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Beatles News Archives

1999 - page 1

George Released From Hospital

George Harrison has been discharged from hospital to begin a belated New Year at home with his family after being stabbed in a life-and-death struggle with an intruder, hospital officials said. George left Harefield hospital in northwest London on Saturday evening, but asked hospital staff not to release the news until Sunday.


"He's gone home with his family and he is expected to make a full recovery," a spokesman for the hospital told Reuters. During the attack George's hand was badly cut as he tried to get the knife away from Abrams. He was worried for a while that the damage done may prevent him playing guitar again. However he has been told there was no permanent damage done. George was further upset to find out that a woman has been arrested inside his house in Maui in Hawaii.


Cristin Kelleher is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 11 on charges of first-degree burglary and fourth-degree theft. Prosecutors said Ms. Kelleher had been stalking George. Don Carroll, who manages the estate, said she had approached him in October and said she wanted to meet George. After she was arrested Dec. 23, Ms Kelleher told police she had walked into the home through an open sliding glass door. `'She said she had cooked a frozen pizza, drank a root beer soda, she was doing her laundry and she had made a long-distance call to her mother in New Jersey,' officer Jeffrey Hunt said.


Meanwhile, George's attacker, Michael Abram, has been charged with attempted murder. He appeared in court on New Year's Eve. Magistrates in Oxford said Abram should be detained at a secure psychiatric unit in his home city of Liverpool. Abram was bailed until February 11th while he undergoes psychiatric treatment. More has emerged about the events of that evening. George and Olivia woke to the sound of footsteps downstairs. George went to investigate. What must have puzzled him was why there was no burglar alarm ringing and why the rest of his sophisticated and expensive security system had clearly failed to detect the intruder long before he had smashed his way through a ground floor window.


George went down the main staircase and saw a shadow of a man in the main hallway. He called out and it is thought Michael Abram, lunged towards him brandishing a thin knife with a six-inch blade. There was a scuffle between the two that is believed to have lasted a matter of minutes before George was stabbed once in the chest. The blade slid between his ribs and the guitarist slumped to the floor. This was, said police, 'a vicious attack'. Detectives believe that the assailant set out to wound George, not defend himself. From upstairs Olivia heard her husband's scream of pain and his desperate cries for help. He was struggling for breath as his lung collapsed. By now at least three members of staff had emerged from their quarters.


His 21-year-old son, Dhani, who was home from university in America, also appeared but by now Abram is understood to have stepped over the wounded singer and was moving upstairs to where Olivia was on the landing. Olivia picked up a table lamp with a heavy brass base and, shouting at the intruder, hit him with a single, glancing blow across the side of the head. It was not enough to knock him unconscious but he sank to his knees as staff grabbed hold of him. As she struggled with the assailant, she was cut on the forehead and hands but though slightly built and only 5ft 3in tall she refused to let go of the man who had got as far as the couple's bedroom door.


Abram's blue holdall full of clothes and what police describe as 'other personal belongings' was found hanging from a fence-post close to the main gates. Detective Chief Inspector Euan Read said: 'We don't believe this was a robbery gone wrong. There looks to be some more sinister explanation but we have yet to question the suspect at length or George.' Two police panda cars arrived at the house within five minutes of one of the staff telephoning for help. A team of paramedics turned up not realizing at first who it was that had been injured.


There was blood on the ground floor where George had been stabbed. He was lying on the floor clutching a towel to his chest, his wife kneeling beside him. On the upstairs landing was blood from the intruder's head wound. Mr. Read described how two unarmed, uniformed officers walked up to the intruder who is believed to have been still holding the blade. 'He gave up without a fight. We have recovered what we believe to be the weapon used. He didn't say anything at the scene as to why he was in the George's house or whether he was alone.' What is still not clear is how long the tussle lasted or how long the man was inside the George's home though detectives doubt reports of a fight lasting for nearly 15 minutes. Other officers began a torchlight search of the sprawling mansion and the 34 acres of grounds to ensure that there was no accomplice. It was the noise of a police helicopter circling above the Oxfordshire estate that first alerted neighbours to the drama at Friar Park.

