SARASOTA, Fla. - How does a trip to California sound? One that includes attending the Grammys, where a CD you've worked on is nominated? It may sound like a dream, but it's a reality for one Suncoast woman.
When Louise Harrison was eleven years old, her younger brother George was born. She didn't know it then, but George of course became part of one of the most famous bands in history. "There's probably not much I can tell you that people think they do not know about George Harrison of the Beatles," says Harrison.
And although George may now be gone, Louise makes sure his memory is keeping on, with a CD called "Fab Fan Memories: the Beatles Bond". Last year, Louise was the narrator of the CD, which is a compilation of stories of how the Beatles touched so many lives. "I'm so proud to be apart of something so positive," says Harrison.
And the project is actually nominated for a Grammy this year. So on Friday, Louise will be packing her bags and leaving Sarasota for California. "It's in the spoken word category," says Harrison.
She says the CD is just another way to keep the Beatles music alive.
When she returns home from the Grammys, she will continue work with her non-profit organization to help keep music alive in the schools. For more information on Louise's organization visit www.liverpoollegends.com.
9th Annual Tribute to George Harrison in Westport this Saturday
The 9th Annual Tribute to George Harrison will take place this Saturday, February 18, 2012 at Whites of Westport, in Westport, Massachusetts beginning at 6:00 (Doors open at 5:30). This annual event is a night filled with music from the 60's, focusing around George Harrison and the Beatles, and includes Beatles memorabilia and artwork available for purchase and raffles.
This year's line up include The British Yankees, Sherman & the Waybacks, Psychedelic Relics, Wayne Cabral (former member of Octopus's Garden, a John Lennon Songwriting Contest semi-finalist and performer at the 2011 New England Pop Festival), the Oh Nos, a plastic sporko band! (featuring members of the band GIRL, the first all female Beatle Tribute band to play the Cavern Club in Liverpool).
Also appearing will be Beatletracks, the Mockers (Fred Grady and members of CBNE and Stacy Pedrick of THE FOOLS) and from New Jersey, The Cryers (backing band for Denny Laine of Wings and Terry Sylvester of the Hollies) with special acoustic welcome starting at 5:40 by 10 year old guitarist Thatcher Harrison.
Îòïðàâëåíî:20.02.12 10:18.Çàãîëîâîê:Louise Harrison keep..
Louise Harrison keeping the Beatles spirit alive in schools
When Beatlemania burst forth in the early 60's, Harold and Louise Harrison responded warmly to the multitude of Beatle fans worldwide who wrote letters to and about their son, thus becoming Mum and Dad to a warm and loving Global Family of Beatle People.
During 1964 and 1965, Louise Harrison, the first child and only daughter of Harold and Louise Harrison, who was born in Liverpool but by then was living in Illinois, found herself writing and broadcasting daily Beatle reports nationwide, due to public demand for news of The Beatles. When her parents passed away in the late 1970s, Louise became Mum, known by many as "the flying mum," to what she fondly refers to as her Global Family. Louise keeps that connection alive these days as manager of the Beatles tribute band Liverpool Legends.
She told Beatles News, "Amongst the many financial problems appearing, we heard that education was suffering very badly and especially the music and arts departments. Being closely involved with a group of compassionate and caring musicians it seemed a logical move, to find a way for our band to try to help keep music alive for the students in our schools."
And Louise and the Liverpool Legends are helping to make that a reality, as they have recently given fundraising concerts at five high schools in the U.S. including, Moline, Davenport, two in Chicago and one in Cape Cod. At these shows, student musicians and singers join in, filling in on the instrumental accompaniment and background vocals.
Louise said, "Each of these shows was a great success and we feel very encouraged that as we proceed, and with the ardent support already pouring in from my Beatles family, we shall be able to show the world that the Beatles legacy is still a very positive one."
Now that effort is official, with "Louise Harrison's Help Keep Music Alive, Inc.," her new non-profit organization that is dedicated to help bring music and the message of the Beatles to kids. Louise incorporated the new non-profit in the State of Florida on Jan 23rd of this year. But she needs your help.
The goal of "Louise Harrison's Help Keep Music Alive, Inc." is to bring her broadway class Liverpool Legends show to schools, and have the music students play a large role in the second half of the concert by playing on stage with Liverpool Legends. The proceeds of each of their previous high school shows went to the respective schools where the concerts were held, minus the costs of putting on the show, like travel costs and hotel rooms. Through the new non-profit organization, Louise is now looking for sponsors to help defray these costs, so that more of the money taken in at these concerts can go directly to the actual school's music department.
Louise wants to hear from you if you're a school music director or school administrator and you'd like to arrange for one their shows to happen at your school. Also, please contact Louise if you're part of a company that can sponsor services to Louise's cause, like air fares and hotel rooms. Louise can be reached at email@example.com or visit their website at www.lh-hkma.org.
You can also learn more about the band Liverpool Legends at their official website, www.liverpoollegends.com.
Louise says, "In the same way that my Mum and Dad would sit down and answer fan letters for hours and hours hours, they answered hundreds of thousands of fan letters in those early days, and they considered all of the kids across the world as part of their family, I have adopted that same attitude for Beatles people, they are my extended family. I'm just very gratified all these years that whenever I have tried to do something that is in the spirit of the Beatles, that inevitably, my Beatles family all over the world have rallied around and helped me. I'm hoping that this will happen again, because I don't ever want to let my family down, and if I can get the right kind of help, we'll be able to do something really good in the next few years."
Îòïðàâëåíî:27.02.12 19:43.Çàãîëîâîê:Celebrating George H..
Celebrating George Harrison at Mercury Lounge
This Sunday, Mercury Lounge is putting on a birthday celebration for my favorite Beatle, George Harrison. He may have been known as “the quiet one” to the young teen girls of the 60’s, but Harrison was really the driving force for many of the Beatles’ most memorable songs, like “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Taxman” and “Here Comes The Sun.”
