September 27, 2007

"George Harrison's music and his search for spiritual meaning is a story that still resonates today and I'm looking forward to delving deeper."

Says Martin Scorsese, who's making a documentary about -- making his camera gently weep for? -- the Quiet Beatle.


Ron said...

Oh if only David Lynch would do the Ringo doc!

Bob said...

Apparently George lost his virginity to a Hamburg whore when the other Beatles found out that he was still pure. He wasn't as spiritual back then, obviously.

I wonder if the whore ever remembered him afterward? Or if George ever reflected on the encounter?

Trooper York said...

Well she did, but she still dumped him for Eric Clapton.

paul a'barge said...

This is great news!

Have you seen the documentaries on The Blues and on Bob Dylan that Martin Scorcese has done? I believe he also directed the Last Waltz.

I abhor the guy's politics, but when it comes to making a chronicle of our great music, he is Dah Man!

I wish he would do Duane Allman and Eric Clapton. Martin? Please...

Trooper York said...

Actually it was Cher that did Duane Allman and Eric Clapton.

Ron said...

The Beatles tell the Hamburg story (in the Anthology book) as well; they had bunk beds behind a theater screen at the Bambi Kino, and were 'asleep' when George had his encounter...they applauded when he 'finished.'

Isn't it nice to have your friends there when you have your first sexual experience?

Bissage said...

My friends were there when I had my first sexual experience, . . ., Rosey Palm and her five sisters. They all applauded afterwards. It was the sound of one hand clapping.

Trooper York said...

You really should have waited for Eric Clapton. They call him "Slow Hand" ya know.

John Stodder said...

Scorcese has "politics?"

He's given $12,000, mostly to Democrats...since 1991. I'm surprised a guy like Scorcese has avoided the arm to limit his contributions to that degree.

This article compares his "The Aviator" favorably to the writings of Ayn Rand, who I doubt is anywhere on Barbra Streisand's recommended reading list.

Anyway, I hope as he demonstrates George Harrison's spiritual quest that he doesn't slight his understated genius with the guitar. I've heard every Beatle song now thousands of times, but what still keeps them fresh more often than not is the guitar work of Harrison, the equally brilliant bass-playing of McCartney, Ringo's 'in-the-pocket' drum work, and Lennon's thrilling vocals. Harrison's slide guitar sound on his solo albums and The Traveling Wilburys is just shimmering. The Wilburys were a huge highlight of his career, and there's not a lot of spiritual mumbo jumbo to be had on those great albums.

The spiritual stuff is fine, too, but I hope that's not all there is going to be to this.

SteveR said...

Stodder: I very much agree about The Traveling Wilburys. Something that elevated my regard for everyone involved and something that, in theory, would be mediocre at best.

ricpic said...

Scorcese's arc: You make your bones tough and then you go all fluttery.

John said...

I hear Paul McCartney is bankrolling this on the condition it be called "The Junior Partner".

I always felt for George. It took him a while to get his legs under him. Once he did the dirty secret of the Beatles is that in the last year of the groups existance George was writing the best songs. In hindsight, Something, Here Comes the Sun, I Me Mine, and All Things Must Pass (which should have been on Let It Be had Lennon and McCartney been honest in choosing which songs the band should record) are as good as anything Lennon and McCartney were writing and better than most of it.

The thing George brought as much as anything to the Beatles was a sense of proportion and of how to be understated. Yes, someone like Clapton or Page could blow Harrison's doors off in a solo, but they would have been a disaster in the Beatles. There is only so much that can go on in a recording. The Beatles had incredible songs, singers and arranging. There just wasn't enough space for a conventional guitar god. What was needed and what Harrison brought, in much the same way that Ringo Starr did with his drumming, is a sense of timing and craft to know how to compliment but not overwhelm everything else that was going on. Harrison did that better than anyone. Any other guitarist of Harrison's skills would have gotten board or had his ego bruised and either quit or ruined the whole thing by trying to do too much. Harrison really was a junior partner. But it was in many ways a tougher job than Lennon and McCartney had and he did it better than anyone could have.

Anthony said...

I don't really care that much for The Beatles, but I always liked Harrison's stuff the best.

Molly said...

All summer long I've been listening to at least one side of All Things Must Pass each day. I would love to learn more about George, though I suspect, as always, discussion of any Beatles "spirituality" will skip right past the generous and wonderful influence of LSD.