George Harrison Stabbed By Intruder At Friar Park

George Harrison was stabbed by an intruder in the early hours of 30th December. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.


George and Olivia awoke early this morning to noise of an intruder and went down stairs to find a man in their living room. Apparently the man attacked George with a knife and stabbed him in the chest. Olivia hit the assailant over the head. George was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital where his condition was said to be 'stable'. He was later transferred to Harefield hospital who have a special unit for chest injuries. He was treated for a minor collapse of the lung. Olivia had minor cuts and bruises but not seriously hurt.


The attack came after a tough time for George. In 1998 George revealed he had been suffering from throat cancer - but seemed to have made a full recovery. early this year George gave along interview to Billboard magazine in which he revealed that he'd recorded a new album. Ironically George gave the interviewer, Editor Timothy White, a conducted tour of Friar Park.


It is believed the assailant was known to the police as a Beatles obsessive who had apparently been defacing Beatles posters.


Publicist Geoff Baker said 'We are all incredibly shocked. This is unbelievable. George was stabbed and Olivia was hit over the head by the attacker.


Neil Aspinall was quoted in saying 'George telephoned someone living in the grounds and said they thought they had a burglar. They asked a member of staff to ring 999 for the police. Apparently a window was broken in the house and that is how the man got in. He stabbed George and in the melee Olivia received superficial wounds.'


Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were said to be 'very shocked' by the news but 'relieved' that George wasn't more badly hurt.


George Martin said ' George is a very peaceful person. He hates violence of any kind.


As usual with the press they have made several mistakes in there coverage. The London Evening Standard said that 'George's elderly mother was asleep in the house. Actually Louise died nearly 20 years ago.


We at the LBFC find it incredible that such a thing has happened - and yet again at the hands of a so- called fan. What is this world coming to. George is a man of love and peace. I can't help thinking of George's comment in the Beatles Anthology. 'The fans gave their money and their screams. We gave our nervous systems.' George almost paid a much higher price. Thank God he is OK.



At a press conference, Georges doctor said that George will make a full recovery and was in good spirits. George had told doctors, 'The intruder wasn't intent on burglary - not was he auditioning for the Traveling Wilburys' - It seems that George hasn't lost his sense of humour.


George's attacker has been named as33-year-old Michael Abram. His mother, talking to the Liverpool Echo, said that he had been suffering from mental health problems . . . but her pleas for help had been ignored. She said her son had recently become obsessed with the Beatles, she said 'He takes all music literally - it is the Beatles at the moment but a few weeks ago it was Oasis. He has been running in pubs shouting about the Beatles.


'He hates them and even believes they are witches and takes their lyrics seriously. He started to wear a Walkman to play music to stop the voices in his head. 'I could not believe what he had done because he has never been violent. He shouts and likes to shock but has never been violent.'

McCartney Writes Song For Jones

Paul McCartney has written a song for his old pal Tom Jones after the Welsh singer revealed one of his biggest regrets was turning down the chance to record a Beatles classic. 


Tom had been offered the opportunity to premiere Long And Winding Road but admitted earlier this year that he had foolishly declined. 


However, reminded of the story, Sir Paul set to work to create a new tune for the singing star. 

Lawrence Gilmour Takes A Master-class With Macca!

A little bird told me that, at the recent launch of the new Macca album 'Run Devil Run' in Leicester Square in London, Paul McCartney noticed our old friend Lawrence Gilmour, and had one of his people contact him. In due course Lawrence received a call from MPL, and having initially had great difficulty believing in the veracity of the call, he eventually was persuaded that the great man had indeed requested his company!


It appeared that Paul, noticing Lawrence’s strong resemblance to the face that stared back at himself from the mirror each morning, had recently had an idea for the upcoming video shoot for 'Run Devil Run', and he felt that our Lawrence would be able to help. Lawrence duly trundled along to the set, still not entirely sure that this wasn't some rotten wind-up orchestrated by the nasty Cavern City Tours heads! However, he was very much wanted by MPL.


