Friday, November 18, 2011

Concert for George

Concert for George was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 29 November 2002 as a memorial to George Harrison on the first anniversary of his death. The event was organized by Harrison's widow, Olivia, and son, Dhani, and arranged under the musical direction of Eric Clapton and Jeff Lynne. The profits from the event went to the Material World Charitable Foundation, an organization set up by Harrison.


The concert opened with a traditional Sanskrit invocation, the Sarve Shaam chant, followed by Indian music when Anoushka Shankar, daughter of Ravi Shankar, played "Your Eyes." Next, Anoushka Shankar and Jeff Lynne performed "The Inner Light," followed by a Ravi Shankar composition "Arpan" (Sanskrit for 'to give'), specially written for the occasion. Next there was a comedy interlude with members of the Monty Python troupe (Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam along with Neil Innes) performing "Sit on My Face." Then Michael Palin came out as an over the top announcer who eventually states that he only ever wanted to be a lumberjack. He was then joined by the Pythons, Innes, Carol Cleveland and special guest Tom Hanks, to perform "The Lumberjack Song."

The remainder of the concert featured "George's Band" and included surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr as well as musicians Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Billy Preston, Jools Holland, Albert Lee, Sam Brown, Gary Brooker, Joe Brown, Ray Cooper, Andy Fairweather-Low, Marc Mann, Harrison's son Dhani and several other musicians who appeared on Harrison's recordings over the years.

Between them they played a selection of mostly Harrison's songs, from both Beatle and post-Beatle eras, generally staying faithful to Harrison's original arrangements. Performances included Clapton and Preston on "Isn't It a Pity"; Starr on "Photograph"; McCartney and Clapton on "Something" (McCartney opening with a solo ukulele accompaniment which then shifts into a full band version featuring Clapton); Preston on "My Sweet Lord"; McCartney, Clapton and Starr reuniting on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" for the first time since they recorded the original Beatles version on 'The White Album' in 1968; and the performance of "Wah Wah."

Joe Brown closed the show with a very warming and apt rendition of "I'll See You in My Dreams" on ukulele, one of Harrison's favourite instruments.

The event was filmed and a motion picture version, directed by David Leland and photographed by Chris Menges was released on DVD on 17 November 2003. A compact disc version was also released on the same date; The Monty Python and Sam Brown tracks were not included on the CD.

