the dark horse years

Scan - Olivia and George Harrison; scanned from The Dark Horse Years.

Photo © Michael Putland

“[On Thirty-Three & 1/3 was a man] so much in love with his future wife Olivia Arias that even the wide-open admiration of ‘Beautiful Girl’ was not testimony enough. He covered Cole Porter’s song, ‘True Love.’” - “George Harrison Dark Horse” by David Fricke

* * *

“A slight, dark woman with a sculptured, almost Aztec face, she smiles often. The couple met while Olivia worked at Dark Horse. After more than two years, they are an informal familiar pair. Olivia reaches into her shopping bag, pulling out boxes of new shoes for George’s media tour. The first contains a pair of Italianesque loafers. Harrison tries them, a little shy, a little shaken by their sleekness. ‘They’ll look great with your new suit,’ Olivia says. She quickly offers another pair; brown suede with white stitching. Mimicking a clerk, she grabs George by the ankle: 'They’re really you, sir.’ Harrison calls for a shoehorn. He tries them on and asks around for approval. Everybody oohs and ahhhs. 'I’ll take a dozen, squire,’ he bellows.” - Crawdaddy, February 1977 [x]

* * *

“There was a serene and calming presence that George and Olivia gave off. George had fresh flowers placed in the home and there was incense burning, pictures of holy men, the smell of curried rice dishes - long-grain rice - wafting in from the kitchen. They’re both health food eaters. You know something is going on when they’re around but it isn’t something George shoves down your throat. They are both very thoughtful, and he has a great sense of humor. She is a lovely woman, far from that Hollywood-model type, far too spiritual. The harmony between them is clear and apparent to anyone around them. […] They are quite attentive to each other’s needs and well-being and there is genuine caring going between them. It’s quite lovely to see and it has a calming effect on people around them.” - “A friend” on George and Olivia, from a 1977 publication [x]

* * *

“I am still having a relationship with him, but it is just not a physical relationship any more. And the sooner one comes to terms with that, the easier it is, rather than feeling George has gone and he is never coming back.” Does she communicate with him? “I don’t really want to get into all that. That’s a dodgy question to answer because people might think… I don’t know if you have ever had anybody go who you have loved? Well, you do feel in communication with them because you feel so deeply in your heart that if you say a prayer, it goes straight to them.” - Olivia Harrison, The Telegraph, 24 January 2005 [x]

* * *

“Olivia [Harrison] says that, towards the end, when he [George Harrison] knew he was dying, her husband would comfort her by saying: ‘Olivia, you’ll be fine, you’ll be fine.’ And is she? ‘Fine is OK, but it is not really good enough, is it? But George was right, I am fine and I am OK, although I will miss him until my dying day. But he walked his road and now I have to walk mine.’” - The Telegraph, 24 January 2005 [x]


I’ve been very lucky at what’s happened in my career to date, but playing something as far from me as possible is an ambition of mine - anything from a mutated baddy in a comic book action thriller, to a detective. If anything, I’d like Gary Oldman’s career: he’s the perfect example of it. I’ve love to have a really broad sweep of characters - to be able to do something edgy, surprising and unfashionable. (May 2005)

You accomplished that Benedict and we are very proud 

Dhani Harrison: ‘Not long before [George Harrison] died, he began remastering his old albums. We worked on that together, as we did with the album Brainwashed, which I then finished off with Jeff Lynne after his death. Now two box sets are available, The Apple Years and The Dark Horse Years, but it was a complicated process getting all those different recordings to the same standard. I worked on it together with Paul Hicks, who already remastered The Beatles’ catalog and the music for the Love show.’
Q: ‘It must be great to immerse yourself so deeply in such beautiful music during the process of remastering.’
DH: 'On the one hand it is. But it’s also a thankless task: if fans don’t like it, they’ll blame you. But if everything sounds right, you’ve just done what you should have done.
—  Translated from an interview conducted by Johannes Waechter for Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, 4 March 2016

Good evening folks, and welcome to the Eurovision map that I’ve most been curious about making since this season began - the one showing which countries qualified for the Grand Final

As a matter of curiosity, I chose to also include, for qualifiers, the last year they made the final, and for non-qualifiers, the last time they failed to pass through to Saturday. With the exception of a few breakthroughs after long droughts and slips after long streaks, the majority of the map is coloured gold and light blue, signifying respectively nations who qualified for (at least) the second year in a row or who failed to do so for (at least) a second year.

