Posts Tagged ‘2011’
As i find myself aging, and becoming more aware of my inner being, and letting go of the failings of my outter body, i find myself drawn more and more to the words, ideals and attitudes of George Harrison. It was not meant to be for us to have him any longer on this earth than we did, and i guess it would be selfish to wish for, and ask for anything more of him. I’m simply glad George graced this earth, and very fortunate that it was in my lifetime.
A report on the wedding by guest Maria Newley, you can see the article “Here”.
Sir Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell’s wedding day was designed to be a low-key, family celebration and, for the most part, it succeeded in those aims.
Regardless of the original intention, so many high-profile weddings seem to lose sight of the point of the ceremony and end up as a roll call of famous guests. Sunday’s service felt different from the outset.
The Superintendent Registrar, Alison Cathcart, was comfortable, relaxed and unphased by the ‘fame’ of the people in front of her and made it a beautifully personal and intimate ceremony. Friends and family were the order of the day and whoever you were: celebrity, family member, long-standing friend or a combination of all three, you felt a part of it all.
There may have been hordes of fans waiting outside the Register Office but you would never have known that whilst inside as the service retained a poignant elegance and quietude which seemed to perfectly befit both the day and the couple.
After the service, following a pause in which Paul and Nancy happily posed for photographs in front of the patiently waiting fans and international media, it was back to Paul’s St John’s Wood home to prepare for the wedding reception.
The party itself wasn’t scheduled to begin until 7pm which allowed the guests who had attended the service to enjoy and share Paul and Nancy’s happiness privately. It also gave an opportunity for Paul’s daughter Mary to take some photographs for the family album.
When the evening guests slowly began to arrive, it suddenly became apparent that “intimate and personal” didn’t necessarily mean “quiet” or “sedate”! There was no shortage of famous faces at the reception and yet, at the same time, everyone there was a personal and long-standing friend of the couple, so it still felt like an occasion for true friends and family. Paul’s children and grandchildren all looked glorious and did their father proud, as did Arlen, Nancy’s son from her first marriage.
Needless to say, a fair few well-known faces, including Olivia Harrison, her son Dhani, Ringo Starr and his wife Barbara, were also there for the evening celebrations and all seemed as relaxed and happy as the bride and groom.
As so many of the guests brought their children along, Nancy and Paul had arranged for the children’s entertainers, Sharky and George, to provide various activities for them. I think a number of the adults rather enjoyed the children’s activities too but were eventually persuaded to allow the children their fun unimpeded and joined the adult celebrations!.
The menu had been carefully organised and consisted of a green salad starter, with the most delicious avocados imaginable, followed by a vegetarian lasagne and a range of side dishes which satiated even the most picky of eaters! There were flowers all around the room, most memorably a host of beautiful cream chrysanthemums in pale ceramic and glass vases, and, in the corner, a fridge full of organic champagne.
I have to admit that I’ve rarely seen a champagne fridge stacked quite so high – although predictably, it didn’t stay stacked for too long!.
The music for the evening had been chosen to suit a very wide variety of tastes, reflecting the eclectic guestlist which spanned not only generations, but a cross-section of professions; from the veteran broadcasters Barbara Walters and Sir David Frost, to British artist, Tracy Emin and hair stylist John Frieda.
In fact, when your guests include such musical legends as Jeff Beck, Ronnie Wood, Dave Gilmour, Ringo Starr, Jools Holland, ‘Wix’ Wickens and Sharleen Spiteri to name but a few, it was something of a tall order for DJ Mark Ronson to find a selection which would accommodate everyone! But, as with everything else, it was accomplished beautifully and was just another small touch which exemplified the entire day, ensuring the inclusivity of the celebrations for all.
As has been widely reported, Paul had also decided to serenade the occasion with a song he’d composed especially for the day. Watching the assembled group of guests as he performed this was almost as moving as the beauty of the song itself. I think perhaps this, more than any other moment in the day, showed all of us that Paul was back, he was happy and that he had regained something which he seemed to lose following Linda’s passing – a sense of belonging and a sense of wholeness.
Linda was remembered warmly and fondly during the reception, and this too served to reassure all of us who care so deeply about Paul that he had finally found a place where he could rest his head and his heart. I’m not much of a one for spiritual feelings or auras but, if such things exist, then I do truly believe that Linda was looking down on the proceedings smiling with approval and satisfaction. I think we all felt that the day was also very poignant to those remembering John Lennon, falling, as it happened on the same day that would have been his 71st birthday.
There was a definite feeling that John, had he lived to see the day, would have been there alongside everyone else, toasting Paul and Nancy and sharing in the joy of the day. The song which Paul had written perfectly summed up the sentiment of the couple, of the guests, and of the entire day – it was just a perfect choice for a wonderfully perfect day.
On a final note, I really must salute the ability of pensioners to party all night! My own partying capabilities seem rather pitiful by comparison and, nowadays, entail me needing several hours rest afterwards before I’m capable of any semblance of coherence. I’m not really sure what time the party was intended to finish but it still had a fair amount of energy going at around 3am and it was good to see that Ronnie Wood can still party on down with the best of them!
