George Harrison’s widow Olivia has done some interviews recently to discuss her late husband songwriting and the recent releases of Martin Scorsese’s George Harrison documentary, ‘Living In The Material World,’ and the CD ‘Early Takes: Volume 1,’ a collection of Harrison’s demos and unreleased recordings,
Olivia Harrison oversaw the ‘Early Takes’ CD with Giles Martin, and told Spinner that George’s writing process was “an amazing thing to witness…It was just being born right then and there. I’d try not to interrupt; I’d put a pencil and a piece of paper by him, you know, just to make sure he had something if he wanted to write something down. I’d get the tape cassette player and put it there.
“With these early takes, for me anyway, I’m experiencing that this was the birth of something. Uncluttered, unproduced, unfettered, not too thought-out–just that purity. That’s the only reason for putting them out. I think they’re really beautiful and intimate and revealing.”
She also discussed the existence of more unreleased material and if there was any comparison by George in regards to the Beatles and the Traveling Wilburys: “There is some more material. There may be a minute of something he was writing, and it will never be finished. I had an idea of giving unfinished songs to different people. Giving one to Paul [McCartney], maybe, or giving one to somebody else and saying, ‘Here are the bones of a song, would you like to finish it?’ I think that would be a nice idea.”
“He just said he had a lot of fun with the Wilburys, and he had a lot of fun with the Beatles. He never really…I don’t think there’s anything you can compare to being in a band like the Beatles, is there? But he really had fun with Bob and Roy and Tom [Petty] and Jeff [Lynne]. He loved being a collaborator and loved not having to do all the work himself. I think that was the main thing. And he could hang out; he liked to hang out. He didn’t always have guys and musicians to hang out with. He missed that.”
Olivia on whether he felt stifled in The Beatles:
“He wasn’t stifled as a writer. Nobody can stifle you as a writer. You can just keep writing; you might not get your song on an album. He developed later as a songwriter. It seems to be history that he was suppressed or something, but really, he developed later as a songwriter. Although there was so much material that John [Lennon] and Paul were writing, sure, it would be hard to get your songs on an album when they had been writing so many songs for all those years.”
Andy Greene of Rollingstone.com talked to Ringo Starr for an upcoming interview:
During the early days of the Beatles, Ringo Starr often traveled with a camera and took photos of of the group behind the scenes, from rehearsing for their history-making appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show to goofing around on the set of their 1965 movie, Help! In countless Beatles photographs, Starr is seen taking his own pictures, the vast majority of which have never been released. Sadly, Starr tells Rolling Stone that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
Starr hopes they might pop up unexpectedly one day, since it’s happened before – about a decade ago, he uncovered a bunch of postcards from his bandmates and published them in the 2004 book, Postcards from the Boys. “I found a box on my shelf and was like, ‘What the hell is that?'” Starr recalls. “And it was full of the postcards. At the time we were moving house yet again, and the secretary I had at the time decided to put them all in envelopes and put them in a shoebox. That’s how I found out I still had them. So you never know – one day I may find another box with all my photos.”
Later this week RollingStone.com will have more on the new interview with Starr, including his thoughts on releasing the ‘Let It Be’ movie on DVD, his upcoming summer tour with the All Starr Band and why he’s reluctant to perform ‘Octopus’s Garden’ live.