Wednesday, October 19, 2011

George Harrison: Living in the Material World

I finally got to see Martin Scorsese's George Harrison: Living in the Material World, and I agree with those who gave the documentary such high ratings. It is a wonderful, vivid account of the life of a complex, interesting soul. The two living Beatles are heard from, but not overwhelmingly. For while George was a Beatle, that wasn't his life. Heck, that was the very point of his life.

Still, let's hear from Ringo (and Eric Clapton) discussing "Here Comes the Sun."

What I got out of it was that Olivia Harrison was, perhaps, the most ordinary, yet graceful of the "Beatle wives" (meaning Harrison, Linda McCartney, Yoko Ono, and Maureen Starr). Scorsese left few stones unturned, talking with Astrid Kirchherr, Klaus Voormann, Ravi Shankar, Tom Petty, Ray Cooper, Jim Keltner, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Yoko Ono, Dhani Harrison, Pattie Boyd (yes, "Layla"), Phil Spector (looking freaky as always), and even Jackie Stewart (yes, the Formula One driver).

But at the end of the day, it's Harrison himself (via archive footage) along with McCartney and Starr who steal the show. Ringo chokes up revealing the contents of the last conversation he had with George, wiping away a tear before exclaiming, "It's like Barbara (bleeping) Walters in here, isn't it?!"

George was famous, in his later years, for not enjoying touring and performing live, but here he is playing with Elton John, Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynne, and Phil Collins (along with Ringo) on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". This is from the 1987 Prince's Trust Concert.

If it's possible to be a Beatle and be underrated, George Harrison was it.

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