Louise Harrison, George Harrison’s older sister, was living in the United States when the Beatles debuted on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in February, 1964. She had been lobbying radio stations for months to play her brother’s band’s records, which were already hits in the U.K. And when the Beatles took off, things were never the same. Like her mother, Louise answered fan mail and produced radio reports that were heard on Top 40 stations around the US.
Ed Mayberry of Houston Public Media recently sat down with Louise in Port Arthur to talk about her book, “My Kid Brother’s Band” and what it was like growing up with George Harrison.
On growing up without money:
“We didn’t know that we were poor. I know that economically we were not in the top echelon, but I’ve never wanted to be, anyway — especially after my brother became rich and I found out that being rich is no fun at all, you know, you’ve got every predator in the world after you, you know. But no, we just had really wonderful parents who were a lot of fun. And you know, even though World War II came along when I was about eight, we also found that to be fun as well, because we were just making fun of the enemy all the time, you know. And you know, we would go out in the backyard when the German bombers were coming over and we’d say ‘you’re not scaring us, you know!’ So we didn’t believe in being fearful all the time.”
On George’s private life:
“I’ve always being very, very concerned about protecting his privacy and that’s why when I’m, you know, doing talks at conventions or whatever and people say to me ‘well, what was George like when he was a little, when he was a kid?’ and I’d say “well, you know, since he was so delved into when he became a Beatle, I think it’s only right that I should keep his private life private.”
On George’s spirituality:
“Well, it wasn’t the entire Harrison family, but you know as I said, the things that Dad was teaching me as a little child about, you know, living on the planet — for instance, you know, how to be considered to be good by never harming any of the other creatures on the planet — those are the kinds of things that he was teaching me.”
Louise Harrison manages the Liverpool Legends, a Beatles tribute band. They recently performed a sold-out black tie benefit in Port Arthur for the Museum of the Gulf Coast.