Mr nobody



The son has indeed come, though, and in a big way. Having made himself more publicly visible after his father's death in 2001, DhaniHarrison now leads his own band, Thenewno2, which most recently created the soundtrack for the current film 'Beautiful Creatures,' and also played a lead role in the development of the Beatles Rock Band videogame.

Suffice to say, however, that if he had a dollar for every pun he's heard on his father's classic song Here Comes the Sun (1969), the 34-year-old wouldn't have any need of Beatles royalties.

"You know, we did this great, funny press release with quotes about (the band), and it said, 'Here comes the son' — Vogue. 'Here comes the son' — Elle. Most people who write about you label you, and it's easy to go for certain things. It's hard to talk about ideas or what the industry is doing or all the fun stuff, because people don't really know about it, or want to.

"I just try to make it difficult for people to make it look like I'm just another kid of (the Beatles)."

The truth is that Harrison, whose mother is George Harrison's second wife, the former Olivia Arias, "did everything I could to not be a musician." Though blessed to an uncanny degree with his father's looks, musical flair and modest disposition, and though he got his first music lesson from Uncle Ringo at the age of 6, Harrison studied physics and industrial design at Brown University in Providence, Rhodes Island, and tried his hand at aerodynamics and other pursuits, including rowing.

As the Beatle who was least comfortable with the spotlight's glare, George Harrison could always distinguish between being a musician and being a rock star. "My dad was always, 'Don't be famous. Don't envy this. Be a musician, but don't be famous. You lose all your freedom and you can't do anything. You have to live a different life'," Harrison recalls. "We were both private people, and he did a really great job of keeping me out of the press all my life.

"I felt like, when I was ready to do what I want to do, everyone would pay attention because everyone is always trying to compare you to your dad and how you are in relation to the other (Beatles) children and this and that," he adds. "I think the only way you can do it on your own is do it yourself."

Harrison moved into music slowly. He worked on his father's posthumous album Brainwashed (2002), performed at the 2002 Concert for George tribute, played on some latter-day Traveling Wilburys tracks and guested with Rooney and Wu-Tang Clan, a personal favourite of his, before making his own music.

"There was no hurry," Harrison says. "I'm kind of nerdy and geeky and a perfectionist. I think I learned a lot about not buying into a lot of hype. I wanted to be a kind of faceless entity. I didn't want to be Dhani Harrison and the Muppets or something like that."

Thenewno2, which Harrison and boyhood friend Oliver Hecks formed in 2006, takes its name from a villain in the British television series The Prisoner (1967-1968). The group released its first EP in 2006, contributed songs such as Crazy Tuesday and Yomp to the Rock Band videogame series and has released two albums, You Are Here (2008) and Thefearofmissingout (2012). The group has toured with Australia's Wolfmother and as part of the 2012 Lollapalooza festival.

In recent years the band's lineup has expanded to include Paul Hicks, another childhood chum who is a Grammy-winning recording engineer and the son of the Hollies' Tony Hicks, and Jonathan Sadoff, who's also an accomplished film composer. The trio formed the nucleus for the Beautiful Creatures soundtrack — a fitting venture for Harrison, given that his father's first foray outside of the Beatles was a movie project, Wonderwall Music (1967).

Thenewno2 was picked for Beautiful Creatures by director Richard LaGravenese, who liked the idea of using a self-contained band and also the mix of skills that the three principles brought to the project. It took three days to lay down the major tracks.
"Beautiful Creatures" also gave Harrison and Hicks a chance to record at EMI's famed Abbey Road studios in London, where their fathers had made so many legendary recordings.

"It was epic," Harrison says. "It was weird more than emotional. (Gary Fraff/The New York Times News Service)

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