Here's some of what's been on your minds this past week ...
re: GEORGE HARRISON:
I know you're looking forward to this show. Thought you'd find this interesting.
This is a review of an HBO special that Martin Scorsese did on George Harrison. It is airing in October. Thought you might find it interesting.
By PETER DEBRUGE
An HBO Documentary Films, Grove Street Pictures presentation of a Spitfire Pictures / Sikelia Prods. production. Produced by Olivia Harrison, Nigel Sinclair, Martin Scorsese. Executive producer, Margaret Bodde. Directed by Martin Scorsese.
With: Neil Aspinall, Jane Birkin, Pattie Boyd, Eric Clapton, Ray Cooper, Terry Gilliam, Dhani Harrison, George Harrison, Olivia Harrison, Eric Idle, Jim Keltner, Astrid Kirchherr, George Martin, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty, Ravi Shankar, Phil Spector, Ringo Starr, Jackie Stewart, Klaus Voormann.
Those who know a fair amount about the Beatles will look at "Living in the Material World" and marvel at just how much ground Martin Scorsese's George Harrison opus covers in 3 1/2 hours. But those of us who aren't as familiar with the band's most spiritual member are in for an unexpected treat: More than mere rock-doc hagiography, "Material World" reveals how a tortured millionaire struggled to tame his soul, understand life and ready himself for death. Sadly, sprocket-opera screenings in Telluride and New York appear to be the engrossing two-parter's only bigscreen engagements before it premieres Oct. 5 on HBO.
Considering the involvement of George's widow, Olivia Harrison (who also produced), and comments from those who knew him well, including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Phil Spector, Klaus Voormann, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty, Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam, it's no surprise that Scorsese's sources offer emotionally choked and overwhelmingly fond remembrances of the late Beatle. As Harrison himself advised in "The Answer's at the End": "Scan not a friend with a microscopic glass / You know his faults, now let the foibles pass."
Still, while "Material World" takes a generally respectful tone toward its subject, through the combined testimony of all these sources, a decidedly conflicted picture of Harrison emerges. In their words, he was "a red-blooded man" (McCartney) prone to "anger" (Starr) with "no filter" (Ono) and "a very extreme personality (that led him) very heavily into drugs" (Voormann). By acknowledging but not belaboring these faults, the film hints at what made Harrison such a restless individual -- albeit primarily though euphemism, supported only once by visual evidence (when he threw a drink in a photographer's face).
The first hour or so of the 94-minute Part I covers Harrison's childhood and early days with the Beatles. Scorsese clearly assumes auds are already up to speed on Harrison and his collaborators, opening the film with testimony from intimate acquaintances who aren't identified until nearly three hours in (including son Dhani and Handmade Films partner Ray Cooper) before blazing through the Beatles' meteoric, decade-long existence.
Audiences of a certain age shouldn't need hand-holding to understand the "Is God Dead?" cover of Time magazine or the significance of Harrison's Bangladesh charity concerts, though the docu does no favors to neophytes for whom the title "Living in the Material World" is more likely to evoke Madonna than Harrison. Scorsese features a virtual slideshow of Astrid Kirchherr's photos from the Beatles' early days in Hamburg, Germany, but fails to identify Stuart Sutcliffe by anything more than his first name. It's among the many small details omitted along the way. But opting not to mention that Sutcliffe served as the band's first bass player before leaving the group, and then dying unexpectedly at age 21, undercuts the power of the subsequent portraits of a grief-stricken John and George -- images that, in light of profound fear-of-death issues raised late in Part II, might have captured a key turning point in Harrison's life (echoed five years later when manager Brian Epstein died).
Other visuals -- a mind-boggling mix of formats, including hundreds of terrific photographs available in a companion coffee-table book -- often beg for further context. Scorsese's approach spells a complex connect-the-dots game for the uninitiated, though there's plenty here to encourage further exploration -- not least of which is the music, which sounds incredible in the film's mix, even if the tracks have a nasty way of cutting off to dead silence just as they're getting good. Editor David Tedeschi, who also assembled Scorsese's comparably ambitious "Bob Dylan: No Direction Home," organizes Harrison's chronology into manageable chunks while juggling multiple arcs.
Clearly, fame transformed the four Liverpool kids. In a vintage television interview, Harrison explains, "By having money, we found that money wasn't the answer." And so begins a "journey inward," as Starr describes it, that led Harrison to experiment with LSD, Eastern religion, meditation and Indian music. Each of those influences trickled into Harrison's songwriting, which took on an evangelical quality as he tried to teach future generations how to live free of the assumptions he'd had to unlearn.
