Written by Michael Christopher
Later this month will see the release of “The Lightning Came: Twenty Poems for George,” in which author and producer Olivia Harrison dedicated 20 poems to her late husband, George Harrison. The book dedicated to the Beatles’ lead guitarist, solo singer/songwriter, and travel member Willburys comes on the 20th anniversary of his death.
“Came the Lightening,” released June 21 and available for pre-order now, is an exploration of Olivia’s relationship with George that is at once intimate, calm, and powerful. Her poems transcend time and space to celebrate the love that embraces all of life’s moments, from its towering peaks to secluded valleys. It checks out the good stuff, the band, and everything in between.
As a contributor to Concert for George, the revised version of I Me Mine as well as author of the bestselling George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Olivia Harrison is no stranger to writing beautiful words that have an ethereal connection to love. Now, in its first non-fictional biopic, this book of poems is her first appearance in another form.
Olivia curated a selection of photos and memorabilia to accompany the collection of poems in “Came the Lightening,” including never-before-seen photos of her and George. Director Martin Scorsese, an old friend and director of the 2011 documentary, “George Harrison: Living in the Material World,” wrote the preface as he called the book “autobiographical in both rhyme and reason.”
The poems, at the end of the day, are meant to embrace the love between George and Olivia and encourage readers to be kind with their hearts—like facing death and grief—as they unveil the sweet and spiritual moments that still reside within them. “The Lightning Came, Twenty Poems by George” is a testament to the love that lasts even when someone leaves this earth.
Olivia is a film producer who first worked in the Los Angeles music industry for A&M Records, where she met George and then helped run the Dark Horse record label. She co-produced the 2002 Grammy-winning film “George’s Concert”, which she organized in memory of her late husband. Olivia also received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality Film Special from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2012 for her role as a producer on the Scorsese documentary.
In 2005, coinciding with the album and film re-release of the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh, she created the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF with an initial focus on programming in Bangladesh. The Fund has also helped children affected by civil conflict, natural disasters or poverty in Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Angola, Romania, the Horn of Africa, Burma, Nepal and Mexico.
As Director of the Material World Foundation, a charity established by George in 1973, Olivia oversees her ongoing work encouraging and promoting the exploration of alternative and diverse forms of artistic expression and philosophies.
vinyl of the week
Keep an eye on this spot as every week we’ll be looking for new or soon-to-be-released vinyl from a variety of artists. It could be a re-compression of a historical record, a special edition, or a new collection of a legendary work. This week, it’s the greatest ’80s-focused compilation from one of Hard Rock’s most fluid outfits.
“Greatest Results: Revisited *Reconstructed *Reformed at the Seventy-second”
Whitesnake continues to revisit her multi-platinum career as she remixes some of her biggest hits for a new group highlighting updated versions of classic tracks such as “Still of The Night,” “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love.” The record hits stores next Friday and coincides with the “Whitesnake: The Farewell Tour” that is currently underway in Europe and will make its way to the United States the following summer and fall.
Whitesnake founder and singer, David Coverdale, has had 16 tracks remixed and remastered for ‘Greatest Hits: Revisited * Remixed * Remastered MMXXII’, which comes on 180 grams of double-sided vinyl. Twelve of them were on the band’s original “Greatest Hits” which came out in 1994. The head of the showdown explained in a statement that not only were more of their songs, but also updated.
“We definitely expanded on the original ‘Greatest Hits’, took them all from the sonic time capsule of the ’80s and ’90s, and updated them in a proper way,” Coverdale said. “As always, we have the original albums for those who consider them sacred relics.”
Keyboardist Derek Sherinian, who also appeared in Whitesnake’s recent “Red, White and Blues” trilogy, adds Organ Hammond to more than half of the songs in the group. His contributions can be heard on songs #1 “Here I Go Again”, “A Fool for Your Love”, “You’ll Break My Heart Again” and more. New performances by former Whitesnake guitarist Adrian Vandenberg can also be heard on “The Deeper the Love” and “Judgement Day” from the 1989 album, “Slip of the Tongue.”
Along with these new additions, Coverdale is also back in the vault to reveal old performances by guitarist John Sykes that didn’t appear on the original recordings, including solos on “Slide It In” and rhythm guitar on “Give Me All Your Love.”
The LP focuses heavily on three popular albums released by the band during their peak period in the 1980s. The two-time platinum album “Slide It In” from 1984, the eight-time platinum album from 1987, and the platinum album “Slip of the Tongue” from 1989. But the group goes deeper with songs like “Sweet Lady Luck,” and the B-side hit on track 12. inch for “The Deeper the Love” and “Foreverever,” the lead single on the band’s 2011 album.
In addition to the classic black vinyl compression, there will be a Walmart-exclusive red variant. “Greatest Hits: Revisered * Remixed * Remastered MMXXII” can be found online and in stores from all respected vinyl retailers starting next Friday, June 17.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email [email protected] Also check out his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com.