On the 'tube

If You Like Good Songwriters, Watch This Documentary About Harry Ni…


I have long been a fan of his, perhaps from the first time that I heard the song, Everybody's Talkin'. As time passed, more of his songs came along that I enjoyed, like I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City", Me And My Arrow (from The Point), and others, such that I have always considered myself to be a big fan.

A year or perhaps two ago, I was on a Harry Nilsson binge chasing down every internet rabbit hole about him and I found the movie Who Is Harry Nilsson (and Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?). I immediately fell in love with this movie. It paints a very honest, if not sometimes disturbing, portrayal of Nilsson. He definitely had demons that he fought his entire life before his untimely death from a heart attack at only age 52. His father abandoned his family and he never knew him. This created a theme that one could certainly see in his life, and in his work.

I found one of his Greatest Hits compilations yesterday in a truck stop checkout stand and so I had to buy it. As I was putting it on to my iPod, I did a quick search to see if the documentary was available on Netflix and was disappointed to see that it wasn't. But, then I found it in its entirety on YouTube. It was posted in January of this year, so I am surprised that the poster was not required to take it down due to rights violations. I can't imagine that it will be there too much longer.

So, if you liked any of Nilsson's songs (You're Breakin' My Heart is a classic FM song from that era), please watch this documentary. You won't be disappointed. And watch it soon before it is forced to be taken down.

And, after you have finished enjoying that documentary, here is an interview with its director, John Scheinfeld, which I think lends some great insights about what went into the making of the film.



That has to be the one we viewed while still in SC, on our Public TV.

It was very interesting, all the various connections, The Monkees, then The Beatles, John Lennon, meeting his wife, etc.


Great doc, Bob. I remember hearing about this and seeing the trailer before it was finished and more than a year before it came out in a few theaters on the west coast. It wasn’t until it came out on video that I got to see it. It was a long three years. Harry was one of my favorites and all time heros.


*It wasn't easy being the only pointless person in the land of Point. "
Great writer and notorious bon-viveur, and one of my most fondly remembered albums ever... But such personal excess! I just finished reading Michael Palin's (of Monty Python) diaries and he comments on parties they both attended. What a waste of such a formiddable talent.. However, he left a great legacy in his writing, vocal prowess, and arrangements. and it's excellent to be reminded of his great work.


Just watched it this morning,interesting story. Too bad that his excesses caught up to him.Great talent though.


Thank you Ric12string, long-time Harry-fan here. I appreciate the link, great stuff.

Still enjoy the 'rather be dead'-part, although i've seen it many times! Fantastic sense of humor. We need a new Harry.


I am glad that at least a couple of you found some time to watch this film and that you enjoyed it. It is a great one about a great artist.


Thank you, Bob. This was fascinating, amazingly educational, and so terribly sad.

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