PERFORMING ARTS

George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters

Chicago Review. (Musicians in Their Own Words). Jul. 2020. 432p. ed. by ed. by Ashley Kahn. ISBN 9781641600514. $30. MUSIC
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In the latest installment of the “Musicians in Their Own Words” series, editor Kahn (Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece) curates a selection of Beatle George Harrison’s conversations with print, television, and radio reporters, from a 1962 radio interview to his family’s release of a brief final message after his death in 2001. The sources range from the near obscure to Rolling Stone interviews, and Kahn provides contextual notes, interviewer information, and other background detail. From Beatlemania-era interviews invoking the comic and caustic wordplay of the Fab Four to in-depth discussions on Harrison’s interest in spirituality in the later 1960s, the book moves to the Seventies, with a notable appearance on The Dick Cavett Show and then to the late 1980s, when Harrison was more reflective and forthcoming on his past and his legacy.
VERDICT Harrison’s humanity, thoughtfulness, and humor are on rich display throughout, and a portrait of his entire life emerges. A fascinating addition to the voluminous catalog of Beatle-related literature.

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