Author Kevin Roach, who has penned an excellent book on the family of Paul McCartney and is co-author of another on the Beatles, has now authored “George Harrison: That's the Way God Planned It,” which explores George Harrison's early life. We interviewed him about his new book, which is available as an e-book for Kindle in the U.S. and the UK and as a paperback in the UK.
Q: “Are any of the pictures in the book new? One of the onstage shots looked unfamiliar?”
KEVIN ROACH: “There are a lot of unseen photos of the Harrison family photos and places where George grew up around Liverpool, the stage shot of George and Johnny Gentle was taken by a local news reporter when the Beatles supported Gentle on the Scottish Tour.”
Q: “What was the most interesting thing you found out about George”?
KEVIN ROACH: “There were many surprises I uncovered during my research, such as his grandfather being killed in the war and leaving Jane widowed to bring up seven children, and the newspaper reports that covered the story. But the most fascinating discovery I made was to find out that George's maternal grandfather, John Woollam, was a gardener by profession although the Harrison family I had spoken to about this had no idea, and then to discover a watercolor of the house John the gardener lived in was a bonus. I was looking at the watercolor and I thought maybe that was George's grandparents standing in the garden and captured by the artist.”
Q: How did George's family tree compare with Paul and John's in ancestry?
KEVIN ROACH: “I found George's family history more interesting than John and Paul's because of the connections from George's lifetime to following his roots and you could see the effects (although passed away before George met them) that his grandparents' spirit had made an inpression on him.”
Q: Are you planning a Ringo book?
KEVIN ROACH: “Yes I will be planning a book for Ringo, but as you know I do like to involve and work with the family and at the moment Ringo is still very private about his roots, and I wouldn't go ahead and write a book that was unsupported.”
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