.

Harrison Back at Home After Attack

George Harrison's attacker sent to psych ward as the ex-Beatle returns home

January 3, 2000 12:00 AM ET

George Harrison is back at his 120-room home west of London, after spending the first weekend of the millennium in the hospital undergoing treatment for stab wounds allegedly inflicted by thirty-three-year-old Michael Abram last Thursday. Harrison had suffered a collapsed lung after Abram allegedly broke into the former Beatle's Friar Park Estate and stabbed him four times in the chest in the wee hours of the morning.

Doctors at Harefield Hospital told the fifty-six-year-old musician that he had recovered enough to recuperate at home. "Mr. Harrison is making a gradual but normal recovery," said a hospital spokesperson, adding that there were unlikely to be long-term health problems for Harrison, who also suffered cuts to his left hand and thumb incurred when he grabbled with Abram for the knife. Despite the more severe chest wounds, Harrison's first fears were whether he would be able to play the guitar again. Surgeons assured the musician that no important tendons or nerves were severed.

According to the security chief at the Harrisons' home, the couple has stepped up security threefold. Meanwhile, Abram, who was charged with the attempted murder of the couple, was locked up in Scott Clinic, a psychiatric unit in Rainhill near St. Helens, Merseyside, where he will undergo psychiatric assessment, under the dictates of Britain's Mental Health Act.

The blond, curly-haired Abram appeared at a special sitting at Oxford magistrates court Friday, Dec. 30, sporting a black eye and a bloodstained face. Those injuries were likely the result of his having been knocked unconscious when Olivia Harrison struck him over the head with a brass lamp to stop his attack, which took place over three blood-spattered rooms of the couple's mansion.

Dressed in a police-issued white boiler suit, sitting between three policemen, Abram only spoke during the forty-five-minute hearing to confirm his name and address. Chairman of the bench Tim Pocock adjourned the hearing until Feb. 11, releasing Abram into the care of the psychiatric clinic.

Lynda Abram, the suspect's mother, told the Liverpool Echo that her son suffered from paranoid psychosis, and recently became obsessed with the Beatles. "He takes all music literally -- it's the Beatles at the moment, but a few weeks ago it was Oasis. He has been running in pubs shouting about the Beatles," Ms. Abram said. "He hates them and even believes they are witches and takes their lyrics seriously. He started to wear a Walkman to play music to stop the voices in his head." Ms. Abram also said that her son had spent two weeks in a psychiatric ward at Whiston Hospital in Liverpool in November, but was sent home after he was involved in an attack on a nurse.

Her story was echoed by neighbors of Abram, a Liverpool native and father-of-two. "He would often stand completely naked on the balcony of his flat and shout at passers-by," said one neighbor. "He's a bit of a nutter and not a great mixer." Merseyside Police entered Abram's flat after the attack on Harrison and his wife and removed several items. A spokesperson for the department said, "At the request of Thames Valley Police, Merseyside Police have made a search of premise in Huyton in relation to an incident in Henley-on-Thames this morning."

In a horrible coincidence, a twenty-seven-year-old woman broke into Harrison's Maui estate, located in the island's remote eastern region of Nahiku, on Dec. 23. Police said that Cristin Keleher was found eating frozen pizza and drinking root beer in the kitchen of the former Beatles' Hawaiian residence. According to Maui police, Keleher had stalked the star for three months and broke in expecting Harrison to be spending Christmas there.

According to the Associated Press, a court affidavit revealed that Keleher had previously gone to Harrison's brother-in-law's home, saying that she "had a psychic connection" with Harrison. Police told Harrison that they believed that Keleher was dangerous and would have tried to attack him. She is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 11 on charges of first-degree burglary and fourth-degree theft. She also faces drug charges after police allegedly found crystal methamphetamine in her possession.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com