Scan - George Harrison and Jim Keltner in the studio, 1990; scanned from Living in the Material World

Photo courtesy of Alan Rogan

"It just hurts so bad to know that he’s not going to be coming around anymore and calling. I want to hear that beautiful, soft accent. Forget his singing, I mean, I used to just love to just listen to him talk. And all the funny stories about him recently about being the quiet Beatle - he was the most talkative person I know. He didn’t stop talking.

But the thing that was beautiful about George was that he always had something to say. I used to see people get their feelings hurt being around him. It was almost as if couldn’t not tell the truth.

[…] With George there was a closeness, like really, truly a brother. I mean, that’s such a cliché.

[…] To me he was just George. He was just George, my beautiful, beautiful friend […]” - Jim Keltner, Rolling Stone, 17 January 2002

* * *

The Concert for George was a very palpable demonstration of the affection he inspired among his friends, but naturally little of what he did to inspire such devotion will be told. However, one of Harrison’s oldest musical chums, drummer Jim Keltner, has offered a glimpse: ‘Now, George had this tremendous living room, which was like three stories high, with a balcony overlooking it. My bedroom was on the third floor - “the loft,” they used to call it. It was a beautiful place with a kitchen and den and everything. I used to come down in the morning and stand on this part of the balcony that extends out over the room a little bit. A few times over the years I’d snap my fingers to hear the sound, and I’d say to George, “It would be great to have the drums here,” and he’d just laugh, because he had a major studio built in another part of the house; why would he want to put drums there? But when I arrived for this recording, I walked in and the drums were set up right in that space. I was so knocked out. He did that for me.’” - While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison by Simon Leng

Read This Little Beauty in 'Rolling Stone'...

[Regarding the reality show ‘I Wanna Marry Harry’]:

“The weirdest part was how they kept saying “Harry,” as if they just assumed when you talk about a guy named Harry, you mean some inbred tool from the British royal family. Ah, no. There’s only one English dude named “Harry” America wants to marry, and he’s got four nipples and a job.”

Yessir. Never has Rolling Stone been more correct.

18. One Direction, ‘Four’

When you are the world’s biggest boy band, sometimes you get a surprising amount of freedom. On Four, One Direction honed in on their classic rock chops at a time when pop has been leaning more into the spheres of hip-hop and R&B. For these boys — folky, wistful, dripping with young romance — it works without sounding anachronistic. When not culling inspiration from the Fleetwood Mac songbook (like on the Rumours-lite “Fireproof”) 1D sounds a little reminiscent of early millennium indie rock, as heard on album highlights “Stockholm Syndrome” and “No Control”. Though last year’s Midnight Memories was their claim to adult maturity, Four is the sound of the group settling into it. B.S.

Swift, just 24, was the most commanding personality on the stage and the one most frequently name-checked by other artists, many of whom seemed aware they were playing in her shadow. She did four songs: “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” the new “Out of the Woods” (from her upcoming album 1989, which she made sure to mention was out on Monday), “I Knew You Were Trouble” and recent single “Shake It Off.” Interestingly, “Out of the Woods” varied her approach the most, sounding like a moody Peter Gabriel track. Swift worked the crowd into a sing-along froth, danced like a happy antelope and used the word “frenemies” when introducing “Shake It Off”: In short, she seemed like a presumptive pop queen just waiting for her official coronation.
—  Hollywood Bowl review (Rolling Stone)

A year and a winter ago, another former Beatle went on tour and, to put it mildly, flopped. George Harrison had maturity, sincerity and the best intentions on his side. He appreciated the Beatles, but he had grown up, changed, and did not care to dwell in the past. And to let everyone know how firmly he felt, he did a two-and-a-half hour show dominated by Indian music. He did four Beatles songs, and this only after active encouragement from fellow musicians on the tour. He changed lyrics in three of the four Beatles songs, and rearrangements (along with George’s overworked, hoarse voice) turned them into hardly reasonable facsimiles of the songs many in the audience had wanted to hear.

Paul and Linda attended Harrison’s Madison Square Garden show, Paul disguised in Afro wig, shades and walrus mustache, ‘and we loved it,’ he says. He agrees that George had the right, at whatever critical cost, to say, ‘This is me, now.’

