40 Years of I Me Mine
27 Aug 2020
This August marks a very special anniversary for Genesis Publications. In 1980, we published the first edition of I Me Mine
, a memoir by George Harrison featuring his lyrics, commentary and photographs. The culmination of several years' work, it was the first of many collaborations with George, who became a good friend to Genesis. The anniversary is significant too because the book marked a change in direction for Genesis, from the publication of facsimile editions of historical nautical journals to rock 'n'roll photographic books.
The story of the book's existence will be familiar to long-term Genesis subscribers, but worth retelling. The late founder of Genesis, Brian Roylance, described how it came about in his essay published on the 30th anniversary of Genesis Publications:
"I've been publishing important historical manuscripts and The Beatles' handwritten lyrics are historically important too,' I'd said somewhat obviously to Derek Taylor. 'Let's try George,' said Derek, after all he was his close friend. Like many others on this planet I'd considered All Things Must Pass
to represent a fine body of work and to be one of the truly great recordings of our times. So when the invitation came to meet George at his home I was somewhat daunted by the prospect. But I'd been somewhat daunted by the vague possibility of meeting Lord Mountbatten at his home too and that was okay. In fact Lord Louis was perfectly charming but he didn't make me tea and quote Monty Python and take me into his recording studio to hear his latest demos on the first meeting. George didn't hang around if he liked somebody and on that first meeting a friendship was struck. Later he would tell me, 'Never put off telling someone you love them: you may not get another chance."
Brian also recalled George's feedback on an early I Me Mine
"Meeting George was fun, so too was working and going on holiday with him. I think I knew him well but I could never predict his reaction to any work, which I took to him for approval. Most often he would be knocked out by it and say so, but not always. I produced a first dummy of I Me Mine
in black leather and purple cloth, which I thought looked very 'rock and roll'. This prompted a phone call from LA, 'it's 'orrible and looks like Jayne Mansfield's diary' he said, but such comments whenever they came were always accompanied by a laugh. We never had an argument or even came close."
In 2002, I Me Mine
was republished with a new foreword by Olivia Harrison and in 2017 published again in collaboration with Olivia Harrison, this time as the 'Extended Edition
', updated with 59 additional handwritten lyrics and unpublished photographs.
I Me Mine
is available as a special Publisher's Copy, presented in a beautiful slipcase with an exclusive 6" x 4" photographic print and a bookplate signed by the publishers, Catherine and Nicholas Roylance. Also completing the I Me Mine
collection is a facsimile reproduction of George Harrison's hand-written 'I Me Mine'
lyric, available as a limited edition print, and an exclusive portrait, 'George Harrison in the Gardens of Cliveden House'
, taken by and signed by Olivia Harrison.