A largely introspective, spiritual person with an insatiable appetite for knowledge and new experiences, he is credited with guiding the group towards eastern music and mysticism, which would have a huge impact on their subsequent albums. Harrison, of course, was much more than one of four Beatles, and went on to experience success as both a solo artist, collaborator and an inspiration for countless musicians through multiple decades.
Harrison became close friends with famed sitar player Ravi Shankar, and teamed up with Shankar in 1971 to put on the all-star “Concert For Bangladesh,” which became a model for future celebrity charity events.
Not to say that Harrison was wholly serious, as he was well known for his dagger-pointed jokes, even going so far as to create a film production company to back the filming of Monty Python’s “Life of Brian,” simply because he wanted to see the movie.
He remained relevant during the 80’s with some short, poppy singles like the unforgettable “Got My Mind Set on You.” But in forming the Traveling Wilburys in 1988, you really got the sense that Harrison truly relaxed and had the most fun of his illustrious career. The group was made up of Harrison and fellow luminaries Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. Together they created a signature barn-stomping jam sound that weaved together gravelly harmonies with rhythm & blues guitar riffs.
A humble artist who transcended the pitfalls of fame and the pigeonholing of the entertainment industry, George Harrison is certainly deserving of the Mercury’s birthday celebration in his honor.
George Harrison’s Beloved Guitars, Gently Weeping on Your iPad
Some music fans understandably regard the guitars owned and played by George Harrison, in his Beatles career and as a solo artist, as sacred relics that may still contain fragments of their former master’s spirit.
Dhani Harrison, the son and only child of George Harrison, appreciates why the instruments he inherited from his father are so venerated but sees things slightly differently.
“It’s not like Spinal Tap,” he said recently, referring to that satirical rock ’n’ roll troupe. “ ‘Don’t point at it, don’t even look at it.’ They’re not quite like that.”
He added: “Paintings should be in museums and should be able to be seen. Instruments should have to be played every once in a while. Otherwise they’ll perish.”
While he can’t share his father’s guitars with anyone who would like to pick them up and play them, Mr. Harrison is providing iPad owners with an interactive way to pore over the cherished instruments.
On Thursday a new iPad app that Mr. Harrison helped to create, called The Guitar Collection: George Harrison, is scheduled to go on sale. At a cost of $9.99, the app will offer users detailed 360-degree studies of some of his best-known gear; their histories and other background information; and multimedia of the guitars in action. Mr. Harrison, who is 33 and a rock musician in his own right, said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles that he too reveres the instruments, having grown up with them as if they were members of the family.
“I’ve learned to love this equipment firsthand through seeing my father play it and through seeing it used on every great bit of footage ever,” he said.
“If anyone needs anyone to look after a psychedelic piano, give it to me,” he added. “I know what to do with it.”
The best way to show respect for his father’s musical trove, he said, is to make it available to others, at least in a virtual capacity. “It means that I can play around with these things every day,” he said, “when I’m on the bus or in the car, and not have to worry about scratching them.”
The app, which is authorized by the George Harrison estate and developed by Bandwdth Publishing, works like a miniature showroom and includes digital replicas of seven of the guitars.
Images of George Harrison’s 12-string Rickenbacker 360/12, or the Fender Stratocaster he painted in DayGlo colors and named Rocky, can be manipulated and rotated from every angle; numbered details show the modifications he made to the instruments and, in accompanying audio files, Harrison tells stories of how he acquired the guitars (like the Gretsch Duo Jet he says he bought from a sailor in Liverpool for about £70 in 1961).
Users can see every Beatles or solo track Harrison used the guitars on and play them through the app. (Songs already in your iTunes library can be played in full; otherwise you’ll hear a short excerpt.)
The 360-degree guitar models are the creations of Steven Sebring, the photographer and filmmaker who helped create a similar app based on his documentary “Patti Smith: Dream of Life.”
Last fall Mr. Sebring traveled to Friar Park, the Harrison mansion in Henley-on-Thames, England, to photograph the guitars with a camera on a turntable apparatus that he operates with his own software. The guitars were supported by plexiglass stands that Mr. Sebring started designing before the trip, basing their dimensions on copies of Harrison instruments he found in music stores.
But when he arrived at Friar Park, Mr. Sebring said, he discovered “they weren’t really exact replicas out there.” So, he added, “we were literally sitting on the dining room floor in Friar Park with some plastic adhesive glues and creating these stands for these guitars, hoping to god that they would fit.”
The Harrison guitars were later sent to Los Angeles for an exhibition at the Grammy Museum, where performers like Ben Harper, Josh Homme and Mike Campbell, as well as the late-night host and guitar geek Conan O’Brien, were invited to play them for video segments seen on the app.
Mr. Campbell, a guitarist who performs with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, said that picking up Harrison’s Rickenbacker and playing the chords to “You Can’t Do That” resulted in “an out-of-body experience.”
“I had to stand up for a second, it was so intense,” Mr. Campbell said. “It was that instrument and that sound that inspired me so much as a kid. And there I was, hearing it up close. It was a pretty special moment, really.”
For admirers who can’t have the same hands-on experiences, Dhani Harrison is already planning other offerings. More of his father’s guitars will be added to the app, he said, in the weeks after it is released. (The additional guitar upgrades will be free to people who have already purchased the app.)
And he said he would like to create other apps that would display the guitar collections of rock stars like Eric Clapton (George Harrison’s longtime friend), Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend of the Who, and Angus Young of AC/DC.
“I don’t know how well I’d do, sitting there photographing the white Hendrix Woodstock Stratocaster,” Mr. Harrison said. “Then it’ll be me that’s in tears, and everyone else will be going, ‘It’s O.K.’ ”
For all the worship bestowed on the Harrison guitars, Mr. Campbell said his own encounters with the quiet Beatle suggested he was not especially precious about them.
