The iPod gods smiled upon me yesterday when this popped up during a little Sunday shuffle. It has become my anthem for the week, as I prepare to leave Newsweek Thursday and strike out on my own for awhile. It’s a little scary stepping away from the security of a steady job, but like the Wilburys say:
Well It’s alright, riding around in the breeze Well it’s alright, if you live the life you please.
“…The Cape still might find a second life on cable. And I’ll tell you why. El corazόn del agua es verdad. That water is a lie! Harrison Ford is irradiating our testicles with microwave satellite transmissions! So maybe we are caught in an endless cycle of screw-ups and hurt feelings. But I choose to believe it’s just the universe’s way of molding with into some kind of super group. ”
“Like the Traveling Wilburys!”
“Yes, Troy, like the Traveling Wilburys of pain, prepared for any insane adventure life throws our way. And I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to every one of them.”
The Traveling Wilburys, photographed by Neal Preston
“George absolutely adored the Wilburys. That was his baby from the beginning, and he went at it with such great enthusiasm. The rest of his life, he considered himself a Wilbury.” - Tom Petty, 2001 [x]
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“It’s kind of stupid what we didn’t do more. I used to say, ‘Just flash the big W in the sky like the bat signal, and we’ll all come.’ We just thought we had all the time in the world.” - Tom Petty on The Traveling Wilburys, Men’s Journal, August 2014 [x]
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“He was happy to play music with anyone - Dhani’s school friends, me. He just wanted to play.” - Olivia Harrison, USA Today, 11 June 2007
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“It’s more fun to just hang out with your friends, sod it, you know, just do something. I had to shake The Beatles off from around my neck. I had to do something other than being ‘Beatles George’… Now I’ve come full circle, I’m free of it, and I’m liberated. I can go on and be a Wilbury.” - George Harrison [x]
George Harrison, photographed for Cloud Nine in 1987 by Gered Mankowitz; via Gotta Have Rock and Roll.
George’s nicknames appreciation post, prompted by a previous ask:
Hazza (In 1958, when John, Paul and George hung out together very frequently and had nicknames for each other: Lennie, Macca and Hazza, as Mark Lewisohn states in All These Years: here)
Georgie [x] (The other three Beatles can be heard calling him that in interviews [for instance, x], Astrid Kirchherr, Klaus Voormann and Jürgen Vollmer refer to it, and Paul as relatively recently as 2005 [x]. George also signed at least one letter to Astrid that way [x]; and it’s also what Ken Mansfield recalls as George’s telegram code name [the other three are Jock, Porgie and Richie, as he remembers, x!])
Carl Harrison (Well, not a nickname per se, but George’s chosen stage name for the May 1960 Johnny Gentle tour of Scotland)
Geo, a nickname used by his mother Louise (Recalled by Arthur Kelly, in The Beatles - All These Years: Tune In’s extended version… pronounced “Joe.”)
The Beautiful One (What the Hamburg exis nicknamed George in 1960, x)
George Gretsch, as fans took to calling him after he’d purchased his beloved second-hand Gretsch Duo Jet in 1961 [x]
According to the New York Post’s 20 September 1964 issue, he was “called ‘The Bloody Sphinx’ by John Lennon and 'The Great Stone Face’ by Ringo Starr.” [x]
When George, Pattie, John and Cyn went on their May 1964 vacation to Tahiti, etc., code names were created for them, as Brian Epstein recounted in A Cellarful of Noise; George’s was Mr. Hargreaves (as in, his father, Harold Hargreaves Harrison).
Jack Lumber (George’s clearly Monty Python fanatic pseudonym for “hotels, security (and guitar picks),” as Eric Idle recalls x; when traveling with Olivia in the 1970’s and 1980’s, it was often as “Mr. and Mrs. Jack Lumber”.)
“[My] ‘L’Angelo Mysterioso’ credit [for playing on the co-written ‘Badge’] must have been thought up by Eric [Clapton]. I just saw it on the back of the album when it came! In those days, of course, if you played on anybody else’s album or even one track, EMI used to get funny about it, thinking, ‘Oh, the fabulous Beatles publishing catalogue,’ and try claiming royalties on it. So if we did that we always had to make up names. Ravi Shankar used to put on ’Hari Georgeson’ or ’Jai Raj Harisein.’ John [Lennon] preferred ‘George Harrisong.’” - George, Musician, November 1987
“[M]y Indian name for him was ’Jáyaraj.’” - Ravi Shankar, Concert for George, 29 November 2002
Arthur Wax, George O’Hara, George O’Hara-Smith, Onothimagen, P. Roducer, Nelson Wilbury, Spike Wilbury…for album credits, and in the case of Ohnothimagen, album promo.
When George, Olivia and Dhani stayed one night at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, on 28 October 1982, they had reservations under the name ‘Mr and Mrs Tannerhill’ (according to The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After The Break-Up 1970-2001).
“[In Hawaii, George was known to locals] “simply as Keoki.” [x]… it’s also one of Dhani’s tattoos: xx.
On 14 December 1984, George appeared on stage as a surprise guest with Deep Purple in Sydney, introduced as ‘Arnold Grove from Liverpool’ (a pseudonym he also used for hotels; as well as Rick Veda).
Once more for guitar picks, Sir Edmund Wilbury and Nakihama Wilbury (the latter during the 1991 Japan tour) [x]
While undergoing cancer treatment Stateside, George apparently checked in under the alias Jorge Arias, a nickname he also used on other occasions (x).
“I hope there will be another Wilburys record. It was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done. I was doing it with people I admired and respected, and the public liked it too. I just have to wait for the other Wilburys to finish being solo artists. They have all said they would like to do it again. I don’t really have a desire to be a solo artist. It’s more fun being in the Wilburys. They represent a stand against this horrible computerized music.”
The first time George Harrison came over to my house, when it was just the two of us there, the first thing he did was pick up the guitar and start to play “Norwegian Wood.” I thought, ‘Well, this is unusual.’ George said something like, 'You know this one, don’t you?’ It was a funny approach – I was obviously a huge Beatles fan– but he really had an uncanny ability to transcend the fact that he was a Beatle and get you to the place where you weren’t thinking about that any more. We just started playing guitars after that.