Eli Blake said...

Harrison was the egoless member that formed the glue that held the group together for as long as it did stay together, between the outsized egos of the two principles.

Further, he was a master musician, much better than any of them.

George has always been my favorite Beatle, and it is tragic but almost predictable that he was the first one to die of natural causes (though of course he was a heavy smoker so one could debate the 'naturalness' of his lung cancer.)

lee david said...

I highly recommend the DVD that comes with the newly released Traveling Wilburys CD set. George was the driver in getting the recordings done. Thanks George. The video of the recordings is a must see. They essentially wrote, rehearsed, and recorded the first album in 10 days.

John, I was the lighting director on George's 74 tour. The critics pretty much panned it throughout. There were really two reasons for this. George partied a bit too much during rehearsals for the tour and messed up his voice. It never fully recovered during the tour. The biggest reason was that neither the audience or the reviewers got what they felt entitled to from the show. That was, a Beatle doing all of the Beatle songs that they wanted to hear. That band was awesome and they did a great job. The music was good. George just wanted to be a part of a great band and was uncomfortable being the focal point front man. He wasn't a great showman. Billy Preston stole the show most every night.

I think now that George's musical and arranging contributions to his work with the Beatles and everything else are very underrated because of his disdain for the limelight. That something missing feeling I get for the solo work of both Lennon and McCartney when compared with Beatles recordings is most likely the absence of his influence. My hope is that a film will reveal how great his talent was. I couldn't care less about the supposed spiritual aspect.

demian said...

The Trooper is *on* tonight! Nice three-fer.

Bissage said...

Yeah, and the terrible thing for me was, after that first sexual experience, somehow I contracted gonorrhea. Go figure.

Superdad said...

Okay, are we ever going to get over the Beatles?

tc said...


I love music... and I sing. Watch for it. But I also think.


jewsyonkersislam # 417: 1) Address to the Yonkers Board of Education by Thomas J.P. Courtney on Wednesday,9-26-07 ,2) a review of excerps from an article on the " No Child Left Behind Act " , 3) relevant postings on Law Professor ( Univ. of Wisconsin ) Ann Althouse's blog,and 4) a review of excerps from an article about the Westchester County Family Court (an article written) by Judge Charles Devlin.
All articles noted were posted on and printed in the Westchester Times Tribune,a local newspaper(9-19-07,I believe).

1) Address to the Yonkers Board of Education by Thomas J.P. Courtney on Wednesday,9-26-07:

" I've seen lots of news in the papers about schools opening across the nation and locally,in Westchester and Yonkers - and there are many new school chiefs. But here in Yonkers,we have Bernie,a good guy,but sadly out of touch with the reality of today. Ask Jim Bostic what he meant when he said " when there is instability in children's lives,they are targets for gangs " . Yonkers and Westchester are loaded with gangs - of all races. And gangs infest our schools because teachers cant teach,hobbled as they are by the nonsense that boys and girls,men and women,are equal. In low and high performing schools,the situation is remarkably similar. All these tolerance clubs for gay boys and girls ( at that point they cut off the mike,but I raised my voice and continued ) are nothing but places for older gays and lez to prey on and lure more already confused boys and girls into lives of depravity,disgust and depression. And you big shots,like you Berny,allow that to happen. I'm ashamed of you.
All we'll see is another dismal year in yonker's schools and ever-growing penetration of gangs because you teachers can not offer students the morality they want and need. And gangs do,rather less perfectly than you could if you were allowed to do so. "

