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George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door

George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door [Kindle Edition]

Graeme Thomson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Behind The Locked Door is Graeme Thomson’s rich, insightful account of George Harrison’s extraordinary life and career.

As a Beatle, Harrison underwent a bewilderingly compressed early adulthood, buffeted by unprecedented levels of fame and success. "Beatlemania" offered remarkable experiences and opportunities but ultimately left him unsettled and unfulfilled. His life became a quest for deeper meaning which travelled far beyond the parameters of his former band and, indeed, music itself.

This elegant, in-depth biography tracks him assiduously through his many changes and conflicts, from schoolboy guitarist to global superstar, God seeker to independent filmmaker, Formula One enthusiast to UNICEF fundraiser, and marks the perennial struggle of a man attempting to walk a spiritual path lined with temptation.

Drawing on scores of new interviews with close friends and collaborators, rigorous research and critical insight, Behind The Locked Door is a fascinating account of the motives and varied achievements of an often misunderstood man. It offers full analysis of Harrison’s music, including his earliest songs for The Beatles, his landmark solo album All Things Must Pass, his work with The Traveling Wilburys, and the posthumous Brainwashed, as well as his pioneering forays into Indian and electronic music. It is also an intimate character study, beautifully illustrating the eternal yin and yang of Harrison’s nature. Behind The Locked Door is the definitive account of a compelling, contradictory life.

About the Author

Graeme Thomson is one of Britain's leading music writers. As the author of critically acclaimed and definitive biographies of Elvis Costello (Complicated Shadows, Canongate, 2004) and Kate Bush (Under The Ivy, Omnibus Press, 2010)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9587 KB
  • Print Length: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press (11 Oct 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FSV7JH8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #48,367 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Graeme Thomson is the author of several books. UNDER THE IVY: THE LIFE & MUSIC OF KATE BUSH (Omnibus, 2010) was described by The Irish Times as "the best music biography in perhaps the past decade" and by MOJO as "superb". Record Collector called I SHOT A MAN IN RENO (Bloomsbury, 2008) "one of the most informative and fulfilling music books you're ever likely to read."

BEHIND THE LOCKED DOOR, his definitive biography of George Harrison, will be published in the autumn of 2013:

Graeme Thomson has written for the Observer, New Statesman, Oxford American, the Telegraph, Time Out, MOJO and Rolling Stone, and contributes regularly to the Guardian, Uncut, the Herald and The Arts Desk. He lives with his family in Edinburgh.

"The best music biography in perhaps the past decade... an absorbing, painstakingly researched and downright fascinating book" - Irish Times

"Superb .... A compelling examination of an artist in a constant state of becoming - Mojo

"Respectful, fascinating and full of insight" - Q

"A masterful biography. Thomson's descriptive language is gorgeous" - The Word

"Sheds a light on the women behind the inspiration of many a modern-day chanteuse - NME

"That rarest of rock & roll studies: expertly researched, restrained yet stylish, and in perfect tune with its subject's work" - Austin Chronicle

"Those with even a remote interest in rock music of the past 30 years will find his book utterly mesmerizing" - Library Journal

"A vital read ... Thomson here returns one of rock's most elusive figures to flesh and blood ... Definitive." - Uncut
"Brilliantly written . . . in the absence of Elvis Costello putting pen to paper himself, this is far and away the next best thing." - Record Collector

"Better musical surveys are hard to find, and the results are positively life-affirming." - Paste

"Its contents more than live up to the billing.... a rich and masterful read." - The Word

"Shows an electric ability to craft delectable imagery with informative reporting..... Dude knows the best musical death trips!" - KEXP, Best Books of 2008

"An essential volume for anyone interested in pop as an all-pervasive social force that soundtracks our lives right up to our last breath.... One of the most informative and fulfilling music books you're ever likely to read" - Record Collector

"A wildly cheering history of the subject of death in popular song." - Observer, Best Music Books of 2008

"An excellent biography. Thomson is too shrewd a biographer to take [Nelson] at his own estimation." - Paul Du Noyer, The Word

"Thomson tells the Nelson story with incision and insight. Sharp writing, astute observation and a wry attitude .... make for a lively read and a vivid portrait of an often baffling talent. Recommended." - Neil Spencer, Observer Music Monthly

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good biography 23 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For someone who was part of the Beatles and had an eventful solo career, George Harrison has not been well served by biographers. Having read them all, this must rank as one of the best. The author has actually spoken to folk who were part of George's life and has certainly researched previously published material in great detail. The author gives an honest assessment of George's music during the solo years and is prepared to explore some of the darker aspects of Harrison's life.

It had me dipping back into my record collection to refer to albums not played in a while and gave me some insight which got me reassessing the merits of many songs and albums. An excellent book about a very complex man torn between the spiritual and the material worlds.
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68 of 78 people found the following review helpful
By HariG
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Being a huge George Harrison fan, I was so looking forward to reading this. But within five minutes of skimming to a few of my favourite topics/events, I was shocked to see that a huge amount of the details, and even the structure in certain cases, has come straight from Wikipedia's Harrison album and song articles. (I know this because I'm the crazy person who's been expanding Harrison content on that encyclopaedia since January 2012!) It could be a coincidence, I admit. But: a) that would make a *lot* of coincidences, and b) the similarities just jump off the page.

