Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

The Man Behind the Scenes 

Wednesday, Sep 22 2010
You may have never heard of Harry Nilsson, but he was a big influence on some people you probably do know: John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Terry Gilliam, Robin Williams. The reason you haven’t heard of him is he tended more toward artistic satisfaction rather than commercial success in the 1960s and ‘70s as a songwriter and singer. He did achieve some commercial success, including the top 40 hit "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City" in 1969. He also won Grammy Awards for two of his recordings. The Beatles gave him a boost when they referred to him as their favorite American musician. Director John Scheinfeld, in Who Is Harry Nilsson (and Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)?, assembles a portrait of the singer/songwriter who struggled through much of the 1980s and died in 1994. The documentary explores Nilsson’s artistic process, his spirited friendship with Lennon, and a number of things that haunted him over the years (including Lennon’s 1980 murder). Scheinfeld uses archival footage, home movies, a recently discovered oral autobiography as well as interviews. People interviewed in the film include Micky Dolenz of the Monkees (who covered the Nilsson tune "Cuddly Toy"), singer/songwriter Randy Newman, and former Beach Boy Brian Wilson.
Oct. 4-13, 2010

About The Author

Keith Bowers


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"