Feb 8, 2014
MEET THE GIRL WHO RESCUED GEORGE HARRISON FOR ED SULLIVAN
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By Billy Heller
February 6, 2014 | 1:01pm
Louise Harrison, sister of ex-Beatle George Harrison, standing in a room of Beatles memorabilia in her former home, which became the Hard Day’s Nite Bed & Breakfast. The Illinois B&B is where George Harrison stayed when he visited his sister in 1963. (Photo by Taro Yamasaki//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Louise Harrison, George Harrison’s sister, in 2000.
Of course there were the thousands of screaming teenage girls who loved them — yeah, yeah, yeah.
But when the four Beatles first landed in New York in early February 1964 — here for “The Ed Sullivan Show” and a few other performances — they each got some more personal attention from some ladies.
John Lennon was traveling with his then-wife, Cynthia. Paul McCartney had the company of Jane Asher. And Ringo Starr seemed to meet a pretty young dancer during a night out at one of New York City’s hottest clubs, the Peppermint Lounge.
George Harrison? Just a couple weeks shy of his 21st birthday, he had his older sister, Louise, along. And, as it turned out, he was lucky he did.
The band had just been in Paris, prior to flying to New York from England, and when they got in, Louise tells The Post, “George had a temperature of 104 degrees and a really, really bad strep throat.”
The house doctor at the Plaza, where The Beatles were staying, was consulted and, recalls Louise, he said: “We need to put this guy in the hospital. He’s really very ill.”
One of the reasons George immediately got a reputation as “the quiet Beatle” is because he didn’t feel like talking much since he was sick, Louise says.
“At that point, [Beatles manager] Brian Epstein was just about to have a heart attack,” Louise remembers with a chuckle. “He said, ‘We can’t let anyone know there’s anything wrong.’ ”
And when the doctor suggested getting a nurse, Epstein declared, “No, no, no. We don’t need anybody!”