Concert for George: Celebrating George Harrison
A celebration of his life and music
I was born just a few years too late to experience the manic days of Beatlemania but I still remember them well. It's sad for so many of us that of the four Beatles, two are no longer with us and left before their time.
George was what?
I do remember that Paul was the cute one, John was the clever one and Ringo was the funny one - so they used to say. So what was George? He certainly had the wit and the musical ability of the others but somehow, he always remained in the shadows.
A serious musician
I saw Harrison playing at Sheffield City Hall. I think, but I'm not sure, that this was in 1969 or 1970 - I can't remember, it was a long time ago. What astounded me was the caliber of the other musicians on stage. Surely they would't have asked him to be a part of this group unless he was a serious musician? As the concert proceeded, I was proved to be right.
A tribute and celebration
George Harrison was only 58 when he died on November 29th, 2001 and the concert took place on the first anniversary. And the word to hold onto is 'celebration' - tributes can be so gloomy if not done correctly but this concert was genius. It was heartwarming and loving without being morose or maudlin. It featured musicians from the very pinnacle of the music world who paid their respects in the best way they knew how, through music, rhythm and fun.
Watch and listen to the concert
I could write a lot more about this, describing the musicians who look part and explaining what an upbeat affair it was but I imagine that what you really want to do is sample this wonderful concert.
See the selection of videos below to get a taste. It truly is a fascinating look at the life and works of the ex-Beatle.
It also shows how other performers and musicians held him in high esteem.
Get the very best of George all together on this fabulous CD. During the days of the Beatles it's probably fair to say that his music was the most overlooked. After the split though, he was free to pursue his own musical interests and this is just one example.
Oh WOW. Look who's on stage here. And watch for the young rhythm guitarist in the pale colored shirt. Isn't that spooky?
This is just so wonderful.
Now if this doesn't make you 'gently weep' then you have a heart of stone.
As you've seen in the videos above, George's son Dhani (or Dani) was one of the performers on stage. It's absolutely uncanny how similar he is to his father.
I'm not the only one who was struck by this.
Watch the video below. Firstly, it's so interesting to see that the musicians have a genuine respect and affection for George's son. Maybe they find it uncanny too.
But watch for Paul McCartney's remarks. He takes to the microphone and reveals what George's widow has just said to him. That because Dhani is onstage it appears that George stayed young and the rest of them became old.
George Harrison was so much more that 'an ex-Beatle'. He was a highly regarded and respected musician.The genuine emotion shown by the other musicians on stage goes some way to show their respect and their love for him.
A little interesting trivia
Lennon and McCartney were the most famous and prolific composers of their time. But, according to Paul McCartney,there was only ever one record that was attributed to Harrison and McCartney.
Do you know which one it is? I'll be surprised if you do. I only discovered this myself fairly recently when watching the film Nowhere Boy, the story of the Beatles' earliest years. (If you'd like to know more about this excellent film, read my review here.)
Since I discovered this song, I rather suspect it has become my favourite Beatles song.Or at least, one of them- it's so difficult to choose between them, isn't it?
As far as I can discover, there was never any footage of the group singing this song - it was written in the 1950s in the very early days of the Beatles.
So below, I've added the scene from the absolutely brilliant film.
© 2013 Jackie Jackson