The Beatles: A Doorman Insulted George Harrison After Complaining About His Clothes

By the middle of 1964, there weren’t many places George Harrison could go and not be known. And there weren’t many places — restaurants, clubs — that wouldn’t welcome a world-famous member of The Beatles. Yet the guitarist found one, and the doorman insulted George to his face when his clothes didn’t meet the dress code.

A doorman made fun of George Harrison as The Beatles guitarist tried to enter a club
If the Beatles were world-famous by the middle of 1964, then they were legends in the making in late 1966. Harrison and his bandmates traded their impersonal raucous live performances for studio devotion, and it paid off with seminal albums such as Rubber Soul and 1966’s Revolver. The Fab Four had also starred in two massively successful and popular movies — A Hard Day’s Night and Help!.

The Rolling Stones hadn’t yet fully come into their own. Jimi Hendrix was still starting out. Led Zeppelin was more than two years away from forming. The Beatles were the biggest band on earth. Still, Harrison couldn’t sidestep the scorn of a doorman who refused to let him enter a club because of his clothes.

George, his wife Pattie Boyd, his friend Eric Clapton, and Beatles manager Brian Epstein showed up to Annabel’s to celebrate New Year’s Eve in 1966. Harrison’s polo-neck sweater didn’t meet the collar-and-tie dress code, but he refused to wear clothes offered by the doorman. The guitarist told him he felt the club needed a Beatle in attendance more than the famous guitarist needed entry to the club. That’s when the doorman insulted Harrison.

“I don’t think this is the case nowadays or ever was in the past,” the doorman said, per Lady Annabel Goldsmith’s autobiography (via 150 Glimpses of The Beatles).

In Goldsmith’s telling, George was utterly defeated. He and his party retreated to a nearby club to ring in the new year. It wasn’t the first time Harrison’s clothing left him standing on the doorstep of a place he wanted to go.

John Lennon’s aunt wouldn’t let a teenage George into her house because of his clothes

Lennon’s aunt Mimi raised him. She strived to live an upper-class lifestyle and looked down on those who had less, calling them “common.” John’s aunt disapproved of his scouse accent, clothes, and friends. In the case of George, she disapproved of him because of his clothes.

John talked up George to the point that Mimi agreed to let him come into her home. She was appalled by the teenage Harrison’s clothes and threw him out the moment she saw his crew cut, pink shirt, and tight pants.

Still, George at least fared better than Paul McCartney. Harrison made it past aunt Mimi’s threshold. John’s aunt refused to let Paul into her house at all.

Years after his wardrobe led to a short meeting with Lennon’s aunt, Harrison’s clothes led to another issue. George hoped to celebrate the new year at a hip London club, but the doorman insulted him to his face when his clothes weren’t up to snuff.

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