Later, an older-and-wiser Harrison reflects, "People say I'm the Beatle who changed the most, but to me, that's what life's about." That ongoing transformation also makes Harrison the Beatle best suited to a portrait of this magnitude, not only for dramatic reasons, but also because his issues seem to run deepest.
When it comes to "Living in the Material World" or his similarly formatted Dylan doc, it's hard to ascertain just how involved Scorsese is as director. Nearly all the interviews were conducted by Warren Zanes (though a phone call from Marty no doubt got them in the seat), and a small army of researchers dug up the staggering mix of archival material featured in the film (including home movies shot by Harrison himself). Still, there's no question the movie finds its footing just as Lennon begins bad-mouthing religion -- a moment that must have struck a chord with the Catholic-raised helmer.
Part II picks up in 1970 just as the band is about to break up, and hits the key historical points along the way: Harrison's solo albums, the Bangladesh benefit, his involvement with Monty Python and backing of "Life of Brian," the creation of Handmade Films, his move to Friar Park, the formation of the Traveling Wilburys, his 1999 stabbing and eventual death from cancer. Still, these incidents would not be nearly so fascinating without the undercurrent of his search for faith.
In the last half hour, starting with Lennon's assassination, we learn that Harrison spent much of his life practicing how to leave his body. Not everyone frets about death, but those who do face a daunting uphill journey en route to accepting their mortality. As "Living in the Material World" draws to a close, ending as countless musician biopics have before, Scorsese poignantly shows that Harrison left the world as he wanted: positive-minded, wiser and at peace. Now, through not only his music but also this thoughtful portrait of a lifelong seeker, part of that enlightenment can be ours.
Camera (color / B&W, HD / 16mm / 35mm / VHS), Russell Carpenter, Stuart Dryburgh, Simon Harding, Martin Kenzie, Ellen Kuras, Lisa Rinzler, Harris Savides, Peter Suschitzky, Robert Richardson; editor, David Tedeschi; supervising sound editor, Phil Stockton; re-recording mixer, Tom Fleischman; visual effects, Rob Legato; associate producers, Erin Edeiken, Rachel Cooper. Reviewed at Telluride Film Festival, Sept. 3, 2011. (Also in New York Film Festival.) Running time: 208 MIN. (I: 94 MIN., II: 114 MIN.)
And how cool is this??? Tying in with the HBO Special, The Grammy Museum has put together a special George Harrison Exhibit, which will open to the public on October 11th ... check below for full details! (kk)
The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles will mount a major exhibition on the life and music of George Harrison opening Oct. 11 in conjunction with the forthcoming Martin Scorsese documentary with which it shares the title “George Harrison: Living in the Material World.”
The museum is working closely with Harrison’s widow, Olivia Harrison, in putting together what’s being described as the first major look focusing exclusively on Harrison, both during his years with the Beatles and his post-Fab Four solo career that included a stint with the Traveling Wilburys supergroup with Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne.
“'Living In the Material World’ will provide an in-depth look at all aspects of Harrison’s creative life,” according to a statement the Grammy Museum issued Thursday.
It will include several of his guitars, stage clothing, handwritten lyrics, personal journals and sketches and photographs taken by him.
“As a Beatles fan, working on this exhibit has been a fascinating journey for me personally,” said Robert Santelli, the Grammy Museum’s executive director who also is serving as co-curator of the exhibit with museum curator Tory Millimaki and Grammy Award-winning designer Masaki Koike.
“I came to realize George Harrison was a more deeply complex musician than I previously knew, and a beautifully spiritual man whose interests touched not only songwriting and music, but also included photography, filmmaking and book publishing,” Santelli said in the same statement. “Hopefully, the exhibit will bear this out, enabling other fans of George Harrison to see him and hear his music in a brand new light.”
Olivia Harrison said “Bob and his team have brought a great deal of passion and commitment to the project; their collective efforts have resulted in a wonderful exhibit. We look forward to sharing our memories of George with his fans through this first major exhibition about his life.”
The timing of the show also roughly coincides with the 10th anniversary of his death from lung cancer on Nov. 29, 2001. Scorsese’s 3 1/2-hour documentary, which premiered last weekend at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, is slated to premiere in two parts on HBO on Oct. 5 and 6.
re: NEW RELEASES:
EAGLE TO RELEASE NEWLY-RECORDED CAREER-SPANNING STYX OVERVIEW, REGENERATION, VOLUME I & II
2-CD Package Available For The First Time On October 4
New York, NY (September 6, 2011)—Styx will have its entire career encapsulated within the 16 tracks of Regeneration, Volume I & II on a double-disc to be released via Eagle Rock Entertainment on October 4.
