August 25, 2011

Martin Scorsese's George Harrison movie.



"He was trying to find a way to simplicity, a way to live truthfully and compassionately. It was never a straight line, but that's not the point. I think he found an understanding: that there's no such thing as 'success' - there's just the path."

Sayeth Scorsese.

70 comments:

chickenlittle said...

Interesting. From a physical chemistry point of view, the getting from here to there is also the pathway. The tipping point is the highest point in the journey--not the destination.

TWM said...

Looks worth seeing, and my guess far more entertaining that anything about John Lennon.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phx said...

I always loved the Living in the Material World lp.

Although there is a spiritual whiney-ness about it in parts.

~~So hateful of anyone who is happy or free.~~

George was wonderful though. I think he was the Beatle that Bob Dylan felt closest to, BTW.

Palladian said...

It's easier to be all spiritual and think that "success" is an illusion when you're a multi-multi millionaire.

Krishna Krishna
Hare Hare

Mark O said...

Let the sun shine in.

Ron said...

I thought George quit smoking for a long time...and then picked it up again when he had to work with Paul on Anthology....

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheepman said...

Harrison was a very decent guy who made some great music. Trailer for the movie seems pretty lame though.

ndspinelli said...

This is a tough crowd. It seems many on this blog feel compelled to ridicule the dead. Bin laden, Hussein, certainly are fair game. But from Elizabeth Edwards to Betty Ford to George Harrison it seems there is a hardcore lack of class w/ some. C'est la vie.

Shouting Thomas said...

All Things Must Pass is absolutely brilliant. One of my favorite albums of all time. Myrna and I used to sing I Dig Love together.

Name dropping:

I worked for a while during the dot com era in Scorsese's Tribeca multimedia shop. Never encountered him there. Did promo CDs for ABC.

Did shake hands once with Scorsese long ago, in (I think), 1973.

I was backstage at Winterland as a guest of Rick Danko, my old friend from The Band, during the filming of The Last Waltz. My San Francisco apartment was all of six blocks from Winterland. Best concert I ever attended there: Link Wray with Quicksilver Messenger Service as his backup band.

And, my Beatles connection. Rick played bass on several of Ringo Starr's U.S. tours.

JZ said...

George Harrison had to defend himself from a house invader. It was hand to hand combat, using things like lamps, from what I've heard. Remarkable detail about a guy who was known for his peaceful nature.

Shouting Thomas said...

It's easy to make fun of Harrison for his New Age beliefs and millionaire angst.

I've done it myself.

But, Harrison's music is pure joy. I can think of very few people who have given me so much pleasure.

Songs like Something and I Dig Love are incredibly simple expressions of the pleasure of life.

I still listen to Harrison's music... often. I can't say the same thing about the other Beatles.

Forget all the public PR stuff. That's what a musician has to do to sell himself. Harrison and The Beatles were geniuses at PR.

Harrison delivered. His music stands on its own.

Saint Croix said...

Everybody has a favorite Beatle. I rank 'em like this...

Paul
Ringo
John
George

Paul was likable and talented.
Ringo was likable.
John was talented.
George was just kinda okay.

If John was fire and Paul was ice, George was lukewarm water.

A Hard Day's Night is pretty awesome, though. One of my favorite movies.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
write_effort said...

This trailer has a "phoney" quality to it. Talking heads tend to give that feel. I'm assuming (hoping) the film is much better. GH deserves a real look.

TWM said...

"It seems many on this blog feel compelled to ridicule the dead."

The dead don't care.

Shouting Thomas said...

... was beyond mediocre himself

Stupid fucking comment.

Frank Sinatra... you know the guy?

He called Harrison one of the most talented songwriters he ever encountered. Sinatra covered "Something," and called it a modern classic.

Don't put your ignorance on display.

TWM said...

"He had less talent than Ringo, became a millionaire on the coattails of two talented song writers"

And McCartney was the more talented of those two song writers, yet Lennon gets the lion's share of adoration.

It was a group of four, all interesting in their own right.

Shouting Thomas said...

Harrison was also an absolutely brilliant lead guitar player.

The solo guitar intro to Something is a lifetime accomplishment for any musician. If he had only done that, his place in the music pantheon would be secure.

That solo is a masterpiece of lyric brilliance delivered in the fewest notes possible.

Try it, assholes. Takes a genius to do that.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexander said...

George had less talent than Ringo? Are you trolling? Harrison wrote Taxman, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Something, Here Comes the Sun -- all of which I think anyone ought to admit are classics. What did Ringo write? Octopus's Garden. Fantastic.

Shouting Thomas said...

You seem determined to prove you're a musical illiterate, Sixty Grit. You've convinced me.

OK. For the totally ignorant, here is Sinatra covering Something.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shouting Thomas said...

