Pop Culture
Pop Culture: Articles for the Scripps Howard News Service & "Seen, Heard, Said"

Why the top-365-songs list isn't a stupid idea

Actors sink their teeth into vampire roles

Gregory Corso: My encounter with a Beat legend

Golden Globes: Sleazy and proud of it

In the offing, Clinton continent looms

"NYPD Blue" opener: The misery continues

 New movie genre: Reclusive authors anonymous

"West Wing," "Ally," et al.: Words, words, words

When TV shows outstay their welcome

Film critics dig their own graves with "Angels" review

Great Robert Altman films you never
heard of

Famous folk, next week in the arts, show business briefs

"Time regained": Proust in the multiplex

Glitterati is dead, long live Popfocus

Carl Barks: The man who put the ducks in Duckburg

"Almost Famous": Lester Bangs rises from the dead

Liz Hurley wins in war of words with Jane mag

Douglas poses with Zeta-Jones, and baby-makes three

Weddings that aren't: Douglas, Zeta-Jones, Madonna, Ritchie

The Emmy War: A half-century of coast-to-coast feuding

Jennifer Love Hewitt plays the Iglesias odds

It's raining books by and about Trumps

What's in a mane? Blond woman in the news

Liz Hurley denies dissing ex-beau

Rock Hall of Infamy: Anti-heroes from Elvis to Eminem

Barbra tix bankrupt fans

Laurels for Kathie Lee to rest on

Hillary "In bed" with De Niro, Cruise, Kidman

How "Sopranos," "West Wing" will divvy up awards

This just in: Donald Trump is not a dope

Walter Matthau: A rumpled old dog in the heart of the city

Sampras to take a stroke at wedding bells

Who wants to host "Monday Night Football"?

Queen rewards Tina Brown for demoralizing American readers

How the Korean War cane to TV land 20 years late

Ivanka Trump: From catwalk to commencement line

Lester Bangs: The troublesome punk who wouldn't die

Rags clash over Ted Turner "romance"

With straight face, Trump deems Marla's move "tacky"

"Friends" re-up for another season of top ratings, top money

Madonna in denial, and rightly so

"Suburbia": The continental subdivide

Howard Stern, Sly Stallone in bizarre, apocryphal triangle

Easter video viewing: "Spartacus" to "Harvey"

Billy’s in the news: Bob, Joel in love but not with other

"Charles's Angels" movie: Dispiriting news for old-time fans

Innovative career move for 'NYPD Blue' co-star

Top model: Why I gave oldish rocker husband the heave-ho

Unpleasantville: The awful truth about old-time TV families

Tina Brown held captive in desert by demanding children

Anybody's Oscar: Unusually suspenseful awards show looms

Oscar telecast: Looking for a few good hosts

"Lambs," "Beauty": Oscar's love affair with unacceptable behavior

Brad Pitt, Oscar to be in same room at same time

Letterman bites guest-host bullet: Andrew "Dice" Clay, call your agent

Seinfeld eyes East Hampton manse: Where's the welcome wagon?

"Mod Squad" Immortal dishes couple du jour

Brad Pitt's second thoughts about Oscar

Mike McCurry praises "West Wing": It's not entirely demeaning,,,"

Memo to "Hannibal" producers: Get Najimy while the getting's good

Don't Invite Gwyneth and Oscar to the same party

True or false: Douglas, Zeta-Jones don't even know each other

Ex-Clinton honcho linked to ex-"Cheers" costar

Third party cited in Trump-Knauss breakup

 Gossip queen goes to bat for Talk mag

20th century's No. 1 hit: "Satisfaction" hits the spot

Statement: Spice girl's marital problems insoluble

Charlie Brown, Pogo and me

From Howdy to Charlie Brown, we hate to say goodbye

The Beatle George: While his guitar gently weeps

Jodie Foster's people in mild tiff with CBS

A Peanuts trivia Q&A

Publicist: Boyle still joined at hip

There's video in your future and future in your video

"The future is now": Hit rewind

Whitney Houston presides over confluence of talent

Jim Carrey's flack earns A "D," Cher's A "B-minus"

Geraldo: bye-bye, doghouse

Michael Douglas does nothing much, reporters go wild

Ricky Martin on Menudo: Look back in anger

How to outsmart Halloween crowds at the video store

Tom Cruise puts himself in harm's way, only not really

1800-1900: Steaming towards revolution

1700-1800: Liberty, equality and bloodshed

1600-1700: The earth moves; North America is settled

Trump mulls travel plans, from altar to White House

"Faces of Impressionism" Time machine made of canvas, paint

Major quakes aren't personal unless they happen to you

Brad Pitt gracious about character assassination

Director insists Harrison Ford is not a brainless hulk

Costner, Willis, Douglas. Branagh, Sting_ in that order

Streisand: Color her ready to plug her new album

Julia and Benjamin's rings devoid of significance, flack says

Literary mud wrestling, featuring Geri and The Spice Girls

Urgent news: Ford to replace Gibson on "GMA" eventually

She married a monster from outer space

Never mind Godzilla VS. Mothra, Here's Trump VS. Cronkite

Spurned by Pitt, Redford pays court to Damon

Celebrity coyness is bustin' out all over

"Detroit Rock City": Kiss of death

Talk is cheap? Not with Tina Brown at the helm

The Beats: Remembered, Lionized and Unread

Real estate beat, starring Woody Allen and Donald Trump

Mood Music, or how we learned to stop worrying

Sex in the cinema: From "Last Tango" to "Eyes Wide Shut"