“I was talking to him about how much I loved the guitar sounds on their early records, the Gretsches and the Rickenbackers,” Mr. Campbell recalled. “And he went: ‘Oh, yeah. They were kind of clunky and hard to play. If we had Fenders, we could have been really good.’ ”
U.S. DVD release of George Harrison doc in sight if online clues correct
Though there's been no official announcement, the long wait for the U.S. release of the Martin Scorsese film "George Harrison: Living in the Material World" may finally be coming to an end, assuming some online listings are accurate. Amazon.com has a listing for the U.S. DVD/CD Blu-ray bundle for release on May 1. A regular DVD version is also listed, but without a price or release date. Advance listings don't always have complete information, so this should be corrected in time.
Also listed on the site for May 1 is "Early Takes Volume 1: Music From The Martin Scorsese Picture Living In The Material World," a separate release of the CD of rarities released in the UK with the deluxe bundle. A vinyl version of the album will also be released, according to the listings. The lack of information with the regular DVD release could be an indication there is no bundle for the regular DVD, meaning anyone wanting the CD will have to buy it separately.
Amazon isn't the only place listing the May 1 date. MusicTap.net, which runs news of upcoming releases, has also said May 1 is the release date for the Blu-ray DVD/CD bundle.
It should be noted again that the advance product listings such as those on Amazon.com are not official. Advance listings aren't always reliable and have been known to be wrong. The U.K. release came shortly after the film aired late in 2011. The U.S. has had to wait an incredibly long time. That appears to be nearing an end, finally.
This much is true, though: With the advance listings and reports already online, an official announcement should be coming soon. Perhaps very soon. We'll report the official announcement, so check in with us for the latest information.
You were an organizer of last month's Indian Music and Dance Festival in Delhi.
In our center, every year, we have a four-day festival for which I get young musicians and elder, established musicians. It started in memory of George's birthday. We still keep that day, starting on Feb. 24. Every year we do that.
I miss him very much.
What do you remember most about him?
We became very, very dear to each other in the sense that it started with my teaching him sitar. And then gradually I saw his interest in Indian religion and more than religion, actually, philosophy and the old culture. And I helped him get many books to read, and that's how it started. And he got so deep into it and he was so sincerely in love with India and the Indian religion, because he was more into the philosophical aspect of the old system. This plus music, we became such good friends. He became like part of me.
"I don't care too much for the money," crooned the Beatles in their 1964 hit song, "for money can't buy me love." What it can buy you though, is Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison's sprawling, stately mansion in prestigious Montagnola, Switzerland.
Exactly how much money though, we're not entirely sure. The listing agents at Christie's International affiliate Wetag are keeping mum about how much the late Beatle's digs are going for. But we're assuming a ballpark figure of a whole lot (apparently, Harrison had purchased the estate for $10 million, back in 2001) because it's out of this world.
Îòïðàâëåíî:28.03.12 08:58.Çàãîëîâîê:George Harrison ‘Ear..
George Harrison ‘Early Takes’ Album Announced
Although known to fans as “the quiet Beatle,” George Harrison left behind a wealth of legendary albums upon his death in 2001. Fans have also been exposed to a number of unreleased demo tracks over the years through unofficial releases, including solo demos recorded in the waning days of the Beatles as he transitioned to working on his debut album, ‘All Things Must Pass.’
Some of those demos, along with other rarities, will see a U.S. release on May 1 with the release of ‘Early Takes Vol. 1,’ a set of ten songs featured in Martin Scorcese’s October 2011 documentary on Harrison, ‘Living In The Material World.’ Both DVD and blu-ray editions of the documentary are due for release on the same day.
Many of these tracks appear similar to those released on the famous Beatle bootleg ‘Beware of ABCKO,’ at least one of which also turned up on the Beatles’ ‘Anthology 3′ release. Harrison’s collaborations with Bob Dylan are also spotlighted, including an early take of their co-written track ‘I’d Have You Anytime’ and Harrison’s demo of Dylan’s ‘Mama You Been On My Mind.’ Rarities from later albums such as ‘Thirty Three and 1/3′ and ‘Living in the Material World’ also appear on the collection.
The set will be available in both vinyl and CD incarnations and should be available for pre-order soon from Amazon. Harrison fans with iPads will also want to check out the singer-songwriter’s guitar collection in the exclusive ‘The Guitar Collection: George Harrison’ app, available through iTunes.
Here’s the track listing for ‘Early Takes’:
1. My Sweet Lord (demo) 2. Run Of The Mill (demo) 3. I’d Have You Any Time (early take) 4. Mama You’ve Been On My Mind (demo) 5. Let It Be Me (demo) 6. Woman Don’t You Cry For Me (early take) 7. Awaiting On You All (early take) 8. Behind That Locked Door (demo) 9. All Things Must Pass (demo) 10. The Light That Has Lighted The World (demo)
Îòïðàâëåíî:29.03.12 16:51.Çàãîëîâîê:Áîëüøå èíôîðìàöèè î ..
Áîëüøå èíôîðìàöèè î ïðîïàâøåì ñîëî Äæîðæà.
Lost George Harrison 'Sun' guitar solo on 'Material World' film
Tucked in among about a dozen bonus audio and video features on the May 1 home video release of Martin Scorsese’s documentary “George Harrison: Living in the Material World” is a session that’s bound to generate excitement among Harrison and Beatles aficionados: a missing George Harrison guitar solo from one of his most celebrated songs, “Here Comes the Sun.”
It surfaces during in-studio conversation between Harrison’s son, Dhani, longtime Beatles producer George Martin and his son, Giles Martin, who has overseen recordings used in the film and on an accompanying CD.
The three are listening to, and fiddling with, tracks from the original multi-track recording of “Here Comes the Sun,” one of the two Harrison songs on the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album in 1969.
Giles Martin brings up the orchestral score his father created for Harrison’s song, noting that the elder Martin hadn’t done much composing previously for songs written by “the quiet Beatle.” They’re isolating different aspects of the track -- the strings, George’s voice -- when Dhani pushes another button on the studio console and up comes the sound of Harrison playing a guitar solo not included on the final mix.
“That’s totally different to anything I’ve ever heard before,” says Dhani, his eyes immediately widening.
“We never used that,” George Martin responds. “I’d forgotten about that.”
“I never even knew about it,” Dhani says.