* As an example, take pages 210-11 of this book and compare with two sections in Wikipedia's ALL THINGS MUST PASS album article -- the sections "Release" and "Reception". I believe this author takes the build-up/credibility points from Release; then paraphrases the quote from Robert Rodriguez that sits early in the article's Reception section; then (most obviously) repeats the same line of discussion as the article, through the inclusion of Rolling Stone's critique of the album, followed by the NME's, followed by Richard Williams' in Melody Maker and The Times.
* Loads of other examples: CONCERT FOR BANGLADESH article (under Rehearsals) vs this book's pages 224-25, which repeat details on Nola Studios rehearsals, Harrison's preliminary setlist, and Frampton's role; many other mirror images from Wikipedia's articles (on the concerts, the live album, related songs such as The Day the World Gets 'Round) appear through to p. 235 of the book.
* Or take the chapter covering the LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD album (starting on pages 238-39).
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly rivetting and insightful read 30 Aug 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book; in fact, I found it hard to put down. So, I would strongly recommend it to anyone who has a fascination with the life and music of George Harrison, even those who have already seen the excellent Scorsese documentary, Living in the Material World, and also The Beatles Anthology. Graeme Thomson has done an even more impress job that his previous biography of Kate Bush, and added a deeper understanding of George Harrison, the man.

What makes Behind the Locked Door such a fascinating read is the author’s honestly about his subject, revealing the warts-and-all nature of Harrison and the conflicts within his personality that seem to have brought him so much angst and mental anguish over the years. It is interesting to see this developing mid way through The Beatles decade, and growing to the point at which he was absolutely through with The Beatles quite some time before the final split. But Thomas goes on the describe the struggles that pervaded Harrison’s life after he had moved on from the Beatle George role; the drugs, the infidelities, the obsessive rejection of his Beatle past, the nervousness and sensitivity, to mention but a few. Thomson always treats his subject with the greatest sympathy and sensitivity, while offering his own candid and thought-provoking insight into the man and what he was going though at various stages of his life.

One of the most fascinating parts of the book for me was in describing the making of The Beatles Anthology, and the tensions that this reignited within the three surviving Beatles. It touches on one of the issues that has always fascinated me, namely whether Harrison and McCartney ever really reconciled.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Beatles book 14 Nov 2013
This is a superb read, painstakingly researched and beautifully written. I know my Beatles books very well and what the author does here so effectively is bring a freshness to such a familiar subject. Having said that, The Beatles period stuff is great but the book really comes to life when its getting to grips with the complexities of Harrison's life after 1970. Definitive, I's say.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 6 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars STUCK, MAYBE, BUT NOT LOCKED! 13 Nov 2013
I'm about two-thirds the way through this book and I'm enjoying it for the most part.
So far - and I expect it will continue on like this - it's been entertaining enough to hold my interest while I wait for the scattered bits I didn't know to come up.
It got to be a slog, if a brief one, during the sections about GH's religious proclivities, but I found that aspect of his career the least interesting as well, so I figured it might strike me that way on the page.
I'm looking forward to the less reported post-Beatle chapters of the man's story.
I bought it in hardback because I had some gift vouchers from friends but I would have waited for the paperback otherwise.
Three stars (and maybe another half) is about right.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars George Harrison
This book arrived in virtually new condition, in hard back. I was disappointed in this book which told me nothing new about George, and is packed with quotes from other writers, it... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jo Hatfield
5.0 out of 5 stars book
a good book can on the time i was given and packked well to wil use the sellrer again well happy
Published 2 months ago by paul
5.0 out of 5 stars george
more than lifts the lid off any secrets about George and his too brief life. made me want to play his records again
Published 4 months ago by Mr. James S. Edmondson
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I wondered if the writer liked George ? I don't suppose it matters I liked the book but thought that some of the writers reviews of albums way off mark . Not a lot of new info . Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Ian Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellently paced bio of George's pre-, during and post-Beatles life
I have read a 2* review of this which is pretty scathing, including allegations that the author has effectively lifted and then paraphrased information from Wikipedia. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Hemingway's Proofreader
5.0 out of 5 stars She loves it, yeah, yeah,yeah
Read about the book in a local paper and purchased it as a present as it was £7 cheaper than high street - what's not to love about a saving like that? Read more
Published 6 months ago by Karen Lacey
Published 7 months ago by E A Wallace
Wanted this as its of George Harrison. Very think book, enjoy looking through it. Love anything about George and about his life. Lovely person, so caring about others. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mrs M O Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars god
this has been brought as a crimbo gift so i am sure it will be exellent read great human being. god bless
Published 8 months ago by carol
5.0 out of 5 stars Paints a Complete Picture of this Complex Man
My full review can be found on my website: [...]

This is an excellent book that pulls all of the interesting and complicated bits of George's life together and paints a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sakos
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