Harryfest 2001 Scrapbook

Welcome to Roger and Bracha Smith's Harryfest 2001 scrapbook.


Note: This story was originally created and updated daily (like a blog) while we were attending the Harryfest in 2001. It has been updated a bit here.



We flew out of Orlando and arrived in London on Friday morning, May 4. After arriving in England, we made our way to the fabulous Hotel Russell in Russell Square.


May 4 - Harryfest Dinner

The Harryfest began with a dinner buffet ... and a collection of Harry Nilsson memorabilia.




Curtis Armstrong (Center) with Andrea and John Sheridan


Ted Parkinson, Zak and Leslie Nilsson, and Roger Smith


Bracha Smith

May 4 - Harryfest


John and Pam Murphy


Rinus deMan and Curtis Armstrong


William Dobson and Andrea

May 4 - Andrea's Cape

Andrea brought her RCA Son of Schmilsson promotional vampire cape (which each of us had to try on!).



May 5 - Bus Tour and Lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe

On Saturday, the Harryheads embarked on a bus tour of London.

We stopped for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe in Mayfair.

On display near where we were seated was the "denim jacket" worn by John Lennon when he and Harry Nilsson were gently escorted from the Troubadour after they had warmly greeted the Smothers Brothers during their comedy act.


May 5 - London Eye

After lunch we took a ride on the London Eye.


While we waited in line, a BBC Radio reporter, Ronnie Bergman, interviewed a few of us including Roger Smith, Zak Nilsson, and Marc Harry


Then we boarded the "Eye."

May 5 - Harryfest Dinner

Friday night we got together at the hotel for a dinner with a special guest.



John and Pam Murphy


Marc Harry (seated, left) Introduced our special guest, Rob Burt


Rob Burt holds a special place in the hearts of Harry Nilsson fans. It was his discovery of unreleased recordings from the A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night sessions and his perseverance which lead to them being released as A Touch More Schmilsson in the Night.


Note: I didn't include the following when I first posted this to the Harry Nilsson Web Pages twenty years ago.


After sharing stories about his relationship with Harry Nilsson, uncovering the "lost" Touch of Schmilsson recordings, and producing the A Touch More Schmilsson in the Night album, Rob paused to take questions. Then he collapsed in front of us, apparently from a major heart attack.


Leslie Nilsson and others performed CPR on Rob until an ambulance arrived and took him to the hospital. Bracha and I told a police officer that we concerned about Rob's son who came to the event with Rob. Since Rob was not from London, we were concerned that his son might not have anyone local to help him. The policeman suggested that we go to the hospital to help if we can. In retrospect, I can't imagine how we thought we, two Americans thousands of miles from home in a city we had never visited before, could be of any assistance. But, at that moment we were not thinking clearly.


We weren't at the hospital for long before a doctor told us that Rob died. We also learned that Rob's son had a friend in London who was on the way to the hospital. Someone at the hospital arranged for a taxi to take us back to the Hotel Russell.

May 6 - Breakfast

I avoided talking about the Saturday morning breakfast when I originally posted about the Harryfest twenty years ago, So, this entry is new.


Saturday morning, we gathered at the hotel for an English breakfast. I enjoyed the food, including the black pudding and HP Sauce. But, of course, everyone was in a somber mood due to Rob's passing.


In order to end the Harryfest on an upbeat note, I announced that Harryfest 2002 would be held in Orlando, Florida.

May 6 - Walking Around London

After breakfast, Bracha and I joined Zak and Leslie for a walking tour of London.


Light rain fell as we left the hotel, but it soon stopped.


We boarded the London Underground at a nearby station and found ourselves in Picadilly Circus just one stop later.


Bracha and Roger at "The Horses Of Helios"


Of course, we had to go into the HMV store!


Look what I found! It is the Harry/Nilsson Sings Newman CD featuring liner notes by ... Roger Smith.


We saw a couple getting married in Trafalgar Square


That's Zak behind the camera.


Outside Buckingham Palace


At Buckingham Palace, we saw a crew filming a TV production.


Some of the actors (but not the horses) were nice enough to talk to us.


Just before we went back to the hotel to prepare for our flight out of England, we had lunch with some of the Harryfest people at an Italian restaurant.



May 6 - Goodbyes

Those of us still in the area joined John and Pam in their room to watch some Nilsson videos, talk a bit, and say goodbye.


Watching the Tonight Show Episode with Ringo Starr (Note the Button He is Wearing!)


Pam, John, and Bracha



And so ended our Harryfest 2001 adventure!

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