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Beatles friend Klaus Voormann says George Harrison was “a cocky little boy”

Legendary German producer, musician and Beatles collaborator Klaus Voormann has spoken out about the first time he encountered the iconic George Harrison.

Voormann recalls his first experience with an early incarnation of the Beatles at Hamburg’s Kaiserkeller in 1960. He said: “The first time I saw George he was only 17 years of age. He was very different to how he was later. He was a cocky little boy! This band he was with was completely unknown.”

Speaking to Uncut, he explained: “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’.”

Voorman, who designed the cover art for the Beatles’ 1966 album Revolver, for which he would receive a Grammy. He relocated to London not long after this first experience with the Liverpudlians and spent time living with Harrison and Ringo Star. He would move between Hamburg and London and joined Manfred Mann as bassist in 1966.

A well-respected session musician, Voormann played on Harrison’s seminal 1970 LP All Things Must Pass, three of Ringo Starr’s solo records and four of John Lennon’s. He also played on Lou Reed’s Transformer (1972) and Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’. 

Meanwhile, a letter handwritten by Paul McCartney went up for auction last month. It humorously settled a long-standing “debt” over a wet blanket.

The historic letter was penned in 1989 in response to Irene Brierley, whose farmhouse McCartney and Harrison stayed in during two Welsh hiking holidays back in 1958 and ’59.

Watch Voormann talk about the making of Revolver, below.