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Friday, February 07, 2014

The love of Harry Nilsson's life

I know Harry Nilsson's records well but I didn't join the dots of his personal life until I saw Who Is Harry Nilsson (and why is everybody talkin' about him?).

The biggest surprise was the third wife, a 19-year-old Irish exchange student called Una he met in an ice cream parlour in New York. He was drunk on brandy. He'd shot his voice. His career was pretty much over. He told her she had the most beautiful eyes he'd ever seen. He wasn't a bad judge.

They got married in a fever. A cocaine fever. First he lost his money. Then he lost his health. And yet, unbelievably, he and Una had six children and were happy. As old friends like Jimmy Webb and Van Dyke Parks attest in the film, he faced his premature end without any rancour. His kids talk about him without any bitterness. Una still has beautiful eyes.

It's Valentine's Day next Friday.