Tuesday, February 18, 2014

25 Days of Harrison Day 17- I Me Mine

In 1980 the quiet Beatles, George Harrison had taken John Lennon's name as 'The Writing Beatle' (John had written two book with The Beatles, In His Own Write and Spaniard In The Works) writing I Me Mine with help from his friend and Beatles Press Officer, Derrek Taylor. The book goes through George's childhood, Beatlemania, tours, racing, Hinduism, Friar Park, and more. A foreword by Olivia Harrison, George's second wife was put in the 2002 edition, the following is a excerpt from the introduction;
 "Memories of those nights together are a gift... him playing acoustic guitar or ukulele under a big moon where the nights were warm and we cheated the English winter of the chance to chill our bones. In spite of the human tendency to take one's mate for granted, even then I was well aware that these were precious moments. I was also blissfully ignorant of how short our days together were meant to be. Those memories will resound with love and reverence for the rest of my life and I don't mind saying on this occasion that they are 'Mine'."- Olivia Harrison
I Me Mine was first published as a limited edition book by Genesis Publication, which was soon sold out after publication. It had been published originally with 398 pages in 1980, in 2002 the book was published with an introduction by Olivia Harrison (as mentioned previously), and the 2007 the reprint has 456 pages (2007 was published by Chronicle Books LLC and available on paperback). Unfortunately, the book was published years before George was in the Traveling Wilburys, his tour with Eric Clapton, the Friar Park break in and more of the twenty one years afterwards

The book was written and published two years after he married Olivia, had his son, and his start of his company, HandMade Films, all are briefly mentioned. The book was also published just weeks before the murder of his friend and ex-band mate, John Lennon.  

Not only does the book contain many stories of the life of George Harrison, but 83 of his songs he had written up to that point, with the original handwritten lyrics and the meaning behind the songs. From "Don't Bother Me" in 1963- Blow Away. The book also contains 48 pictures of George Harrison, with family, himself, and friends.

Many have reviewed the book with good review. The following are reviews from friends of Harrison's:
"George's own recollections, lovingly channeled through the wit and wisdom of Derek Taylor, lavishly illustrated and amplified by his lyrics, will give you an insight into the humor, the honesty and the wry apprecitation of being alive that made him a truly remarkable guitarist, gardener, sage, motorist, husband, father and friend. I mourn and miss him every single day."- Eric Idle
"George Harrison and Derek Taylor were two of the greatest observationalists of the twentieth century. All their wit and wisdom comes alive in the volume- a must read."- Tom Petty
"George was such a giver- with his beautiful book we get a fascinating account of his songwriting, really nice rare photos and a good look at how he came up. His attention to detail in everything he set his mind to was amazing- and it's one of the things that makes I Me Mine so special."- Jim Keltner
But it also received criticism saying that George didn't write anything about The Beatles, that he was just wrapped in the meaning of life and Hinduism and his new hobby of motor-racing.

My book review:

I personally have read the book twice and looking forward to reading it a third time. The book is great, and I'm not just saying that because George Harrison wrote it. He goes through details of his childhood that other stories don't say, and sure he jumps around a bit, like one critic had said he'll be talking about playing in The Quarrymen at one point and immediately jump into The Beatles break up. That's just a writing style and he's reflecting on what has happened that lead up to certain events. Defending George on the critics who say "he was only into Hinduism and racing" and those who say "He leaves out details on the worlds greatest band", The Book is called I Me Mine, it's about George Harrison himself, not about Paul McCartney, John Lennon, or Ringo Starr, he wasn't going to go into detail in their life, he said what he had to say about The Beatles and what he didn't share in his autobiography were released in The Beatles Anthology, where Paul, Ringo, and George wrote about The Beatles story with quotes of John Lennon in 2000. Hinduism and India is written throughout the book, along with gardening and a chapter dedicated to motor-racing. That's who George was, those were important to him during this time, before, and after. He wrote an autobiography, that's what was going on in his life, that's what he wrote about.

You often don't find book that you'll pick up and read again (even getting to the point where I've sticky-noted the pages of quotes and facts I loved), I Me Mine is one of those books that I could read a million times and never get bored of.

This Book Is Dedicated To Gardeners Everywhere 

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