Last night I watched Martin Scorsese’s documentary “George Harrison: Living in a Material World.” It was a three-and-a-half hour long intimate look at George’s public and private life. It was personal, it was touching, and to put it simply, it was amazing. I highly recommend it to anybody who loves The Beatles (it’s currently playing in repeats on HBO in the US).
I mentioned briefly in my blog about seeing Sir Paul McCartney this summer that I have a very special place in my heart for George. I always hate when I’m asked who my favorite Beatles is because it really is a hard question to answer. I absolutely love Sir Paul, he can do no wrong in my eyes. His post-Beatles career has been filled with so many wonderful songs. I have nothing but the utmost respect for John Lennon, it is such a tragedy that he was taken away from us so early. And of course, Ringo has this charm and humor about him that he just makes you smile. And then there’s George. Sweet, sweet, underrated George.
What it must’ve been like to be surrounded by the songwriting genius of Lennon/McCartney. How could you even compete? But then quiet George comes in and gives us such brilliant songs as “Taxman,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Here Comes the Sun,” and, of course, “Something.” As Sir Paul has recalled on more than one occasion, Frank Sinatra once said to him, “‘Something’ is my favorite Lennon/McCartney song.” To which Sir Paul cheekily responded, “Mine too.”
I burst into tears last night when “Something” came on. Every time I hear the song, I have (and I mean HAVE) to sing aloud loudly to my favorite part: “You’re asking me will my love grow, I don’t know… I don’t know.” This just gets me every time. Such passion, such honesty, such beauty… It is not only one of my favorite Beatles songs, it is one of my favorite songs, period.
When I was in grade school, George Harrison came out with a new album. I didn’t know a lot about The Beatles back then, but I did like it when their music came on the oldies station my mom listened to. “I’ve Got My Mind Set On You” was the big hit from that album, but I remember loving the second single, “When We Was Fab,” more. I guess it was the soon-to-be-realized Beatles fangirl inside of me getting ready to come out. Click here to see the video, which I love because it has Ringo, an homage to Sgt. Pepper’s, a walrus, an apple, lots of Beatles references that I didn’t “get” when I was little.
George was also extremely spiritual. He’s responsible for bringing in the sitar and other eastern influences on the Beatles later albums. This also influenced his solo work. Probably George’s best known solo song is the one that I’ll leave you with, “My Sweet Lord.” I’m happy that George is getting the recognition he deserves through this documentary. And hopefully, it’ll make it harder in the future for a lot of people to answer the question, “Who’s your favorite Beatle?”
Dear George, I send you all my love. I find comfort in your music and words on a daily basis. And as you once said, “Here comes the sun and I say, ‘It’s all right.’”
Please note: my website is currently being updated, so I wasn’t able to embed the videos (hence the links) and comments are closed until update is ready.