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Here Comes the Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison Paperback – June 1, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Author and film producer Greene focuses on the metaphysical in his examination of George Harrison, choosing to document the Beatle's relationship with Hindu philosophy and Krishna devotees over his more complex—though admittedly well-covered—relationship with his bandmates. The resulting portrait is at times flat, as Harrison gets along with just about everyone on his spiritual path, and Greene is reluctant to cast his subject in a negative light. That's a shame, as the highlights of the book feature a conflicted and embattled Harrison dealing with disappointment, frustration and loss, of which there is plenty in the Beatles' shared history. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
A friend of George Harrison offers informed reflections on the late musician's spiritual quest.
Out of the insanity, claustrophobia and estrangement that came with being a member of the Beatles, Harrison emerged an affected man, in search of God and peace. Filmmaker/biographer Greene (Justice at Dachau, 2003, etc.) portrays his friend as introspective and modest, inspired by an experience with LSD ("From that moment on, I wanted to have that depth and clarity of perception," Harrison told "Rolling Stone.") Harrison reached beyond intoxicants into the bliss of yoga and cosmic chants, a buzz that took him "into the astral plane." He wanted others to share his contact with the mystical and spoke of his spirituality during concerts, where his comments were met with, at best, indifference. Though he spent considerable time exploring the Hindu religion, writes Greene, the musician was a restless quester, always looking for ways to put his spiritual house in order. Greene writes of a newfound "levelheaded dispassion" as Harrison moved into his sixth decade, a sense of liberation from the material world coupled with an affirmation of nature and a personal recognition of his place in the scheme of things.
Greene presents a man deeply engaged in the world he longed to transcend. ("Kirkus Review," November 1, 2005)
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What makes this book wonderful and distinct is that it explores the influences that helped George Harrison develop, share and explore his spirituality. In fact, it is this very sharing on George Harrison's part that makes his music so distinct.
The few errors contained are nothing on the level of those in Bob Spitz' biography. Spitz' errors are so glaring that you wonder how on earth he could write it without checking. To add insult to injury, Spitz has taken personal issue with critics and Beatle experts who have called him on these errors and purports to have written the "definitive" Beatle biography.
I like the way this author hones in on why George's spiritual hunger was not satisfied by material success while living in the Material World. George's spiritual Long & Winding Road took him through Hindu teachings as well as the Hare Krishna devotees. At no time did George commit himself to any one faith or expression of faith; as stated in his own song, "if you don't know where you're going, any road'll take you there."
It has been well documented that the former Beatle was at home with Hindu teachings and philosophy; yoga; mediatation and the traditions of each. Even so, he kept his mind open to new and different ideas and possibilities. Greene does an excellent job of exploring and examining this aspect of the man's life. Greene also does an excellent job of explaining what rituals George practiced and his rationale for the forms these expressions took. This is very interesting.
One thing I would like to see discussed and explored was George's view of Catholicism in adult life. He had a statue of the Blessed Mother at his Friar Park home which suggests that the seeds of Catholicism which had been imparted to him early had taken root and borne fruit. He was even baptized in the Catholic church as an infant. George even said in an interview that, as a young boy he attended the Catholic masses, but later became disenchanted when people were there about showcasing their clothing. He even said he enjoyed the services, but had trouble believing that only Jesus was God's child. I found it interesting that George even said that he would get confirmed later, but for whatever reasons never did.
I like the way this author informed readers of Prabhupada and his private contact with George and the Vedic precept that the sacred chants are gifts from God to be shared.
Instead of being a rehashing of well documented facts such as Mark Shapiro's books and the poorly written tabloids by Geoffrey Guiliano, this is a work to be taken very seriously. It stands apart from other biographies of the youngest Beatle in that it digs deeply into his spiritual quest and explains in good detail the aspects of religions George followed. This book shares a place of honor with Simon Leng's book and George's autobiography. This is a book Harrison fans will undoubtedly treasure.
I learned a lot about George and was very much inspired by his story. So inspired that I bought every song and album mentioned in the book just so I could listen to it as I read the stories.
This book moved me in ways that go beyond words. I lived through George as he discovered God. Tears flowed from my eyes as I neared the end of his life...
This book was clearly a work of love and devotion. Thank you, Joshua Greene, for enriching my life.