With over 30 million records sold in North America alone, Styx is one of the most beloved rock bands on the planet. Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, Chuck Panozzo, Lawrence Gowan, Ricky Phillips and Todd Sucherman have been together longer than any other lineup in the band’s 40-year existence.
In addition to thirteen Styx classics and a brand new song “Difference In The World,” Regeneration, Volume I & II also includes interpretations of “High Enough,” and “Coming Of Age,” originally recorded by Damn Yankees, which featured Shaw, along with Night Ranger’s Jack Blades, Ted Nugent and drummer Michael Cartellone.” The band had originally re-recorded these acclaimed anthems to sell only at their live shows, as they continued to tour the globe and introduce a new generation of fans to their chart-topping hits. Now, for the first time, this music is being made commercially available.
Eagle Rock Entertainment has previously released Styx: One With Everything, a DVD and Blu-Ray filmed with The Contemporary Youth Orchestra Of Cleveland. Upcoming in December will be The Grand Illusion/Pieces Of Eight – Live, on DVD/CD, DVD, and Blu-ray.
For more information on Styx, please visit www.styxworld.com.
Eagle Rock Entertainment is an international media production and distribution company operating across audiovisual entertainment programming. Eagle Rock Entertainment works directly alongside talent to produce the highest quality programming output covering film, general entertainment and musical performance. Eagle Rock Entertainment has offices based in London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Hamburg, & Paris.
For more information regarding this and other Eagle Rock Entertainment releases, contact Carol Kaye at Carol@Kayosproductions.com. Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Kayos-Productions/102922656447240.
To access photos and/or cover art, please visit www.kayosproductions.com, and click the photo tab.
DISC 1: The Grand Illusion / Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) / Lorelei / Sing For The Day / Crystal Ball / Come Sail Away / Difference In The World
DISC 2: Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) / Miss America / Renegade / Queen Of Spades / Boat on The River / Too Much Time On My Hands / Snowblind / Coming Of Age / High Enough
A few days ago we ran a blurb about a brand new release by The Portraits, now made available thru our FH Buddy Gary Myers ... but when some of you visited his web page to check it out, you weren't able to find any more information or ordering links ... so we talked to Gary about this and he has now provided us with the following:
Yes, I realized, after I did my 1st batch of mailings, that I should have included a link directly to this page:
And then you can order from this page:
But I also realized that I should have said ("However, a sample music link is not yet available"), since a few people have asked about that.
Perhaps I'll revamp things a bit and add a complete separate page for the CD.
Gary E. Myers / MusicGemhttp://www.music-gem.com/index.html
Anyway, hope this gets you guys the info you need (and it'll probably do Gary some good, too! lol) In the meantime, we're still hoping he'll let us "sneak peek" a track here in Forgotten Hits somewhere down the line, too, so you can get a better idea as to what this new release is all about. (kk)Hi Kent,
I guess they are copying The Tygers by coming out with a new album forty years later ...
40 years ago this year, a few guys came together in the Ozarks and began one of the most legendary, unique and successful musical groups in the last four decades.
On November 11, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils will reunite for one night at the O’Reilly Family Events Center. Tix go on sale this Friday.
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils recorded an oldies classic with "Jackie Blue", a #1 Smash back in 1975. (We featured their OTHER Top 40 Hit a short while back in our "Today's Forgotten Hit" feature: "If You Wanna Get To Heaven" peaked at #21 in 1974 ... and actually pre-dates their #1 Hit! Talk about your "One You Know ... One You Didn't Even Know You Forgot" pairings!!!) Hey, more power to them ... there are an AWFUL lot of artists out there who have made a career out of performing their One Hit Wonder for DECADES now!!! (At least these guys had TWO hits!!! lol) kk
re: BUDDY HOLLY:
Here are some pictures from the Buddy Holly Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony, including a couple of Maria Elena and Gary Busey at the ceremony.
And here's a review of the new Buddy Holly Tribute CD "Listen To Me", featuring Brian Wilson, Stevie Nicks, Ringo Starr, Linda Ronstadt, Jeff Lynne, Jackson Browne and several others, courtesy of our FH Buddy David Beard: