George Harrison Wrote His Last Letter to Austin Powers Creator Mike Myers, Asking for a Mini Me Doll (2001)

harrison myers

In a band full of extro­vert­ed goof­balls and pranksters, George Har­ri­son was the qui­et one, the seri­ous Bea­t­le, the straight man and intro­spec­tive mys­tic, right? Not so, accord­ing to Trav­el­ling Wilburys band­mate Tom Pet­ty, who once coun­tered the “qui­et Bea­t­le” sobri­quet with “he nev­er shut up. He was the best hang you could imag­ine.” Not so, accord­ing to Har­ri­son him­self, who once said “I think I’ve had an image, peo­ple have had a con­cept of me being real­ly straight cause I was the seri­ous one or some­thing. I mean, I’m the biggest lunatic around. I’m com­plete­ly com­i­cal, you know? I like crazi­ness. I had to in order to be in the Bea­t­les.”

It’s true that Har­ri­son dis­liked fame and its trap­pings and dove deeply into life’s mys­ter­ies. In his final tele­vised inter­view, he is con­tem­pla­tive and, yes, deeply seri­ous. And while some of the sto­ries of the end of his life are heartbreaking—like that of the oncol­o­gist who alleged­ly showed up unan­nounced at the dying Bea­t­les’ door and cajoled him into sign­ing an auto­graph when he could bare­ly write his name—the sto­ry of the last let­ter he ever wrote made me smile.

Accord­ing to Mike Myers, cre­ator of Wayne’s World and the six­ties spoof Austin Pow­ers fran­chise, that let­ter arrived in his hands on the very day of Harrison’s death, deliv­ered via pri­vate inves­ti­ga­tor as Myers and crew shot the third of the Pow­ers films.

Har­ri­son wrote but nev­er mailed the short note a month before his death in Novem­ber, 2001. In it, he reveals his love for Austin Pow­ers, par­tic­u­lar­ly the “Mini Me” char­ac­ter from The Spy Who Shagged Me (played by Verne Troyer)—a minia­ture clone of Pow­ers’ neme­sis Dr. Evil. In a GQ inter­view, Myers quotes from the let­ter: “…sit­ting here with my Dr. Evil doll…I just want­ed to let you know I’ve been all over Europe for a mini-you doll.” Har­ri­son also jok­ing­ly cor­rect­ed Myers’ Liv­er­pudlian: “Dr. Evil says frickin’ but any good Scouser dad will tell you it’s actu­al­ly ‘frig­gin’ as in a ‘four of fish and fin­ger pie,’ if you get my drift.”

The “Scouser dad” ref­er­ence was par­tic­u­lar­ly poignant for Myers, whose par­ents come from Liv­er­pool. “You don’t know what The Bea­t­les were in my house,” Myers told WENN news, “They were every­thing. Liv­er­pool was poor­ish and it was rough and all of a sud­den it was cool to come from this town, so my par­ents were eter­nal­ly grate­ful.” Har­ri­son returned the grat­i­tude, writ­ing “thanks for the movies, so much fun,” a sen­ti­ment Myers reacts to with “Dude, I can’t even.” And real­ly, what could else could you say? “To get this let­ter,” and on the very day of Harrison’s pass­ing no less, “was unbe­liev­able,” said Myers, “It hits you and it can knock you off your feet.”

As for that rep­u­ta­tion for seri­ous­ness? I don’t know about you, but from now on, when I think of the last days of George Har­ri­son, I won’t think of his oppor­tunis­tic doc­tor, or his turn­ing down the OBE, or even that fate­ful final per­for­mance on VH1. I’ll imag­ine him sit­ting on the couch with a Dr. Evil doll, writ­ing Mike Myers to request a Mini Me.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Bob Dylan and George Har­ri­son Play Ten­nis, 1969

George Har­ri­son in the Spot­light: The Dick Cavett Show (1971)

Phil Spector’s Gen­tle Pro­duc­tion Notes to George Har­ri­son Dur­ing the Record­ing of All Things Must Pass

Here Comes The Sun: The Lost Gui­tar Solo by George Har­ri­son

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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