Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I me Mine (Extended edition) - A Book Review

Even Ringo enjoys reading the extended version of "I Me Mine." 





If I was to make a list of essential reading for all Beatles fan, George Harrison's I Me Mine would be in the top 5 of the list.   This book is the closest we ever got to reading a George Harrison autobiography.    It is a rare chance to step into George's mind and read his thoughts.  

The extended version of the book still has everything the original from 1980 had.   It starts with George Harrison and Derek Taylor telling the story of George's life (from birth to the late 1970's).   It is really an overview of George's life.   There aren't many deep details.   It goes by so quick.    I always get confused who is writing--George or Derek.   Derek's words are italicized and George's aren't.  And while I know that, it still confuses me and I have to re-read the text.

I wish George (and Derek) had included more details about George's life.   We know that John wasn't happy with the fact that he was left out of George's story, however; if John really read the text, he would have seen that George left out just about everyone.   It is not like Paul or Ringo was in there a ton and John was left out.    Still, while it is just a skim of George's life there are still some interesting stories in that section.

The next section is the photo section, which I have always enjoyed.   Make sure to flip to the back of the book and read the funny captions that go with the pictures.  


The last section is the largest section and it is the lyrics of a large portion of the songs George has written.   You can see the lyric sheets written in George's handwriting as well as a description as to why George wrote the song.     This is where the extended version was well extended.   The original book ended with the song "Blow Away," but this 2017 edition has songs all the way through the end of George's song catalog.    

This is such an amazing part of the book.   First to see the songs in George's handwriting is really interesting.   One thing that stood out to me when I was reading through them was that George wrote the John tribute version of "All Those Years Ago" on December 12, 1980.    Just really three days after he learned of John's murder.   Re-writing that song must have really been part of George's grieving.     The stories are interesting.  I didn't realize 1.  How many songs came from words that are carved in the walls of Friar Park 2.   How many song George wrote to give to someone else and ended up keeping for himself.

I was disappointed that not ALL of George's songs are there.   A lot of them are, but Apple Scruffs was missing (and that is the one I really would love to see George's handwritten lyrics and thoughts about).     Sometimes I felt like George sort of went off the deep-end with his religious thinking with the songs.   However, I accept that is who George was.  But I guess I am not educated enough on Hinduism (although I have read some about it) to fully understand what he was talking about in some of the explanations of the songs.  

If you have the old version of I Me Mine do you need this expanded version?    Yes, especially if you are a George Harrison fan.   No, if you aren't that interested in George's lyrics and just want the photos and the written biography (as that didn't change).  


2 comments:

  1. And don't forget Olivia's beautiful introduction which was originally written for the 2002 reprint- I personally feel it is one of the most insightful things written about George and it gives interesting insights into his songwriting, humour and spirituality - all in a few pages. And it is just so filled with love.
    I love all the new lyrics- possibly some lyrics that are not in the book have been lost over the years

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  2. I just purchased this book and absolutely love it and George! Having been a fan for over 40 years!

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