George Harrison took his role with the Beatles seriously. He enjoyed his work as a guitarist, but he also feared making a mistake. Being the youngest member of the band, he wanted to prove himself, and he also knew that his mistakes would outweigh the others. According to his mother, Harrison didn’t even smile during performances to avoid making mistakes.
Harrison was younger than his bandmates, which bothered John Lennon.
“George was the youngest, and it was obvious,” author Tony Bramwell said, according to the book George Harrison: Behind the locked door by Graeme Thomson. . “He looked very young, even younger than his years. John Lennon didn’t like him very much and didn’t want him in the band. He thought he was too young, a child, but Paul [McCartney] urged him.”
Harrison realized Lennon was ashamed of him. Due to his age, he was also deported from Germany when the Beatles played a residency in Hamburg.
On stage, Harrison’s bandmates laughed and yelled at the audience. However, Harrison never behaved in this way.
“[The Cavern Club] was really a dump,” Harrison’s mother, Louise, said per The Beatles: The Authorized Biography by Hunter Davies. “There was no air at all. The walls were dripping with sweat the whole time. Sweat used to drip from them or from the walls and onto the amps and shorted them out. But they would still go ahead and sing alone. John used to shout things at the audience. They all did. They would tell them to shut up. But George never said anything or smiled.”
Harrison told Louise that as lead guitarist he couldn’t afford to make a mistake.
I always asked him why he didn’t do it,” Louise said. “He always looked so serious. Girls always asked me why he looked so serious. He used to say, “I’m the lead guitar. If the others make mistakes by fooling around, no one notices, but I’m not allowed to make mistakes.’ He was always very serious about his music and money. He always wanted to know how much they get.”
Although Harrison was serious on stage, he tried to maintain a sense of humor in his life. In fact, he said that one of the biggest misconceptions about him is that he’s a serious person.
“That I’m serious,” he said, according to the book George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviewers and Encounters. “Fish are represented as two fish walking in opposite directions. A lot of people don’t see my humorous side.”