Paul McCartney Opens Up About Final Moments with George Harrison

07/01/2008 at 07:30 AM EDT

Paul McCartney Opens Up About Final Moments with George Harrison
Paul McCartney (left) and George Harrison
Dave Hogan/Getty; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty
I Want to Hold Your Hand. And they did.

So says Paul McCartney, speaking for the first time of his final moments with fellow Beatle George Harrison, who was succumbing to cancer.

"We held hands," McCartney, 66, tells Britain's Uncut magazine. "It's funny, even at the height of our friendship, as guys, you'd never hold hands."

"I sat with him for a few hours when he was in treatment about 10 days from his death," McCartney says of Harrison, who died in 2001, at the age of 58. "We joked about things – just amusing, nutty stuff. It was good. It was like we were dreaming."

McCartney, who first met Harrison on a bus while the two were schoolboys in Liverpool, said the guitarist was more than a friend – he was family.

"He was my little baby brother, almost, because I'd known him that long."

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