When Harry Met Harry
Harry Nilsson is my favourite musician of all time!
When you have exhausted the info on my site please visit my friend Roger Smith's pages at:
...It was all a mistake,
actually. My dad, knowing that his teenage son was into Hammer Horror films
bought a very cheap copy of an album called
Son of Dracula for me for Christmas 1976. I played the album to death in my
bedroom over the next few months, falling in love with The Moonbeam Song and
Without You (which, sad git that I was, I'd never heard before!!!) and thinking
it was really naughty that Harry sang "pissing me off" in Daybreak!
Dad was chuffed that I enjoyed his present and raided the local record shop. He bought my sister an album of Barrel Organ Music (HONEST!!) and I got 'Harry'. That was it! To this day 'Harry' is my joint favourite Nilsson album and I reckon I know every note of every song inside out. (I was, until recently, Head of the Music Dept in a very large school in England and love studying music IN DEPTH).
When he went to London a few weeks later he brought a copy of 'A Little Touch...' home and, guess what - HE and mum loved that too, so Nilssons played all over the house (made a change from brass bands - which was always dad's number 1 listening fodder). I saved my pocket money and bought 'PSS', then Son of Schmilsson. That didn't get played all over the house (!!!) and if mum knew what was on it she'd have DEFINITELY stopped being a Harry Nilsson fan !!! (Guess what's my other joint favourite!!!)
The last Nilsson album I bought was 5 years later when I finally tracked down 'Nilsson sings Newman' in a basement shop in Oxford St. I'm still missing some rare B-sides and the Skidoo soundtrack, although I've got the film on video. I also recorded the BBC (Coconut) concert which was shown by the BBC after his death as a tribute.
I'm glad dad bought me that album and I've told him so many times. I remember buying 'Duit..' on import in Debenhams on my way to the beach in Hastings while on holiday - dad hated the sound of 'Jesus Christ You're Tall' which (as a minister of religion) he thought blasphemous (actually, it's also MY least fave Nilsson song) - and if he thought I was 'in favour' of Harry's lewd side he'd have 'grabbed a hold of MY vine' and chopped it off ! Ho Hum !
In the 80's (before I settled into my life of schoolteaching) I was a member of a pretty good rock band myself. I was known solely as Harry and my intro music on stage was, of course, Eric Idle's 'Flash Harry' opener.
Bless You, Harry, and…that is all…
(pictures above are from my visit to Zak Nilsson's house. I was privileged to play Harry's piano - WOW!. The other is of Zak and I with the statue of James Dean)
back to Nilsson menu