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


Gil Garfield

Gil Garfield was one of Nilsson's earliest supporters. He cowrote several songs with Harry Nilsson including "Paradise" which was recorded by the Ronettes in 1965.

 

 

Gilbert Ivan Garfield was born on May 30, 1933, to Harold and Harriet Garfield. His father owned a chain of drug stores, Mid-City Drug Stores, in California and had branched out into real estate. Celebrities including Roy Rogers, Susan Hayward, Lou Costello lived on Gil's street when he was a child.

 

Garfield graduated from North Hollywood High School then enrolled at the University of Southern California as a business major. While attending USC, Gil Garfield began performing and writing songs. He formed a group called The Cheers with Sally Bremer[1] and Bert Convy. Perry Botkin arranged the vocals for the group's recording of "(Bazoom) I Need Your Lovin'" which reached number three on the US charts in 1954. Signed to a five-year contract with Capitol, the group had a second top-ten hit the next year with "Black Denim Trousers and Motor Cycle Boots." Both of the hit songs were written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

 

 

The group was earning $5000 a week as headliners on the nightclub circuit, but Garfield felt pressured to quit. "I was terrified every waking moment we were on the road. I had become one of Harold Garfield's disciples, you see, totally dependent on him. I couldn't take any pride in what I was doing because he had always downgraded it. He would telephone me wherever we were playing and say 5,000 was nothing, a drop in the bucket; he wanted me back in the business. The Business." 

 

Garfield stopped performing with The Cheers in 1995 and was replaced by Perry "Bunny" Botkin. As Sally Bremer explained, "When Bunny came out of the Army, Gil decided to quit show business. So Bunny joined the act."

 

Garfield began working as a contractor building homes for his father's real estate development company, Desser-Garfield Developments. Garfield continued working as a real estate developer even as he partnered with Perry Botkin to write songs and publish music.

 

 

 

In 1958, Garfield appeared on TV as a member of a singing quartet in an episode of "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show." Ronnie Burns sang the lead for "She's Kinda Cute" which was written by Perry Botkin, Gil Garfield, and Pat Murtagh. Burns' performance of the song was released as a single.

 

 

 

 

Together with Perry Botkin, Garfield wrote "I Want My Baby Back" for Jimmy Cross and the hit "Wonderful Summer" recorded by Robin Ward.

 

After Harold Garfield died in 1967, Gil Garfield took over the family business.

 

In addition to music and real estate, Garfield was also successful in the apparel business. He and his sister, Suzanne Garfield, designed and marketed a line of children's clothing called "Ivan Joy." They later attempted to sell a product called "Pan-T-Boot" which combined pantyhose with built-in shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

Garfield continued to work in the music field. In 1972, A&M released a promotional single by Garfield of "Are You Going Out Tonight" backed with "The Prodigy." At the same time, A&M distributed a press release announcing an upcoming "very controversial concept album" by Gil Garfield which "deals with the difficult existence of a child - then man - who knows he is different - and whose parents misunderstand this difference. Promoting the never-released autobiographical album, Love Me For My Legs, Gil said, "I have enough money to last me twenty lifetimes."

 

Garfield composed the theme for the 1974 TV show Adam's Rib with Perry Botkin and would occasionally play piano and sing at social events, but with A&M not releasing Love Me For My Legs, Garfield stepped back from creating and playing music.

 

In the 1990s, Gil Garfield began actively collect art to exhibit his own paintings and mixed-media artworks. "I find a satisfaction and fulfillment in painting that I have never had in my life."

 

Garfield died of cancer on January 1, 2011, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. He was survived by Mike Hiles, his partner for ten years.

 



  • [1] Incorrectly reported as "Sue Allen" or "Susan Allen" by Wikipedia and many other places on the internet

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.