George Harrison And Friends
George Harrison And Friends
The concert raised US$243,418.50 for Bangladesh relief, which was administered by UNICEF. Sales of the album and DVD continue to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF. BACKGROUND As East Pakistan struggled to become the separate state of Bangladesh (see Bangladesh Liberation War), the tremendous political and military turmoil led to a massive refugee problem in India. This problem was compounded by the 1970 Bhola cyclone, bringing torrential rains causing devastating floods and threatening a humanitarian disaster. Bengali musician Ravi Shankar consulted his friend George Harrison regarding a means of providing help to the situation. Harrison recorded the single "Bangla Desh" to raise awareness and pushed Apple Records to release Shankar's single "Joi Bangla" in a dual-pronged effort to raise funds. Shankar also asked Harrison's advice regarding a small fund-raising concert in the United States.
Harrison took the idea and started calling his friends, persuading them to join him in a large concert at Madison Square Garden. The event was organised within five weeks. Harrison first asked his fellow Beatles to appear. John Lennon agreed to take part in the concert, however Harrison stipulated that Lennon's wife Yoko Ono not perform with him. Lennon agreed, but left New York two days before the event following an argument with Ono regarding his and Harrison's agreement that she not participate.
Paul McCartney declined because of the bad feelings caused by The Beatles' legal problems on their break-up. Ringo Starr, however, readily agreed to appear. CONCERT PROGRAM Ravi Shankar and the sarodist Ali Akbar Khan opened the concert with recital of Indian music consisting of the rāga, "Bangla Dhun". It was the first live appearance for George Harrison since the breakup of The Beatles. Eric Clapton made his first public appearance since the end of the five-month Derek and the Dominos tour the previous December. Clapton was still in the grip of a heroin addiction, and had been unable to attend any rehearsals until the final soundcheck.
This was the first live performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and was the first time the public was made aware that it was Clapton who played the solo on The Beatles' recording. Musical help was also on hand from Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Klaus Voormann, Jim Keltner, Badfinger, a large horn section put together by Jim Horn and other musicians, including Carl Radle, Jesse Ed Davis, Don Preston and a host of backing singers organized by Don Nix. Bob Dylan made his first stage appearance since the Isle of Wight Festival in August 1969. Apart from sitting in for a few numbers with The Band on New Year 1972 and an unannounced appearance backing John Prine on harmonica at a Greenwich Village club, he did not play live again until January 1974. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more