The Harry Nilsson Web Pages


Harry Nilsson News (2023-09-05)

The Dream Weaver Has Died

Gary Wright died at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California, on September 4, 2023. Although best known for his solo hits "Dream Weaver" and "Love Is Alive" - and having been born and raised in the US - Wright first caught the attention of music fans as a member of the British band Spooky Tooth in the late 1960s. Wright left the band in early 1970 to begin a career as a solo artist and session musician.

 

In 1971 Harry Nilsson recorded "Without You" which was destined to be his biggest hit. Rick Wakeman played the piano for an early take of the song, Nilsson and his producer, Richard Perry, decided that Wakeman's track was "too busy, too complex."

 

So we replaced Rick Wakeman with Gary Wright and he began, just like you hear on the record, very simple. It was just right![1]

 

 



Harry Nilsson News (2023-09-01)


The Lost Weekend: A Love Story Released on Home Video

A Blu-Ray of The Lost Weekend: A Love Story is being released in mid-October of 2023. It is currently available for pre-order from Amazon.com. The film is also available for purchase online through Amazon Prime.

 

Harry Nilsson News (2023-07-10)


Bob Segarini Has Died

Songwriter and performer, Bob Segarini, died in his sleep on July 10, 2023. He was 77 years of age.

 

Patty Faralla, a press agent for RCA, introduced Segarini to Harry Nilsson in 1965.

 

Harry and Bob wrote a song together. Segarini's group, Family Tree, released their version of "Miss Butter's Lament" on their 1968 album Miss Butters album. Nilsson's recording of the song went unreleased until 1995 when it appeared on the Personal Best - The Harry Nilsson Anthology album.

 

At Patty’s apartment the first time we met, we passed an old acoustic guitar back and forth and played our songs for one another. [...] Harry is dutifully impressed when I play him a tune or two. I hand him the guitar, and he starts singing: “Well in 1941 a happy father had a son.... [...] "Holy crap," I thought, "this guy is amazing."

 

In 1967, Bob introduced Harry to Diane Clatworthy, the secretary of the Family Tree fan club. Diane and Harry married on December 31, 1969, in Las Vegas.

 

Segarini wrote a song, "He Spins Around" about his friend, Harry Nilsson. It was released as the B-side of single in 1968 then on the CD release of the Miss Butters in 2007.

 

Harry and Bob's relationship soured in the mid to late 1970s as Harry's lifestyle became intertwined with the Beatles, drugs, and alcohol.


The last time I saw Harry was in line at the Carnegie Deli in New York. He was in front of me in an overcoat and I recognized the back of his head somehow. He was on his way to London to hang out, record, and move into Ringo’s flat for a while. He looked world weary, but still had the old twinkle in his eye. We reminisced while his limo idled out front, caught up, and had a few laughs waiting for our medium old fashioned (pastrami) on a Kaiser with double mustard, pickle on the side. When I asked after Diane, he said that they had gotten divorced, the twinkle in his eyes dimming, with what I could only imagine was caused by leaving his wife and young son behind, of abandoning them, of becoming his father.

 

 

Harry Nilsson News (2023-03-30)


Walk of Fame Star for Bill Bixby Campaign Meets Major Goal

Brandon Cruz's effort to have a star for Bill Bixby added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame has reached a major goal. The Go Fund Me account to raise money for the star has reached its goal and now the process for having the star approved and installed has begun.

 

You can follow the effort at:

 

https://m.facebook.com/100028543013324/

Harry Nilsson News (2023-03-13)

Drummer Jim Gordon Dies

Jim Gordon who contributed to several Harry Nilsson albums as a percussionist has died at the age of 77 on March 13, 2023.

 

More Harry Nilsson News ...


Featured Article of the Day


Derek Taylor

On September 8, 1997, Harry Nilsson's friend Derek Taylor died at his home in Suffolk, England, after a long illness. He was 65.

 

Derek Taylor was born in Liverpool, England on May 7, 1932. He was educated in the city and became a journalist for "The Hoylake and West Kirby Advertiser" before joining "The Liverpool Daily Post & Echo." In 1962, he became the show business correspondent for the northern edition of "The Daily Express," based in Manchester, England.

