The documentary Who is Harry Nilsson pulls on all my heartstrings

I love Harry Nilsson.

If you are thinking, “Who?” then I feel sorry for you. Harry Nilsson was a singer songwriter in the 1960s and 70s who wrote and/or sang a lot of great songs: “Without You”, “Coconut”, “One”, “Everybody’s Talkin'” and more. He was also an eccentric who drank and partied to excess with people like John Lennon, Randy Newman and Ringo Starr. He was whimsical, funny, dark and amazing – often all at once.

He’s dead now.

Harry Nilsson left an incredible body of work, a sizable collection of ground-breaking albums and singles that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Thankfully, the documentary Who is Harry Nilsson (and Why is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? provides a great overview of his life and work through film footage, videos and interviews with his friends and family.

While I took slight exception at the documentary mixing up the chronology a bit (it ignores two albums and shows events slightly out of order) as a fan of Nilsson I couldn’t be happier. While we still have the music, it makes me miss the larger-than-life personality that was responsible for it – even though I never met him, I “knew him” through his words and songs.

Do yourself a favor and watch this documentary – and if you don’t seek out one or more of Harry’s albums after watching it, well… there’s no hope for you.