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George Harrison: Living in the Material World Hardcover – September 27, 2011
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About the Author
Olivia Harrison is a producer and philanthropist. She has received a Grammy Award for her video of the 2002 Concert for George, which she organized to benefit the Material World Charitable Foundation in memory of her husband, George Harrison; and a UNICEF Spirit of Compassion Award in recognition of her family’s assistance to the children of Bangladesh. Mark Holborn is a distinguished editor of illustrated books, who has worked with numerous photographers and artists, from Annie Leibovitz to Lucian Freud.
Top customer reviews
Mostly. And Olivia touches on some of his shortcomings, too, for a pretty well-rounded picture.
(For _real_ George fans: On the jacket of which vinyl solo album did Harrison promise to enroll you in his Fan Club if you sent him "a self-undressed, stamped elephant"??)
This is without a doubt the most beautiful and longest awaited biography of George Harrison to date!
As soon as this book became available, I ordered it immediately if not even sooner. I loved the previously unpublished photographs, such as that of 2-year-old George in the arms of his sister, Louise, then nearly 14. I had to smile at tween George sunning himself with family friends, father Harold Sr. and brother Peter, in or about 1954. I especially loved the picture of Louise and Harold Sr. at a dance in the late 1940s, a loving couple who literally welcomed George with love.
It was such a treat to read about various Harrison family members. It is plain and has been well documented that George was not only created by love, but was literally born into love. From 1965-1969, Louise Harrison lent her voice to a column in a newsletter in a fan club newsletter honoring her son.
Postcards George had written various friends and family members; sketches from his school workbooks all paint young George Harrison into sharper focus. As a bonus treat, readers enjoy the inclusion of quotes by various family members, such as George's sisters-in-law, brothers, fellow Beatles and sundry friends.
I have long thought George and Paul were the most interesting of the Beatles. George's love for Eastern music and his life-long bond with Ravi Shankar, whom he met in 1965 is beautifully chronicled in this book. George's home Friar Park is included, from its "evolution" to its finished state, metaphoric in that it parallels George's "evolution" to that of gardener, a passion he inherited from both Harold Sr. and Louise.
You've just got to love seeing George, then 12 astride a motorcycle labeled "43" (as in 1943, perhaps), a future Formula One enthusiast. The then-future Beatle would follow his love for "things fast," as he would later sing in his 1979 gem, "Faster." In 1963, George, then 20 had a blast go-karting with his fellow Beatles, no doubt wishing his go-kart could be driven a tad faster. George, artist extraordinare, humble gardener, author, father, husband, son, brother, uncle, complex iconic figure remained a boy at heart.
One thing I've long wanted to explore was George's Catholic roots. Louise French Harrison was Catholic and had George baptized when he was 1 month old. George's Catholic roots remained with him for his entire life. He had a beautiful statue of Blessed Mother Mary on the grounds of Friar Park. While George explored Eastern religion and philosophy, he recognized that the precepts of all faiths are very similar.
I will add that George Harrison has given the gift of his beautiful voice to many. A child with Asperger's, which is a form of autism who was a HUGE Beatles fan (George was this child's favorite) was a late talker. Upon acquiring speech, this child would let George "talk" for her, using quotes from George's songs and lines he uttered in Beatle movies to express herself. Over time, this evolved into her developing her own voice, so to speak. George Harrison's music and his natural, yet childlike grace of sorts reached countless many. He has a large following of fans with autism, as do the Beatles as a group. Beatle fans with autism is a demographic that is not rare as one might otherwise think.
This book is such a Godsend and I CAN'T WAIT for the dvd. Olivia Arias Harrison, a beautiful, gracious lady has given the world a gift that will continue to give. To make a good thing even better, she has included her input, which made this a much more effective body of work. I can never thank her enough.
This book is a MUST HAVE for all George Harrison fans. Again, this book is a gift that will keep on giving.
You will also want to read Before He Was Fab : George Harrison's First American Visit, which was co-authored by George's sister, Louise.
If you loved the book Imagine: John Lennon or the Imagine DVD (Deluxe Edition), you will love this book. If you have HBO, enjoy the Martin Scorsese documentary. I don't have cable, so I'll be looking forward to the DVD (which is scheduled for a spring 2012 release in the U.S.). I don't think there will be a soundtrack CD, although I understand that the deluxe Blu-ray/DVD combo package that was just issued in Europe has a bonus CD of unissued Harrisongs. Hopefully, we will get the same thing.
George, you are missed, and you never got the credit you deserved, as either a Beatle or as a solo artist.