to take movies of our fans in various parts of the country."