Keep digging, Sixty.

Harrison was a genius. One of the gods.

Yeah, he was a crank and probably an addict of every kind you can imagine.

That's par for the course among the great musicians I've known. Danko did himself in with drugs and alcohol. So did my boyhood pal, Paul Butterfield.

Total sensual abandon is the common characteristic of the great musicians I've known. It's part of the job description.

Sinatra was a raging drunk and relentless pussy hound.

E.M. Davis said...

Wasn't Harrison the one that gave up LSD after visiting Haight-Ashbury, expecting some bastion of artistic excellence, only to discover the hippies were nothing but lazy and dirty?

Christopher in MA said...

I take it you don't care for George, then, Sixty?

He was my favorite Beatle, even though I admit a lot of his music was junk, especially towards the end of his career (frankly, I defy even die-hards to listen to "All Those Years Ago" or "His Name Is Legs" without vomiting).

IMHO, "All Things Must Pass," "33 and 1/3" and "George Harrison" were his best solo albums.

And, frankly, I don't think he was "seriously spastic." Anyone who could write the transcendent "Here Comes The Sun" gets major respect from me.

Shouting Thomas said...

Yes, While My Guitar Gently Weeps is yet another example of Harrison's brilliance as a lead guitar player who can state a lyrical theme with incredible brevity.

edutcher said...

My sister's favorite Beatle.

ndspinelli said...

This is a tough crowd. It seems many on this blog feel compelled to ridicule the dead. Bin laden, Hussein, certainly are fair game. But from Elizabeth Edwards to Betty Ford to George Harrison it seems there is a hardcore lack of class w/ some.

No, stupid is as stupid does, as they say.

Smoking is asking for it.

Especially in a singer.

Saint Croix said...

George was just kinda okay.

No huge fan of the fab Four, but George was the great instrumentalist of the group, I'm told.

madAsHell said...

This would have been a must see movie in 1973.

Surfed said...

He took the last two Beatle albums. best song on the White Album -"While My Guitar gently Weeps" and the two best songs on Abbey Road - "Here Comes the Sun" and Something". There's also an argument he had the best song on Revolver too - "Taxman". Very good rockabilly guitarist. Concise player with nothing superfluous. Watch the pass he makes on "Till There Was You" from the '64 Ed Sullivan Show. As a guitarist, it's nerve wracking just watching him stroll his way through it. Perfection.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Ellison said...

Beatles fans tend not to appreciate how important Harrison was to the music. He was an expert musician who could play just about any instrument, sing lead or backup to perfection, and even compose melodies to rival Lennon's and McCartney's. What a great talent!

In other words, Sixty Grit, you don't have a clue.

madAsHell said...

raging drunk and relentless pussy hound

....and this is a problem??

Shouting Thomas said...

Sixty Grit, you've just disgraced yourself.

Rick Danko was a wonderful man and a great friend. He would pull a hundred dollar bill out of his pocket and hand it to any person who told him that he needed help. I loved Rick. He helped me in every way he knew.

I knew Paul Butterfield from our days as kids in Chicago. Paul was, likewise, an extraordinarily generous man. He had his faults to be sure. He drank and drugged himself to death. No doubt about that.

His son came around to see me some years after Paul's death. Gabe's a drummer. We worked together for a while.

Butterfield did not die like a bum. He was loved by every musician who ever worked with him. If you listen to the work of The Butterfield Blues Band, you will see that his work still stands up. Few bums are as revered as Butterfield is in Chicago and Woodstock. (He was my next door neighbor for some time in Woodstock.)

Every time I go home to Chicago, I meet people who remember and love Paul. Sometimes, just sitting in the stands at Wrigley Field, I encounter people who were profoundly touched by Paul and remember his music.

Paul is revered even by the black blues musicians in Chicago. That's not common.

deborah said...

"Interesting. From a physical chemistry point of view, the getting from here to there is also the pathway. The tipping point is the highest point in the journey--not the destination."

Preach it, brother!

Tank said...

Not sure what Sixty's problem is. If you cut out all the heavy drinkers and drug users from your music library, well, you won't have much left in your rock, jazz and blues areas, all of which are what I listen to.

Harrison was, to my eye and ear, not a technician. He had a talent for writing, playing and singing simple, yet compelling, lines of music. His guitar playing is spare, but nice (not great technique, but very musical).

Some confuse the ability to play complex and difficult music with "good music." The music he made, and helped make, gave, and continues to give, joy and enjoyment to millions of people. Far more telling than Sixty's attacks, I think.

trumpetdaddy said...

Harrison is absolutely my favorite Beatle. His songs have a quality that instantly makes them stand out from the other Beatle tunes.

The downward flowing motion of the changes in "While My Guitar
Gently Weeps" are musical poetry. I can listen to that song all day.

