Why Aunt Mimi not like George Harrison?
‘He’s very ‘dose’, John
Paul McCartney and George Harrison lived in council houses (social housing). Neither considered themselves to be poor or deprived. They were, however, very conscious of a social divide between their households and that of their new friend and band leader, John Lennon.
Aunt Mimi was also conscious that John’s new friends came from the world she had climbed out of. This made her very guarded in her response to them. Though she knew well that her nephew was no shrinking violet she preferred him to mix with ‘the right sort’. This did not include council house boys.
Fortunately, John had not yet encountered one Richard Starkey. The future Ringo was growing up way over in the badlands of Dingle. His postcode alone would have had a detrimental impact on her blood pressure.
The Smith family lived at 251 Menlove Avenue or Mendips as it had been fancifully named in Mr Pooter style was a semi-detached house on a ‘leafy but busy boulevard’ that ran through Woolton, a ‘self sufficient village …most English suburb of Liverpool’. (Lewisohn pp.31–7)
Paul quickly grasped that Aunt Mimi not typical of the genial ‘aunties’ he was used to in his extended family. He would need to watch his Ps and Qs. Many years later he said ‘John’s family was rather middle class and that was a lot of his appeal to me.’
Mimi, for her part, was not thrilled with Paul’s social CV. The McCartneys lived in a council house on the other side of Allerton Golf Club. The wrong side, as far as Mimi was concerned.
In the plus points column was the sense of decorum that his mother, Mary, had instilled in him. Good manners were an essential requirement at Mendips.
George Harrison initially flunked the social respectability test. Though he came from a similar background to Paul, George had less social polish. In summary, he was deemed too young, too loud, too scruffy and too Scouse.
After George’s first visit to Mendips, Mimi turned to John and said ‘he’s very dose, isn’t he?’ This was a reference to George’s strong local accent. It was not intended as a compliment.