George Harrison met the Hells Angels on a trip to San Francisco and extended an invitation to them. He told the group they were welcome to visit The Beatles’ Apple Corps whenever they were in England. They took him up on his invitation, much to the disappointment of others at Apple. The Hells Angels caused chaos at a Christmas party, but Harrison only heard about this later. He didn’t attend because he worried there would be trouble.
George Harrison invited the Hells Angels to a party
When Harrison found out the Hells Angels were coming to Apple, he issued a memo to the company.
“I quickly put a memo out to everybody, saying: ‘Watch out, don’t let them take over. You have to keep doing what you’re doing, but just be nice to them. And don’t upset them because they could kill you,’” Harrison said in The Beatles Anthology. “It was a joke, but they were mean.”
They stayed at Apple Corps and attended the company’s Christmas party. None of the other attendees appreciated their presence.
“I can remember that everybody was getting hungry, and then a huge turkey came in on a big tray with four people carrying it,” road manager Neil Aspinall said. “It was about ten yards from the door to the table where they were going to put the turkey down, but it never made it. The Hell’s Angels just went ‘woof,’ and everything disappeared: arms, legs, breast, everything. By the time it got to the table there was nothing there. They just ripped the turkey to pieces, trampling young children underfoot to get to it. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Ringo Starr added that the situation grew alarming.
“They proceeded to ruin the kids’ party — and then we couldn’t get rid of them,” he said. “They wouldn’t leave and we had bailiffs and everything to try to get them out. It was miserable and everyone was terrified, including the grown-ups. It was like the edgy Christmas party.”
Harrison wasn’t present for the party. While he invited the group, he believed they would cause problems, so he avoided the party.
“John and Yoko were dressed up as Father Christmas,” he said. “I didn’t go because I knew there was going to be trouble. I just heard that it was terrible and how everybody got beaten up.”
Ringo Starr explained why he believed George Harrison invited the Hells Angels
Given the problems they caused and his apparent fear of the Hells Angels, it seems surprising that Harrison invited them at all. Starr believed it was a byproduct of Harrison’s spirituality and commitment to peace and love.
“Then George went up to San Francisco,” Starr said. “He even invited the Hells Angels to come stay with us — that’s how much love was around.”
It seemed to be only a fleeting moment of love, though. Harrison didn’t believe the party would go well and avoided it all together rather than attending and attempting to smooth things over.
He eventually asked them to leave Apple
Eventually, Harrison rescinded his invitation. Others tried to get the Hells Angels to leave Apple, but they refused. Harrison was the one who invited them, so he had to be the one to tell them to go.
“They did get asked to leave Apple,” Aspinall said. “I asked them, but they got into that hippy language: ‘Well, you didn’t invite us, so you cant ask us to leave…’ In other words, as George had invited them, so George was going to have to ask them to go. I think George did it very well — I can’t remember exactly what he said, but it was like: ‘Yes/no — Yin/Yang — in/out — stay/go. You know — BUGGER OFF!’ And they said, ‘Well, if you put it that way, George, of course,’ and left.”
Source: Cheat Sheet
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