Friday, 30 October 2020


“You know if you know someone that long,” Paul said whilst in conversation with Sean Lennon, celebrating John’s recent 80th birthday celebration on BBC Radio 2. “From your early teenage years to your late twenties, that’s an awful long time to be collaborating with someone and you grow to know each other and even when you’re apart you’re still thinking about each other, you’re still referencing each other,” McCartney added.
Sean was eager to discover what song from Lennon’s solo career holds the biggest place in McCartney’s heart and his answer didn’t disappoint. “Obviously ‘Imagine and ‘Instant Karma’ is great and the nice thing was, when I listen to the records, I can imagine him in the studio and go, ‘Oh ok, I know what he’s done’. I’m often asked for my favourite tunes kind of thing, and I always include ‘Beautiful Boy’,” McCartney revealed.

The Double Fantasy track was famously written for Sean by John and the song full of messages of self-improvement like “Every day and in every way, I am getting better and better”, which has become somewhat of a self-help mantra. The honest lyrics also feature the famous line, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” — it’s a track that sees Lennon truly lay his heart on the line in.

McCartney wasn’t just being polite by saying it was his favourite Lennon song because it was written about his former bandmate’s passionate adoration for his son who he was in the company of — he has been banging the drum about ‘Beautiful Boy’ for decades.

During an appearance on Desert Island Discs back in 1982, just two years after John’s death — a grief-stricken Macca picked the beautiful song as one of his choices, “I haven’t chosen any Beatles records but if we had more than eight I probably would have. I haven’t chosen any of my records so to sum up the whole thing I have chosen one of John Lennon’s from Double Fantasy which I think is a beautiful song very moving to me. So, I’d like to sum up the whole thing by playing ‘Beautiful Boy’.”

Almost forty years on from when he made that initial statement about ‘Beautiful Boy’ being the song from the entirety of The Beatles Universe which means the most to him, his adoration for the John, Sean and the song remains the same.

Thursday, 29 October 2020


The interview with John Fugelsang took place in 1997 ,sadly, Harrison’s passing from throat cancer just a few years later would mean this would be his last public interview and performance and remains a poignant piece of history. 

In the nineties, following the unprecedented success of MTV, a new television channel emerged. The channel was VH1. On it they would host illustrious guests of the classic rock era such as Paul McCartney, Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton and often Fugelsang would allow them space to chat about new projects, reflect on old ones and play some tunes. He later said of the gig that with it he had the opportunity to host “the most incredible all-star concerts that nobody would watch”.

A host of incredible acts took up the invitation, with some of the biggest names in the business all filling up slots in their diary. However, during this period, many of the featured artists had not quite completed their revolution of the cool wheel and were not as memorable as you might hope. However, the interview with George Harrison would go down with some extra gravitas attached.

George had popped into the studio just to complete a “sound byte” interview which was expected to last a little under ten minutes. Instead, what VH1 and Fuglesang got was George Harrison, accompanied by legendary Sitarist Ravi Shankar talking about a wide range of subjects and even performing some songs. They talk about everything from The Beatles to his solo work, from spirituality to charity and, at one point, George even finds time for an off the cuff performance of the classic track ‘All Things Must Pass’. He even debuts a new solo song as well as a lesser-heard Travelling Wilbury’s track.

Some 50 years on from the album All Things Must Pass, Harrison’s first solo record, the album still ranks as one of the best ever written and is the largest selling solo Beatle record of all time. Featuring songs such as the title track, ‘My Sweet Lord’ and ‘What Is Life’ it is a lasting testament to George’s belief in the interconnecting power of music and spirituality. For George, there was no separating the two. Reflecting on Shankar’s album, he says: “And that’s really why for me this record’s important because it’s another little key to open up the within. For each individual to be able to sit and turn off, um…’turn off your mind relax and float downstream’ and listen to something that has its root in a transcendental, because really even all the words of these songs, they carry with it a very subtle spiritual vibration. And it goes beyond intellect really. So if you let yourself be free to let that have an effect on you, it can have an effect, a positive effect.”

The interview continues and reflects on the epic 1970 album All Things Must Pass as a seminal moment in Harrison’s career. 
Not only was this the year his Phil Spector record dropped but it would also be the year that he and Shankar would launch the Concert for Bangladesh, a gig in which George debut much of his early solo material. It’s a heartwarming and in-depth look into the life of George.

Watch the performance of George Harrison VH1, 1997... Here

Friday, 23 October 2020


The track, one of Harrison’s finest songs, originally featured on his 1970 record All Things Must Pass which confirmed his ability as a spectacular songwriter to anyone who still doubted him. The song was one of the oldest to feature on the album with Harrison, he even considered giving the track away rather than using it for himself and almost handed it over to Frank Sinatra before having second thoughts. The song would go on to be covered a whole host of times.

“‘Isn’t It A Pity’ is about whenever a relationship hits a down point,” Harrison once confessed. “Instead of whatever other people do (like breaking each other’s jaws) I wrote a song. It was a chance to realise that if I felt somebody had let me down, then there’s a good chance I was letting someone else down. We all tend to break each other’s hearts, and not giving back – isn’t it a pity,” Harrison added on the track.

“It’s just an observation of how society and myself were or are,” he also said to Billboard about the origin of ‘Isn’t It A Pity’. “We take each other for granted – and forget to give back. That was really all it was about. It’s like love lost and love gained between 16- and 20-year-olds,” he added.

“But I must explain: Once, at the time I was at Warner Bros. and I wrote that song ‘Blood From A Clone’, that was when they were having all these surveys out on the street to find out what was a hit record. And apparently, as I was told, a hit record is something that is about ‘love gained or lost between 14- and 19-year-olds,’ or something really dumb like that. So that’s why I wrote ‘Isn’t It A Pity’ I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll get in on that!’”.

Harrison was reportedly a huge fan of Simone’s version of the track, which she released in 1972 and he even took influence from the cover. In his autobiography, Harrison says he was influenced by Simone’s treatment when he came to record his song ‘The Answer’s at the End’ in 1975 which bears a similar arrangement to her cover of ‘Isn’t It A Pity’.

Listen ‘Isn’t It A Pity’ by Nina Simone , Here.
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