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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good biography
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...
Published 19 months ago by E. Russell

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76 of 87 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars good to know Wikipedia articles can be so useful
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...
Published 18 months ago by HariG


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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good biography, 23 Oct. 2013
By 
E. Russell (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door (Hardcover)
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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76 of 87 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars good to know Wikipedia articles can be so useful, 9 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door (Hardcover)
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). It begins with a quote from Nicky Hopkins, followed by comments on Bangladesh activities stalling George's musical career; compare that with album article on Wikipedia, where comments come first then the Hopkins quote. (And much of the author's text on p 239 about the Van Eatons is straight from Wiki's Lon & Derrek Van Eaton article too, in my opinion.)

What especially flags this whole issue to me is that published works from Rock's Backpages and elsewhere -- such as that Disc & Music Echo interview with Hopkins, NME's 1970 album review, Circus Raves' piece on the Dark Horse tour, Bob Woffinden's NME reviews for DARK HORSE and 33 & 1/3, Rolling Stone's 1979 Harrison interview, Gambaccini/Rockweek 1975 EX TEXTURE track-by-track -- they're all sources that I personally have brought to Wikipedia (and paid for in all cases bar Gambaccini) for general, communal reference. More specific to a review of this book, with the majority of the Rock's Backpages articles, I have never seen them quoted or mentioned in any previous book on Harrison (or anyone else) - and I own an awful lot of books on Harrison, and the Beatles generally.

The similarities are not just with Wikipedia's album articles, I stress, but individual song articles also. I feel that this author's taken a large part of the Wikipedia album and song articles and added recent interview text. I realise that anything on a free encyclopaedia is just that -- free -- but what I find appalling is how closely he's aligned his discussions with those free works, as if they're the foundation for his text and in many cases, much more than that.

I don't make these claims lightly. I'm a musician, and any friend of George's is a friend of mine. But I'm also a professional book editor and I know the tricks that, unless they're checked during the editing process, slip through at the expense of readers, who have shelled out for what this book's dust jacket claims is a "rich, insightful account". Not impressed.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Beatles book, 14 Nov. 2013
This review is from: George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door (Hardcover)
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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly rivetting and insightful read, 30 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door (Hardcover)
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. According to Pattie Boyd, interviewed for the book, Harrison never had much love for McCartney after The Beatles, and there was always a tension when they were together. Another interesting insight is Harrison’s complex relationship with Eric Clapton and how this seemed to continue into the final decade of his life: unbeknownst to Clapton, Harrison had a 3-day fling with Clapton’s ex and mother of his son Conor, Lory Del Santo, when she met up with them on tour in Japan in late 1991.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars George Harrison, 24 Jun. 2014
This review is from: George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door (Hardcover)
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 seems to me. The most interesting personal details came in the numerous quotes from Patty Boyd s memoir which I had already read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door (Hardcover)
Super read well worth the money A+++
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Quiet One ?, 2 Nov. 2013
By 
Black Baron (Greatest Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door (Hardcover)
About time we had a good book on George. Well researched, well written, warts and all. Likely to ruffle a few feathers but only because it shows George as human with foibles rather than the air-brushed images we sometimes get in the official biographies. There's the odd factual error but it doesn't detract from the book at all. Very worth while read. Delivery and packaging were both excellent. Would use the supplier again without hesitation.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For George Addicts, 8 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door (Hardcover)
This is a good book for the person that knows a fair bit about George and owns other books on him
but throws in a few new things aswell. It says about his early days,how he became a beatle and became eaten up by the fame
and madness of it.Covers his Indian influences well and his solo years.
Not scared to show his weakness and bad points and a bit of humour here and there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any serious Beatles fan. Excellent!, 6 May 2015
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A must read for any Beatles fan
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight into the rise and fall and then recovery ..., 14 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door (Hardcover)
Great insight into the rise and fall and then recovery of the troubled soul that was George Harrison. This book is very well referenced and does have contributions from sources that do not appear in any Beatles related books that I have read. Well written and a good read for Beatles/ George fans.
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George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door
George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door by Graeme Thomson (Hardcover - 17 Sept. 2013)
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