If a musician can't be a great artist if he has addiction problems, then Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, significant classical composers, and most rock musicians would never make the play list.

I'm not looking to musicians for lifestyle advice, I'm looking to them for music.

Sixty Grit said...

Paul Butterfield died of peritonitis due to drug use and heavy drinking. Sounds like the death of a bum to me.

As for him being beloved by some community or other - who cares? He was a drunk. Why should give a hoot for someone who held his own life so cheap? Self loathing is not a good way to go through life.

Bob_R said...

My biggest problem with any biography about the Beatles is that the part of their lives that interests me most is the part where they were busting their asses, learning their craft, working 70-80 hour weeks practicing, writing, traveling, performing. It almost impossible to present this dramatically. It's just "A train and a room and a car and a room and a room and a room." I could not care less about the crazy rich people doing sixties shit part of their lives. But it makes for a better story.

Harrison was the perfect guitarist for the Beatles. Great timing and taste. Compare his work to, for instance, James Burton or Scotty Moore who played with Elvis. George is ahead on short, memorable signature licks.

He doesn't have as many great (or good) songs as the best pop songwriters of his generation (Lennon, Maca, Wonder, Robinson, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Goffen/King) but he's up there is a pretty elite group.

He was a pretty limited singer,but became a very good backup singer in the days before pitch correction.

I don't know if Phil Spector murdered that girl, but he deserves jail time for the All Things Must Pass album.

E.M. Davis said...

Very good rockabilly guitarist.

Not surprising given the band's love of Buddy Holly.



WV: Peter? Peter.

Shouting Thomas said...

Self loathing is not a good way to go through life.

Another ignorant remark.

Paul loved (in this order) (1) women, (2) cocaine and (3) tequila.

In other words, Paul loved to have a good time. People loved to have a good time with Paul.

Like most things in life, setting some limits is key.

Paul didn't know how to do that. He was in no way self-loathing. Paul was one of the gods and he knew it.

He was quite a wonderful man.

E.M. Davis said...

Sixty is quite the moralist.

MadisonMan said...

Harrison was great in A Hard Day's Night in the PR guy's office talking trends. Because of that one scene, he's my favorite Beatle.

prairie wind said...

Since it is Scorsese, that must mean DeNiro is playing George?

Bob_R said...

Sixty Grit - You seem to be confused. I'm sure there is another thread around about people who are good personal trainers, babysitters, neighbors. This is not that thread. If you can't enjoy the music or art of someone who you don't feel to be completely admirable then you are missing out on a lot of pleasure.

Christopher in MA said...

I see a lot of people here expressing enjoyment of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Personally, I don't like the song very much, but I should point out that while the song is Harrison's, that's Eric Clapton playing the solo.

Which is not to say Harrison couldn't play the solo - he could, and did, on a number of occasions - just that, like McCartney playing the lead intro on "Ticket To Ride," he wanted a certain sound and knew he didn't have the chops to produce the sound he wanted.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shouting Thomas said...

Paul Butterfield & The Band: Mystery Train.

ricpic said...

I don't think George Harrison was all that bright. Lennon and McCartney were the brains of the operation.

Shouting Thomas said...

Sixty Grit...

Long after you are dead and forgotten, people who love the blues will still be listening to Paul Butterfield.

25 years after his death, hundreds of thousands of people still play his music on YouTube.

Every blues band I play in plays Butterfield's tunes.

In a very real way, Paul is still "wandering this earth." He's immortal.

EDH said...

Given Harrison's Hindu influences, it's interesting that they used the "Got Milk" font to silently narrate the trailer for a movie about him.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

Harrison was quite an unassuming fellow. Visiting his son Dhanni at Brown U, he came by a Bob Dylan-Van Morrison show and waited at the back door, quietly, until my colleague happened to walk by and recognize who he was.

Shouting Thomas said...

Jesus, Sixty Grit, you are absolutely ignorant, and proud of it.

The Band is as important in its own right as Louis Armstrong was.

That Nashville sound you hear now (you know, that rocking country sound) was created by The Band.

Paul was the original. The Band was well aware of it. Paul is the source that everybody now imitates.

MayBee said...

He was the handsomeist Beatle.

The only handsome Beatle, really.

Chip Ahoy said...

Friar Park is the natural choice for an individual seeking a way to simplicity.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I look at the Don and I notice he's bleeding,
While the tommy gun in my guitar case gently weeps.

eddie willers said...

Can't let this thread go by without a comment or two:


As we (those who grew up with The Beatles) came to find out, the sum was way more than equal to the parts. Not a single solo effort after their break-up even approached what they accomplished as a band.

But it did surprise me that "All Things Must Pass" came the closest.