 

In 1958 he married Joan Doughty in Bebington, England.

 

On May 30th, 1963, Derek covered The Beatles's concert at The Manchester Odeon. In his review in "the Daily Express" the next day he wrote: "The Liverpool Sound came to Manchester last night, and I thought it was magnificent. . . The spectacle of these fresh, cheeky, sharp, young entertainers in apposition to the shiny-eyed teenage idolaters is as good as a rejuvenating drug for the jaded adult."

 

Following a number of subsequent exclusive interviews and reports on The Beatles, Derek developed a close relationship with the group, ghosting a weekly column by George Harrison for the "Express," and then ghosting Brian Epstein's biography, "A Cellarful Of Noise."

 

In April 1964, Derek became Brian Epstein's personal assistant and scriptwriter and The Beatles's Press Officer. He traveled with The Beatles on their world tour of 1964, and then resigned and moved to California, where - as a publicist - he represented The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Captain Beefheart, Paul Revere and The Raiders and co-founded the Monterey International Pop Music Festival of 1967.

 

As publicist for A&M Records, one of Derek's brainstorms in October, 1967 was to send a copy of the just-released Phil Ochs album Pleasures of the Harbor to president Lyndon Johnson (one of Ochs' more frequent targets, and lampooned in the song "Miranda" which appears on that album). A few days later, Taylor received a note from LBJ's personal secretary thanking him for his "kindness" in sending the album. A&M used the note as a graphic for ads for the album in underground newspapers for the next month.

 

It was in California in 1967 that Derek Taylor first met Harry Nilsson. Taylor described the events leading up to the meeting:

Slanted-patterned parking lot and the children in the cars of many colors were whining 'Why' and 'When' and stout and bouncing bobbing frozen-food-faced ladies in wobble-pink capris were roller-curling their basket-way to the fat and hungry Riviera trunks and we, store-sullen men, waited in the scorching smog-stained sun on various vinyl-shining seats when I button-pushed into a 17-bar song-snatch and Timothy, eight and bright, said, 'Oh, you're smiling now, why? Oh why? Why ... the song had said: 'He met a girl the kind of girl he'd wanted all his life. She was soft and kind and good to him and he took her for his wife. They got a house not far from town and in a little while the girl had seen the doctor and she came home with a smile. And in 1961 the happy father had a son ...' Such a fragment of song it was and from whom? It was new and hardly anything is new! And how could something come so strong and sudden so swiftly to snap the sad and slumberous Safeway stupor? Hayes, who rides the discs like Joel McCrea, said, '"1941," folks.' Oh, yes, he said, '"1941," by Nilsson.' Nilsson. 'Nilsson' he said, again, and told us it was good, and that was why we smiled, Timothy, we smiled because it was good ...

Derek tracked Harry down and met him at the bar of the La Brea Inn in Los Angeles, California. He also bought a case of Harry's Pandemonium Shadow Show album and mailed the LPs to his friends ... including The Beatles.

 

Derek brought Harry to the attention of Nat Weiss at the Beatles' management company, NEMS. NEMS attempted to lure Nilsson from RCA, but during negotiations Brian Epstein died and the offer was apparently forgotten.

 

In 1968, with the institution of Apple Corps, Derek returned to England with his wife Joan and their children to become The Beatles' Press Officer, casually establishing his legendary press "salon" at the Apple building in Saville Row, from where he befriended all comers and addressed the world.

 

With the break-up of The Beatles in 1970 Derek joined Warner, Elektra and Atlantic Records (WEA), rising to vice-president at Warner Bros. in America by 1977. During this period, he produced albums by George Melly and John Le Mesurier as well as Harry Nilsson's A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night.

 

In 1978, he left Warner Bros. to become a writer. Derek wrote and consulted on numerous books, among them George Harrison's biography, I, Me, Mine and Michelle Phillips's California Dreamin', and his own works, including As Time Goes By and It Was Twenty Years Ago Today.

 

In the mid-80s, Derek returned to Apple Corps, from where he orchestrated and controlled the massively-successful launches of The Beatles Live at the BBC and, perhaps rock and roll's greatest multi-media success of all time, The Beatles Anthology.