It’s amazing to think that only 7 of this year’s qualifiers are countries that were not in last year’s final. Some serious streaks are being built - the crowning glories being those of Azerbaijan, who have never failed to qualify since their début, and the unlikely pair of Sweden and Hungary, who’ve qualified every year since 2011. Austria makes it for the third year in a row, a country that more often than not failed to qualify before Conchita seemed to turn their luck around for the good. Similarly named Australia seem a lock for the final too. Netherlands and Belgium continue to bolster their powerhouse status. Armenia make it a fifth qualification in a row and seem a real dark horse. Croatia and Bulgaria, who came back together last year, make it a second year.

Amongst the qualifiers who weren’t there last year, we see Norway and Denmark return to winning ways after 1 and 2 years in the desert respectively. Romania and Greece return to the final after a one-year hiatus; Belarus go to Saturday for the first time since their Cheesecake three years prior; but the biggest droughts to come to an end are those of Moldova, whose last qualification was 2013, and Portugal, who’ve waited seven years for their “savior.”

Amongst the non-qualifiers, most notable perhaps are the three Baltic nations. Only Estonia missed out on qualification last year, but the other two had been on the pursuit of a third year of their qualification streak. It seems that where the Nordics rise, the Baltics falter - but unfortunately, the Nordic wave was not enough to pick up Iceland and Finland, who miss out for the third straight year. It’s been a three year drought for Switzerland and San Marino, four for Ireland, two for Slovenia, Montenegro and Albania and despite the hype, five years for Macedonia. Czechia fell after their first qualification ever; Malta’s progress is stop-start-stop; and Georgia and Serbia failed to qualify for the first time in 3 and 4 years respectively.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is getting a spiffy new DVD release in celebration of its 20th anniversary. Due out on September 19 from Fox, the 39-disc box set features all seven seasons of the show. Still no Blu-ray release, however.

Created by Joss Whedon, the supernatural action-drama series ran for five seasons on The WB before switching to UPN for its final two seasons. A total of 144 episodes were produced over the course of seven years.

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter, Anthony Stewart Head, David Boreanaz, Seth Green, James Marsters, Marc Blucas, Emma Caulfield, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Amber Benson star.

All the special features from previous releases will be included, along with a limited edition Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic book from Dark Horse Comics featuring an exclusive cover and a coloring sheet.

Keep reading


Buffy The High School Years: Parental Parasite TP

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
(W) Kel McDonald (A) Yishan Li (CA) Scott Fischer

Buffy struggles to deal with her mom Joyce’s newfound interest in spending time with her. Balancing that with her schoolwork, her friends, and her regular vampire-slaying duties is a challenge. However, when Joyce becomes hypnotized by a childlike demon that craves motherly care, Buffy experiences a new kind of sibling rivalry-except in Buffy’s case, her “sibling” is actually a monster!

In Shops: Jun 28, 2017


IT’S 1974 and things are not going well for the least extrovert Beatle. 

George Harrison is separating from first wife Pattie Boyd ten years after meeting her on the set of A Hard Day’s Night. A lengthy bout of laryngitis is seriously affecting his live and studio performances. His first North American tour, an ambitious blend of Western rock and the Indian music he loves, is dogged by disappointing reviews. Four years after his glorious solo triple-LP, All Things Must Pass, his new record, Dark Horse, is poorly received by comparison. There’s talk of “infidelities, alcohol and cocaine”.

BUT, in a year when things can’t get much worse, Harrison meets the love of his life.

He walks into his new Dark Horse Records Office in Los Angeles and sees Olivia Trinidad Arias, a Mexican-born assistant. They soon become partners and soulmates. Today, 40 years on, Olivia Harrison recalls her first impressions of her late and much-missed husband.

“He was a terribly sweet person and I thought he needed a pal,” says the 66 year-old.

“He had a lot going on and there were a lot of demands on him.

"We quickly became good friends and a team.

"He was very open and had a way of bypassing all your hang-ups, inhibitions and concerns. He made people feel very loved and comfortable. 

"You visit some people and go away thinking, ‘Oh, that was nice’, (but) with George, no matter how long, five minutes or five years, every time he left the room you felt something had happened to you.

"I’ve never met anybody who said they had a bad time working with him or being with him. That’s how I look back on him and it’s the truth.”

Thirteen years after his death from cancer at 58, this is a loving and touching tribute from Olivia. She knew their relationship was growing fast when a blue-tinted picture of her eyes appeared on the label artwork for the Dark Horse album.

“That was so sweet of him. He just said, 'Someone’s coming over here to take a picture’. I’d only known him for a couple of weeks so it was like, 'Oh, I think we’re getting somewhere here.’

- Excerpt from Olivia Harrison’s interview with The Sun while promoting George Harrison: The Apple Years (26 September 2014)

[credit to the wonderful friarparksoulclub for sending this to me!]

