He didn’t serenade her with I Want to Hold Your Hand, but Beatle George Harrison nonetheless had a soft spot for Sooke’s Jacqueline Davenport one night in the early 1960s.
Today, on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first appearance in North America — on the Ed Sullivan Show — Davenport can lay claim to a personal encounter three years earlier with the future cultural icons.
Davenport, now 68, was a regular at Liverpool-area clubs where the Beatles performed in the early days.
She remembers on one occasion, “in 1961 or ’62,” making a play for Paul McCartney and being ignored, John Lennon swearing at her and George Harrison asking her out.
And she said no.
Davenport grew up in Birkenhead, across the River Mersey from Liverpool, and as many as nine times she watched the Beatles perform at local dance halls. In those days, kids didn’t even have to pay to get in.
“I had always kind of fancied Paul,” said Davenport, who was 16 at the time. “I was trying to get his attention but the bugger wouldn’t listen to me.”
So she removed a stiletto shoe and threw it at McCartney on stage, but she missed.
“John Lennon picked it up and threw it back at me and told me to eff off,’ ” Davenport said. “Actually, he said the f-word. He was pretty mouthy, a tough cookie.
“I went, ‘Oh, Lord, I’m only 16 and John Lennon just told me to eff off,’ ” she said.
After the band finished playing, Davenport was approached by a sympathetic George Harrison, who had seen the exchange, and asked her out, “like on a date.”
“I kind of looked at him and said: ‘Oh God, no. No thanks,’ ” Davenport said.
“I didn’t want to go out with George Harrison! George Harrison [the youngest Beatle] was this scraggy, thin little boy!”
Davenport has no regrets. She and her husband, Colin, married in 1963; they moved to Canada two years later and raised three sons.
On a trip back to Liverpool, they showed their eldest son the Cavern Club where the Beatles often played.
“They’ve even got statues of the Beatles there now,” Davenport said. “They put Liverpool on the map, really.”
> For more Beatles recollections from Times Colonist readers, see today’s Islander, section D, and timescolonist.com.