Friday, 20 June 2014

Guest Mini Book Review: While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Here's a guest review by BSA forum member Andy Getch. Enjoy.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps - The Music of George Harrison by Simon Leng (first published in the UK in 2003), review based on the Hal Leonard U.S. edition 2006.

Written after George's passing, this book chronologically follows George's musical story, but this is NOT a biography. I recommend it for a musician/fan of George Harrison, interested in his role in The Beatles and the evolution of his solo career.

The Good

There is something here about nearly (do I dare say every?) recorded published track here, even obscure B-sides and side projects. Musicians and instruments are listed for each song and summarized with a fair bit of information, with comments on the story, arrangements, etc. typically included. This is a musician's book about a musician. It generally keeps that focus, providing quotes from other musicians and detail in musical terms.

The Not So Good

The "unappreciated Beatle" refrain gets old after awhile. Only the first 40 or so pages of the 330 pages in the book are devoted specifically to George in the Beatles years. The same amount of ink is devoted to the late 60's solo project Wonderwall Music and All Things Must Pass. References and comparisons to Beatle days are sprinkled through the rest of the book. There is a fair bit of ink devoted to George's spiritual journey and how it influenced his music. That may put some people off.

Andy Getch is 6th year hobbyist guitarist songwriter and lifelong Beatles fan.

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