Category: george harrison

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George  Harrison: while his sitar gently weeps

George  Harrison: while his sitar gently weeps

Do you know how many pets George had?

Do you know how many pets George had?

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I don’t know how many pets he ever had exactly, but I think he had quite a few – however, finding info about them seems very difficult! (Hence why it’s taken me so long to answer you!) 

George liked cats. I think you could definitely say he was a cat person. He had at least one dog as well, and he may have had other animals at other times – Friar Park was enormous, it almost seems a waste if he didn’t have a few animals running around. 

Here’s George’s pets that I do know at least a little about: 

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KORKY THE WHITE PERSIAN

Korky (often spelled Corky, but Pattie spells it with a K and he was her cat…) was George’s white Persian cat. I believe he could be George’s first pet, as I’ve never heard of him having any as a child (although his family did keep chickens at 12 Arnold Grove apparently – where, goodness knows, because it was tiny!) He got Korky c. 1964, not very long after moving into Kinfauns. He had one blue eye and one green eye, which I think you can just about tell from the photo above from c. October 1965. Although I don’t have any evidence of it, I’ve often wondered if Korky was partially or totally deaf, as its quite common in all-white cats with mixed colour eyes (we had a kitty like that who was). 

“I’ll never forget coming home one day and finding the boxes [of George’s fan mail] all over the floor, the letters scattered far and wide. It looked as thought we had been burgled. As I put it back I noticed that one envelope had been opened. It was addressed to Korky, our adorable white Persian cat – named after the character in the Dandy comic – and contained a ball of catnip, the herbs cats go mad about. Clever thing, he’d found and opened his own fan mail.” 

[Pattie, Wonderful Tonight]

Pattie also says Korky used to spend more time at the girl’s school next door to Kinfauns than at home. George had Korky for a few years, but not very long. I think, poor Korky (brace yourselves) was hit by a car (I don’t know that for 100% sure, but Korky does seem to disappear mid – late 60s). 

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I’ve also heard an unsubstantiated story that when Pattie moved to live with George at Kinfauns she had Dalmatian dogs who didn’t get on with George’s cat(s). I don’t know if that is true though. 

RUPERT & JOSTICK THE SIAMESE TWINS

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While living at Kinfauns George also had 2 Siamese cats called Jostick and Rupert. Here’s a photo of George took with his fisheye lens camera of Brian Jones and either Jostick or Rupert (I’m not sure which is which!) And another one: 

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…or maybe he’s the same one…

You might assume that George got the Siamese cats as a pair, but according to this story from Mike D’Abo of Manfred Mann he bought one Siamese kitten from him as a gift for Pattie’s birthday in c. 1968. (I’m not convinced that he’d get one kitten and then another later, but its possible. I think perhaps he got two together from Mike D’Abo). 

“He came over and climbed up the four flights of stairs to my flat in Knightsbridge and there he was, George Harrison was standing at my door wanting to buy a kitten. I invited him in and showed him all of the kittens and he chose the one that had climbed right to the top of the curtains saying, ‘That one looks like an individual; I think I’ll have him.’”

[Mike D’Abo, Nottingham Post, 2nd March 2017]

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(I don’t know why George’s cats never want to sit with him!) 

George’s gives Rupert and Jostick a credit on his second solo album, Electronic Sound, writing: “Recorded at Esher in Merrie England; with the assistance of Rupert and Jostick The Siamese Twins – February 1969″ about the track Under the Mersey Wall. Jostick made the cover of Electonic Sound too (honest).

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“’That’s me making the tea (Small Blue Face Smiling) and that’s the cat, Jostick,’ he said pointing to the small green demon like figure on the front cover.”

[Dhani, quoting George’s explanation of the cover painting in the liner notes for Electronic Sound, part of ‘The Apple Years’ box set]

George still had his Siamese cats when he moved to Friar Park, with Jostick (I believe) being photographed there with George (and Ronnie & Krissie Wood and Kumar Shankar), photographed by Pattie in 1973.

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I wonder when Pattie and George split up, who kept the Siamese cats – or did they take one each? 

BILLY

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This is all I have for Billy, who looks to me like he might be a Bengal cat (though he could be a tabby!) This is a photo from Living in the Material World, taken at Friar Park (looks to be the same spot as the photo above) in 1974. George is photographed with Ravi Shankar, Music Festival from India musicians and Billy the Cat. This is the only info I have on Billy.

THIRTY THREE & 1/3 KITTY:  

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I looked all over the internet and couldn’t find an example anywhere of this picture, so this is snapped on my phone from the inside of the gatefold Thirty Three & 1/3 album cover, so sorry for the bad quality. This unnamed kitty is included with the photos of the musicians who played on George’s album, Thirty Three & 1/3, from 1976. I assume this is one of George’s cats. I think this could be the same cat too: 

WINSTON THE YORKIE:

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George and Dhani with Winston the Yorkshire Terrier. This photo is from Living in The Material World and was taken in 1997. In case you’re wondering about the name, Derek Mann, one of the gardeners employed at Friar Park remembered, “George had a pet Yorkshire terrior called Winston, John Lennon’s middle name,” (article in the Henley Standard in 2001) so that would suggest, yes, named after John… 

This is all I have on George’s pets, but I’m sure he probably had a whole lot more. Amazingly, there doesn’t appear to be a book available on the Beatles pets – there’s an opportunity for someone!

Thank you for your ask! 

EDIT: I found a better photo of Dhani with (what is possibly) Winston the Yorkie on Pinterest!

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George Harrison & Bob Dylan, rehearsal for…

George Harrison & Bob Dylan, rehearsal for Concert for Bangladesh, August 1, 1971, New York City. 

red-weiland:

red-weiland:

George Harrison, Apple Studios, 5 February, 1969.

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George Harrison, by Terry O’Neill. Nice shoes,…

George Harrison, by Terry O’Neill. Nice shoes, man.

Help! George Harrison, Salisbury Plain, Wiltsh…

Help! George Harrison, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, May 1965

The Beatles, Polish poster for Yellow Submarin…

The Beatles, Polish poster for Yellow Submarine.

George Harrison & Bob Dylan, rehearsal for…

George Harrison & Bob Dylan, rehearsal for Concert for Bangladesh, August 1, 1971, New York City.