That snippet is included in the bonus DVD material, but isn’t on the bonus audio disc featuring 10 Harrison tracks from his post-Beatles career, including early or alternate takes of several songs from his watershed “All Things Must Pass” solo album, some of his latter-day material and some covers. The CD will be packaged with the deluxe DVD-Blu-ray edition of the film, and sold as a stand-alone album.
Calendar will have a more extensive interview with Giles Martin and Harrison’s widow, Olivia, closer to the release date of the package, which will be available in two-DVD set and single-disc Blu-ray editions, and the deluxe version with both formats and the audio CD. It has been released previously outside North America, but because HBO screened the film domestically, the home video was delayed in the U.S. until May.
Ringo Starr's 'It Don't Come Easy': the George Harrison connection
Ringo Starr's "It Don't Come Easy," released as a single on April 9, 1971, was his first solo hit. The song topped out at number 4 in 11 weeks on the Billboard charts. And it's been one of the most enduring songs of his solo career that he's performed live many times, including at the Concert for Bangladesh. But one fascinating side note to the song is George Harrison's part in it. According to Chip Madinger and Mark Easter's "Eight Arms to Hold You," Starr has said Harrison helped him in writing the song, though he was never credited.
More fascinating, though, is a guide vocal version that has floated around collector's circles for years with Harrison singing the song. (See the video spot at left.)
The backing track is a different mix than Ringo's, and Harrison's arrangement features a few differences from Ringo's version. The casualness of the vocal clearly says it was meant for demo purposes.
t would be interesting, though, to guess what Harrison's contribution to the song is. It's become one of the cornerstones of Ringo's "peace and love" trademark. ("Peace, remember peace is how we make it, here within your reach, if you're big enough to take it.")
But Harrison's singing also shows the song's spiritual side. "It Don't Come Easy" may sound like a common complaint, but it becomes a philosophical statement thanks to Harrison.
It's a collaboration that, you can say, "worked out nice, again
Magic and mystery of George Harrison’s former Blue Jay Way home
Southern California offers so many a celebrity home, we have a hard time getting excited when yet another one hits the MLS. But in this case, we got excited, because this isn’t just a celebrity listing, it’s a Beatles listing.
Well, sort of. It’s the former rented home of George Harrison. An oasis close to, but hardly touched by, the bright lights and buzz of LA’s Sunset Strip and Century City, the 3 bedroom, 2.25 bath home is over 4000 square feet of history. For without 1567 Blue Jay Way, the Magical Mystery Tour wouldn’t be the album it is.
According to CurbedLA, the song “Blue Jay Way” came to Earth via the magical mystery mix that was a late Beatles pressman and a Beatle with sudden time on his hands.
Back in 1967, there was a fog upon LA and George Harrison was waiting in his rental house up in the Hollywood Hills Bird Streets for Beatles pressman Derek Taylor to show up (but he and his wife had lost their way: “We’ll be over soon they said/Now they’ve lost themselves instead.”). He noticed his landlord had left a Hammond organ in the house and sat down and wrote ”Blue Jay Way.”
Beatles lovers should consider themselves lucky George didn’t fill his time some other way in this house, so full of delights as it is. A swim in the pool or soak in the spa? A movie in the theater? The chance to spill some wine on acres of white upholstery?
Take a (magical mystery) tour, readers, and see if you’re similarly inspired. You need a few gold records to buy this pad though: listing price is $4,599,000.
Îòïðàâëåíî:23.04.12 14:45.Çàãîëîâîê:Ïîõîæå,Îëèâèÿ è Äõàí..
Ïîõîæå,Îëèâèÿ è Äõàíè âçÿëèñü çà íàñëåäñòâî ïî ñåðüåçíîìó.
Treasure trove of George Harrison music unwrapped
Olivia Harrison and a few trusted collaborators are going through the guitarist's massive archive and bringing the best of it to the public
“He loved to record, he was always doing more and more demos at night,” says his widow, Olivia Harrison. “But he’d always say, ‘I’ll never finish them. I’ll have to give them to (producer) Jeff Lynne (to finish).’ He knew he was going to be in his garden in the daytime, so they wouldn’t get done. But he was discovering the singer-songwriter thing again and really doing a lot of recording. He was just getting to the point of getting some sessions together. Sadly, time ran out.”
Now, Olivia Harrison and a few trusted collaborators, including Giles Martin, the son of Beatles producer George Martin, are going through the guitarist’s massive archive and bringing the best of it to the public. The first in what is projected to be a series of recordings is due out May 1, “Early Takes: Volume 1” (UMe), a collection of mostly acoustic demos documenting the early days of Harrison’s solo career. It will accompany the release on DVD and Blu-Ray of Martin Scorsese’s 2011 Harrison documentary, “Living in the Material World.”
“Early Takes” focuses on the era around the guitarist’s 1970 solo debut, “All Things Must Pass,” including demos or early takes of the title song, “My Sweet Lord,” “Behind That Locked Door,” “Awaiting On You All,” “Run of the Mill” and “I’d Have You Any Time” (cowritten with Bob Dylan). Another gem is an acoustic version of the then-decade-old Everly Brothers hit “Let It Be Me.”
In the documentary, producer Phil Spector says he was stunned to find Harrison had “hundreds” of unreleased tracks when the two began working on “All Things Must Pass.” And perfectionist that he was, Harrison left behind alternate versions of countless songs. Among the documentary’s bonus footage is a scene showing Giles and George Martin seated in front of a mixing board with Harrison’s son, Dhani. They pull up a version of Harrison’s Beatles hit “Here Comes the Sun” and play a previously unheard guitar solo by the songwriter.
“I never even knew about that,” Dhani Harrison remarks as he hears his father’s guitar-playing pour through the speakers.
There’s plenty more where that came from, as Olivia Harrison and Giles Martin describe in an interview:
Q: Did the Scorsese documentary meet your expectations?
Olivia Harrison: It’s so rich, it so captured a deep part of George. Maybe some years from now I may think of something I wish was in it. But for now, as Dhani said, ‘You’re off the hook, mom.’ I do feel like that. I was doubtful, before I met Marty, that anyone would be able to capture this part of George that was so unique, so different, the deep part of him. I thought that side was too private, too personal, but Marty managed to bring it out. So I’m grateful he did.