Since Paul could not always be in the studio when shooting was required, Lawrence ended up playing various roles; at times as look-a-like, at times as a fan, sometimes appearing merely as a silhouette, and always having a great time; constantly having to pinch himself to see if he was really there! But it got even better. At one point in the shoot, which lasted several days, Paul asked Lawrence if he actually played bass, and when Lawrence's answer was in the negative Paul offered to show him a few tricks - ON PAUL'S OWN HOFNER!! Eventually the shoot was wrapped, and Paul, as is his wont, organised a bit of a jam session, asking Lawrence to play alongside him on bass!


How many Beatle look-alikes do you know who have been taught by an actual Beatle? And how many have performed with a Beatle? It couldn't happen to a nicer person, and Lawrence is certainly a very happy man! Watch out for him in the video.

A Rose is a Rose?

Paul McCartney thinks it is ‘cool’ that Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher and his actress wife Patsy Kensit have named their son after John Lennon. Paul said he thought it was appropriate that the bad boy of British pop music should choose to name his son after the late ex-Beatle whom Gallagher acknowledges was a major inspiration behind Oasis’ music. "I think it's a cool name. It's a nice tribute. Liam has always obviously been a mega-fan of Johns" Paul told the tabloid newspaper ‘Sun’. "I suppose it's like calling your baby after the Liverpool football team. I think it's a good name -- but then I would, wouldn't I?" he added.


Paul said he was over grieving the death of his wife Linda, who lost her fight against cancer in April 1998, aged 56.


"I feel better now. It took about a year and then I just started to think about it instead of grieving. My lasting memory of her is just her rock 'n roll spirit really."

Salty Dog

When Paul McCartney visited Atlanta earlier this year, he discovered a pharmacy filled with bath salts, incense, candles -- and the title song for his new album. "I was looking in the shop window and I saw this bottle of bath salts called 'Run Devil Run’ McCartney said in a statement accompanying the album. "I thought it was a good title for a song. So when I was on holiday after that I started thinking of words for it, and it came quite easily."


Paul was in Atlanta in January to see daughter Heather unveil her line of household creations at a trade show. He spotted Miller's Rexall Drugs store as he and twenty-one year old son James walked around downtown. "James had said he wanted to visit the ‘funky’ side of downtown" Paul said. The store is pictured on the album cover, but the name ‘Miller's’ on the sign has been changed to ‘Earl's.’

One Expensive Walrus

John Lennon said it was inspired by an acid trip, critics hailed it as a masterpiece and fans were often left scratching their heads. 'I Am The Walrus' was nothing if not enigmatic. One page of John's handwritten lyrics for the whimsical work auctioned at Christie's in London and sold for $129,200.


The 20 lines in black ink are speckled with corrections and deletions and differ somewhat from the final version, described by one critic as "what might be the greatest Beatle song. With obscure lines like sitting on a corn flake, waiting for the van to come," the song provided rich pickings for critics seeking a glimpse into the murdered Beatle's mind. Richard Goldstein of New York's alternative weekly Village Voice said Lennon was inspired by Lewis Carroll's poem "The Walrus and The Carpenter," James Joyce and comic book heroes. "It is nothing less than a watershed in the Beatles oeuvre -- and in the culture of the 60's. 'I Am The Walrus' stunned even Beatles fans, since nothing quite like it had ever existed before," Goldstein wrote recently.

Tops of Pops

The Beatles have been deemed the most successful recording act of the 20th century by the Recording Industry Association of America. The catchy tunes of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and even Ringo Starr have sold more than 106 million albums and cemented them on the top of the list.


The British band is among a group of artists set apart for their own successful recording efforts. The top male vocalist on the list is country crooner Garth Brooks, with 89 million albums under his mega-rich belt buckle. Newlywed diva Barbara Streisand tops the female album list with 62 million record sales filling her ample bank account.


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