Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Harry Nilsson

Who's your favorite American Group? "Nilsson" 
-Paul McCartney 1968

Yes. That is indeed a picture of Harry Nilsson and John Lennon wrestling taken by May Pang in 1974 or 1975 during The Lost Weekend - arguably my favorite of all the weekends. Combined.

Two days from now is- would have been John Lennon's birthday. This makes me think of The Lost Weekend, which brings me to Harry Nilsson. And there is something about the name "Harry Nilsson" that amuses me. I immediately think of drunken debauchery. And I know that it stems from what I've read (truth debatable) from Goldman's book The Lives Of Lennon.

One such gem:  Nilsson and Lennon getting tossed from the Troubadour in Hollywood for heckling The Smothers Brothers and fisticuffin' on March 12, 1974. 

Click here for a big version of the Troubadour story from Rolling Stone and here for a large version of Lennon talking about putting a used (?!) Kotex on his head and rudely asking the waitress if she knew who he was. Classic!  

Lennon produced Nilsson's Pussy Cats album that was again filled with drunken debauchery. I love this stuff. Check out this blog for more on that.

I could go on and on about The Lost Weekend, however, I sat down and dedicated myself to Harry Nilsson blog post, not Lost Weekend blog post. Another day.

Moving on, I first heard of Harry Nilsson through The Monkees as he wrote "Cuddly Toy" and "Daddy's Song".  Which, FYI, "Cuddly Toy = one of my faves.

And from Head (which if you haven't seen, do so now) ALTHOUGH, for some reason completely unknown to me, the clip from Head totally doesn't exist. I looked. This clip does exist though and someone put the song to clips from Skidoo - which in an ironic twist contains songs by Nilsson. 

Harry Nilsson actually was one of the most prolific songwriters but his problem of not being able to stay in one genre actually threw him into a kind of obscurity.

What I didn't realize about Harry Nilsson is that not only was it his flat in London that both Mama Cass and Keith Moon died in (in the same bed it's told with flashlights under chins) but he wrote A LOT of songs!  Here's the Wiki of his discography.

Here's a couple shockers to me.

And if what you're itching for is more Harry Nilsson connecting to the Beatles, I know I always am, then guess what. You're in luck! You remember that movie Popeye? Bet ya can't guess you wrote all the songs... Okay, you got me, it was Harry. But here's my clincher - Klaus Voormann. Klausy played Von Schnitzel.

But dig a little deeper and you know what you'll find? Klaus and Harry? BFFs. Checky checky. You know you want to.  For those of you that are like, "Yeah? So? Who's that effin' guy?!" Well, Klaus Voormann is from North Berlin and later Hamburg, Germany. About and around 1960ish, Klaus had a fight with his then girlfriend Astrid Kirchherr (Early Beatle photographer and kind of, sort of the first "Yoko" as she did take Stuart Sutcliffe from the band) and their friend Jurgen Vollmer (gave Lennon and McCartney their first "Beatle Haircut" in Paris, 1961). Klaus wandered into The Reeperbahn and got his first taste of Rock N Roll. The Beatles. Only not the polished Beatles that we know and love today. The dirty, gritty Beatles. >__<

So in looking for stuff - aka "googling" I kept coming across this totally awesome blog on The Nilsson. Check it. For The Love Of Harry.

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