Listener email re: comics!

We recently got a great email from @redgoldsparks, reading (more or less in full):

As you may know, I have a Master’s degree in Comics from California College of the Arts, and am working towards a full time career as cartoonist. Naturally, I prick up my ears whenever comics are mentioned on your show. Before this latest episode I’d have said the show generally had a tentative enthusiasm for the form with only a mild negative view of comic fans/comic shops. It was really only in this latest episode that a more extreme negative position towards interactions with other comics people came out. It seems that this is mostly based on bad experiences that Flourish had in comic shops in the past, maybe as many as 10 years ago. That is such a shame, because there are really a huge number of very supportive and welcoming comics shops all around the county. I would know, because not only have I walked into them in the hopes of buying comics, but with the hope of selling my own comics to the shop. I’ve visited every one of the 10 shops within reasonable driving distance of where I live in the Bay Area, and a few in Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon, Bethesda, Maryland and New York City. Not once have I been made to feel uncomfortable in a shop and not only that, I have never had my work turned away. Every single shop owner I’ve spoken to wanted to monetarily support the up and coming artists in their area. How many other industries can say that? Perhaps it is relevant to say that I am a nonbinary, assigned female at birth person who uses weird pronouns. Yet I’ve fallen hard for comics because comics was what took me in as a naive illustration major in despair of ever landing book deal.

Comics are so, so much more than superheroes. The world of comics is so much wider than Marvel and DC. I read 49 comic books in 2016 and only two of them were from one of The Big Two (coincidentally, they were titles mentioned by the Desi Geek Girls- Miss Marvel and Squirrel Girl). Instead of superhero comics I read Congressman John Lewis’ heartwrenching biography of violence and bravery as a Civil Rights leader (the three volume March series, from Top Shelf); I read four volumes of John Allison’s fabulous webcomic Bad Machinary about a group of elementary school detectives in a haunted town in England (in print from Oni Press); I read Sisters and Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier, two stories of sibling love and rivalry, published by Scholastic Graphix, both of which dominated the New York Times best sellar’s list; I read three volumes of Hellboy by Mike Mignola, a series that has been running for over 20 years from Dark Horse; I tried the first volumes of Bitch Planet, Paper Girls, Monstress and Giant Days, all out from Image Comics to rave reviews; I caught up on Saga; I read By Chance or Provenance, a collection of Becky Cloonan’s originally self-published short stories; Finder: Third World by Carla Speed McNeil; a comic about the history of Tetris by Box Brown, a whole anthology of queer paranormal romance stories, a comic about people’s deepest fears, a comic on film history, a comic about being a tall ship sailor and about three years of James Kochalka’s diary comics. That doesn’t even include the roster of webcomics that I keep up with (from gay smut like Starfighter to sweet fluff like Always Raining Here) or the huge piles of mini comics and zines I bought and traded for at the six comics conventions I attended OR the political journalism comics I subscribe to on sites like The Nib and Every Feminism!

Comics is a vast, multi-faceted world. Does it have problems? Yes, absolutely. Is it still dominated by white, straight, heterosexual narratives? Yes, but less and less all the time. I read somewhere recently that if you counted all the comic books published on kickstarter as coming from a single publisher, kickstarter now puts out more comics than either of The Big Two. And a huge amount of those books are helmed by queer authors of color, or trans authors, or nonbinary authors. If you spend some time getting to know comics, it will open up around you, offering its many and varied tales. As a professor of mine in grad school said: Comics will love you back.

We don’t have a lot to respond to in this, we were just thrilled to get it and wanted to share it with our readers!

Well, actually that’s not strictly true - partly in response to this and partly in response to another recent listener comment, from @missyuka, Flourish wrote a personal essay about her experiences with comics. So go take a peek at that as well…!

Cassie/Pritkin + in-jokes

Book 4:
“Why do these plans of yours always involve me getting naked?!” I whispered viciously.

Book 6:
Pritkin suddenly grinned—grinned—at me, and said something that the wind blew away.
“Why do these plans of yours always involve me getting naked?” he yelled, making me blink again. And then scowl, because damn it, brain, this was no time to lose it.

Scan - Billy Preston and George Harrison, the Dark Horse Tour, 1974. Scanned from LIFE Remembering George Harrison: 10 Years Later.

Photo © LIFE

“[At the Fort Worth concert, 22 November 1974, George introduced Billy Preston as] someone I would never have come on the road without, because I love him so much and need him so bad.” - From While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison by Simon Leng

* * *

“George is wonderful. George is very spiritual. He’s a very loving and humble person. He’s a very good friend and is like a brother to me.” - Billy Preston [x]