All right all you hipsters, flipsters and finger poppin' daddies,
here's another equally exciting collection of outtakes, b-sides, live tracks and general
miscellany from our favorite mystic one. Picking the tracks was easy, however, the
title posed a problem. We were thinking of calling it Handmade Fuck-ups, Harri-kiri,
F.P.S.H.I.T. even George Does Bob, but we thought 12 Arnold Grove
a.k.a. Pirate Songs 2 gave us the originality we were looking for while
increasing the confusion level to acceptable heights.
We start in 1986...
Composed as the title track from Handmade Films' disaster of disasters, Shanghai
Surprise showcases George duetting with the late Vicki Brown, formerly of
Liverpool's own Vernons Girls. The version appearing here is a composite taken from
the film soundtrack which is as complete and better sounding than the previously appearing
(on the Orange label) version which was taken from a scarce, one-sided U.K. promo 45.
Also recorded for and appearing in the Shanghai Surprise film, Someplace
Else was heavily reworked before being commercially released in 1987 on Cloud
Nine. The take appearing here is an early rough mix of the basic track, taken
from a tape source.
Another Shanghai Surprise film track revived for release on Cloud Nine, Breath
Away From Heaven (working title: China Doll) sent Harrison fans fumbling for
their Kama Sutra. The version appearing here is a composite taken from the film
Released in the UK on Jan 25, 1988 as the B-side of When We Was Fab, Zig
Zag was a last minute fill-in for the original flipside, The Hottest Gong
in Town (see Pirate Songs). Composed by George & Jeff Lynne, Zig
Zag was arranged by John DuPrez and performed by the Gaslight Orchestra (a.k.a.
the Zig-Zaggers) at the Zig Zag club. If all of the prints of Shanghai Surprise
haven't been destroyed by now, one could catch a glimpse of the Zig-Zaggers in action
during the restaurant scene - rumor has it that the lead guitarist looks a hell of a lot
I Don't Want to Do It is our first Dylan cover version, composed by Bob
around the time of Self Portrait, and still unreleased by its composer.
When queried about George's version shortly after its appearance, Mr. Dylan replied
"he dug that up somewhere." So much for academia. The first version
appearing here is the single mix, which was released in the U.S. on April 23, 1985.
The soundtrack mix from that other mid-eighties cinema blockbuster, Porky's Revenge,
appears later on this collection. On these two versions, George was backed by Dave
Edmunds and Jimmie Vaughan on guitars, Chuck Leavell handled the keyboards, while the
heavy duty rhythm section of Michael Shrieve and Kenny Aaronson brought up the rear.
Among the highlights of this collection is the original backing track for Ringo's classic
It Don't Come Easy, complete with George on lead vocal. This rough mix of
the basic track was recorded in early March, 1970, most likely at Trident Studios. Besides
the absence of Ringo's lead vocal, this version also lacks the additional overdubs
recorded in October, 1970. Backing up George are Ringo on drums, Stephen Still on guitar,
Klaus Voormann on bass and Gary Wright on piano.
Next up are a pair of non-LP remixes from the eighties. First to get the extended
treatment is Got My Mind Set On You, as it appeared on the UK 12"
released on October 12, 1987. A drastically different mix of the Somewhere in
England closer, Save The World, follows. This remix was
prepared specifically for the 1985 compilation Greenpeace-The Album. In addition
to featuring an alternate lead vocal and some new lyrics, there's a slick slide guitar
part not found on the original release.
Fueled by a few rounds of Dos Equis, George and Jeff Lynne weave in and out of a
collection of standards and not-so-standards taken from George's Feb. 10, 1988 appearance
on Rockline. The medley, which draws from a wide range of influences, contains bits and
pieces of: Drive My Car, Here Comes The Sun, The
Bells Of Rhymney, Mr. Tambourine Man, Take Me As I Am,
That's All Right (Mama), Let It Be Me, Something
and Every Grain Of Sand. The version appearing here is a composite
of performances from the live broadcast which originated from the Los Angeles studios of
radio station KLOS. In case you were wondering, the idiotic comments belong to
longtime Rockland compere Bob "BC" Coburn.
We continue with a pair of live tracks, While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Here
Comes The Sun which were recorded at Wembley Arena on June 6, 1987 as part of the
Prince s Trust Concert. There are no musical slouches here as we find George backed
by Elton John, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, and Jeff Lynne, just to name a few.
And it's back to Bob with If Not For You and Absolutely Sweet
Marie, both recorded live at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 16, 1992 as part of
the Columbia Records-Bob Dylan's 30th anniversary celebration. The introduction is by
Chrissie Hynde, the backing by Booker T. and the MG's with Jim Keltner and Anton Fig
covering for the late Al Jackson on drums. SNL band leader G. E. Smith provided
And yet another pair of Dylan covers brings us towards the end of this volume. Abandoned
Love and I Don't Want To Do It are studio demos thought to be
recorded in the early 1980's. I Don't Want To Do It is obviously a
song close to George's heart, as its earliest known appearance was a decade earlier on his
collection of demos for the All Things Must Pass LP.
Wrapping things up is Dream Away, originally recorded for the Handmade
Films production Time Bandits, where it also served as the closing theme.
In addition, George also composed some of the incidental music which prefaces the version
appearing here. The track was subsequently remixed and issued in unedited form on George's
1982 offering Gone Troppo. Backing was provided by veteran sidemen - Dave
Mattacks (drums), Alan Jones (bass), Mike Moran (pianos and synth) and Ray Cooper
(percussion), while joining George on backing vocals were Billy Preston, Syreeta, and
We hope you've enjoyed the show and remember,
"the bad jazz that a cat blows wails long after he's cut out"!
Somewhere in Ladue