Monday, June 14, 2010

Music Monday ~ Harry Nilsson

Tomorrow would have been the birthday of Harry Nilsson. He died in 1994, aged 52, possibly helped along the road to that big ol' recording studio in the sky by a wild and woolly lifestyle in his youth. Gone too soon. He was both singer and songwriter, he wrote for many pop singers of his day, but his own biggest hits came via songs written by others: Everybody's Talkin' (used in the movie Midnight Cowboy) and Without You. Another of his better known songs I Guess The Lord Must be in New York City was self-penned - I think.

Nilsson was often described as being the nearest thing America had to the Beatles. He counted the Fab 4 as his friends, for sure - especially Lennon, with whom he spent many wild boozy, druggy days and nights. They're together in the photograph below.

I listened to some tracks from a couple of Nilsson LPs from my husband's collection and was struck by the similarity in sound to some early Beatles' songs. They are of a similar age group with similar influences, so that isn't too surprising.

He is described in one biography as something of a maverick with a disregard for commercialism. Now that cannot be bad! They don't make 'em like that anymore - at least not so's you'd notice. A good example of his mavericity (is that a word?) is his album The Point (described by a fan HERE).

A look at his natal chart:
Born on 15 June 1941 in Brooklyn, New York. A 12 noon chart has to suffice, no time of birth is available on-line.

Sun and Jupiter in Gemini reflect his songwriting and communication skills, and partly why he and John Lennon got on so well (Gemini and Libra Suns - both Airy same wavelength signs). In addition both had the trine between Uranus and Neptune shared by their age group. In Nilsson's case it was linked in to his personal planets via a semi-sextile to Sun from Uranus.

Stand-out configuration in the chart is a challenging T-square between Sun/Neptune/Mars, which possibly connected to his health and/or financial problems. His financial advisor embezzled most of Harry's his earnings/savings. The T-square configuration is softened somewhat by what astrologers call a working wedge or T-wedge, by the helpful trine between Neptune/Uranus and a sextile between Mars and Uranus. (See right).

Below is a trailer for a film about him. Who Is Harry Nilsson (& Why Is Everbody Talkin' About Him?) It had very limited release and so far hasn't been issued as DVD, in spite of promises.

Who Is Harry Nilsson?

Harry Nilsson MySpace Video

And his 1969 recording of I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City


Wisewebwoman said...

I have one of his albums, T but as everything is on Ipod now not sure which one it is - all classic songs.
Strangely enough I didn't realize he was dead, I am so tuned out now and again when stuff happens....

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Yes, it's hard to keep up with who is and who isn't still among us. I regularly have to "google" to make certain about somebody or other.

Kaleymorris said...

I love Harry Nilsson and miss him terribly. Have a Pandora station based on him ...
You might like his tune "My Old Desk."

Twilight said...

Kaleymorris ~ Thanks K. I'll look for that one and sample it.