Wow, just mentioning the word “naked” yesterday spiked readership. Hmm… Will have to keep that in mind. Obviously salacious sells.
Naked! No, can’t really use that today. Damn!!! If I was talking about a different Beatle, perhaps but not with George.
George Harrison – All Things Must Pass
George Harrison has been haunting me lately. This week, on three different occasions, I have walked into stores that have had him playing on the stereo. Okay, not a haunting just a lovely coincidence.
And last night at the Trashcan Sinatras show… and yes, shame on all of you who skipped the shows in your town… You are crazy! And you cannot say I did not tell you about them… including the FREE show in Chicago… They are so amazing… Seriously… Okay, I digress, so I am off my soapbox… for now!
During their great song “Prisons,” they play a little of “My Sweet Lord.” That was the last sign that today must be about George.
While George may have been Beatle #3, and perhaps overshadowed by John and Paul, his musical output is obviously amazing, both with the band and in his solo work. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is easily one of the greatest songs ever written.
I have spoken before about how John Lennon’s death shook me up quite a lot… but I was still pretty young then and it was an unexpected tragedy, completely out of nowhere. Someone being gunned down in the prime of their life will have haunting implications for fans and human beings in general. That is a tragedy.
With George, we knew it was coming, and I was more consciously aware of death at that point (2001), so it was not what I would call shocking, but there was an amazing and overwhelming sadness for sure. First off, he was only 58 years old. That is crazy and far too young. Second, it meant that half of the greatest Rock ‘n Roll group ever was gone… never coming back. And third, this man of music would be silent, at least in terms of new music and all the wonderful things he would do with it. I still find it hard to wrap my head around all of that. The Beatles… half gone. It is harder to imagine because of how much alive and omnipresent their music is.
They were, quite simply, the greatest group ever… and as songwriters and composers are up there with Mozart and Beethoven. As long as music is played, we will have The Beatles.
When All Things Must Pass came out in 1970, it was a 3-Album set! That’s a whole lot of music. I have the fantastic 30th Anniversary version.
The album features Eric Clapton, Ringo, Dave Mason, Gary Wright and Billy Preston… not bad pedigree… and was co-produced by the now off his rocker Phil Spector. Sad what genius can do and is capable of… or perhaps wasted genius.
I love this album. “If Not For You” and “Let It Down” are amongst my favorites, but “What Is Life” and “My Sweet Lord” go above and beyond… literally and metaphorically. They are close, but not my all-time favorite Harrison song… That is “Give Me Love”… but “My Sweet Lord” is Buddhist in its simplicity. It expresses a deep yearning that cuts across many religions and shows us that a higher power, in the right sense, can be a wonderful and powerful thing. Okay, the “hare krishna” thing bothered me when I was younger… but if you see what he is really saying, it’s only good.
The whole legal case and copyright infringement claims from the Chiffons “He’s So Fine” convoluted an important message.
Do I think he consciously stole it? No. Is it similar? Well, yes, of course it is. Who knows. And all the odd legal maneuvering that went on around it was just ODD… but it is what it is.
And for “What Is Life”… This is the love song we should be singing every day!
“What I feel, I can’t say
But my love is there for you anytime of day.
But if it’s not love that you need
Then I’ll try my best to make everything succeed.”