Derek Taylor Interview

 

Sir Paul McCartney paid tribute to Derek. He said: "He was a beautiful man. It's a time for tears. Words may come later."

 

McCartney's publicist and Derek Taylor's "Anthology" press assistant Geoff Baker commented, "Derek leaves a thousand friends. Derek was not only the World's Greatest Press Officer, he was also one of the funniest, kindest and most decent men you could have met. All who did meet him, loved him. In 1969, The Beatles sang 'and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.' Derek Taylor was the proof of that equation."

 

Rupert Perry, Chairman of the EMI Records Group, UK & Ireland, said, "The untimely death of Derek Taylor is a sad loss for our industry and especially for those of us at EMI privileged to have known him. During his years holding the outside world together during the crazy days of Apple at 3 Saville Row, and more recently as the constant voice of sanity and reason amidst the furor of The Beatles' 'new' recordings and reunions, Derek's calmness and infinite charm and wisdom cooled many a hot head. Despite his illness, Derek continued to provide support to The Beatles, Apple and EMI, and we will remember him with great affection and gratitude."

 

Derek Taylor leaves a wife, Joan, and children Timothy, Dominic, Gerard, Abigail, Vanessa and Annabel - and thousands of friends.

 

Derek Taylor wrote more words ... and wrote more passionately ... about Harry Nilsson's music than anyone else. He had a wonderful way with words. Unfortunately, I am not as talented as Mr. Taylor, so I borrowed most of the above from Derek's official biography as released by Apple. -- Roger Smith

 

Derek's poetry was exceptional and I wish I could recall the jaggedy little poem he wrote about southern California shopping center parking lots that Harry Nilsson used to recite with such relish and exquisite attention to detail. Now there was a pair, Harry and Derek. They were dark-side-of-the-moon twins, those two. And what a delicious tiny little private victory of my own life to have been allowed to sit between those two men and watch the cosmic gears grind while the stars flashed overhead. They must be together, if there is any order in the Cosmos. They must have staked out a tidy little pub somewhere over on the east side of Paradise, and they must be sitting there now laughing, not in an unkind way, about my pathetic efforts to describe how dear this fellow was. How dry his wit, how deliciously deep his soul, and how impeccable and unswerving his honesty, his honor, his love for his family, his turn of phrase, his wry smile, his unexpected noble gesture. -- Jimmy Webb

 

Derek has been one of the great influences on my life. I've had others. Lenny Bruce - I used to memorize all his routines. Ray Charles, whose Newport 1958 is one of the classic recordings of all time. Also, the Everly Brothers, Little Richard, and, of course, Elvis. ... [Derek] is a brilliant man; the most brilliant man I've ever met. -- Harry Nilsson

Welcome to the Harry Nilsson Web Pages

This site is dedicated to the music and memory of Harry Nilsson. From the late 1960s through the early '90s, Nilsson produced music that both challenged norms and celebrated the past - often within the same song.
On first listen, his early Pandemonium Shadow Show is just an appealing collection of bouncy pop songs, a product of the time when it was released. But, on closer listen songs like "1941" and "Without Her" feature poignant and wistful lyrics on top of their upbeat, pop melodies. To the listener in the late 1960s, the melodies and songs, such as “Freckles” sometimes invoked what would have seemed a nostalgic air, but they still sound fresh more than fifty years later.
Nilsson remained unconventional throughout his career. He never toured to support an album and he made few TV appearances. He released an album of songs which were all written by another songwriter. He recorded an album of standards in front of an orchestra. He followed up his best selling album and song with an album featuring a song pretty much guaranteed to surprise, if not offend, his new fans.
Harry ventured into movies and TV, creating a classic animated story (“The Point!”) and writing the music and songs for the once-panned, but now cult favorite, film Popeye starring Robin Williams.
In the last years of his life, after his friend John Lennon was shot and killed, Harry stepped back from music and, ironically perhaps, more into the public eye as the spokesperson for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence advocating for sensible gun laws in America.
A heart attack took Harry’s life in early 1994. Yet, his memory lives on in the hearts and minds of his friends, family, and fans. And his music lives on with Sony releasing a comprehensive collection of his works on CD and his music being featured prominently in TV and movies.
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