October 5th, 2007

Walking

"Back then, long time ago, when grass was green..."

"Ladies and gentlemen, I've suffered for this book; now it's your turn." -- George Harrison in the introduction to his book I Me Mine

I've been listening lately to George Harrison's 1987 album Cloud Nine.

I remember that I got Mom to buy the CD back when it came out, then I didn't in fact listen to it until years later, well after I'd begun diving into the Beatles catalog (which I've been doing on and off since late 2000, when I saw The Beatles Anthology, A Hard Day's Night and Help! in rapid succession). It was like I was having it purchased for my future self.

(I've since glommed onto that CD, as Mom and Dad have burned that and the rest of their CD collection onto whatever type of mp3 player they have. If you need it back, Mom and Dad, let me know...)

Obviously I'm fond of Harrison, as my journal title should make clear. I think I was primed to like him from a young age; his stuff spoke to me even before I knew who he was. I like his gentleness, which leavened his rather...I'd say "sharp-eyed" sense of humor, such as writing "This Song" to deal creatively with the lawsuit over "My Sweet Lord." He could be serious about life and simultaneously not-serious about himself. It's so right that he became friends with members of Monty Python, or worked with and befriended the lusty and often goofy Michael Kamen. And like Lennon and McCartney, Harrison could write lyrics that were simple but not simplistic, and I've tried writing enough lyrics to know that that's tough to do. (Hey! Fun exercise! Imagine Lenny Kravitz lyrics sung by Adam Sandler as the Waterboy!) Heck, I'm not sure McCartney has managed that feat since the late Seventies, but that lyric-writing ability was a big part of why the Beatles worked.

Listening to the CD made me decide to look up the video for the other single from Cloud Nine -- not the main single "Got My Mind Set On You," which "Weird Al" Yankovic parodied the next year as "This Song's Just Six Words Long" -- the amusing look back at the Beatles called "When We Was Fab." The video has fun via special effects (I'll say no more; watch it!). I also spotted cameos by Cloud Nine musicians Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, and Ray Cooper. Anyway, I care to share:

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    The Cars, "Just What I Needed"
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