Q: Did you have the final say on what went into the documentary?
OH: No, not really. Marty thought really long and hard before even accepting to do this, because he needed to express what he thought all this material meant, what the story was. There were times when I was emotionally not ready to put things out into the public. We’d have conversations about it, and he’d say why it needed to be in there. It always made sense. He never wanted to do anything that would hurt anyone. We didn’t want to be flinching about something 10 years down the line over this. It was a good balance. But Marty pretty much got to do what he wanted to do.
Q: George said after the “Beatles Anthology” came out in the ‘90s that he wanted to do his own documentary one day, right?
OH: He did say, “I want to do my anthology.” When you have four people you have four different perceptions. All of them were interested in different things, and George had a different attitude toward some subjects. He was into Indian classical music, meditation, things he thought were important in life to help you get through the madness. Those things he wanted to express. He had a list of things that he wanted to do. This was one of them. In fact, he had a note -- I shouldn’t say this, but I will – he had this piece of paper saying, “Exploring my own twisted mind, Part One.” That would’ve been his title for the first half of the documentary. He wanted to share certain things with people. So I felt pretty free to follow through on this project.
Q: Did any of the material in the documentary surprise you?
OH: It surprised me that Marty chose a certain body of music that would be a narrative for George’s entire life. It wasn’t just linear, we didn’t go through the music of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Outside of maybe one or two things, he didn’t use any music beyond 1973, and that was a surprise.
Q: Do you feel some more of George’s later music should’ve been in there?
OH: No, because it was really rich what Marty did. He uses the music to take you out to sea, and then he leaves you there in this very deep water. He takes you to a place you don’t expect, and not everybody wants to go there. But that’s what he does. I respect him for that, and I think it was the right thing to do. The most surprising thing about the documentary was that it doesn’t end where you expect. It’s about life, but it’s also about death. Living and dying. It doesn’t leave you where you expected.
Giles Martin: Musically, it’s not chronological. The music reflects George’s personality and what he was thinking at the time, which is more interesting and makes it more timeless in a way.
Q: How did the CD of rarities come together?
OH: There was no plan. It was very ambitious just to do the documentary, dealing with an archive of ephemera, all these images, and the music. Marty was very interested in George’s creative process. When you hear “My Sweet Lord” take one, Marty wanted to know where did it go from there? To hear that is very revealing, aside from being an intimate experience for the listener. You can imagine George sitting on a chair singing and playing that song. It’s very intimate and it’s also revealing about the creative process.
GM: He sings beautifully. There is something different about a take that wasn’t designed to be the master take that has an excitement about it. When you think about “My Sweet Lord” or “All Things Must Pass,” that was the first time he was playing those songs with a band. It was just a three-piece band, but you get an energy that doesn’t come when things are more considered down the line. It’s like falling in love for the first time. You can’t duplicate that in subsequent takes.
Q: How did you winnow down all the material for this CD?
OH: I was just overwhelmed with tapes. I still am (laughs). There was a huge amount of material we listened to for the director to decide what we could offer. We had reel-to-reel tapes of people up all night talking, hanging out, business meetings, demos, George and John (Lennon) working together, George’s mother singing. For a year, Giles and (recording engineer) Paul Hicks were here at George’s studio plowing through all these things that we thought Marty could use or might use. Marty was very specific about what drives the narrative. My goal was to make an archive parallel to the film. WGN Radio Now alerts by e-mail or text
GM: We were talking at the Beatles’ “Love” show (in Las Vegas a few years ago), and Olivia said, “We’ve got this project coming up. We have all these tapes, and a lot hasn’t been listened to.” So the task was working through it all. You get very excited when you see a tape box marked, “George, Eric (Clapton), Ringo (Starr) and Klaus (Voorman),” and then you listen and realize it’s just hours of them chatting in the studio. But other times you stumble across something really great. You are digging for gold, and there was a lot there.
Q: How did you focus the material for the CD?
GM: This collection reflects where we are at the moment. There is more we discovered. But we wanted to link this disc to the documentary. The feel of it has a nice timeline that reflects the work Marty did. Olivia’s mission and therefore my mission was to steer or inspire people away from the records and open a door to George’s creative process. We didn’t want to jump around too much. The key with this disc is to show his acoustic guitar playing and voice, as a singer-songwriter, essentially. He loved singer-songwriters, people like Bob Dylan. That’s where he took his inspiration. But people don’t often think of him like that, so it’s pretty exciting to present him this way.
Q: Did you think of broadening the scope?
OH: Initially I thought it could be a two-disc thing, but some things don’t go together. He sang a lot of songs during this time, some very obscure, by people like Nina Simone and this local girl Charlie Dore. But they didn’t really mesh, didn’t fit. We didn’t want a nine-CD set. We settled on these very intimate songs, that were so important to him at the beginning of his solo career, his emergence as a solo artist. That’s what we’re trying to present here, that particular period of his life.
Q: Did George consider putting out some of these more stripped-down recordings in his lifetime?
OH: Yeah, but he didn’t have time. He was gathering up all the bootlegs. At one time he had his engineer, Ken Scott, putting together all his bootlegs. They were piled high. He was well aware that there were people who wanted to hear some of them. But he wouldn’t ever do it to compete in the marketplace. He wouldn’t just throw it out there. He might have been a little shy about some of these demos, even from later in the ‘80s and ‘90s. … (The acoustic demo for) “Run of the Mill” was one of my favorite things. I would always say that to him. “Just play and sing and put it out because it’s beautiful.” “Really?” he’d say. “Yeah.” I think we could’ve talked him into it if we’d had more time.
Q: Will there be subsequent volumes of rarities?
OH: It would be nice. That’s why we called it “Volume One.” George wouldn’t have put just anything out, he didn’t like to scrape the bottom of the barrel. But there are things far from the bottom that we’ll put out later down the line.
