George and Pattie
The press interest, the crowds and the threatening letters worried Pattie, also the physical attacks by female fans, which were the lot of Beatles wives and girl friends. Once, when she went to The Beatles Christmas Show in Hammersmith with Terry Doran, a group of girls started punching her. Then they took their shoes off and shouted, “Let’s get her.” They started kicking her and Pattie punched one in the face while Terry got one against the wall and held her tight. They were shouting and swearing, but Pattie managed to escape. However, she was to become a popular figure with teenagers and wrote a column on the British rock scene for America’s 16 Magazine called ‘Pattie’s Letter From London’.
For a time she set up a clothes stall with her sisters called ‘Juniper’, named after the song Donovan wrote about her sister, ‘Jennifer Juniper.’
George actually had to ask Brian Epstein for permission to get married. He drove to Brian’s house in Chapel Street, Belgravia in December 1965 and left Pattie in the car outside while he went in to see his manager. He emerged ten minutes later to tell Pattie: “It’s all right. Brian has said we can get married in January. Off we go!” Pattie commented, “God has spoken!”
When John Lennon was told, he said, “January’s a bit soon, she must be in the club.”
Commenting on the romance, George’s father Harry said, “When George got together with Pattie, Mrs. Harrison and I were delighted. Of course, to the rest of the world it might have been ‘Beatle marries model’, but to those that really knew them it was clear that this was a genuine modern-day love story.”
The couple were wed at Epsom Register Office, Surrey on Friday 21 January 1966, with Paul McCartney in attendance, and spent their honeymoon in Barbados. When George was busy touring it was Pattie who became interested in spiritual matters. Pattie revealed that her interest in religion had been sparked by the trip she and George made to India in September 1966, although the trip had been made simply for George to study Indian music.
Of the five weeks spent in India, she commented, “We had really gone so George could study the sitar under Ravi Shankar. We met Ravi’s guru, his spiritual guide. You can’t be in India without being aware of everything. We went to a meeting at Benares, the Holy City on the Ganges. Millions of people had come for a big festival which went on for three days.”
On their return she had lots of time on her hands. George, with his obsession for privacy and keeping the media at arms length, had told Pattie she had to give up all her
modeling work. When she became interested in charity work, he forbade her doing that, too. Her thoughts turned to an interest in the spirituality she detected during her trip to India and she went along to Caxton Hall in London in February 1967 to listen to a lecture by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on his Spiritual Regeneration Movement.
So Pattie became the first member of the Beatles’ circle to join the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Spiritual Regeneration movement, and she was so impressed she talked George and the other members of the Beatles into attending his lecture on Transcendental Meditation at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, London on Thursday 24 August 1967. Those of their party in attendance were George and Pattie, John and Cynthia and Paul and Jane Asher. Following his lecture, the Maharishi gave them a private audience. As a result of this meeting, they all began a ten-day course on Transcendental Meditation, held at University College, Bangor, in North Wales.
The seminar was marred by the tragic news that Brian Epstein, who had intended to join them at the seminar, had been found dead.