The Harry Nilsson Web Pages

Harry Nilsson News (2022-08-09)

The Nilsson Show - A Tribute to the Songs of Harry Nilsson at the Colony in Woodstock, NY (September 22, 2022)

On September 22, 2022, Eric Squindo Presents will present The Nilsson Show - A Tribute to the songs of Harry Nilsson at the Colony performing arts theater in Woodstock, New York.


Since 2019, Eric Squindo Presents has been producing a unique brand of tribute shows for the Colony stage. Paying homage to influential writers such as Tom Waits and Dolly Parton, to the songs of The Muppets and 'The Basement Tapes' (Bob Dylan & The Band), the events have brought together some of the Hudson Valley's finest musicians to deliver their own stylized interpretations. Collaboration between musicians, and an intimate 'at home' atmosphere offer a one-of-a-kind experience that these events have been celebrated for.[1]


Harry Nilsson News (2022-07-20)

Harry Nilsson's "Perfect Day" Opens Episode of "Better Call Saul"

Harry Nilsson's "Perfect Day'" plays during the opening montage of season six, episode nine of the TV show "Better Call Saul." Rather than Nilsson's original version, the show uses a new recording of the song by Dresage and Slow Shiver. The episode originally aired on July 18, 2022. Supposedly, a new recording of the song was commissioned because the original version wasn't long enough for the scene.


"Perfect Day" by Dresage and Slow Shiver



Harry Nilsson News (2022-06-17)

Harry Nilsson Tribute Night, June 26, 2022, at Long Play Lounge - East (Austin, Texas)

On June 22, 2022, The Long Play Lounge - East in Austin, Texas, will host the "Harry Nilsson Tribute Night."


The evening features Juliet McConkey, Andy Bianculli (Star Parks), P. T. Banks, Stephanie Hunt (Buffalo Hunt), Matt Gilchrist, and Sam Rives performing Harry Nilsson'sThe Point!” The show starts at 9:00pm and costs $10.


For more information, visit



Harry Nilsson News (2022-05-20)

See the "The Point!" with Kiefo Nilsson and Pamela Adlon

Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga, California, will preview its 2022 Summer repertory season on June 4, 2022, at 4pm.


Following a presentation from each of the four plays in the summer season will be a live performance of Harry Nilsson’s 1970 album, The Point! starring Kiefo Nilsson, Pamela Adlon, and a 14-piece orchestra.


For more information and tickets, please visit:



Harry Nilsson News (2022-04-04)

Original LCD Soundsystem Members Reunite for DFA Records 20th Anniversary Party

LCD Soundsystem's original line-up has performed together at a party celebrating the twentieth anniversary of DFA Records.


The last time that the group's original members, James Murphy, Nancy Whang, Pat Mahoney, Tyler Pope, and Phil Mossman shared the stage together was fifteen years earlier.


At the March 26, 2022, party in New York City the group played five songs including Harry Nilsson's "Jump Into the Fire" which had last been performed by the group on April 2, 2011, at Madison Square Garden. LCD Soundsystem often included "Jump Into the Fire" as an encore to end their concerts. [1]






More Harry Nilsson News ...

Featured Article of the Day

Why is a Mouse That Spins?

By Roger Smith

Originally published in Everybody's Talkin' Volume 1997.2


On the back of Harry Nilsson's Aerial Ballet album cover is the cryptic message "Why is a mouse that spins." I suppose I'm not the only Harry fan to have puzzled over the meaning of the phrase. When I asked in the Internet's Harry Nilsson Mailing List if anyone knew what it meant, I really didn't expect an answer. Nevertheless, David Stetson was able to point to a reference. The Guardian Weekly's web page on the Internet ( has a column called "Notes and Queries." In one edition of the column, a reader asks:


In a Christmas cracker my mother found the conundrum 'Why is a mouse when it spins?' The answer was given as 'Because the higher, the fewer.' Is there any meaning to this?


John Nixon, of Horley, Surrey, responded "this nonsense question was popular among the RAF apprentices at Halton, Bucks, in the early 1950s, when the full version was: 'Why is a mouse when it spins? Because the higher they fly the fewer, and the engine driver's name was Smith. Why was his name Smith? Because his father's name was Smith.' Apart from the logic of the last bit, the repartee had no meaning whatsoever and was probably the precursor of the Monty Python type of humor."


Geoff Black, of Cambridge, added "the correct wording should have been 'Why does a mouse when it spins?' with the then obvious answer 'Higher or lower'. At least that was the version which sixth formers at Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool used in the early 1960s to test the gullibility of younger members of the school such as myself. It was rumored that it had been devised by John Lennon, a pupil at the school until 1959, but perhaps I am being gullible in believing this."


Maurice F. deCogan, of Dalkey, County Dublin, spins his own tale: "1919 - The Black and Tans were prodding the armchairs with bayonets to see if the stuffing was hand-grenades. We kids were lined against the wall. 'When is your husband expected?' the officer asked my mother. 'When is a mouse when she spins?' she replied, adding, to his elevated eyebrows, 'The higher the fewer'. He and we knew the conversation was closed. He gathered his men and left - without finding the wireless transmitter under the aspidistra."


Peter M. Horsey MA, of Stockbury, Sittingbourne, Kent, says that the riddle fist came to his attention when he was a student fresher in 1942: "At the same time another phrase was popular. In answer to any question to which one could give no answer, such as 'Have you seen so-and-so?' or 'Have you read such-and-such?' the reply would be 'No, but my sister rides a bicycle.' There was also a sort of son-of-mouse to which the answer was 'No, but you can clean a straw hat with a lemon.' Unfortunately I've forgotten the question. Although this appears to be so much student nonsense, it taught me the meaning of non sequitur. As Hugh Lloyd said to Tony Hancock in 'The Blood Donor,' 'For things unknown there is no knowing.'"


Finally Patrick Nethercot, of Durham, offers a reasonable explanation: "This peculiar saying relates to a certain type of governor on steam engines, whereby revolutions of the engine are reduced if a spinning weight (mouse) is lifted up a shaft by its centrifugal force, releasing steam pressure and ensuring fewer revs: the higher, the fewer. Such systems were common on static engines like those found originally in cotton mills in the heyday of the steam revolution."


Note: Additional responses have been added on the Guardian's web page since this article was published in 1997.


A more authoritative discussion of the history and meaning of the phrase is found on the website Word Histories which traces the idiom back to the late 1800s.



External Links

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.