Caros Audiophiles, the new George Harrison documentary film Living In The Material World by Martin Scorsese has just been released. Three and a half hours long but totally absorbing. Combining archive video, private family photos and home movies, and interviews with his many musician friends, the film follows his life from Liverpool childhood through to his fame and huge contribution as a Beatle, and later as solo artist, but also as film producer for Monty Python films, and as humanitarian philanthropist highlighted by his organisation of the 1971 Concert For Bangladesh, his charitable response to the devastating floods and famine in that country,an idea pre-dating LiveAid by many years.
This is a portrait of a fascinating, enigmatic, complex man. One of the most celebrated people on the planet but who questioned his importance in the world and searched for enlightenment and spiritual faith.
Harrison himself explains: "By having money, we found that money wasn't the answer." And so began a "journey inward" that led him to experiment with LSD, Eastern religion, meditation and Indian music. Each of these influenced his songwriting, through which 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."
Scorsese himself says: "The more you're in the material world, the more there is a tendency for a search for serenity and a need to not be distracted by physical elements that are around you. His music is very important to me, so I was interested in the journey that he took as an artist. The film is an exploration. We don't know. We're just feeling our way through."
George Harrison's legacy of songs as a Beatle need no introduction or promotion - Within You Without You, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Here Comes The Sun, Something... - so here I present some of his best known solo work:
Not bad for only "the third most talented Beatle"!
A proxima. PO