Though George may have started out as a mediocre (albeit, 15 years old) solo guitarist, by the time Abbey Road came around through hard work (and practice, practice, practice) he became one of the best.

I just finished Geoff Emerick's memoir of his time as their engineer (great book, BTW) and smile as he recalled one of the last things they recorded as a group.

This was at the time where they barely even saw each other and would record separately but they needed a kick-ass ending to the final song on 'Abbey Road' entitled (appropriately enough) "The End".

It consists of the the three trading furiously guitar licks following one of Ringo's few drum solos.

They were together and as they got up to walk into the recording room, John turned to Yoko (who followed him everywhere) and said, "Not this time, Luv".

They then proceeded to nail the foot stamping ending live...and in one take.

They walked in as three singular but accomplished musicians and walked out as a real band for the last time.

jr565 said...

Sixty Grit:
Or, perhaps, an inability to actually play more notes. He was limited physically and mentally, and it showed in his solos, which sucked.


Why does playing more notes signify talent? People know Harrison's lines by heart because they are extremely melodic and in keeping with the songs that they accompany. Is he a virtuoso like Van halen? Probably not. But virtuosity for virtuosity's sake often leads to boring music. And you just have to look up any of those Van Halen Shreds (or insert any artist) on you tube to see how silly shredding sometimes is.

HIs solos are accompaniment to songs, and not exercises in most number of notes a human can play in a given period of time. Frankly, I wish some of the virtuosos took a little time, stopped playing so many notes and trying to show off and instead learned how to write melodic lines like Harrison.

jr565 said...

I do have to wonder who Sixty Grit will put forward as his be all end all of artistic integrity and talent. Name the top five artists/guitarists/musicians so we can see where you're coming from.

jr565 said...

Sixty Grit wrote:

He had less talent than Ringo, became a millionaire on the coattails of two talented song writers, was beyond mediocre himself, and was a drug addict who believed new age crap. Yeah, there's someone I want to watch a movie about.


And Paul McCartney went on to become a really obnoxious vegetarian who wrote C Moon and countless other drecky songs. ANd John Lennon became a heroin addict who wrote really morning political songs and married a shrew and infantilized himself to be with his girl. Lennon tried every new age thing you could think of, things like primal scream therapy, etc. And railed against possessions while he lived in the Dakota and made millions of dollars (ahdn his wife continues with the whoring of his name by putting out Lennon memorabilia every year)

Point being, all of the Beatles after the Beatles, except for maybe Ringo turned into a caricature of themselves and produced work that didn't match their Beatles days (with some exceptions from each guy). Why just hold it against Harrison?

chickenlittle said...

Why all the Butterfield h8? I tuned into his talent quite late in the game but I found him way ahead of his time, in context.

Sixty Grit said...

Uh, the thread was about George, who was a terrible guitarist.

Paul Butterfield was a junkie and a lousy musician. He stole from many and provided nothing new.

Why The Band got mentioned is beyond me, other than - hey, look over there! They were very talented musicians, unlike George Harrison or Paul Butterfield.

If it is true that Butterfield was friends with Shouting Thomas since they were children, that might explain why he lost his will to live.

As for who I like or who I listen to, that's totally irrelevant to this discussion - George's inability to play well stands on its own.

chickenlittle said...

@Sixty Grit: To each his own! I always like the Stones* more than Beatles anyway.

_________
*I'm not asking your opinion about Keith Richards either :)

wv = "bitta" heh

Sixty Grit said...

Keef can play, that's for sure. Has an ear for a riff. George wouldn't have known a good riff if it bit him in the ass.

Here's the thing - Keith has never been shy about what he does in his spare time. It's the holier than thou bullshit that George Harrison put out that annoyed the living daylights out of me - that and his utter lack of talent. Take drugs, don't take drugs, it really doesn't matter to me. But if you are going to play, do it well. Learn your craft. Rock out. Don't be some ham handed spaz fucking up the simplest rockabilly lick then change gears in an effort to disguise your inherent lack of coordination and rip off Indian classical music all while claiming to be living a good life, when in reality you are chain smoking tobacco - jesus - get a grip, dead man. Oh, right, never mind...

WV: blureye - keef's got 'em.

phx said...

Self loathing is not a good way to go through life.

Loathing others is not a good way to go through life either.

Saint Croix said...

There's also an argument he had the best song on Revolver too - "Taxman".

Um, what?

jr565 said...

Sixty grit wrote:
Keef can play, that's for sure. Has an ear for a riff. George wouldn't have known a good riff if it bit him in the ass.


not to begrudge kerf, but he's not exactly a multi note player either. But George Harrison isn't really good with riffs? Have you actually ever listened to Beatles albums?

I'm starting to think you have no ear for music at all. Which is probably why you don't want to say who your favorite musicians are.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.