George Harrison, life, music

forty-nine years ago

George Harrison is a special soul.

Forty-nine years ago, August 1, 1971. The Concert for Bangladesh. In reality, two concerts. Performed to raise awareness, and funds for relief, of refugees caught up in the war in Bangladesh.

Earlier that year, Ravi Shankar, an Indian musician and friend to George, told him about the desperation in Bangladesh and asked George to help. The short of it is George said okay. A couple of months went by without a real plan, but another five or six weeks and George pulled together his friends, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Ringo Star, and the band Badfinger, and Ravi Shankar recruited another Indian musician, Ali Akbar Khan, and they all performed at Madison Square Garden on the first day of August.

The back story covers a lot of musical history, and intersects the lives of some well-known and talented people. In 1961, George was 18 and performing in Germany with an early pre-Ringo version of The Beatles. Fast forward ten years, the musical group called The Beatles exploded into THE BEATLES and took over the world, until the individual Beatles went their separate ways in 1970. George was more and more interested in spirituality and eastern philosophies and music traditions, and was evolving musically to bring these influences into his craft. By 1971, he had his own solo albums and was producing the soundtrack for Raga, a documentary film on Shankar. Nevertheless, he hadn’t performed on stage as a solo act yet.

That summer, George was 28 and organizing in my memory one of the first big, really big, aid concerts in modern history. Dealing with the venue, performers, filming, recordings, the tax man, and everything else that’s involved in planning an event like this, with the goal (and determination) to get the money to where it was needed, in Bangladesh, and not everywhere in between.

So. Picture this. The end of the concert. George at the microphone. The master of ceremonies. The other performers were done. Clapton was dealing with some serious addiction issues and barely made it through his bit with George. And George didn’t know at this point if Dylan would perform. The day before, Dylan told George he was too nervous. About the crowd. For every one of us who’s stumbled over our own words because looking out at faces brings on brain freeze, there’s the idea of a nervous Bob Dylan. Are we all human or what? Bob Dylan, yes THE Bob Dylan, was nervous about the crowd and not sure he could perform. Whatever was happening in his life, he hadn’t really performed in concert for a number of years, and wasn’t sure he could do it. Why does this awkward little detail appeal to me?  

George looked around the darkened stage, bright lights in his eyes, to see if the big act would come out and sing.

And yes, Bob Dylan was the big act. There was in fact a question mark next to his name on the concert playlist. What was George thinking during that flash of a minute? It must have been something like, “Oh shit, what am I doing here?” I haven’t seen that quote, but what else would be going through his head?

Then, yes … there he was. Bob Dylan. To paraphrase George’s description, his denim jacket, his harmonica, and his guitar. Dylan looked young and uncomfortable, but the music started. It was A Hard Rain’s A-gonna Fall, and he knew his song well.

Forty-nine years ago.

___________________________
Images from:
the fest for beatles fans
snf your beatles station

ladybugs, robins, summer

spotted


Spotted
robins.
Three of them.
Young ones, for sure.
Fledglings, nestlings,
constant feedings.
Papa Robin worn thin, too worn for singing.
Evening songs competing
with cicadas
and crickets.
Ribbits.
When did that happen?
You know, Summer running up ahead,
glancing back. And that snotty grin?
Summer’s promise, the long days of june.
Done
And
Done.
Ahh ….
Spotted
lady,
painted bright and new as spring.
Me? I’m whining and lamenting
where this weird old summer’s going.

photographs from july 25, 2020

nature, raindrops, water droplets

hush


It rained the night before, the morning sun was bright, and the humidity was so high it probably should have rained. A few inches away. A few feet away. Beyond.

I was glad I decided to head out early that muggy morning.

Hush ….

photographed july 11, 2020
 
© Etikser. All Rights Reserved.
All photos and images here are my own.
They may not be used elsewhere or reblogged.
Please visit my other blog, Clover & Ivy, https://cloverandivy.wordpress.com.
I post mostly nature photos there.
places, thoughts, wildflowers

wandering

I’ve never been to Paris. Or Rome, or Hawaii. But … I have looked up from a spot near the end of the beach to see the Milky Way, suspended across the sky on a dark and moonless night.

On the last day of June, I took an evening walk along a trail through the woods. All around me, here and there, I saw flimsy wildflowers like the ones in these pictures. They grew along the path. And, in the distance, there were pockets under the trees, out in the deeper parts of the woods. You’ve probably seen them where you are too, in the woods or along a road. It was already sundown and the light was fading when I noticed them. Small bright forms out there among the dark green tones of the forest.

Do you remember those little tree spirits from Princess Mononoke? The Kodama? Bright, almost glowing. Tiny, almost shapeless. Cute, but almost creepy. Odd wide-eyed creatures perched high on the tree limbs and lined up along the mossy grounds of a Great Forest that existed centuries ago, somewhere in the ancient folklore of Japan.

