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‘Live In Japan’: A Joyous Celebration of George Harrison’s Career

Released in 1992, this album captures George Harrison’s performance with Eric Clapton and remains a joyous celebration of Harrison’s career.
Outside of his time in The Beatles, George Harrison didn’t tour an enormous amount. But when he did, he made it count. At the end of 1969, for instance, George embarked on a short tour as a member of Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. For the Delaney & Bonnie tour, Harrison played with his friends Eric Clapton and Dave Mason, as well as Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon, who would, with Eric, become Derek & The Dominos in the summer of 1970, while also helping George with his solo album All Things Must Pass.

The following year George played his Concert For Bangladesh, and in 1974 George toured North America on what was billed The Dark Horse Tour, which heralded the launch of his record label and album of the same name.
It would be another 17 years until George staged another tour. When he did, it was with a series of dates in Japan, during December 1991, with Eric Clapton and his band. This tour produced the album Live In Japan. Released on July 13, 1992, it’s truly an uplifting and joyous celebration of George’s career as a Beatle and his two decades as a solo artist. The concerts began with George’s third song from Revolver, “I Want To Tell You,” and the performance captured for the live album epitomizes what makes the record so good. The vocal harmonies, while echoing The Beatles, have a freshness about them and the musical interplay between George and Eric is as close as their friendship was.

The rest of the band is super-tight as well, with the rhythm section of Nathan East on bass and former Average White Band drummer, Steve Ferrone, superbly underpinning everything. For their part, keyboardists Greg Phillinganes and Chuck Leavell do much to create the multi-layered soundscapes that are so essential to George’s “signature sound” – to particularly beautiful effect on “Isn’t It A Pity.”
Tackling The Beatles’ classics – even when they were his own songs – was no small task, and by the time the opening chords of “Something” come around there is magic in the air. George’s vocal is heartfelt and the band’s take on what is, for some, the pinnacle of George’s songwriting, is exemplary.

Other highlights include a delicate version of “Here Comes The Sun” from Abbey Road, which is followed on by “My Sweet Lord”: a faithful recreation of George’s “gospel incantation with a Vedic chant.” Backing singers Tessa Niles and Katie Kissoon are to the fore here, and the song builds to its climax with George’s signature slide guitar, all of which brings an ecstatic reaction from the Japanese audience.

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is ranked among Rolling Stone magazine’s best 150 songs of all time, and the version on Live In Japan only serves to enhance the reputation of George’s opus. Originally written and recorded for The Beatles’ White Album, this version, like the original, includes one of Eric Clapton’s greatest ever solos. Then, like so many bands before and since, George and Eric close the show with their take on a Chuck Berry classic, “Roll Over Beethoven.” It, like the rest of the album, features former Amen Corner frontman Andy Fairweather Low on third guitar.

Upon the album’s release, Billboard described it as “a skin-tinglin’ romp, delicious and indispensable,” while another reviewer contended that this was “a remarkable live set, featuring Harrison… playing a repertoire that blends the best of his Beatles writing with his solo material.”

Upon the album’s release, Billboard described it as “a skin-tinglin’ romp, delicious and indispensable,” while another reviewer contended that this was “a remarkable live set, featuring Harrison… playing a repertoire that blends the best of his Beatles writing with his solo material.”

Live In Japan is a wonderfully uplifting document that combines the best of a greatest hits album with the immediacy and freshness of a live performance.


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“So sad to hear of the passing of my friend Al Schmitt.Al was the lead engineer in charge of the ‘Kisses on the Bottom’ session and was a fantastic guy besides being one of the world’s great engineers.He always had a twinkle in his eye and was ready for a laugh but most importantly when we had done what we thought was a good take and went into the control room to hear the playback it sounded fantastic. His self-effacing skills always came through.I send my love to his family and will always remember him with great fondness. Thanks for everything Al. “

Lots of love,



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Interview by Houston Disc Jockey Buddy McGregor at Cliveden House in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The Beatles shooting the Buckingham Palace scenes for their second film, ‘Help!’ on May 10th. 1965

Q: “Quite a race was run on the lawn here at the Astor mansion today, and the Beatles did win, as I told you earlier. And I have Paul and John here. You ran a very good race.”

PAUL: “Thank you very much. Thank you.”

Q: “Had you ever done this before?”

PAUL: “Not since school, you know. Done a bit since… I haven’t done any since, I mean. I’ve done some now, you know.”

Q: “This was quite a long course out there.”

PAUL: “Well, yes. Fifteen furlongs, I’d say.”

Q: “There was a lot of good running back there. Do you think you did your share?”

PAUL: “Well you see, the best team won.”

Q: “John, do you have any comments?”

JOHN: “No.”

Q: “Thank you. John, Americans aren’t…”

JOHN: “Aren’t they?”

Q: “…aren’t acquainted with the term ‘spanner.’ It’s a wrench, isn’t it?”

JOHN: “Wrench, monkey wrench. Yeah.”

Q: “And so your new book called ‘Spaniard In The Works’ is really a play on the word ‘spanner.'”

JOHN: “Yes. We’re playing about with spanners. (laughs) Just me laughing.”

Q: “Does it have anything to do with a monkey wrench?”

JOHN: “No. It’s just about a fella. There’s just a drawing of him with cars, you see. It’s nothing about cars. He’s a Spaniard working on a farm.”


Q: “What is that?”

JOHN: “It’s a whopper.”

Q: “Oh. We call these popsicles at home.”

