pleased, some of them ecstatic and some of them who happen to get much
more from it than they ever thought....
"Because I'm taping the audience every night and asking them about it,
and I know we get ten people who say the show sucks, and we get a
hundred who, when you say, 'Did you get what you wanted?' say, 'We got
much more than we ever hoped for.'"
He had no control over his rehearsal and recording schedules, he said.
"I don't have control over anything. I believe in God, and he is the supreme controller even down to the rehearsal." So his voice on "Dark Horse" is husky, "and it's more like I am right at this minute. I'm
talking about the emphasis that gets put on a thing. People expect so
much. If you don't expect anything, life is just one big bonus, but
when you expect anything, then you can be let down. I don't let anybody down."
What about those who scrounged up $9.50 wanting at least a taste of
"Beatle George"? Harrison leaned forward:
"Well, why do they want to see if there is a Beatle George, I don't say
I'm Beatle George."
"Well, one of the things you don't control..."
"I do control..."
"...is how the audience feels about you. The conceptions..."
"Okay, but I certainly am going to control my own concept of me. Gandhi says create and preserve the image of your choice. The image of my
choice is not Beatle George. If they want to do that they can go and
see Wings, then...Why live in the past? Be here now and now, whether
you like me or not, this is what I am."
At his press conference, Harrison had made an opening statement: "I
really didn't want to do this for a living. I've always wanted to be a lumberjack." What did he mean by that?
"Well," said Harrison, "What I mean is like Billy Preston says, 'I ain't tryin' to be your hero.' But I'm just a lumberjack." Softly Harrison
began to sing the lumberjacks' lusty and ludicrous anthem by Monty
Python and His Flying Circus. He was finally drowned out by laughter
from Pat, Olivia, Tom Scott, and me.
"You know what I mean?" he asked. "I mean, I'd rather try and uphold something that I believe in than destroy something I don't believe in. Because it's a waste of time."
I tried again. I was thinking of Bill Graham's heartfelt criticisms,
but Harrison was thinking of that pack of shut-minded reviewers.
"There will always be, but...fuck it, my life belongs to me." Quickly,
he corrected himself. "It actually doesn't. It belongs to him. My
life belongs to the Lord Krishna and there's me dog collar to prove it.
I'm just a dog and I'm led around by me collar by Krishna...I'm the
servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna. I'm just a groveling lumberjack lucky to be a grain of dirt in creation. That's how I feel. Never been so humble in all my life, and
I feel great."
So George Harrison is a grain of dirt. A happy grain of dirt. I accept that, and I'm happy for his happiness. And yet he is in show business, which, from where I sit, requires at least some responsiveness to the audience. Harrison's voice rose.
"So I am in show business. And this is my show, right?" He broke out
in song again: "Take me as I am or let me go..."
"You know, I didn't force you or anybody at gunpoint to come to see me.
And I don't care if nobody comes to see me, nobody ever buys another
record of me. I don't give a shit, it doesn't matter to me, but I'm
going to do what I feel within myself."
Harrison was singing again, a snatch of "What the World Needs Now Is
And he was smiling again.
"I mean, if it's going this well, as I feel, with no voice, I can't wait
to have a voice!"
Out in the hallway, performers headed for the stage. Behind the
curtains, behind the building mood of expectation, Bill Graham
supervised last-second details. How did the interview go? he asked.
Fine, I said. Harrison was strong-minded and quite happy with his
"If he's happy, then I'm happy," said Graham, all in the spirit of show business.
|Location:||Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK|
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