McCartney has said he doesn’t want to get into criticizing Harrison, but the producer in him finally wins out: ‘If I’d been producing him and if I’d been his impresario,’ he says, ‘I would have asked him to do a few more songs he was known for. And also to stick to the arrangement a little bit.’ McCartney puts on a good-natured looked, ‘To which he’d probably say, “Piss off,” and good luck to him.’

—  Rolling Stone, 17 June 1976
Have you heard of the Loneliest Whale? There’s this whale – I think Adrian Grenier is making a documentary about it. It swims through the ocean, and it has a call unlike any other whale’s. So it doesn’t have anyone to swim with. And everybody feels so sorry for this whale – but what if this whale is having a great time? Because it’s not bad that I’m not hopelessly in love with someone. It’s not a tragedy, and it’s not me giving up and being a spinster. Although I did get another cat.

Taylor Swift in Rolling Stone {x}

aka one of my favorite taylorswift quotes ever

The thing I love about that song is parts of it reads like a diary, and parts of it read like something 100,000 people should be screaming all together. It’s got these very big lines that everybody can relate to, which are given weight by her being really honest about personal things.
—  Jack Antonoff on “Out of the Woods” (x)
Taylor Swift Reveals Five Things to Expect on '1989'

"With this record, I thought, ‘There are no rules to this’": a sneak peek inside her anticipated fifth LP

Taylor Swift’s fifth LP, 1989, was influenced by some of the 24-year-old star’s beloved acts from the Eighties, from Phil Collins to Annie Lennox to Madonna. This time, she set out to make “blatant pop music,” she tells us in our new cover story. Here’s five more things she told us to expect on her studio record, out October 27th:

1. A New York state of mind
The leadoff track on 1989 tries to capture the excitement of someone who just moved to New York, as Swift did earlier this year. “I was so intimidated by this city for so long,” she says. “It’s so big, with so many people. I thought I would never be able to make it here, because I wasn’t something enough — bold enough, brave enough to take on this huge city in all of its blaring honesty. And then at a certain point I just thought, ‘I’m ready.’”

2. Lots of Max Martin
The Swedish pop giant, with help from his protege Shellback, produced almost half the songs on 1989, and is also, along with Swift, the executive producer of the album as a whole. Swift has worked with him before, on 2012’s Red, but he plays a much bigger role this time around. “I used to talk about Max Martin like he was this sorcerer who lived in a castle on a hill,” says Swift. “And then one time Scott [Borchetta, the head of her label] said to me, ‘You know…you can work with him if you want to.’ I was like, What?!

3. A Fine Young Cannibals vibe
Swift’s pal Jack Antonoff, who co-wrote and co-produced two songs on her album, says he and Swift shared a serious bonding moment over the Eighties pop group that had their biggest hit in 1989. “The moment when we shifted from friendship into working together was when we were talking about the snare drum on Fine Young Cannibals’ ‘She Drives Me Crazy,’” Antonoff says. “Taylor brought it up first, and I was like, ‘Holy shit, you’re not going to believe this: I just sampled that snare in a track.’ I played her one second of it on my iPhone, and she was like, ‘Send me that track.’ That became a song called ‘I Wish You Would.’”  ”I really think ‘She Drives Me Crazy’ could be on the radio now,” says Swift. “It’s that timeless.”

4. Some classic T-Swift journaling
One song was taken straight from the pages of Swift’s journal, and another, “Out of the Woods,” sounds like it could have been. “The thing I love about that song,” says Antonoff, who co-wrote it, “is parts of it reads like a diary, and parts of it read like something 100,000 people should be screaming all together. It’s got these very big lines that everybody can relate to, which are given weight by her being really honest about personal things.”

5. A spirit of discovery
Maybe the biggest influence that 1989 had on 1989 was what Swift, who was born that year, describes as a feeling of freedom. “It was a very experimental time in pop music,” she says. “People realized songs didn’t have to be this standard drums-guitar-bass-whatever. We can make a song with synths and a drum pad. We can do group vocals the entire song. We can do so many different things. And I think what you saw happening with music was also happening in our culture, where people were just wearing whatever crazy colors they wanted to, because why not? There just seemed to be this energy about endless opportunities, endless possibilities, endless ways you could live your life. And so with this record, I thought, ‘There are no rules to this. I don’t need to use the same musicians I’ve used, or the same band, or the same producers, or the same formula. I can make whatever record I want.’”