I highly recommend the new Martin Scorsese documentary about the late Beatle George Harrison. Called 'Living in a Material World', the HBO film is chock full of terrific interviews, rare photographs and outtakes and deep insight into the man known as the quiet Beatle.
It's a MUST see for anyone, young or old, who believes in lifelong learning. In fact, if there's one fundamental difference that set George apart from the other members of the Fab Four, it had to be his continual quest for spiritual enlightenment while battling his very real appetite for, shall we say, worldly pleasures?
Scorsese’s movie shows the many, many sides of a gifted artist who was, and always will be, overshadowed by John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney. But, while Lennon focused on anti-war activities and McCartney continued writing 'Silly Love Songs', Harrison plunged deeper and deeper into the very meaning of life.
I must admit to having been somewhat alienated by Harrison during his Hare Krishna days but, having now viewed the new documentary, I understand it was just another stage in the man's unending quest to better understand himself and the world around him.
The documentary is well worth seeing and, for me, has added new insights to some of my favorite Harrison songs, including: 'Wah, Wah,' 'All Things Must Pass' and, in my opinion, his best love song of all: 'Long, Long, Long'.
As an aside, whenever I'm pressed by college and university students to name the key to career success, I always say, “lifelong learning”. In researching the song's origins, I found out that Harrison's quest for lifelong learning partly inspired him to write, 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'. Mine certainly inspired me to entitle this particular blog, 'While my Blackberry gently weeps'.
One Harrison lyric from Guitar is more relevant than ever: 'From every mistake, we must surely be learning'. We clearly weren't learning when Harrison first wrote the lyric in 1968 and, lord knows, we've learned even less in 2011. And that's why his guitar and my Blackberry still weep.