Îòïðàâëåíî:28.04.12 13:02.Çàãîëîâîê:George Harrison stil..
George Harrison still a hero in Bangladesh
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Hidden from view along a side street in this dusty, traffic-choked metropolis of 12 million people, Dhaka’s Liberation War Museum seems an unlikely place to honor the memory of George Harrison.
Yet here, in a second-floor gallery crammed with glass cases full of aging rifles, machine guns, spears, bayonets and other weapons of war is a bronze plaque dedicated to the “quiet Beatle” who preached love and compassion.
“Author, composer, peacemaker, gardener, lyricist, musician, philanthropist, poet,” reads the inscription. “Established the Material World Foundation to explore diverse forms of artistic expression and to support charities and those with special needs. Devotee of Krishna who found peace in his garden. Passed away Los Angeles USA, 29 November 2001. Our love and gratitude always.”
The plaque, donated in February 2009 by British singer and Harrison fan Danis Theophilus, is a testament to the former Beatle who organized the world’s first showbiz charity event — a full 14 years before Bob Geldof staged the 1985 Live Aid concert to raise money for Ethiopian famine victims.
Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh, which was actually two benefit concerts held Aug. 1, 1971, was attended by more than 40,000 people at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Ticket sales from the concert itself generated $243,000 in emergency assistance for starving refugees at the height of the country’s 1971 war of liberation against Pakistan — and sales of the boxed three-record set and a subsequent 99-minute film, “The Concert for Bangladesh,” have since raised $15 million for UNICEF projects around the world.
In the film, Harrison is asked by a reporter: “With all the enormous problems in the world, how did you happen to choose this one to do something about?” His simple reply: “Because I was asked by a friend if I would help, you know. That’s all.”
That friend was Ravi Shankar, the venerated Bengali sitarist. Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who performs June 24 at Baltimore’s Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, also participated in that groundbreaking 1971 event. So did Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston and Leon Russell. (The two other ex-Beatles, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, declined for their own personal reasons).
“Every Bangladeshi has respect for George Harrison. All of us can recite the words to his songs,” said the country’s information secretary, Hedayetullah Al Mamoon, who was a 13-year-old war refugee at the time. He noted proudly that the country’s national TV network traditionally re-broadcasts parts of the concert every year on two occasions: Independence Day (March 26) and Victory Day (December 16).
With nearly 160 million people crowded into an area the size of Maryland and Virginia combined, Bangladesh is the most densely populated country on Earth. While its people are no longer on the verge of starvation, the nation faces tremendous challenges including poverty, corruption and the ravages of climate change. And nearly a third of its citizens are under 15 — too young to remember the extravaganza that put their country on the map for tens of millions of people around the world.
The concert marked Harrison’s first appearance before a paying audience since the Beatles’ last tour five years earlier, and included live performances of his classic tunes, ”Here comes the Sun,” “My Sweet Lord,” “Something” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
“George Harrison was a very powerful and influential man, and a good friend of Bangladesh,” says Mahbubul Alam, the museum’s general manager, and a former “freedom fighter” who recalls those painful days all too well.
“I was in the war, fighting on the front against the Pakistani Army. We had only a one-band radio and that was for getting information from the outside world. After liberation, we came to know that a concert for Bangladesh had been held in Madison Square Garden,” he said. “That concert acted like a catalyst. The U.S. government did not support Bangladesh, but we got the people’s support, and that concert helped a lot.”
That the big event took place at all was a testament to the persistence of Ravi Shankar, whom Harrison reverently called “the godfather of world music.”
Born in India of Bengali parentage, it was Shankar who persuaded Harrison to use his influence to help relieve the suffering of his people in East Pakistan, as Bangladesh had been known prior to independence from West Pakistan — more than 1,000 miles to the west. For nine months, they bore the brunt of an all-out war that would eventually kill three million Bengalis and turn another eight million into desperate refugees in neighboring India.
“I was very disturbed and wanted to do something for the people of Bangladesh, something on a very large scale that might bring in a lot of money and also, you know, awareness,” Shankar wrote. “So I thought I would ask George, even if he could not take part himself, if he would advise me, ask other artists about it, write or talk about it. Then maybe we could do a big function where we could raise $25,000 or $50,000. He was very deeply moved and said he would be glad to help in the planning — even to participate.”
Shankar continued: “Things started moving very fast then. George called Ringo in Spain where he was working in a film, and he talked to Leon Russell and all of these wonderful musicians from the west coast and east coast who came to play. And he contacted [Allen] Klein, who has taken care of the business and administration … In a period of only four or five weeks, all of this was done.”
Even though Shankar knew some money would be raised from the concert, “when you think of the amount being spent on almost eight million refugees, and so many of them children, of course it is like a drop in the ocean. Maybe it will take care of them for only two or three days. But that is not the point.”
Maryland resident Alif Laila is a prominent sitarist who was born and raised in Dhaka. Earlier this month, she performed at a Bangladeshi Embassy function marking the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between her country and the United States.
“Music is a very powerful tool, and that concert re-energized our cause,” said Laila, who has met Ravi Shankar backstage several times — most recently at a Shankar performance in Baltimore four years ago. “We were going through a very dark time, and it made us feel good.”
George Harrison’s four-minute hit single, “Bangla Desh,” released a few days before the concert itself, “is more than a song,” the country’s English-language Daily Star recently editorialized. “It is testimony to a great soul empathizing with a nation fighting for independence.”
The song’s opening lyrics tell the whole story:
“My friend came to me
With sadness in his eyes
He told me that he wanted help
Before his country dies
Although I couldn’t feel the pain
I knew I had to try
Now I’m asking all of you
To help us save some lives.”
Ziauddin Tariq Ali, 68, is a trustee of the Liberation War Museum. Interviewed in Dhaka, he said “the concert raised the consciousness of young people in the United States about Bangladesh. Before that, they were not aware what was going on here.”
Even people in Bangladesh didn’t know that George Harrison had organized a fundraiser on their behalf. They were too busy trying to survive the aftermath of 1970’s Cyclone Bhola, which had killed anywhere from 300,000 to 500,000 people, as well as wartime atrocities committed by Pakistan, whose military regime was determined not to let the country’s repressed eastern part secede to form a new nation.
