Yesterday I caught up with Dhani Harrison, the renaissance man who studied at Brown, has worked for Formula One, and manages the musical affairs of his late father, the Beatle George Harrison. He's coming to Showbox at the Market with his new band, Fistful of Mercy (featuring Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur) for a sold-out show on Nov. 9. I've got more of our chat coming up next week, but for now, here's some of what Harrison and I talked about over Breakfast (at 1 p.m.).
Dhani Harrison, with his Fistful of Mercy bandmates Ben Harper (left), and Joseph Arthur (right).
Hey, Dhani, what's going on?
I'm just sitting in a diner in Los Angeles because my house is full of crazy people and my office is full of crazy people. It's actually most pleasant, my favorite place, called The Snug Harbor. It's this lovely little '50s diner that I go to.
Do you dip your sausages in syrup?
No, actually, I'm a big fan of a good English breakfast, the whole fryer kind of thing.
Can you find a good English breakfast in Los Angels?
They have good bacon here, I have to say. It's usually a test of the place. Good bacon, good eggs. Yeah, it's the nearest I'm going to get to a whole fryer.
Did you get into the whole bacon craze in the last couple years?I have friends who are like members of bacon of the month club. I don't even know what that is, but it sounds good. I was a vegetarian for years and then suddenly one day I just realized that bacon was the most awesome thing in the word. It's always the one to convert people from vegetarianism or veganism.
What else have you got going on today?
We are doing more rehearsals, and probably doing so more press, and I might be doing some skateboarding, I think.
Do you spend more time skateboarding these days or writing music?
It's about balanced at the moment. What with all the work that we've been doing, it's good to get out to skate a lot. Everyone has something that they do that whilst they're doing it you can't possibly think of anything else, either you're gonna hurt yourself or it just requires that much concentration. I think that after a period of that is usually a good period to write. If you go skateboarding it kind of blows the cobwebs out and it's a lot easier to just sit down and write, provided that you haven't, like, hurt yourself.
As a person whose been in the music industry on so many different levels, do you have the same kind of pessimistic or negative opinion of major labels that seems to be driving the narrative right now?
There's a place for major labels. I just think the industry got a bit detached from the art side of things. I am pretty down on major labels and that's why I do everything myself.
But in order to do something yourself then you have to become a label. But once you do become a label then you see it from their perspective a little bit more, on a smaller scale. And it allows you to realize where they were being major labels and where they weren't being very cool, you know?