(good on/for George’s song lyrics)
(the better Universal Music 2 DVD set)
was, of course, George Harrison, a very interesting unique individual. I spent three engaging days immersed in George. The so-called autobiography, I-Me-Mine, was a disappointment. There is only a short section of about 20-25 pages in George’s own words up front which don’t reveal much. There is a short photo section, then you’re into a long section of his song lyrics with commentaries. This section is ok if you are familiar with at least half of his songs.
Much more revealing by and of George is the unusual, unconventional 4 hr. Martin Scorcese documentary which has many views and insights into George’s characters, life, and music. His Eastern philosophical views and cynical Beatles views made him the most serious and level-headed, honest Beatle of all; even more than John, surprisingly.
There are also many Beatles clips, George songs, and candid photos, films, and sound bites. Best of all, there are many moments of him talking no-nonsense about all aspects of human nature and and his own personal philosophy. His wife Olivia gives many behind-the-scenes comments including an extended take on the deranged lunatic break-in-attack at their mansion when both were nearly killed in the dead of night. She and all his friends are very moved in describing George’s responses to this event, to death in general, and to his own terminal cancer.
In all, the documentary is the best ticket to getting to know, understand, and appreciate George. He comes off as a pretty neat guy, a unique songwriter, something of a loner, a generous friend, father, and husband. The range of talking heads include, movingly, Paul and Ringo–his Beatles buds, his Travelling Wilbury pals (Dylan and Tom Petty), the great race car driver Jackie Stewart, his guitarist-friend Eric Clapton (who played with the Beatles and later married George’s first wife), and Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle of Monty Python fame. All these people were quite impressed by George, his choices, and loyalty.
If there’s one anecdote that’s a killer it’s when Ringo visits the dying George in hospital and says he has to leave to go visit his critically ill child in New York, and George, amazingly, offers to go with him! That pretty much sums up why you should check out this DVD, if you are curious and interested in finding out who the forgotten Beatle and great guy was.