George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011)
So, I loved this documentary. Granted, I’m a pretty easy sell when it comes to Martin Scorsese films, and I’m an even easier sell when it comes to George Harrison, so the fact that I liked Living in the Material World should come as a surprise to no one. While the film didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know about George Harrison, his story was told in such a way that it was still thoroughly interesting, with lots of interviews with the people close to him (including the remaining Beatles, his ex-wife and his widow, all of his friends, of whom he had many), and lots of great footage of him, including some home movies he made himself. And of course it has a great soundtrack—how could it not? It’s George fucking Harrison.
I suppose the most interesting lesson to be taken away from the documentary is something I remember hearing a close friend of his say shortly after he died—namely, that while he’s generally considered to have been “the quiet Beatle”, the fact was that he was anything but, once you got to know him. The George Harrison conveyed in this film is an incredibly charismatic, charming, and magnetic guy. While, for the most part, it’s hard for Scorsese to pierce through that mellow, mystical exterior that Harrison exuded, he is able to hint at private pains and inner anger, even if Scorsese (or anyone else, for that matter) can never satisfactorily explain where they came from. That’s a pitfall of any biographical documentary, really; there are going to be unexplained aspects of a person, insights that just sort of hang in the air and can’t be properly explained.
All in all, it’s very respectful towards Harrison, as a person and as a musician. About as much of the documentary is focused on his solo career as is his time with the Beatles (I maintain that Harrison’s solo career was the best of all the former Beatles, and that it’s stood the test of time the best of all of them, but that’s just my opinion). It’s not a muckraking, earth-shattering biographical piece. It’s understated and reflective, positive and celebratory, just like the man himself. And I quite liked it, myself.
I Dig Love
Small love, big love, I dont care
Loves all good love to me
Left love, right love, anywhere love
Theres a rare love, come on and get it, its free
Okay. This is really weird.
So I’m watching Martin Scorsese’s documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, and they get to the part about George writing the soundtrack to Wonderwall, and it reminds me that I’ve been searching for one particular song from it, “Wonderwall to Be Here” (played by the Remo Four) ever since I saw the movie (which was ages ago), but have never found it.
So just now I went to my CD cases to get out my copy of All Things Must Pass and I find the Wonderwall soundtrack sitting right there.
I have absolutely no memory whatsoever of buying this soundtrack. The song is of course not on it (just the instrumental version), but still. I can’t remember ever getting this.
I’m listening to it right now and enjoying it. It’s just weird, I guess. Not in a magical, fateful sort of way. Maybe more of an early onset dementia sort of way. Hm.
35 Most Underrated Beatles Songs (in my opinion)
Fun fact: I’m a fan of the Beatles. So much so that I used to frequent a Beatles message board back when I was in college. While going through my old external hard drive tonight, I came upon a list I’d made for that message board, of the most underrated Beatles songs out there (in my opinion). I liked to wax poetic about the band, and enjoyed writing about them. So I thought I’d share the list with you.
(Warning: It’s a long read. And not in any particular order.)
All Those Years Ago -George Harrison
Song written my George Harrison for John Lennon after his unexpected death. George and John remained friends after the Beatles brake-up until the day he died. Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, and Linda McCartney also played on this song.
I thought that John was pretty miffed that George only mention him in his memoirs, like, ten times, and they never really spoke again after that.