Nilsson in the News

With the release of the Harry Nilsson Biography and a new box set of Nilsson’s recordings, Harry Nilsson is receiving numerous mentions in the news and other media.

Harry Nilsson in the News

Douglas Wolk illustrates his overview of Nilsson’s career and it’s affect on others, The Surprising, Lasting Influence of Harry Nilsson, at mtvhive.com with videos of Nilsson and others performing Harry’s songs.

On August 6, Jane Fonda talked with Jimmy Fallon about Harry Nilsson’s Nilsson Schmilsson album which was produced by Fonda’s boyfriend, Richard Perry.

Geoff Edgers talked with Van Dyke Parks and Lee Blackman for his August 3 Boston Globe article, Harry Nilsson gets star treatment in new set, book. Edgars also appeared on WBUR’s Radio Boston show to talk about Nilsson (Rediscovering Musician Harry Nilsson).

Sean Fennessey describes Nilsson as “the great lost music genius of the 1970s” in his grantland.com article Deconstructing Harry (August 2).

Ben Greenman lists “The Ten Best Lesser-Known Nilsson Songs” in his July 30, New Yorker article.

While discussion the biography and box set, Slate describes Nilsson as a cross between John Lennon and Paul McCartney: “Harry Nilsson had John’s perversity, Paul’s whimsy, and one of the strangest careers in singer-songwriter history.”

More from the News and Media:

 

Nilsson Bio Coming in July

Nilsson: The Life of a Singer-Songwriter by Alyn Shipton, is scheduled to be published in July of this year. The 352 page biography traces Harry Nilsson’s life from his Brooklyn childhood to his Los Angeles adolescence and his gradual emergence as a uniquely talented singer-songwriter. With interviews from friends, family, and associates, and material drawn from Harry’s unfinished autobiography, Shipton probes beneath the enigma to discover the real Harry Nilsson.

Nilsson: The Life of a Singer-Songwriter - Book Jacket

Nilsson: The Life of a Singer-Songwriter (Click to Enlarge)

Every Night’s a Saturday Night: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Life of Legendary Sax Man Bobby Keys

In his new memoir, Every Night’s a Saturday Night: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Life of Legendary Sax Man Bobby Keys, session musician Bobby Keys describes Harry Nilsson as “a bit of a boozer and a really smart guy, very witty.” Although Nilsson “was a Yankee,” Keys describes himself and Nilsson as “birds of a feather.”

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.”

Take a Virtual Tour of Nilsson-Related Sites

Through the internet and Google maps, you can tour sites of significance in Harry Nilsson’s life.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.