Monday, January 15, 2024

Remembering Harry


This was said to be Harry's favorite photo of him and Ringo. 

Today, 30 years ago, the world lost the fantastic singer and songwriter Harry Nilsson.   Harry was a fascinating man, and if you have never seen the documentary about him, it is well worth watching.  Harry was one of the few people who could honestly call himself a friend of each of the individual Beatles, even after the break up of the group.    He was especially close to John, and I think Ringo would have considered Harry to be his best friend (currently, I think Ringo's best friend is Joe Walsh, but I know Ringo still feels really highly of Harry because he won't talk about him since he gets super emotional).   

For the longest time, I have been looking for the story I heard about what happened at Harry's funeral.  I finally located it and wanted to share it.   George said the funniest thing during the funeral.  If you haven't heard the story, here it is:

“The funeral was beautiful,” journalist Dawn Eden wrote of the occasion. “Mark Hudson and Jimmy Webb were among the speakers. Others in attendance, besides Harry’s wife of over 20 years (Una) and his seven children (the youngest of which, Oscar, is only two), were George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, the songwriter Paul Williams, Henry Gibson, Micky Dolenz, Van Dyke Parks, and Jim Keltner. I was impressed to see such famous people acting completely human. They were obviously there because they really loved Harry Nilsson.”

During the ceremony, former Beatle George Harrison caused a momentary stir after blurting out, “Fuck you,” which was crucially followed by worthy reasoning and a comedic, sentimental sing-along.

Record producer Mark Hudson recalled Harrison’s initially startling exclamation. “There was the time at Harry Nilsson’s funeral,” Hudson said. “Every songwriter was there – Jimmy Webb, Paul Williams, Van Dyke Parks, George, the list of people was scary, and it was the day [of] the last big L.A. earthquake. So, we are all sad and sullen and standing around the grave and George goes, ‘Fuck You.’ And we are all shocked, and we thought he was having some kind of angst. And then he says, ‘That was always my favourite song: You’re Breaking My Heart, Tearing it Apart, Well Fuck you,’ so then we all joined in and sang it.”


  1. There are photos of Paul and Ringo, around 1975/76 posing with Harry outside of a building. Also in the photos are Linda, Elton John and Joe English. These might be the only photos that I recall of Paul with Harry. There might be some of them together inside from the same day. I had hoped that they would have been included here for the Harry tribute. I don't recall any photos of George with Harry. Do you? (MarkZapp)

  2. How could I have forgotten about the photos of Harry with John AND Paul from 1974? Linda also in the photos. (MarkZapp)