Registered: 1175646809 Posts: 2,082
Reading a book about singer, songwriter Harry Nilsson.
It's simply titled Nilsson: The Life Of A Singer-Songwriter.
He was always one of my favorite vocalists.
His range was unbelievable.
His songwriting was quirky and very original.
His diversity might have been the very thing that kept him from across the board success.
He had his share of hits, from the raw heartbreak of Without You ('Can't live if living is without you...' ) to the silly splendor of Coconuts ('You put de lime in da coconut and drink it all up!").
His most well known recording would probably be the award winning Everybody's Talking, from the film Midnight Cowboy.
That wide scope of styles made it hard for the casual listener to realize they were coming from the same artist.
Harry did all the vocals on everything he recorded prompting John Lennon to quip that Nilsson was his 'favorite Amercian group'.
Probably the strangest thing about the man and his career is that he never toured and made extremely rare TV appearances, so there is only a stingy bit of footage out there of him performing.
I was thrilled to get to meet and have a chat with him, just a short while, as it happened, before he died.
It was post-Hook, at the Sebel Townhouse in Sydney, Australia.
I was there doing promotion for a Hook compilation that had been released.
Might have been Completely Hooked.
We were introduced by a concert promoter I knew.
It wasn't long after John Lennon had been killed.
He and Lennon had become great mates and drinking buddies, which ushered in a period of 'badboy' behavior and resulted in some embarrassing public episodes.
Google 'Nilsson and Lennon at The Troubadour, Los Angeles' and see what you get.
Harry was personally devastated by the shocking and senseless loss of his friend, compounding his already serious health problems, brought on and exacerbated by his volume of alcohol consumption and other substances.
His wonderful voice was ravaged at the end.
He died of a heart attack in January 1994.
There is also a comprehensive documentary worth watching called Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talking About Him?); a title interestingly borrowed from the little known 1970 Dustin Hoffman film that Hook was in.
Gotta run, but I'm gonna try and remember to tell you a quick story about a NYC experience I had just a few weeks after John Lennon's assassination the next time I'm sitting here, typing. ~