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Harry Nilsson

Harry Nilsson

The Beatles’ Favorite Artist 1983

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Harry Nilsson, LA 1983

How did you make that leap from being a bank teller to a singer/songwriter?

I wasn’t a teller; I was in charge of a computer center for seven years at a bank. I dropped out of school in the ninth grade and became a theater user and then assistant manager of a theater. They closed the theater and I figured since I knew how to count money, I would get a job in a bank. I lied about my education on the application, but I did a super good job and ended up being in charge.

I also started hanging out with people on the fringe of the music business. I once saw an ad in the paper for turning songs into demos. I walked in and they asked what songs I had and I told them I thought they wanted someone to sing on demos. So they gave me a job at five dollars a demo and I got to meet people and have coffee with them. One day, a guy rushed into the office and he needed someone to sing a song real quick. I think the artist had died. The boss pointed at me, shrugged, and said “him.” It was for Mercury Records and I wrote the B side. They never put out the record, but I was under contract for a year.


  

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