“At that time, the Pakistani newspapers didn’t report on the concert, but nobody believed what the Pakistani media were saying anyway about our country,” Ali said. “They claimed that everything in East Pakistan was fine, that there was no war.”
Granted, Harrison wasn’t the only big-name personality to bring the plight of Bangladesh to the forefront of the nation’s agenda. Joan Baez’s 1971 “Song of Bangladesh” speaks hauntingly of it:
“Students at the university
Asleep at night quite peacefully
The soldiers came and shot them in their beds
And terror took the dorm awakening shrieks of dread
And silent frozen forms and pillows drenched in red.”
In November 1971, Beatnik poet Allen Ginsburg visited squalid, overcrowded camps in India housing millions of Bangladeshi war refugees. The resulting poem, “September on Jessore Road” was a damning critique of official U.S. indifference to their suffering.
The late Sen. Edward Kennedy also earned the eternal affections of Bangladeshis by visiting those camps. Upon his return to Washington, he blasted the Nixon administration — which supported anti-Soviet Pakistan — for ignoring “the brutal and systematic repression of East Bengal by the Pakistani army” and for turning a blind eye to “one of the most appalling tides of human misery in modern times.”
Writes Amazon.com reviewer Sam Graham: “1971 was a bleak period in rock history; the Beatles had broken up, Hendrix, Joplin and Morrison were dead, Woodstock was a distant memory. The Concert for Bangladesh shone like a beacon, a revelation of the better angels that reside within us all. And it still does.”
Shankar, now 92 and still touring, said the concert — which ended with the very song he inspired — exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations.
“Overnight, everybody knew the name of Bangladesh, all over the world,” he recalled later in life. “What happened is now history; it was one of the most moving and intense musical experiences of the century.”
Mohamed Mijarul Quayes, the country’s foreign secretary, was an 11-year-old boy living in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, when the famous Beatle and his friends made music together that August evening in New York.
“More than money, it gave Bangladesh visibility. George Harrison had a huge global following, and Ravi Shankar is an icon in our part of the world,” he told us. “In those days, you did not have CNN. It was BBC Radio that informed people, and All-India Radio. And that concert really touched peoples’ emotions.”
Dulal Chandra Biswas is director-general of the Press Institute of Bangladesh. Only seven years old at the time, he says even small children today are taught in schools about the concert and its implications.
“At the time, Bangladesh was helpless and the country was fighting a war against Pakistan,” he said. “This concert actually helped raise awareness internationally. George Harrison represented the consciousness of the great American people.”
In the past 12 months, interest in the concert has been revived thanks to Martin Scorcese’s 2011 documentary, “George Harrison: Living in the Material World.” Coincidentally, on Oct. 25, Rhino released a DVD of the concert, the same day Capitol issued a remixed, remastered CD of the project. All artists’ royalties from the sales of the DVD will go to the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF — which is raising money to fight malnutrition in Africa.
One more piece of good news for Harrison fans: Bangladesh’s Liberation War Museum will soon move from its cramped quarters to a spacious new home, following a $9 million fundraising effort. The new ultramodern facility, located in the Dhaka district of Agargaon, is expected to be inaugurated in late 2014.
“The new museum will be 20 times the size of the current one,” said Ali, adding that artifacts and documents never before shown to the public will finally be put on display. “We want to give George Harrison the proper space he deserves.”
George Harrison’s widow releases book with personal memorabilia
George Harrison’s widow Olivia hopes to add more perspective on the reticent Beatle with her new digital book, and fill in the blanks left by Martin Scorsese’s recent documentary.
Based on Scorsese’s George Harrison: Living in the Material World, the multi-touch book of the same name is available Tuesday on iBookstore. It includes audio, video material from the film along with personal photographs, letters, and memorabilia never seen by the public (a traditional print edition of the book has been in stores).
Along with the multi-touch book, the DVD of the documentary also comes out on Tuesday.
Scorsese’s three-and-a-half hour film on Harrison shows his spiritual side, from his early days with the Beatles to his exploration of Eastern music and religion, and also includes his death in 2001. In a telephone interview from London, Olivia Harrison, who served as one of the film’s producers, said she loved the message of the film, but felt it didn’t cover her husband’s other “sides.”
“Marty chose the music for the narrative and it drives the story. I think he fit the music perfectly in there, but there was a point when I realized, ‘Oh wow, we’re not going to get past 1975,’” Harrison said. She noted the absence of the song “Taxman” and his 1987 comeback album, “Cloud Nine.”
“It was clear, pretty quickly, that we could not fit everything,” she acknowledged.
And she notes that the Harrison documentary, which aired last year on HBO, includes more of the ex-Beatle’s career in comparison to Scorsese’s “No Direction Home: Bob Dylan,” which covered Dylan from when he arrived in New York in 1961 to his eventual switch to “electric.”
“You know, that documentary ends in 1966. That’s it. And you know the volume of music that Bob (Dylan) has produced since then,” Harrison said. “Both are three-plus hour movies, yet this one covers a bigger span of George’s life.”
The documentary covers his early years with the Beatles and post-Beatles solo career. Much of the emphasis is on the former Beatle’s travels to India as he explored both the spirituality and music of the country, as well as his collaboration with Ravi Shankar. Giles Martin, son of the Beatles legendary producer George Martin, did some of the music production on the film. He said Harrison enlightened his father when it came to Eastern music and instrumentation.
“He pushed the boundaries with his journey through Indian music,” Martin said.
“My dad said when George brought (his song) ‘Within You Without You’ to (the Beatles album) ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ he didn’t know what to make of it. In that context in that time, 1966, world music wasn’t readily available,” he added. “So he introduced my dad to the sitar.”
Harrison said her husband’s ability to translate what he felt in the world in a way that speaks to everyone was at the heart of his gift.
“I think it was the dilemma of life, and where you find yourself, that appealed to him most,” Harrison said.
