Monday, November 30, 2009

By George!

George Harrison died eight years ago yesterday. (This post was supposed to be finished and published yesterday, but late Sunday night, something inside me demanded "Screw the blogs. Go to sleep, idiot!" And for once, I did.)

In spite of George's impressive and lengthy solo career, the Concert for Bangladesh, his work as a member of the Traveling Wilburys, his "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" associations with the Rutles, and a long list of other accomplishments, he will always be best remembered as one of The Beatles.

But then again, that ain't too shabby!

As I wrote approximately eighteen months ago on my old David'Z RantZ blog, "if you were one of The Beatles, you were one of the coolest people in the universe, ever. Or at least you were cool for a period long enough so that you'll be indelibly stamped in the minds of Earth's citizens as a 'former Beatle,' and nothing you can do -- not even a stint as Mr. Conductor -- can take that away from you. I mean, if Paul McCartney -- I'm sorry, I meant Sir Paul McCartney -- were to be elected Prime Minister of Great Britain, you just know that even if he were assassinated in office we'd read this: 'British Prime Minister and former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney was shot today outside of... ' Hell, Ringo could become an astronat and a serial killer, and the eventual news article would read, 'Ringo Starr, former Beatle, astronaut, and accused mass murderer, was apprehended today...' "

Anyway, this is not a full-fledged tribute to George. Basically, all I'm going to say about George and the other Beatles -- at this time, anyway -- is the following:

1. I was seven years old when the Beatles and their music made their big splash on American soil. (A "splash" on "soil?" Am I mixing metaphors there?) Therefore, while the teenage girls mostly chose -- "chose" meaning "had the hots for" -- Paul or John, my favorite Beatle was the comical, goofy Ringo. That changed as the years went by and I entered my so-called adulthood. George became my favorite. For some reason, I identified more with the spiritual, so-called "quiet Beatle" more than the others. (And to anyone who read that and said "You identified with somebody described as spiritual and quiet?"... leave the room, wiseguy.)

2. Although I was shocked and saddened at the fatal shooting of John Lennon in 1980, it was Harrison's death that had a more profound effect on me. Something about the youngest Beatle dying of lung cancer, a disease more associated with older people -- and yes, of course I realize that cancer far too often claims the lives of young adults, and even children -- forced me to face my own mortality.

Although tempted to include, like, 47 YouTube videos showcasing George's singing and/or songwriting skills as evidenced by his solo work, his Beatles contributions, his Traveling Wilburys stuff, et al, I decided on two.

This is the first song George ever wrote. I first heard it when my sister bought the American Meet the Beatles LP.



And this is a lesser-known Beatles tune that I simply love, from the soundtrack of the movie Help!


One final note: Coinciding with the 30th anniversary re-release of the All Things Must Pass album in 2001, George went online to do a webchat. The entertaining transcript of that chat may be found here. I recommend it; George was his usual clever self.

Thanks for your time.

17 comments:

  1. That was a wonderful post David!Really wonderful.

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  2. Thanks, Candie. You've been doing some really wonderful things lately, too. On your blog, I mean. ;-)

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  3. nice...i cam along a bit late...but grew fond of the beatles through high school...nice tribute man.

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  4. Hmmmm... Okay, that tells me I really am older than you; I was 11 when the Beatles played on Ed Sullivan. It was interesting, but my enthusiasm wasn't engaged until the Stones and The Who showed up - I was more into the raw, gritty R&B form of Rock & Roll than the stylized mannerisms of the Beatles. I got a little more interested in them with The White Album, though, and Abbey Road was just an out-and-out masterpiece.

    I will admit that the Concert for Bangladesh was in my collection until I lost all in a fire in 1979. And I found George's solo career interesting if not exactly compelling. It was sad when George died, but I was a lot more upset when Albert Collins died. Which just goes to show where my own musical tastes run. And when Pete Townshend kicks the bucket I'm gonna be a sad cookie indeed!

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  5. My first Beatle memory is when I was in first grade. My friend brought a Beatles postcard to school and we girls huddled around her, pointing to the Beatle we thought was the cutest.

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  6. Being left-handed, I always favored Paul, myself. You shouldn't feel bad about missing your post date, Fox. I missed the intended date for my last post by several days. I think I'm getting old.

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  7. Wonderful post. Have you seen the concert for George at Royal Albert Hall? Sooooo gooood. My favorite or one my favorite parts is when Paul pulls out the ukelele and talks about about how George would come over for dinner and pull out the ukelele and Paul started in on "Something" and slowly the rest of the musicians joined in. Oh, per your previous post, I have to admit that I'm one of those people who is "comma happy," love to use them incorrectly, of course.

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  8. @Brian: Thanks.

    @Roy: Thanks to my older sister, who turns 59 on the 4th, I grew up listening to all the British invasion stuff, psychedelic stuff, etc. as the years went by. My musical tastes eventually developed into a love for all sorts of oldies, R&B, rockabilly, blues, doo-wop, etc. And I "thank" groups like the Beatles, the Stones, and even Herman's Hermits for turning me on to those various forms via their cover tunes.

    @Willow: And your favorite was...?

    @AngelMay: Greetings from another leftie. And... you, getting old? Hell, no. You're ageless!

    @Kate: Haven't seen that concert... yet. I plan to. And as far as your being "comma happy?" How could I not forgive you?

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  9. Ah, the Beetles...timeless.

    The cape...what a splendid idea, Mr. Fox...that would be better than the mink coat for sure! I mean, with all the sentimental attachements and all....

    You know, it won't be the same without you at the tea. I mean, Skip is great and all...but you...well.... ;)

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  10. Oh gosh, Silver Fox, I have huge GOOSEBUMPS reading this post. Why? WEll, i LOVED George Harrsion as my fave Beatle. Loved his music and you are so right, even being a train conductor like Ringo would not stop your fame as aa former Beatle. I am so enjoying listing to their remastered tracks on You Tube at least, until I can some up money to buy a few of my fave albums--Rubber Soul and Revolver, primarily.

    I msut also say how much I am enjoying your comments on my blog for the TEa and those you are leaving eslewhere. You do get around. And migh ti say are very witty too. That one to Alan about specifying his payment had me spitting out my tea! LOL.

    And yes, err, Bestsy is quite right too!

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  11. @...mm...: It would have been too perfect if I could have attended the Christmas Tea and brought George with me, wouldn't it?

    Glad you liked my limited participation. Your affair was a huge hit, and my congratulations go out to one and all. (Of course, I knew that Skip and Gretchen would make a splash. Isn't she... I mean, aren't they... something?)

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  12. what a wonderful post. We always took for granted they'd each be around for a very long time.... I was in NYC when John was assassinated(so long ago!), and when the knews of George hit... well, I have a resonance with ...'forced me to face my own mortality'... it is indeed strange, in a way, that people we don't know personally have such a hold on part of one's psyche. -j

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  13. my, George had a interestin career, life...surprised someone hasn't made a major movie about it yet...love anything The Beetles, timeless and genius! Thanks for posting this....was always partial to John's singing and songwriting, but they are all fantastic.

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  14. Awww, I knew I loved you for some reason!

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  15. She, I mean THEY were indeed, Fox. Truly. Although you coudn't attend, as it were, your contributions were duly noted adn appreciated no end.

    Oh yes, if George coudl have come in stad of that Sting i woul have loved that! :)

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