JOHN: “We call them, uhh… what do we call them? …Lolly ices.”

PAUL: “Lolly ices. I was gonna say icicles, but we don’t.”

JOHN: “We call some of them Jerry.”

Q: “Yours is red and his is yellow, and Ringo’s is yellow.”

RINGO: “Guess whose one’s got the bellow.”

Q: “Ringo just joined our little group. Good seeing you. I wanted to ask about your car, Ringo. It’s a beautiful thing. What’s it called?”

JOHN: “Arthur.”

RINGO: “It’s called Nigel. It’s called a Facel Vega, actually.”

Q: “Doesn’t it have a Chevrolet engine?”

RINGO: “I don’t know. It’s got an American engine whose name I will not say… unless they give me a free engine.”

JOHN: “Yeah, I’ll mention it too if you give me a free engine.”

Q: “John, the rocks that you and Paul got from our trip this morning. We went down to…”

JOHN: “It was me and George that got the rocks.”

Q: “Oh I’m sorry. It was George.”

JOHN: “Paul’s already got rocks… in his head.”

Q: “We went down to the pub at lunchtime and there were some little bushes and hedges around the front of the pub and what do you think surrounded them?”

JOHN: “I dunno. More little bushes and hedges?”

Q: “No. All those rare rocks that we thought we had a scoop on.”

JOHN: “Oh that’s lousy. What happened? Maybe somebody else had been down there plucking them.”

Q: “They’re all over the place up at the pub. Are you looking forward to this (American Tour) trip?”

BEATLES: “Yeah.”

RINGO: “Can’t wait to get to Houston, man.”

JOHN: “Yeah. Let’s go to Houston.”

Q: “John, have you heard about our Astrodome?”

JOHN: “No, thanks.”

PAUL: “Yeah, I have. It was on the Early Bird link the other day on the television.”

RINGO: “That’s right.”

PAUL: “And it said, ‘Howdy Europe, Yeah!'”

JOHN: “Oh, was that it?”

PAUL: “That was it.”

JOHN: “Oh it was great, that.”

Q: “And the scoreboard lit up and said ‘Howdy.’ When they hit a home run, it goes crazy. It flashes lights and does all sorts of tricks.”

PAUL: “It has a mind of its own.”

Q: “Pretty much. Pretty much.”

JOHN: “Pretty polly.”


Q: “The Beatles are eating… lollysicles. Is that right?”

RINGO: “Lolly ices.”

Q: “Which is what we refer to as popsicles in America.”

RINGO: “Do you? Why? ‘Cuz they’re made of ice.”

Q: “I really don’t know why we call them popsicles.”

JOHN: “I mean, they’re not made out of POPSICS, are they?”

Q: “No.”

PAUL: “Lemonade pop, made into an icicle. Pop, sicle.”

RINGO: “Well that’s figured that out then… Well, why is it lolly ice? ‘Cuz it’s lolly with ice. And it’s lolly ice.”

JOHN: “Well, what’s lolly?”

RINGO: “You don’t know what a lolly is? Everybody knows what a lolly is.”

JOHN: “Well, we’ve made the LP then. Shall we go?”


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Special Branch had ‘file open’ on John Lennon, spy cops inquiry hears.
The public inquiry into undercover policing heard some shocking evidence this week.
Special Branch detectives within the Metropolitan Police had a “file open” on John Lennon, the spy cops inquiry heard this week.

The Undercover Policing Inquiry was commissioned after shocking stories emerged about the behaviour of officers on deep undercover missions to infiltrate various political groups.

The inquiry is led by retired judge Sir John Mitting, and will examine 139 undercover officers who have spied on more than 1,000 organisations since 1968.

Allegations include that officers manipulated women, used violence and threats to conceal their identities and assumed the identities of dead children.

Last week James Scobie, QC, instructed by the Public Interest Law Centre which is representing several alleged victims, said undercover officers regularly began assuming leadership and organisational roles in groups they infiltrated.

This became common after DC Richard Layton Clark was deployed to spy on the Troops Out Movement (TOM) in 1974.

Mr Scobie detailed DC Clark’s manipulation and sexual exploitation of members of the TOM, including Richard Chessum and a woman referred to as ‘Mary’, which lead to Clark taking the highest position of power in the organisation.
Mr Scobie told the inquiry neither ‘Mary’, a 27-year-old anti-racist, women’s liberation campaigner, nor 32-year-old Methodist preacher Mr Chessum had a special branch file prior to encountering Clark and joining the TOM branch he created, and described them as “peaceful law-abiding citizens, targeted solely because of their politics”.

The inquiry heard that between March to June 1975, Clark got himself elected as the Secretary of branch, and also as a delegate to the London Co-ordinating Committee of the Movement and the All London meeting.
On September 19, 1975, at the London Co-ordinating Committee that DC Clark was a delegate to, he was elected to the Organising Committee for London – a National position.

Clark became a powerful organiser of the movement and managed the national rally where he failed to secure the attendance of any of the proposed headline acts, including John Lennon who Mr Scobie told the inquiry had a Special Branch file open.
Mr Scobie said: “Ordinary people have been involved in campaigns for a better society, for social equality, anti-racism, anti-fascism, against apartheid and for trade union rights.The best of reasons, and the best of traditions.We hope the Inquiry is ready, willing and equipped to meet that challenge. The Inquiry must be fearless and unflinching in the pursuit of the truth.The people of this country expect nothing less”.