Pussy Cats

(for Pussy Cats (2) - 'Sub-alcoholic Home-share Blues' please click here)

 

The album Pussy Cats was written in a period of chaos in Harry's life, to say the least.  He had moved out of the London flat he had lived in while creating the 'Schmilsson' albums and had separated from his wife Diane.  If that was not enough turmoil he moved to LA and shared a house there with John Lennon (also separated from Yoko - it was Lennon's 'Lost Weekend' era), Keith Moon and Ringo Starr.  To say a fair bit of 'heavy drinking' went on is not just to understate the obvious but to imply the reader has no knowledge at all of the nature of the beings concerned!

One night (while, unsurprisingly, inebriate) Lennon agreed to produce Harry's next album.  Work began...and the parties continued.  All have heard the story of how Harry and John were thrown out of the Troubadour nightclub for 'heckling' during a performance by 'The Smothers Brothers' (see right).

The biggest problem arrived, of course, when Harry finally tried to sing...his familiar, velvet voice had become the victim of the self-destructive atmosphere; a ruptured vocal cord the price he paid.  With bleeding throat he finished the album, a legacy of Harry and John's lasting friendship.

Many years later, while invigilating a very boring Science examination I wrote the following poem which was published in 'Everybody's Talkin'', the magazine for Nilsson fans.  I am proud to say that Curtis Armstrong, Nilsson-fan and tireless archive-snooper, ex-Booger and Harryfest friend told me it was 'his favorite poem'!

 

 

 

Pussy Cats

Sing-a-song of sixpence

A bottle full of rye.

O'Boogie, Moon and Starkey

Soon drank the bottle dry.

So, they opened up another

As the tapes began to roll

And, while Harry laughed his ass off

The bottle took its toll.

 

And they had their share of good times

As their spirits kept them high...

And they left us with an album...

And they left us wondering why

The Almighty, in His wisdom,

When He said, 'My will be done',

Deemed Pussy Cats get nine lives

But our heroes only one.

HarryMusic 1999

 

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