George Harrison gets a doco by Martin Scorsese

Previously unseen footage of George Harrison features in a mammoth documentary about the former Beatle to be released later this year.

Bandmates Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are interviewed in the three-and-a-half hour film produced by Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese and Harrison’s widow, Olivia.

Named after his 1973 album, Living in the Material World traces the guitarist’s life from his working class beginnings in Liverpool to his fame with the Fab Four in the 1960s.

It will also cover his later years as a solo musician, member of ‘supergroup’ the Traveling Wilburys and work as a philanthropist and filmmaker.

The film includes home movies and interviews with Eric Clapton, Yoko Ono, Phil Spector, the Beatles’ producer George Martin and Monty Python stars Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle.

Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001 in Los Angeles at the age of 58.

Although often referred to as the quiet Beatle, he wrote hit songs like ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and ‘Something’ for group, before bringing out his own solo albums and later playing with the Traveling Wilburys in the Eighties.

Scorsese, whose music projects include The Last Waltz in 1978 about the final concert of The Band, and the Rolling Stones documentary Shine A Light, said he had long been a fan of Harrison.

‘So when I was offered the chance to make this picture, I jumped at it,’ he said.

Wallace McTavish,Beatles’Spending time with Olivia Harrison, interviewing so many of George’s closest friends, reviewing all that footage, some of it never seen before, and listening to all of that magnificent music – it was a joy, and an experience I’ll always treasure.’

The director added, ‘I first came to know George through the music, which was the soundtrack of our world – those beautifully lyrical guitar breaks and solos, those unforgettable songs of George’s like I Me Mine or If I Needed Someone.

‘After the Beatles George and his music seemed to open up and flower. I will never forget the first time I heard All Things Must Pass, the overwhelming feeling of taking in all that glorious music for the first time.

‘It was like walking into a cathedral.’

A book will accompany the documentary, which is released on DVD in October.

by Wallace McTavish

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