Set list

1. "Sarve Shaam"
* Traditional prayer - including a dedication by Ravi Shankar
2. "Your Eyes" (Ravi Shankar) - 8:22
* Anoushka Shankar: sitar / Tanmoy Bose: tabla
3. "The Inner Light" (Harrison) - 3:01
* Anoushka Shankar: sitar / Jeff Lynne: lead vocal, acoustic guitar / Tanmoy Bose: tabla / Dhani Harrison: piano, backing vocals / Unidentified musician(s)
4. "Arpan" (Ravi Shankar) - 23:01
* Anoushka Shankar: sitar, conductor / Sukanya Shankar: vocal-shloka / M. Balanchandar: mridangam / Vishwa Mohan Bhatt: mohan vina / Tanmoy Bose: tabla, dholak / Chandrasekhar, Balu Raghuraman: violins / Eric Clapton: guitar / Pedro Eustache: wind instruments / Sunil Gupta: flute / Anuradha Krishamurthi, O.S. Arun: vocalists / Jane Lister: harp / Gaurav Mazumdar: sitar / Snehashish Mzumdar: mandolin / Ramesh Mishra: sarangi / Pirashanna Thevarajah: percussion / Kenji Ota: tanpura / Barry Phillips: cello / Rajendara Prasanna: shahnai / Emil Richards: marimba / Partho Sarathy: sarod / Hari Sivanesan, Sivaskti Sivanesan: veena / Boys and Girls Choir courtesy of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan / English Chamber Choir / London Metropolitan Orchestra (Andrew Brown, Roger Chase, Chris Fish, Helen Hathorn, Lynda Houghton, Ian Humphries, Zoe Martlew, Stella Page, Debbie Widdup)
* Michael Kamen - string conductor, string arrangement
5. Comic Interlude including four members of Monty Python: Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam. Also performing: Neil Innes, Carol Cleveland and Tom Hanks.
* "Sit On My Face"
* "The Lumberjack Song"
6. "I Want to Tell You" (Harrison) - 2:52
* Jeff Lynne: lead vocal, guitar
7. "If I Needed Someone" (Harrison) - 2:28
* Eric Clapton: lead vocal, guitar
8. "Old Brown Shoe" (Harrison) - 3:48
* Gary Brooker: lead vocal, keyboards
9. "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" (Harrison) - 3:29
* Jeff Lynne: lead vocal, guitar
10. "Beware Of Darkness" (Harrison) - 4:00
* Eric Clapton: lead vocal, guitar
11. "Here Comes the Sun" (Harrison) - 3:09
* Joe Brown: lead vocal, guitar / Neil Gauntlett: guitar / Dave 'Rico' Nilo: bass / Phil Capaldi: drums / Andy Fairweather-Low: guitar
12. "That's The Way It Goes" (Harrison) - 3:39
* Joe Brown: lead vocal, mandolin / Neil Gauntlett: guitar / Dave 'Rico' Nilo: bass / Phil Capaldi: drums
13. "Horse to the Water" (George Harrison/Dhani Harrison)
* Sam Brown: lead vocal / Jools Holland: piano / Jim Capaldi: drums
14. "Taxman" (Harrison) - 3:10
* Tom Petty: lead vocal, guitar / Mike Campbell: lead guitar / Benmont Tench: keyboards / Ron Blair: bass / Steve Ferrone: drums / Scott Thurston: additional guitar, background vocals
15. "I Need You" (Harrison) - 3:00
* Tom Petty: lead vocal, guitar / Mike Campbell: lead guitar / Benmont Tench: keyboards / Ron Blair: bass / Steve Ferrone: drums / Scott Thurston: additional guitar, background vocals
16. "Handle with Care" (George Harrison/Jeff Lynne/Roy Orbison/Tom Petty/Bob Dylan) - 3:27
* Tom Petty: lead vocal, guitar / Jeff Lynne: lead vocal / Dhani Harrison: guitar / Scott Thurston: background vocal, guitar, harmonica / Mike Campbell: lead guitar / Benmont Tench: keyboards / Ron Blair: bass / Steve Ferrone: drums / Jim Keltner: drums
17. "Isn't It a Pity" (Harrison) - 6:58
* Billy Preston: lead vocal, organ / Eric Clapton: lead vocal, lead guitar
18. "Photograph" (Starkey/Harrison) - 3:56
* Ringo Starr: lead vocal
19. "Honey Don't" (Carl Perkins) - 3:03
* Ringo Starr: lead vocal / Albert Lee: guitar solo / Gary Brooker: piano solo / Billy Preston: organ
20. "For You Blue" (Harrison) - 3:04
* Paul McCartney: lead vocal, acoustic guitar / Ringo Starr: drums / Marc Mann: slide guitar
21. "Something" (Harrison) - 4:25
* Paul McCartney: lead vocal, ukulele, acoustic guitar / Ringo Starr: drums / Eric Clapton: lead vocal, lead guitar / Marc Mann: guitar
22. "All Things Must Pass" (Harrison) - 3:33
* Paul McCartney: lead vocal, acoustic guitar / Ringo Starr: Drums
23. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (Harrison) - 5:57
* Eric Clapton: lead vocal, lead guitar / Paul McCartney: piano, background vocals / Ringo Starr: drums
24. "My Sweet Lord" (Harrison) - 5:02
* Billy Preston: lead vocal, keyboards / Paul McCartney: piano
25. "Wah-Wah" (Harrison) - 6:06
* Jeff Lynne/Eric Clapton: lead vocal, guitar/Billy Preston: lead vocal/keyboards / Supergroup of Guest Musicians: all other instruments
26. "I'll See You in My Dreams" (Isham Jones/Gus Kahn) - 4:01
* Joe Brown: lead vocal, ukulele / Neil Gauntlett: acoustic guitar / Dave 'Rico' Nilo: bass / Jim Capaldi: drums

George's Band (after interlude) and guests

* Eric Clapton — guitars, musical director
* Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Joe Brown, Albert Lee, Marc Mann, Andy Fairweather-Low, Dhani Harrison — electric and acoustic guitars
* Gary Brooker, Jools Holland, Chris Stainton, Billy Preston, Paul McCartney — keyboards
* Dave Bronze, Klaus Voormann — bass
* Jim Capaldi, Ringo Starr, Jim Keltner, Henry Spinetti — drums
* Ray Cooper — percussion
* Jim Horn — alto saxophone
* Tom Scott — tenor saxophone
* Katie Kissoon, Tessa Niles, Sam Brown — backing vocals
* Ravi Shankar — sitar


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