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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

George Harrison "Living in the Material World"



If you have HBO lucky you! I don’t have HBO, I cancelled it a while ago because I was watching so little television and the movies HBO offered just weren’t my thing. I thought it wasn’t smart to pay for something I wasn’t using. But as soon as I turned my back HBO popped up with gems like “Game Of Thrones” and now this clincher Martin Scorsese’s documentary on the life of George Harrison “Living in the Material World”, which premiers tonight. Dear god, why did I cancel HBO!

I love George Harrison. Since the time I was little bitty girl he was my favorite Beatle. There was something very earthy and soulful about George’s face. All the Beatles have amazingly expressive faces. Paul McCartney’s brows floated upward in almost impossibly surprised arches, but George’s eyes pulled downward and his heavy brows seemed to reflect an older more serious soul that clearly felt the weight of the world and I was attracted to that.

I have two older sisters, ten and sixteen years older than me. By the time I was old enough to notice, their Beatle worship was well under way. My sister Christy had a little shrine in her corner of the “girls’ bedroom” where she lit candles and incense, chanted, mediated with prayer beads and drove our parents nuts. The central altarpiece of the shrine was a black and white poster of George Harrison riding a horse through the woods. I loved staring at the poster. I had a favorite book filled with N C Wyeth illustrations that I also loved looking at, and I remember thinking George Harrison was a mythical person, like the medieval knights N C Wyeth illustrated. I’m not sure when I put it together that Harrison was also the man singing and playing guitar.

“Living in the Material World” looks like it’s going to be something special. Martin Scorsese’s rock documentaries are wonderful. “No Direction Home” about Bob Dylan and “Shine a Light,” about the Rolling Stones, are must see documentaries for any fan of rock and roll. “Living in the Material World” was made with the full cooperation and blessing of Harrison’s widow Olivia, who also wrote the excellent coffee table size biography “Living in the Material World”. (Ssshh… My husband who’s a big George Harrison fan doesn’t read this blog, so please don’t tell him I just bought the last copy of “Living in the Material World” at our local Barnes & Noble and hid it for Christmas.)
Harrison’s son Dhani (who looks eerily like his dad) said the documentary was emotionally hard to watch because it felt like seeing his father’s life flash before his eyes, including the most painful moments. He suggests viewers “Plan on making an evening of it and don’t plan on going out afterward.” I’m sure it’s good advice to anyone who’s emotionally invested in George Harrison.

Part one of “Living in the Material World” premieres tonight on HBO.  Enjoy.

This is the link to the official website of “Living in the Material World”

Do you have a favorite George Harrison or Beatle song, or a favorite Beatle memory?

XXOO Kat

22 comments:

  1. The music George Harrison left us is a cultural treasure, that he also made "Life Of Brian" one of my favorite silly movies possible, is just frosting on the cake. "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!" lol
    XXOO Kat

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  2. George was my favorite Beatle, too. I remember when they came to NYC...I had my ear glued to the radio to hear all the excitement (my parents thought I was a crazy teenager).
    Then watched the Ed Sullivan show when the Beatles performed...this time "glued" to our TV.

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  3. I'm sorry you canceled HBO and won't be able to watch. :(

    Amber

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  4. I don't have HBO for the same reasons. Harrison always seemed to be the most introspective of the lot and I was always fascinated by his seemingly other-worldliness. Think I'll go dig out some classics:)

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  5. I could not live without HBO. It's the only TV I watch besides sports!
    Great post Kat! thanks
    (Paul)
    Liz

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  6. Marianne you probably WERE a crazy teen! I'll bet your parents watched you closely, with real concern over the new rock and roll madness... lol
    Amber I'm on my way to your house! lol
    Paris, I played some George Harrison on iTunes while I was writing this blog and-it will still take you there, It's even better than you remembered it.
    LIz you have Beer and HBO, I changed my mind, I'm to going to your house... lol I l think Sir Paul made a better bargain when he went to the altar this summer. His new wife seems like a far better match.
    XXOO Kat

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  7. I was always a Ringo kind of girl--that's me, falling for the comic relief. I loved when my kids were little, seeing him on "Shining Time Station." (Also George Carlin, whom I adored!)

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  8. Ringo is wonderful! I love that he and Barbara Bach have stood strong together all these years. Ringo is a very talented song writer too. "Photograph" is a beautiful song.
    XXOO Kat

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  9. This comment is from the lovely Adele Dubois, whom blogger fussed with this morning:
    "Wonderful post, Kat! I also wish I had HBO. When HBO releases the Harrison documentary on DVD, I'll be happy to watch. I loved George's final solo album "Cloud Nine", released in 1987."
    Adele

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  10. I think I fixed the problem with Blogger. Kat, thanks for the reminder about the HBO documentary. I have HBO and can't wait to watch the documentary. As I told you in an email, I loved all the Beatles. My memory of George was seeing him perform live at Madison Square Garden in 1971 at the Concert for Bangladesh. He sang "My Sweet Lord," and whenever I hear that song, I think of the concert.

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  11. I remember how elegant George looked in the white suit.
    XXOO Kat

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  12. Testing to see if I can post a comment

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  13. My mom played Beatles music during the day when my dad was at work (he didn't like the crazy hippie music!). My own Beatle worship began in 1971. George fascinated me, but my heart has always belonged to John. I had the honor of meeting him and Yoko on a street in New York City in 1976. They were very kind and gracious to a star stuck teenager!
    I'm looking forward to watching "Living In The Material World".

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  14. Tessie, how cool that you met John and Yoko. I would have given anything to meet them.

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  15. Tessie that's an amazing story! In the 90's Yoko Ono had a conceptual art exhibit in Santa Barbara including her all white chess set. I did not get to meet her but everyone who did said she was lovely to work with and very down to earth.
    XXOO Kat

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  16. Cara,
    The experience remains one of the biggest of my life. I was 16, full of angst and confusion, and that night I was mad at my parents for some now unknown reason, so I was taking a walk. Their car stopped at a light, the window went down, and John leaned out and asked me if I was okay. I burst into tears and he and Yoko took the time to talk to me.

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  17. Kat,
    I think it is very sad she had to endure villification in the press and the court of public opinion. She's an extremely talented artist, and dedicated to numerous charitable causes.

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  18. I'm flabbergasted and thrilled to hear that John and Yoko story. They were both parents and loving people and I'm sure they knew they were doing some good.
    It's a beautiful reminder that being kind to each other has lasting effects.
    XXOO Kat

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  19. I agree Cara, I'm hoping to hear a little more (hint hint Tessie...)
    XXOO Kat

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  20. Oooh, lotsa comments, but then the man deserves lots of comments. George was never appreciated as a musician when he was a Beatle - at least not like he should have been. I love his music. He died far too young.

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  21. Hi Julia, you're right George needed to stand alone to fully mature musically. His music is often incredibly bittersweet and has a lot of depth.
    XXOO Kat

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