ジョージ・ハリスン 単行本 – 2002/4/1
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Why is this such a wretched waste of trees? A few reasons.
Since George Harrison shunned celebrity, and his loyal friends and family (with the exception of sister Louise, who hadn't much to say) chose not to speak to the author, this is a cut and paste job. To get around the great big holes in the narrative, and a total lack of insight into-or even interest in--what made George tick, the author fills in this 400+ page book with excruciatingly dull and irrelevant details about every act that ever came out of Liverpool. He also pads with lots of self-serving details about himself (could his bad attitude toward Harrison be due to the fact that George didn't go to see the author's band in 1980 when Clayson was performing in Henley and sent George a free ticket?, as noted on p. 388)and lots of nasty barbs that teach us nothing but what Alan Clayson's opinion is on rhythm and blues improvisation, Leon Russell, and Krishna consciousness. To put it nicely, he despises them all. Do you really care? I didn't.
And though I suppose the author was trying to be droll like the self-depracating Mr. Harrison, his attitude toward his subject is so derisive and so hostile that anyone who has any admiration at all for Harrison will be at best depressed reading this and feel like a total dweeb by the time they finish. The author snickers at all of Harrison's religious beliefs and makes snide comments about just about every song Harrison ever wrote or recorded (and is quick to find quotes from others, such as George Martin, to back up his low opinion of Harrison's talent). Clayson even sneers at George and Olivia's choice to send Dhani to a Montessori school ("a slap-up, fee-paying seat of learning"), as if that were the height of rock star self-indulgence. And though this was written late enough in George's life that the author was able to slip in an account of the attack on George by a crazed burglar and a mention of Harrison's cancer (which Harrison died of after publication), apparently Clayson felt no urge to excise such exceedingly cruel statements as: "any worries he may have had for his own safety in 1980 were unfounded. Like McCartney, Steve Winwood and Jeff Lyne, he didn't appear to be in the same vulnerable league then as Lennon, Dylan and other posseors of original genius rather than anything as common as mere talent." (p. 380) and "Yet if he'd never been seen again after Cloud Nine, George Harrison would still have continued to preoccupy countless devotees, despite certain of them considering that it was his misfortune not to have died after shedding what they could presume to be the bulk of his creative load." What can one possibly say about such gratuitous mean-spiritedness?
I wish I'd waited until the new posthumous bios due out soon were published instead of putting myself through this unpleasant experience, just to glean a few new facts on George. Don't make my mistake!
I like the way many details are included in this work because it gives readers a multi-faceted look at the man who would set new standards among lyricists and guitarists. This unique individual, George Harrison stood out among his peers including the other Beatles. Clayson does him justice in portraying him in his natural state. He has a rich supply of sources and is able to account for each documentation. I really like the chapter Clayson included about George's 1963 trip to America to visit his sister, brother-in-law and their children. The impact the young Beatle had on the people he met in Benton, Illinois is well chronicled in this work.
This is work well worth the read and I am the proud owner of it. Try Some, Buy Some and enjoy this book. It is very riveting and intense.
Donald Gallinger is the author of The Master Planets