2) " Recent test results for the No Child Left Behind Act conclude that it will probably not reach its goal to close the achievement gap between disadvantaged
children and their better-off peers by 2014. (By Helen H. Kapelman, M.S.) first experience �living� in a classroom of disadvantaged children.
................The children had already experienced failure ( by being born to their particular parents ?). They were reading below grade level. ...were hungry, sleepy, restless, ill, and angry. ...didn�t have pencils, notebooks, or their homework. ...refused to listen...( �You can�t tell me what to do! You�re not my mother!�)...I kept asking myself, �Is it me?� �Is it the children?� Teaching wasn�t
new to me. This was my seventh year of teaching. ...I needed to know how to discipline well, which was difficult. It took weeks before I could reach the children so that I could teach them.....Forty-two years have gone by since my first assignment to an inner-city school and there are still disadvantaged children who are behind their better-off peers. I�m in contact with teachers of disadvantaged children who inform me that many of the difficulties I encountered still exist. What we are doing isn�t working....disadvantaged children are behind their better-off peers because many come to school not ready to learn....attempting to teach, without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn, is hammering on a cold
iron.� ...It�s crucial for children to come to school feeling that learning is valuable,
and they are motivated to learn. Who can best inspire disadvantaged children with a desire to learn ? Parents ! (who ? the single mother who works the streets to get money to support her drug habit ? the father who spends half of his life in prison ? )...Parents need to know that theyare responsible for nourishing the �whole� child from birth;his/her mind, as well as their body. ....... Wouldn�t it be great if we were able to ignite a spark in every parent that would develop into a
passion for education similar to the passion for sports? Then every
parent would inspire their children with a desire to learn. "
But this will never happen while the nonsense that boys and girls,men and women,are equal infests ansd pollutes our societies.

3) posted on Ann Althouse blog on Sunday,9-22-07 by Thomas Courtney:

( and here I reflect on the three "P"s : Prostitution,Pornography and Polygamy/
Plural marriage. It may become necessary to re-institutite polygamy to lessen the scourges of prostitution and pornography AS WELL AS to give all these crazy women something better to do than preventing men from being and behaving like men,like men are meant to be and behave)

tc said...

You aint gonna git rid of prostitution no matter what you do. As long as you've got men and women there will be prostitution. Men want it and women got it. That's all there is to say about it.
Aside from prolonging the human race -which is an unconscious (to them) motive for men- dey aint no udder (and women gots dem too) reason or motivation for sex than that its the best thing in the world for men. And I speak about sex with a woman,not a 'god'-for-saken faggot...especially with a woman you love,who loves you in return and with whom you share common goals in life.
Much more could -and will be- said about marraige.... But think of all hos/hookers/ safety valves that allow men to "let off steam" -just like that black minister in Tom Clancey's novel "Bonfire of the Vanities" who got paid [excuse me,'donations' to his church] to keep the lid on the "steam" of "righteous" anger...
Of course,another solution to the problem of prostitution -and to pornography...- would be to re-institute polygamy.
You see,I know it all. And,though women know far more than any man -or all men put together- women are naturally cyclical and so that knowledge does not stick with them over the course of their cycles,
pre- or post-menopausal. With me,I am cursed and so burdened with it
-at least in part- because I am a disabled Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor.
So to you and all women,Ann,I say "give it up and stop trying to be men". For it not only is not possible for women (although for men,it is partly possible),it is beneath you. And you are destroying the human race.

12:10 AM

" Westchester Family Court.
What each party in a sensitive matter in Family Court hopes for never seems to happen -- a fix that lasts. By Judge Charles F. Devlin,Westchester Family Court
........Fixing some of the toughest problems in our society is Family Court's job.
-- from abuse and neglect to family offense to juvenile delinquency......The
problems behind the titles include mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, gang violence and sexual violence. There are crises in anger management and communication skills; there are developmental disabilities creating chronic, special needs. Economic factors often compound these problems....
.....The first steps are identification, and forensic evaluation, then knowledge
of available community resources and........." ,all costing unbelievable amounts of money which we taxpayers have to pay AND creating non-productive social welfare BS jobs where nothing good is ever accomplished; yet the "workers" get paid nevertheless. Having worked as a Family Court Defense attorney in Westchester and Bronx Counties for nearly 20 years and knowing the courts and the larger society rather intimately,I can testify to the fact that nothing the Court does will ever work until feminist dogma and doctrine is rooted out of the law ".

Blake said...

Harrison was only "quiet" standing next to Lennon.

Anyone was "quiet" standing next to Lennon.

What did George say? "I played guitar but I wasn't a great musician; I financed movies but I wasn't a great producer." Something like that?

He was exactly right. His guitar work for the Beatles worked because he didn't try to overshadow the melodies or the rest of the song. It's hard to imagine George doing one of these 20 minute solos in the middle of a pop song (though there's plenty of jamming on the 3rd disc of All Things Must Pass).

He was brilliant at "moviemaking" because he let people make movies he wanted to see. (Quite literally: He got into the business when he ran into Eric Idle at a party in L.A. and Idle was describing The Life of Brian and how they'd run out of money.)