Îòïðàâëåíî:12.05.12 11:49.Çàãîëîâîê: Paul McCartney may ..
Paul McCartney may be approached about collaborating on unfinished George Harrison song
We’ve already seen the remaining members of the Beatles convene to complete two of the late John Lennon songs, as part of their mid-1990s anthology series. Now, Paul McCartney could be approached to do it again with one of George Harrison’s unfinished works.
Harrison, who died at age 58 in 2001, has been in the news this week as the subject of a lavish documentary directed by Martin Scorsese. Included in a new expanded DVD package of the film was a CD of demos called Early Takes Vol. 1, overseen by Harrison’s widow Olivia. That’s actually the second posthumous Harrison project, following 2002′s Brainwashed, which was finished by his son Dhani and longtime friend and recording partner Jeff Lynne, of Electric Light Orchestra fame.
The two releases focus on the creative output on either end of Harrison’s solo career, after the Beatles split in 1970. Early Takes Vol. 1 focuses primarily on sessions work for his seminal 1970 triple album All Things Must Pass, while Brainwashed included songs finished in the last year’s of the former Beatles guitarist’s life as he battled cancer. That leaves nearly decades of possible demos and partials songs.
Olivia Harrison confirms that additional song fragments remain, and she suggested in an interview with Spinner that perhaps McCartney — or another sympathetic artist — could be approached about completing the tune.
“There is some more material,” she tells Spinner. “There may be a minute of something he was writing and it will never be finished. I had an idea of giving unfinished songs to different people – giving one to Paul, maybe, or giving one to somebody else and saying: ‘Here are the bones of a song, would you like to finished it?’ I think that would be a nice idea.”
Of course, acoustic tracks from Harrison have been steadily leaking out since the celebrated 1985 Beatles bootleg Sessions, created from an EMI test pressing of a project that would finally see completion in the mid-1990s Anthology series. That set’s solo take on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was but prologue for the homespun charms of 1994′s Beware of ABKCO, a release-quality boot which featured Harrison doing early-session run throughs for All Things Must Pass, along with a number of tracks that never made the album.
Îòïðàâëåíî:23.05.12 14:52.Çàãîëîâîê:Giles Martin on Geor..
Giles Martin on George Harrison's Early Takes, track-by-track
“We thought it would be good to follow the Dylan co-write with a cover of a Dylan song. I like the vibe of this. He recorded it at home in Friar Park at some point during the ‘80s, and it originally had programmed drums and loads of keyboards on it, and George had overdubbed himself for a three-part vocal harmony.
“I asked Olivia if it would be OK to break it down a bit, I thought it sounded a lot better stripped to its bones. You can still hear a bit of the drum sound in the background, because there was bleed on the tape - probably coming through from George’s headphones.”
“The Beatles were always big Everly Brothers fans, but I’m not sure if they ever played this one in the early days. However, George did go to see them at the Royal Albert Hall on their reunion tour in 1983, and I think he went home afterwards and recorded this the same night.
“We first came across him singing this on one of the demo reels, but then we found this multi-track version a bit later. On first listen I thought it might have been George harmonising with Jeff Lynne, I didn’t realise it was two Georges, but Olivia put me straight.
“I tried mixing this a few times, because it sort of sounded wrong - but at the same time it sounded right, if you know what I mean. There’s a claustrophobic quality to it that I wanted to keep, so it’s the track I worked on the most, to make sure it sounded bad, but good! It’s kind of creepy, in a way.”
“For me, this is a great example of rootsy George, and it shows him playing acoustic guitar in way that you don’t normally hear him play.
“You can see why people like Alvin Lee and Eric Clapton loved him so much; George was never really considered a guitar god, he was always incredibly economical, and it’s perhaps surprising that all these virtuosos were such big fans of his style. I like the fact that you can actually hear him dig in and play.
“This is one of the earliest recordings on the album, and we’ve been trying to figure out who else plays on it. Working from the recording date and who George would have been with at the time, we think it might be a guy who worked for Apple called Jonathan Clyde playing Jew’s harp.”
“In much the same way as we were reluctant to manipulate anything so that it was more in time or in tune, because the point of the record was to keep the personality, to make the listener think they’re sitting with George in Friar Park, we wanted to keep the spoken intro to a track wherever there was one.
“He actually gets the title wrong here, he calls it Awaiting ‘For’ You All. I think this is really cool, it’s got a good basic band groove, I think of it as George breaking down a wall of sound. George used to say he hated what Phil Spector did to the song Wah Wah, in that he took a good band recording in the studio and spoiled it with a lot of reverb.”
“George is an interesting singer, in that he often doesn’t sound like he’s singing. His pitch is great, the harmony he brought to The Beatles was extraordinary, but there’s a kind of conversational intimacy that he brings to a song. This is a great example of that kind of folk-tinged spoken word quality he had. You or I probably couldn’t get away with it without sounding like William Shatner.”
“It’s such a big song on the album of the same name, but this particular version kind of takes you back into the lyrics again.
“George liked to write about things that were happening to him at that moment in time, and this was obviously written while he was going through the ending of The Beatles, so to hear him doing it pretty much on his own transports you to where his head was on the day he laid it down.”
“I honestly wasn’t sure about this recording, because it’s a bit rough at the end, but there’s something about it that appeals. It sounds like he’s playing it to just one person late one evening, which is very George, it’s what he would do, Olivia tells me.
"It’s a little bit special; it shows how George could make something simple sound very spiritual, almost dreamy in a way. Even though the sequencing of album tracks in a specific order is becoming more irrelevant in these download days, I think this works beautifully as a closer.” What’s next? How soon can we expect to hear Early Takes Volume 2?
“There’s a lot of material. In my toothcomb kind of way, I got as far as going through the songs that were first released on Living In The Material World, so there’s still an awful lot of stuff that we’ve yet to look at. We’re not working on a schedule of having to deliver the next record by a certain date, and I think it’s important we take our time and do the music justice. George was very prolific at home, it’s quite a formidable output, so who know what treasures lie ahead?”