My mind wanders when I write. That’s a long way from Paris.

Photographed June 30, 2020

© Etikser. All Rights Reserved.

All photos and images here are my own.
They may not be used elsewhere or reblogged.

Please visit my other blog, Clover & Ivy, https://cloverandivy.wordpress.com.
I post mostly nature photos there.

birds, hydration

staying hydrated

It’s not fancy.

A small solar fountain, a plastic planter dish, and some clean water. I can’t remember if I got it for me, for the gentle watery sounds. Or if I got it for the birds.

But the little fountain definitely attracts birds. Robins especially, but the towhees too, catbirds, cardinals, and blue jays. Sometimes they perch nearby, or along the side of the dish, and they stare. As if they’re getting up the nerve.

Sometimes they fly toward the water. Then they retreat. Some never take the plunge…they just fly away.

But most eventually hop in and start splashing. They dunk, and splash, and flap, and they dunk and splash and flap. It goes on, and on.

Then they hop out, fly off to a branch, fluff, pick their feathers, dry their beak. Just when it seems they’re satisfied with the results, they fly back, hop in the water, and start the process all over again.

Staying hydrated.

Not the best pictures, but I think it’s a female towhee.
music, nature, plants, sounds

evening

It looks like these trees and this brush are endless. Sometimes I feel that way too. But they’re not.

I was hunched over, trying to get a picture of the flowers and the green and a bit of the sunlight still coming through. It was getting close to eight, and there was a towhee doing what towhees always do at sundown. It was ‘drink your tea’ time. They sing those notes over and over, part of the evening ritual.

But this time there was music too. Human type music. Past all the green, up a hill, there was a house and the glow of flames in a fire pit, and somebody was out back. None of my business, but how could I not notice? He was playing folksy music, and it sounded so good I wanted to yell, “Hey, what’s that you’re playing?” Of course I didn’t. I thought it was somebody sitting by the firepit playing a guitar or banjo, and singing one of those folk songs that feel like springtime, and good times, and flowers in a field. Eventually I realized the music was too good, it must have been a recording.

I didn’t want to move on, but I started walking slowly along the path, around a bend, and the music playing behind me faded in the distance, past the trees.

Photographed May 29, 2020

bamboo, nature, percussion, sounds

clack, clack-le

It’s haunting.
You barely hear it, a rattle, or a whistle.
Some sort of earthy percussion.
Random, humble, rhythm-less repetitions.

clack, clack, clack, clack-le
clack-le, clack, clack, clack-le
clack, clack-le, clack, clack-le
clack-le, clack-le, clack-le
Bamboo stalks look so calm and graceful,
but when they bend and bounce in the breeze, they produce a strange sound.
The tones come from the top of the plant, almost from the wind itself,
and to me feel unexpected and jarring.
life, perspective, thoughts

perspective

photo from 2018

A guy and a gal stood over a rose bush, heads together, and it appeared to be a serious conversation. After a few minutes, the young woman walked away. The fellow leaned over a bit and spoke to the rose, “Now try to be good.”

That was Fall 2019.

I returned last week. The nursery is out in the open, not attached to a big store, and I decided it would be safe enough wearing a mask, etc., and I could get everything I need in one trip. Approaching, it looked familiar in a good way. Going to the nursery is a fun chore. Most years I go more than I need to. But this was different. It wasn’t just the masks. We’re all getting used to that, aren’t we? But it’s the little details in life we hardly notice until they’re not there.

They had fewer plants, but enough. They were arranged and sorted. It was pretty, prettier than the grocery store, but not lush and indulgent like it usually is. Some of the plants needed watering. Flowers on vines grew into each other so the plant containers were inseparable. Price signs were here and there and not always in the right places. Ceramic fountains were dry and empty, except for a bit of left over rain water. You didn’t have to mind the wet cement or hoses scattered around, because no one was watering. The cashier was moved outside, and I could see a few staff out in the distance, away from customers and tables.

They were making the best of what they could do, but you couldn’t help but think what was missing. And who was missing. Nurseries hire people who love plants. People who enjoy caring for plants, watering, arranging tables so plants look their best. Rainbowed rows of colors. Roses spaced just so. If you didn’t like plants, that kind of job wouldn’t work out.

I guess in the grand scheme of things, none of this matters. If I didn’t start this draft last week, I probably wouldn’t write it today. With the perspective of shocking, almost inhuman events, my common lackluster experiences fall in the category of ‘unworthy of notice’. Yet, the summer moves from repetitive to boring to depressing to scary, and now to horrific, and we wonder how to make sense of it all.