The Lafayette, Louisiana, band decided to record the songs for the EP after appearing at a Harry Nilsson tribute. Embuing the songs with the group’s “trademark pop schizophrenia” – while ensuring that they can be performed live – took several months.
“Nilsson is a gifted songwriter, overshadowed by his famous friends.” explained Brass Bed’s frontman, Christiaan Maderstill, “His work hearkens back, in the best ways, to a time when the song itself was the prize. So it bears revisiting with new ideas for production.”
Keys goes on to describe working with Harry on several of Harry’s albums and songs and their friendship. “We got to be real good friends. […] I can’t really explain it. Just, sometimes, you have a connection with someone.”
Harry Nilsson’s “Best Friend” is heard in the trailer for Seth MacFarlane’s feature film “Ted” which is scheduled to be released in the US in July of 2012. The live action comedy stars Mark Wahlberg and features a talking teddy bear (voiced by MacFarlane).
Harry first lived in an apartment at 762 Jefferson Ave. in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York. Harry described Bushwick as “a crummy place to grow up if you’re blonde and white.” In a radio interview, Harry described being attacked by a group of teenaged girls which walking in the neighborhood.
After signing a $5 million contract with RCA, Harry had a home custom designed and built at 10549 Rocca Place in Bel Air, California. Designed by architect Eugene Kupper, the 7,640 square foot home was built on about one-acre of land in 1977.
Harry Nilsson wrote the songs and composed the soundtrack for the film Popeye starring Robin Williams. During the filming of Popeye, Harry and the other musicians stayed in Malta near the Sweethaven set buit for the film. The buildings and other fixtures of the fictional town live on as a tourist attraction called Popeye’s Village.
The RCA Building on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, is now the home of the Los Angeles Film School. Until the mid-1980s, the building was RCA’s west coast headquarters and housed RCA/Victor’s recording studios used by artists from Elvis Presley to Henry Mancini. The studio was the location for many of Harry Nilsson’s recordings.
If you know of any other locations to add to this travelogue, please leave a comment and I’ll try to add the site to this post.