So excited about Paul and Nancy’s wedding this weekend, this is just the best news, for what it’s worth, i wish the couple the happiest of days, and a long, long happy, and healthy life together. After all the happiness Paul has brought to the world, through words, and music, that make the hardest days bearable, and a man who’s songs have done more than there fair share to spread the word love, i wish him nothing but the very best, and also to Nancy for healing our knight’s heart, and guiding him back towards the light of love. The photo’s above show the couple over the past few day’s in preparation, and celebration of the big day, including attending Synagogue, visiting the registry office, and having dinner with step son to be Arlen. Read more about the preparations at The Daily Mail
The following article by Olivia was printed today in the Huffington Post.
As the 10th anniversary of George’s death approaches, and Living In The Material World, the Martin Scorsese documentary about his life, about to be aired, I have been looking back at the last 10 years of my own life. Like standing at the window of a moving train, I have watched each year as a fleeting reflection in a foreign landscape. I did not want to be on board but had no choice, nor was I sure if there was even a destination.
In 2001, when it became evident that George was not going to live, a friend said to him, “this will be the most exciting chapter of your life.” The usual dialogue surrounding a terminal illness is so grim that even the best platitudes fall flat; but at that moment, after all the negative medical certainties, those particular words were inspirational. After years of speculation about the moment of death, we knew the spectre of disembodiment was actually imminent.
“To die will be an awfully big adventure,” wrote JM Barrie. In fact, death is such a big adventure it profoundly alters the lives of all those attached to the departing soul. When the time for George came, that momentarily open door to the infinite caught my sleeve then slammed shut, leaving behind the fabric of my being in jagged shreds.
Tragedy is much more of an adventure than joy. I am not saying joy is over-rated. But happiness is fleeting; it exists in the present. Tragedy casts a long and persistent shadow with the power to dim even the most perfect moment. It also has the potential to follow us to the end. We don’t stop to analyze happiness but when grief and strife occur we recount the events leading up to it over and over. It wakes us from our sleep as we try to figure out how and where it all went wrong. Of course, with death, the question is more of a ‘why’? But for me, the question was, “what is it I am meant to do now?” The script was changed, as George said when John Lennon was killed: “That’s not how the script goes. It was like someone tore out that page and stuck a new one in.” My movie changed too.
After George died, I was certain the usual tower of mail on the kitchen chair would dwindle, the house would be tidy and the sofas would seat people rather than guitars. None of that happened. In fact, it was quite the opposite.
Maybe it was the momentum of his hectic life, in addition to my need to keep busy, but my own life began to pick up speed. Thankfully George and I didn’t spend much time looking back. I mean, we weren’t making scrapbooks. We were steaming ahead. Thirty years of stuffing letters, tapes and film in drawers turned the house into one enormous discombobulated archive. Having an over-developed sense of duty, and the recent deep awareness of my own mortality, I began to organize the remnants and treasures of the life George lived. It seemed so unfair to leave this task to my son and it was important to me that things be in order. It was also an obvious way of staying close to life as I knew it, not being ready to ‘move on’ — as they say, a term I have come to detest.
Half way through the treasure hunt it became even more obvious how rich a life George led. From the bin bag of reel-to-reel tapes I listened to George working out his first song, “Don’t Bother Me” and Ravi Shankar giving George his first sitar lesson in 1966.
There were traces of him everywhere; chord sequences and tablatures written out, notes and silly drawings but also deeper reminders, one written on a scrap from the Bel-Air Hotel, “When you strip it all away, there is only God.”
And I have been stripping it away, from the past, as well as streamlining the present. Isn’t it what we of a certain age all desire now? To simplify our lives, to get rid of some of the ‘stuff’ we worked so hard to accumulate so we don’t spend the rest of our lives as slaves to our material world? Through work and the process of producing this film I have discovered new skills, broader perspectives, new interests and above all, I cemented old friendships while nurturing new ones. I worked hard at it all and the results pulled me out from under the cool shadow of sadness. I admit I have had a pretty amazing 10 years. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that not in a million years would I have made that trade. I have to thank George for my life with him and oddly enough, for with my life without him.
Q. Olivia, Through the band you’re also connected to the extended Beatle family, the band members’ spouses and children. What’s your relationship like with them?
A. They’ve been the most kind, embracing people in my life. The children, Paul’s family especially, I’m really close to them. Dhani’s close to the girls as well, and it’s an odd thing. They know what it’s like to have a dad, as a Beatle. With it comes certain baggage. They’re siblings, they understand, they get it. They roll their eyes at the same things. [laughs]
Many thanks to my buddy, friend and pal Sue Ullenberg for taking these photo’s, and alllowing me to post them, Sue is an expert Macca posteriour snapper, she also got in a quick snap of the sole of Paul’s Beatle boot for all us Macca foot fetishists out there, how quaint he still has his heels nailed, the sign of a true traditionalist.