From Awkward Middle Phase: Seth Timbs' Home Demos, Volume One
One of Seth Timbs’ many songs that doubles as a eulogy of sorts. I remember hearing about the death of George Harrison in December, 2001—it’s one of the few times in my life that I’ve felt truly affected by the death of a celebrity. I was in my last week as a college student and working in a public high school. I heard the news on NPR as I rode in, and remembering that all schools are wired in with cable TV (which I never have at home, btw), I tried to see as much rare interview footage that they would milk out of it on every network as a way to deflect the undertow of emotion I was feeling.
This song was one of the few cuts from Awkward Middle Phase that I didn’t already have when it was released in 2006, but it quickly took me back to that deeply affecting moment when I realized that soul, that presence, that force, was not on Earth with us anymore. And even if George Harrison wasn’t really writing music anymore, and I wasn’t buying it if he was, a voice of understanding, love, and compassion had left us for good. We didn’t fully appreciate its presence since it had been singing “Here Comes the Sun” to us since our infancy, but as soon it was gone, it was a blow to us all.
And speaking for the generation of us born after the break-up of the Beatles, Seth finds the words to help us say good-bye, “Let him go. You know it couldn’t last forever.” And then he plays one of the longest guitar solos of any Fluid Ounces recording as if he is single-handedly playing George into the next life as we all tearfully realize that we have to move on in this life without him. It also should be noted that the solo is decidedly in the style of George Harrison, not a balls-to-the-wall McCartney solo like “Taxman,” or an over-the-top Clapton blues solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” but a melodic solo reminiscent of the decidedly Harrison “Octupus’s Garden” (minus a leslie cabinet) or maybe something off of All Things Must Pass.
I think it speaks to the power of the song that I have re-visited it every time death has visited me since then. Of all the eulogies of different types that Seth has written, I think this one is the strongest as it is the most uplifting.