Last year Laurence Inman found himself treading in the footsteps of legends.
Just before Christmas I did some recording in Trident Studios, Soho. It was a pilot for a radio play. I was a randy old upper-class idiot. The work went well, people thought my part was okay, we had a lot of fun and I had a good day out in London.
But what really thrilled me was that this was the studio where some legendary names in modern music produced their finest creations. Bowie. Queen. The Stones.
And The Beatles.
There was a framed invoice on the wall: £35 an hour for the use of the studio on 22nd February 1969, for sessions which ended up on Abbey Road. Photographs of them all. Lots of photographs.
Then at Christmas I was given the huge book about George Harrison, Living In The Material World, a spin-off from the Martin Scorsese film.
It is a treasure. The front cover shows him up to his neck in some placid water, looking straight at the camera, serious and peaceful.
I think George is now my favourite Beatle. In fact, he has been for some time. Like most people, I was a John man for ages. But I now see some deeply unattractive depths and facets there. Paul; I never liked the cut of his jib at all. That scene in Let It Be, where he’s bickering with George about how he wants something played….it makes me feel like smashing him in his fleshy chops with a very large blunt metal thing. Ringo; everybody loves Ringo, and his album Photograph is the post-Fab opus I listen to most.
But George is the one I’d most like to have had night out with. He wrote Something, a better song than any of the John/Paul output. He was a better musician, and a better man.
And I respond totally to his attitude to fame. I was very aware of this watching the antics of present-day celebrities on the box during the last few weeks, capering for attention like young apes. This fame, this look-at-me, this money for doing nothing special – it’s disgusting.
George was as famous as you could possibly be. He could open any door. The whole world wanted to hold his hand. And yet he preferred to stay at home, tending his garden, seeing at last that this was the best life could offer.