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GEORGE HARRISON´S SITAR SUFFERED ‘UNFORTUNATE ACCIDENT’ AT THE V&A MUSEUM

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George Harrison’s sitar was damaged in an “unfortunate accident” at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Olivia Harrison, widow of the late Beatle, loaned the complex instrument to the famous institution.

 

 

A spokeswoman for the museum said that the sitar was repaired following the incident.
“In 2016, during preparation for a temporary exhibition an unfortunate accident occurred causing partial damage to a sitar on loan from Olivia Harrison,” the V&A said.

“The care and protection of objects entrusted to us is of the utmost importance and we take these matters extremely seriously. Following conservation assessment, one of the sitar’s gourds was fully repaired in consultation with leading experts, and no permanent damage was sustained. The sitar featured in the exhibition which opened in September 2016, alongside a number of other significant objects generously on loan from Mrs Harrison.”

George grew fascinated with the sitar, a long-necked string instrument that uses a bulbous gourd for its resonating chamber, and asked Ravi Shankar to teach him to play it properly. The instrument was adopted by the Beatles in many of the Fab Four’s tracks.

The sitar formed part of the V&A’s You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-70 exhibition, which also featured the original suit worn by Harrison on the cover of the Sgt Pepper album.

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HAL BLAINE, WRECKING CREW DRUMMER ON 100s OF HITS, DIES

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Hal Blaine, a legendary drummer with the Los Angeles-based studio musicians known as The Wrecking Crew, died March 11.

These recordings included huge hit singles by the Beach Boys (including “Good Vibrations” and “I Get Around”), the Mamas and the Papas (“Monday Monday”), the Monkees, the Righteous Brothers (including “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”), Elvis Presley, Sonny and Cher, the Byrds (“Mr. Tambourine Man”), the Association, the Grass Roots, the Ronettes (“Be My Baby”) and countless others. Herb Alpert’s 1960s hit recordings featured The Wrecking Crew as the Tijuana Brass. He was also the principal drummer on the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album.

Among the 40 #1 hits on which he played were “He’s a Rebel” (The Crystals), “Surf City” (Jan and Dean), “This Diamond Ring” (Gary Lewis and the Playboys), “Eve of Destruction” (Barry McGuire), “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” (Nancy Sinatra), “Strangers in the Night” (Frank Sinatra), “Poor Side of Town” (Johnny Rivers), “Mrs. Robinson” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (Simon and Garfunkel), “Dizzy” (Tommy Roe), “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” (the Fifth Dimension), “(They Long to Be) Close to You” (The Carpenters), “I Think I Love You” (The Partridge Family), “Indian Reservation” (Paul Revere and the Raiders), “Half Breed” (Cher), “Song Sung Blue” and “Cracklin’ Rosie” (Neil Diamond), “The Way We Were” (Barbra Streisand), “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” (John Denver). “Theme From Mahogany” (Diana Ross) and “Love Will Keep Us Together” (Captain and Tennille).

Blaine estimated that he played on 35,000 individual songs in all.

Hal Blaine was born Harold Simon Belsky on February 5, 1929, in Holyoke, Mass. He became a professional drummer in 1948 and joined the band of teen idol Tommy Sands in the late ’50s. Relocating to Los Angeles in the ’60s, he became the most in-demand session drummer in the city, playing on most of Phil Spector’s hits as well as Elvis Presley’s film soundtracks and many of the Beach Boys’ recordings.
His drums can also be heard on recordings by Steely Dan, Glen Campbell, Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole, Trini Lopez, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, John Lennon, Dusty Springfield, Sammy Davis Jr., Emmylou Harris, Love, Dean Martin, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash and others.
Between 1966 and ’71 Blaine played on six consecutive Grammy Record of the Year winners: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass in 1966 for “A Taste of Honey”; Frank Sinatra in 1967 for “Strangers in the Night”; The Fifth Dimension in 1968 and 1970 for “Up, Up and Away” and “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”; Simon and Garfunkel in 1969 and 1971 for “Mrs. Robinson” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

Among the other prominent members of The Wrecking Crew were Plas Johnson, Earl Palmer, Leon Russell, Glen Campbell and Carol Kaye.
Blaine was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

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ON THIS DAY: “THUMBIN’ A RIDE” WAS RECORDED

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On this day in 1969…

Jackie Lomax recorded a version of Leiber and Stoller’s “Thumbin’ a Ride” on 11 March, as the B-side to “New Day” in America. “Thumbin’ a Ride” was produced by Paul McCartney and featured him on drums, along with George Harrison on guitars.

