Do you think George was dealing with depression from 66 to the break-up? | Page 3 | George Harrison | Fab forum

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Do you think George was dealing with depression from 66 to the break-up?
13 February 2014
12.59am
bewareofchairs
Royal Command Performance
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I suppose chanting and meditation were like therapy for him as well, and Paramahansa Yogananda's book, "Autobiography of a Yogi". 

The Apple Scruff Carol Bedford, who George became friends with, had depression, and in her book George bared his heart out to her about how depressed he was from all the fame and the pressure of supporting everyone living in Friar Park. She got worried and recommended a clinic for him to go to if he ever felt like he had nowhere else to turn. He accepted, but I don't know if he ever went. This was after The Beatles had broken up, like around 1972 or so. Granted her account should be taken with a grain of salt, but it did ring true with what he's said in interviews, and what others have said about him.

21 May 2014
11.30am
bewareofchairs
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People were mentioning in the beginning of this thread that if he was depressed someone like Pattie or Eric would've said something. I recently came across this quote from Pattie's book, Wonderful Tonight:

"We learned how to meditate at the feet of a master - despite the allegations, George and I still regarded Maharishi as a master - we had been shown the spiritual way to enlightenment, we had returned from Rishikesh renewed and refreshed, and yet from the time we left India our lives and our relationship seemed to fall apart.

I was delighted to be home and eager to tell my friends all about our trip. George retreated into himself. He had become very intense in India: the experience seemed to have answered some of the nagging questions he had had about his life but it had taken some of the lightness out of his soul. He continued the meditation and the chanting, and his prayer wheel was never far from his hand. To begin with, so did I, but he became obsessive about it. Some days he would be all right, but on others he seemed withdrawn and depressed. This was new: he had never been depressed before, but there was nothing I could do. It wasn’t about me, but I found that my moods started to mirror his.

[...] George would start to say something about Paul, then stop. He appeared unable or unwilling to share his thoughts with me; he wouldn’t tell me he felt left out - although I am sure he did. He kept his hurt, frustration, anger or whatever it was, to himself. We had once been so close, so honest and open with each other. Now a distance had developed between us. At times I couldn’t reach him."

At the very least, I do get the impression George was awfully unhappy for a very long time. 

21 May 2014
6.20pm
vonbontee
Inside a Letterbox
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I guess one of the main things to remember is that there's a difference between actual clinical Depression (such as the OP suffered from) and just "plain" depression, resulting from, I dunno, life just not being all it could be, all the time. You know, "the blues". I personally don't think George was clinically depressed (I'm not a mental health professional, btw) any more than I think he suffered from PTSD. (When I first saw this thread, I assumed that other one had just been re-named.) There really aren't that many "suffering" George songs, are there?

Is there a "Was John bipolar?" thread? I think that's a more plausible scenario, in terms of the Beatles and their various mental ailments.

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
21 May 2014
8.55pm
Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea
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I thought about merging those two threads. They cover a different time frame, but the same theme. @vonbontee, would you take a look through the two threads and see if they are similar enough that the conversation would be enhanced by the two treads becoming one? I can make it happen with some fancy footwork once I get back to a computer (can't do it from this phone).

EDIT: These threads may cover some/all of the same time frame. I just gave them a quick glance.

21 May 2014
10.08pm
vonbontee
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I'd do anything for you, Ahhh Girl! :) I took a look and think they're very different threads, content-wise. The similarity of the titles just led a couple of us to remember the earlier thread. The timelines only intersect at one or two points, i think. Would merging them make searching more difficult, or less?

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
22 May 2014
5.00am
Ahhh Girl
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Just to double check, the two threads cover separate time frames in George's life. Usually, I'd read through the threads to make determinations like this, but Michaelangelo's David is calling my name. Must prepare and go visit him. No, I'm not cheating on Paul. I'm just going to see a work of art. Hum, the thought just struck me that Paul is a work of art. a-hard-days-night-paul-7

The searching wouldn't be improved, I don't think. The only reason to have them joined would be to have the ideas all in one place ... to have one beefy conversation ... but if they are dealing with different topics or times in George's life, joining them doesn't make sense.

If it is just that the time frame of the posts themselves is different, I can make that work.

Thanks for your help with this project, von.

The following people thank Ahhh Girl for this post:

vonbontee
22 May 2014
9.32pm
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
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Ahhh Girl said
Just to double check, the two threads cover separate time frames in George's life. Usually, I'd read through the threads to make determinations like this, but Michaelangelo's David is calling my name. Must prepare and go visit him. No, I'm not cheating on Paul. I'm just going to see a work of art. Hum, the thought just struck me that Paul is a work of art. a-hard-days-night-paul-7

The searching wouldn't be improved, I don't think. The only reason to have them joined would be to have the ideas all in one place ... to have one beefy conversation ... but if they are dealing with different topics or times in George's life, joining them doesn't make sense.

If it is just that the time frame of the posts themselves is different, I can make that work.

Thanks for your help with this project, von.

I am trying so hard not to think of Florence in spring compared with Canberra in Autumn (though I must admit we had a nice Indian summer day yesterday).

12 August 2014
8.12pm
Liz
A Beginning
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He certainly was, you just have to check the lyrics of his beautiful " Beware of Darkness" to realise that if he wasn't clinically depressed, he certainly was subject to bouts of depression, particularly at night times.

George was a deeply social/gregarious guy (remember how he enjoyed the Wilburys' experience?)  He had to feel "included" and be considered equal, to be happy. Who wouldn't? But that hadn't been happening in the Beatles' for quite a while. Even George Martin slighted him.

For his blossoming talent the band's breakup was a creative tragedy though. At first he might've felt relieved, but soon he realised that working on his own made him lose creativity and purpose:  

- But at times it gets so lonely/Could go insane/Could lose my aim [" Grey Clouded Lies", Extra Texture LP 1975]

His competitive and challenging mates had nurtured his talents and provided him with stimuli, even though  he felt underappreciated by them and neglected by George Martin. Worst still, be it as it may, at the end of the day he had lost the "friendship" of his two friends ["Run of the Mill", ATMP], particularly after they found their soulmates.

Depression got worse after the disastrous USA "Dark Horse" Tour, where he took some misguided risks that he might have avoided if he had been able to discuss his plans with some friends or realiable collaborator. I guess by that time he felt so muddled up he was unable to think clearly.

All through this, however, I'm sure George's eyes never looked so depressed as they did in the '80s, up to when he sat for the promotional shooting of his "Cloud Nine" album. My personal interpretation is that after some years he might have felt a bit trapped by his quiet family life. He valued his family too much to jeopardise it, but an artist needs new stimuli, and being the womaniser that he was, domestic happiness must've felt a bit stifling, a times.   

"Stuck inside a cloud", perhaps the best act of  "Brainwashed" speaks of a period of pain, unrest, depression. People imply that it is his about terminal illness. Only it isn't, because it was written between the end of the '80s and the beginning of the '90. So,  I guess it concerns a terminated affair that caused him pain. That would explain why he wouldn't issue it, in spite being repeatedly urged to do so by some of the musicians who had played in it. Possibly not to upset Olivia, I reckon.

15 August 2014
8.11pm
Bongo
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No, I do not think he was dealing with depression, just dissatisfaction with the whole Beatlemania thing. ahdn_george_06

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