German producer and Beatles collaborator Klaus Voormann has reflected on the first time he saw the band’s George Harrison perform, pre-fame.
During a recent interview with Uncut magazine, Voorman recalled attending an early Beatles show at Hamburg’s Kaiserkeller in 1960. “The first time I saw George he was only 17 years of age. He was very different to how he was later,” he said. “He was a cocky little boy! This band he was with was completely unknown.”
He continued: “George was singing all those funny songs, which he did later on a little bit, when he sat around and played ukulele. He was into songs like ‘I’m Henry The Eighth, I Am’, singing it all cockney. He would sing all those Eddie Cochran numbers too, like ‘Twenty Flight Rock’.
“We were looking at the stage all the time, seeing all the details. ‘Look at George, he’s got big ears, hasn’t he! And he has funny teeth – he has those Dracula teeth!'”
Voormann would cross paths with the Beatles a few years later. The producer moved to London and spent time living with Harrison and Ringo Starr.
“We became friends. All of them were very much into music. Rock and roll was the most important thing,” he mused. “They were so busy and eager, listening to the records again and again until they got it down.
“They were a great rock and roll band, with three great voices. I didn’t know anything about them writing songs, that came much, much later.”
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In 1965 Klaus Voormann designed the cover for the band’s 1965 album, Revolver. In the 1970s, Voorman would go on to perform on George Harrison’s solo 1970 record All Things Must Pass, three of Ringo Starr’s solo records and four of John Lennon’s.
Listen to ‘All Things Must Pass’ by George Harrison