Recording for Is This What You Want? began at EMI Studios in London in June 1968 and continued through the summer in between Harrison’s work on the Beatles’ White Album.While working alone at Trident Studios, down the hall from where the band were recording, Lomax was invited to add backing vocals to “Dear Prudence” in late August; he had also joined the backing chorus for “Hey Jude” earlier that month. The songs recorded included “Sour Milk Sea” and “The Eagle Laughs at You”, for the A- and B-side of Lomax’s debut single on Apple, and “You’ve Got Me Thinking”.
Among the guest musicians on the London sessions, much of which would go unused, were Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Nicky Hopkins, Klaus Voormann and Paul McCartney. Other participants included drummers Bishop O’Brien and Pete Clark; the former was part of Apple artist James Taylor’s backing group, while Clark was the drummer for Lomax’s live band. Lomax performed several London gigs during this period.

Lomax recorded a version of Leiber and Stoller’s “Thumbin’ a Ride” on 11 March, as the B-side to “New Day” in America. “Thumbin’ a Ride” was produced by Paul McCartney and featured him on drums, along with Harrison (guitars), Preston (piano and organ) and Klaus Voormann (bass). In addition, “George & Patti and The Rascals” were credited as backing vocalists.

DOCUMENTARY ON GEORGE HARRISON’S HANDMADE FILMS IN THE WORKS FROM AMC U.K.

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The story of groundbreaking British film studio HandMade Films, which was founded by former Beatle George Harrison and made such films as “Monty Python’s Life of Brian,” will be told in “An Accidental Studio,” a feature documentary from AMC U.K. for its international networks.

The film will be the first original from AMC U.K. and bow on the British channel on May 4 and on AMC channels internationally later in the year. It has never-before-seen interviews with key players, and sets out to capture an extraordinary moment in film history through the eyes of the filmmakers and actors involved, as well as the man who started it all, music legend Harrison, who features in archive interview footage.

HandMade dominated the British movie scene with its ethos of making and releasing maverick films that everyone else had rejected, including “The Long Good Friday,” “Time Bandits,” and “Withnail and I.”
AMC Networks International and BT are co-producing with DCD Rights, Propellor Films, Bill & Ben Productions and Kim Leggatt. Leggatt, and Bill & Ben’s Ben Timlett and Bill Jones, are directing. DCD will sell the series outside of AMC’s territories, including the U.S.
“HandMade Films created some of Britain’s most iconic films and gave a global platform to artists who continue to have a strong impact on popular culture today,” said Harold Gronenthal, EVP of programming at AMC/SundanceTV Global.

“This new documentary is AMC U.K.’s first original production, and we’re excited to partner with BT, Bill & Ben Productions, Propellor Films and DCD Rights to showcase the important legacy of HandMade Films with AMC’s audiences internationally.”

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ON THIS DAY: CHRIS O’DELL WAS BORN

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Chris O’Dell, a former Apple employee, and variously assistant and facilitator to musical acts such as the Beatles, Derek & the Dominos, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Santana. Harrison wrote the song in Los Angeles in April 1971 while waiting for O’Dell to pay him a visit at his rented home.

By April 1971, O’Dell was back in California, working with former Apple Records A&R manager Peter Asher on developing the careers of singer-songwriters such as James Taylor, Carole King and Linda Ronstadt.

At the same time, Harrison, having recently contributed to the debut solo album by Bobby Whitlock, formerly of Derek & the Dominos, and finished the Radha Krishna Temple (London) album both acts that O’Dell had been involved with professionally in 1969–70 – was now in Los Angeles to begin work on Shankar’s Raga film soundtrack. He had also been informed of the tragic events occurring in Shankar’s homeland, following the Bhola cyclone and the outbreak of the Bangladesh Liberation War.

This was an issue that Harrison dealt with in the opening verse of a song he began writing, “Miss O’Dell”, while waiting for his eponymous friend to visit him at his rented Malibu home:

I’m the only one down here who’s got
Nothing to say about the war or the rice
That keeps going astray on its way to Bombay …


ON THIS DAY: GEORGE AND PATTIE GOT INTO A CAR ACCIDENT

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On February 28, 1972, George and Pattie got into a terrible car accident, which almost proved fatal for Pattie. She suffered a concussion and several broken ribs. She spent weeks in the hospital.
In the late evening George and Pattie left their Henley home, Friar Park, in their white Mercedes en route to London to attend a Ricky Nelson party. At around midnight as they approached a recently opened roundabout George collided with a lamppost on a center barrier. Pattie was knocked unconscious when her head hit the windshield and she slumped over on the gear shift lever. George, with a bleeding head wound, had to climb over Pattie to get out through her door and signal for help. George and Pattie were immediately taken by ambulance to Maidenhead Hospital where they were treated for their injuries in the casualty department. George received stitches and was discharged from the hospital. Pattie was more seriously injured with a bad concussion and broken ribs. She was transferred to the nearby Nuffield Nursing Home in Fulmer, Slough for observation.

In the morning of the following day the Nuffield Nursing Home announced that Pattie was “quite comfortable” following the car accident the night before. Pattie remained under the care of the nursing home for two weeks recuperating from her concussion and broken ribs. George returned to Friar Park after being released from the hospital and cut his hair very short after the accident since a section of hair had to be shaved for his stitches.