Two easy steps to looking exactly like Ricky Martin

Close encounters of the Muppet kind

Upcoming Brad Pitt movie not garbage, insiders say

Kathie Lee's eyewear excites Islanders' ire

Back to the future, continued

"Wild Wild West": Buck Rogers in the 19th century

Sculptures by Roy Lichtenstein: Fun, Fun, Fun

An expert's verdict:" Austin Powers" is pretty neat

Click here for pointless celebrity gossip

P. Dempsey Tabler of the jungle: The many faces of Tarzan

Kirk Douglas' Ex tells all about Errol Flynn fling

New twist in TV programming: Ax profitable shows

Private jet fees spell the end for another celebrity union

Killer serials: "Flash," "Buck" and a boy named George Lucas

Top nonfiction books: A message from two old men

Celebrity Dream dreams: Monica, Donald, Barbara, Georgette

Two divas, publicist form bizarre show-biz triangle

Johnny Cash tribute: Ring of fire, ring of friends

Streisand employee really upset about rumors

Grande Dame Eyes MGM Grand Gig

Secretive celebs? Not by a long shot

NBC honcho bristles at notion that Brokaw is not a saint

Barbara Walters not keen on daily dose of Monica

"Seen, Heard, Said"

David Letterman, Donald Trump, Eddie Murphy, Elton John

Madonna, Frank Sinatra, Prince Charles, Maj, Ronald Ferguson, Fergie, Miranda Richardson, Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis, Axl Rose, Stephanie Seymour

December 30, 1999


By ROGER ANDERSON Scripps Howard News Service

George Harrison's musical talents are superlative. He's a remarkable songwriter, a sensitive and original guitarist, a great all-around rocker, and a pretty good singer. Stack him up against the musicians of his time and he will come out head and shoulders above them - unless the musicians you're stacking him up against are Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

Still, the chief edge Harrison's two fellow Beatles have over their lead guitarist is their singing. After all, those two guys from working-class England somehow managed to obtain voices comparable with those of great all-time belters like Ray Charles and Jerry Lee Lewis. Harrison's pipes aren't nearly so grandiose.

But when it comes to songwrlting, the three mop tops are all gifted to the point of disbelief.

And while Lennon could play rocking guitar that wouldn't quit, Harrison went him at least one better with a lyrical, fine-grained guitar style of astounding expressive range.

Almost from the beginning, every Beatles album basically consisted of a whole slew of Lennon-McCartney songs plus a couple of Harrison tunes thrown in for good measure. And although the stereotype is that Harrison's tracks always featured wispy sitar and finger-drum motifs, the truth is that he could rock with the best of them (i.e., John and Paul).

Here's a look at some of Harrison's contributions to great Beatles discs:

- TAXMAN: A bitter diatribe against Britain's tax system by a rich rock star, over crunching electric guitar chords, it opens "Revolver."

- I WANT TO TELL YOU: Discordant guitars and desperate vocals, it out-Lennons Lennon. Also on "Revolver."

- LOVE YOU TO: Sitar and finger drums form a piquant context for angry mutterings about the falseness of life, on "Revolver."

- WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU: The quintessential George Harrison song. Sitars and mysticism opening the second side of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" while an entire generation inhales.

- OLD BROWN SHOE: The B-side of Lennon's "The Ballad of John and Yoko," later a track on "Hey Jude." A fast-moving thriller with an elusive retro feel. Crank it up.

- BLUE JAY WAY: The Ravi Shankar-style Eastern mysticism takes a deep blue turn into murkiness and fear on "Magical Mystery Tour."

- LONG LONG LONG: On "The Beatles," a.k.a. The White Album, one of the prettiest, saddest songs of lost love ever recorded.

- WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS: Another White Album track, probably it's his finest hour. A lot of hokiness about how badly he feels for us spiritually bereft peons, but the wall-of-sound combination of piano and guitars is passionate and moving. His best turn as a vocalist, and guest artist Eric Clapton's most unforgettable guitar work.

- SAVOY TRUFFLE: Stray signals from some 1930s radio broadcast, complete with producer George Martin's urbane horn arrangement, on The White Album.

- HERE COMES THE SUN: A theme song of the hippie '60s, from "Abbey Road," with chiming acoustic guitar and hopeful lyrics.

- SOMETHING: Also on "Abbey Road," reportedly it was Frank Sinatra's favorite Beatles song.

- I ME MINE: On "Let It Be," a judgmental ditty about how greedy people are, a fitting bracket for "Taxman."

Roger Anderson is arts and entertainment editor at Scripps Howard News Service.

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