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VCV: George Harrison – “Be Here Now”

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In a conversation with fellow BC Music Editor Donald Gibson he mentioned today would have been George Harrison's 67th birthday.  I don't know if he carries that sort of information around at instant recall or not, but I hadn't been consciously aware of it until he told me.  I knew immediately what to do with the information, though, and today's VCV was born.

As a kid, Ringo was my favorite Beatle.  For years after, I'd vacillate between John and Paul because "everyone" knows they were where it was at.  Then, over the past few years, when I started really listening for myself I became particularly drawn to George.  I also learned to overcome the reductivist thinking that suggests if I call George my favorite I'm somehow doing a disservice to the works of McCartney, Lennon, or Starr.  Among the messages of Harrison's music, and there often were messages in his words, was that the world is infinite.  It doesn't have to be a zero-sum game.  Liking one thing doesn't diminish your ability to like something else just as much.  Liking something more doesn't have to diminish something else.  Love is all around us and it's always possible to love more.

"Be Here Now" is a song that works for the occasion on many levels.  The simple words "Be Here Now" represent my wish for George that he, like his music, could be here now.  Harrison's music, like all great music, is about a connection.  Music connects.  Different music connects differently, but it's all about connecting in some way and on some level.  I didn't know the creator personally but I know him through what he shared musically and knowing that person is no longer with us and left so young is sad.

Another part of Harrison's message is contained in this song and that is the encouragement to live in the moment and embrace the now.  It's easier said than done but there is an important lesson.  The past was.  This is now.  You'll never have this moment in time again, so be here.  Be present.  Show up.  Report for duty.  Give this moment a chance to be a blessing, to be special.  Let this moment be a chance for you to be a blessing and to give something to others.  Learn from the past but leave it where it is and be in the present — be here now.

"Be Here Now" is also the name of an Oasis record which represents on some level his legacy and influence, something that will continue on through the generations through his music.  George's life was but his music is and it will continue to be.  We normally give gifts to someone on their birthday, but George has left the gifts for us.

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About Josh Hathaway

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    what a nice present. I think he would have liked it

  • adam12

    Lovely tribute to George – thank you! Also think “That is All” on the same record is a nice birthday song. A song to his God – his life partner – and to us.

  • Josh Hathaway

    Thanks Bicho, Adam.

    I came in to work this morning and a co-worker and I started talking about All Things Must Pass. I think I know what I’m going to be listening to throughout the day.

  • http://www.merchantsofrock.com Curt Wynn

    Nice Article Josh. Great tune, I love George, and am upset I didn’t realize it was his Bday yesterday. Another under the radar Harrison song I love is “Stuck inside a cloud” from the Brainwashed record.

  • Josh Hathaway

    Brainwashed is a brilliant record.