Here Comes the Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison

Here Comes the Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison

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by Joshua M. Greene
     
 

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Here Comes the Sun

"Many well-Known artist have touched people's hearts with their music but few have ever succeeded in touching people's souls. That was George's gift, and his story is described here with affection and taste. A wonderful book."
—Mia Farrow

"There is a palpable excitement to this book that made me feel I was there, with George, on

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Here Comes the Sun

"Many well-Known artist have touched people's hearts with their music but few have ever succeeded in touching people's souls. That was George's gift, and his story is described here with affection and taste. A wonderful book."
—Mia Farrow

"There is a palpable excitement to this book that made me feel I was there, with George, on his journey. He once said, 'I want to be God-conscious. That's really my only ambition, and everything else in life is incidental.' This extraordinary work provides nourishment for all who hunger, as he did, for that ultimate state of grace."
—Martin Rutte, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work

"I have fond memories of times George and I spent together, and  Here Comes the Sun really captures him-not just as a Beatle but as an artist and a human being."
—Peter Frampton

"I love this book for many reason, most of all for its fair and sensitive portrayal of my brother's open-minded approach to spirituality. He saw Spirit as belonging to everyone, and that wonderful quality in him comes through here with dignity and insight."
—Louise Harrison

"Wonderful! A comprehensive portrait of a gentle driving force."
—Mike Pinder, founder of the Moody Blues

"A moving account of George Harrison's inner life and growth, this book not only provides fascinating details about his career and relations with his fellow  Beatles but also insight into the deeper motives behind his music and spirt5iual search. A thoroughly enjoyable read."
—Klaus K. Klostermaier, Professor Religious Studies, University of Manitoba, and author of A Survey of Hinduism

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* It has always seemed to me a convincing proof of the greatness of the Beatles that the bulk of "The White Album"—that voluptuous crack-up of a record, full of smut and lunacy—was written at a meditation camp in the Himalayas. Geniuses that they were, at Rishikesh, India, the Beatles answered the pull of the transcendental with an equivalent downward thrust of their own; commanded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to focus on bliss, nothingness, and the white light of eternity, they came up with "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" and "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey." Apart from George Harrison, that is. While John and Paul strummed and swapped their ribaldries, and Ringo went home early with tummy trouble (too much spicy food), George was rigorous, sober, down with the program. It had been his idea to go there, after all. His best Rishikesh songs are solemn and beautiful: the devotional murmur of "Long, Long, Long" and the elegiac "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." And according to Joshua Greene's "Here Comes the Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison," in his solemnity the heavy-browed young guitarist would remonstrate with his fellow Beatles: "Too much time spent writing . . . struck George as a distraction from their purpose in coming to India, and he said as much. 'We're not here to talk music. We're here to meditate.' 'Calm down, man,' Paul said. 'Sense of humor needed here, you know.'"
Perhaps a spiritual biography is humorless by definition. The spirit doesn't tell jokes; it strives wordlessly for perfection. One reads of course of the constant merriment of the Dalai Lama, and the Maharishi himself was apparently quite prone to the giggles, but the mirth of these sages seems to be of a very rarefied and cosmic order. Earthly laughter—the guffaw, the yip, the cackle—is different, and there isn't too much of it in "Here Comes the Sun," suffused as it is with the earnestness of the seeking soul. Greene, who met George through London's Radha Krishna Temple in the 1970s, has efficiently separated from the mass of Beatle data the single thread of his subject's religious endeavors, and writes of them with the unblinking identification of the fellow devotee. "George had discovered singing God's glories through the Krishna mantra," we read on Page 145. "It made him feel good; it was easy and musical. How wonderful to think that God played a flute, that he was a musician." What we have here, not to put too fine a point on it, is new age prose—moon-faced, quietly zealous, and limpidly free of skepticism.
On the other hand, this is rather the key in which the story of guru-hungry George demands to be written. The story of Paul, flashing his two raised thumbs like a pair of small horns, necessitates a different approach. Christopher Sandford's "McCartney," with wit and some bemusement, paints the jaunty "head Beatle" as a comic figure on the very grandest scale: an irrepressible entertainer, a stranger to doubt, absurdly vital, rebounding from vicissitude, part of humanity's immune system. A key moment occurs in January 1980, when the first Wings tour of Japan is derailed on arrival by the discovery at Narita Airport of what McCartney would later refer to as "a bloody great bag of pot right on the top of my suitcase." The Japanese customs officers are not amused, and McCartney is promptly incarcerated. Things look bleak; there is the prospect of a long sentence, even hard labor. To console himself, the prisoner performs an impromptu medley of show tunes and Beatles standards for his fellow detainees, thus granting his future biographer the following prize-winning image: "McCartney had finished Toot, Toot, Tootsie, Goo'bye' and was nearing the end of 'Hey Jude' when the consul came."
This is essence of McCartney: The Fabness—a twinkling amalgam of professionalism, personal toughness, and showbiz brio—cannot be dented. It drove the other Beatles m
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 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Historian and Emmy-nominated writer and filmmaker Greene studied with George Harrison's guru and recorded Hindustani devotional music with the former Beatle at one point in the 1970s. Drawing on those experiences, he attempts an overview of Harrison's life and musical career, but there is an unfortunate focus on his spirituality; readers will not find much on Harrison's music. To his credit, Greene studiously avoids the tabloidlike nature of some earlier Harrison biographies (e.g., Geoffrey Giuliano's Dark Horse: The Life and Art of George Harrison). This, however, is a mixed blessing, as the overall biographical material seems fairly general and at times sketchy, except when it comes to Harrison's spiritual path. The Beatles period in particular could be more detailed. This book, illustrated with 20 pages of black-and-white photographs, will interest Harrison and Beatles fans, but it is neither a definitive guide to Harrison's music nor a truly comprehensive biography. Recommended for larger public libraries with significant popular culture collections.-James E. Perone, Mount Union Coll., Alliance, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471690214
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
01/03/2006
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Many well-known artists have touched people's hearts with their music, but few have ever succeeded in touching people's souls. That was George's gift, and his story is described here with affection and taste. A wonderful book."—Mia Farrow

"There is a palpable excitement to this book that made me feel I was there, with George, on his journey. . . . Extraordinary."—Martin Rutte, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work

"The depth of insight into Harrison's inner life is great."—Yoga Journal

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