On November 29 2002, one year after the passing of George
Harrison, wife Olivia Harrison
and long-time friend Eric Clapton
organised a performance tribute in his honour. Held at London's
Royal Albert Hall, the momentous
evening featured George's songs and music he loved, performed by
an all-star lineup that included Eric Clapton, Jools
Holland, Jeff Lynne,
Paul McCartney, members of
Monty Python's Flying Circus,
Tom Petty, Billy
Preston, Ravi and
Ringo Starr, and many more.
released in a limited theatrical run worldwide and now released
by Warner Strategic Marketing on November 18 in the USA, November
24 in the UK, November 25 in Canada, and December 8 in Australia
CONCERT FOR GEORGE is a superb
DVD celebrating that magical night. Also released the
same day in each territory is a 2-CD
soundtrack consisting of nearly two hours of music from
the historic tribute.
those of us lucky to be there, the memories of that amazing
evening will remain forever but director David
Leland (Wish You Were Here, Band Of Brothers
and the Traveling Wilburys video 'Handle
With Care') has captured the event perfectly for
those that were not. This is without doubt one of the most
beautifully filmed concert performances ever. Shot in high
definition and from more than a dozen camera locations,
the sound has been digitally mastered with sound recorded
in 5.1 Surround.
Jeff Lynne, Michael Kamen, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr,
Dhani Harrison & Marc Mann
one of the DVD contains the complete concert, including performances
not featured in the theatrical version. Disc two contains the
theatrical version featuring concert highlights, interviews
with the performers, rehearsals, photo gallery and behind-the-scenes
footage. Each of the performers had a personal friendship or
history with Harrison and the backstage moments and interviews
give a sense of how deeply they felt for him.
Lynne: "I'd say to him
when we were working together, I'd say, 'wow, you've got
some amazing chords in here!' He'd say, 'I have to - I don't
want to be like anybody else. I wanna make chord changes
that nobody else uses.' He really knew how to be individual.
I think a lot of the Indian influence comes out in some
of his melodies and ideas and timing. He has funny timing.
I always write in 4/4 because I'm too lazy to count but
some of these tunes are in like 17/53 time! George was bold
enough to do that, change time signatures, change key with
ease, but always using these favourite chords which were
the diminished. It's very hard to create something that
makes everybody go, 'Ohhhh - I love that!' It's just so
great, so uplifting. It's just a pleasure to play, I could
play that chord change all night long. He was able to do
it many times."
FOR GEORGE captures stunning renditions of some of the most
significant music of the 20th century, including "While
My Guitar Gently Weeps" (featuring Clapton on
guitar, McCartney on piano and Starr on drums), "Taxman"
(performed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and "The
Inner Light" (by Jeff Lynne and Anoushka Shankar).
Clapton oversaw the entire proceedings as Musical Director,
while Lynne, Harrison's long-time friend and collaborator,
produced the audio elements of the concert.
Clapton with Dhani Harrison
the large number of musicians on stage, all playing a
variety of electric, acoustic, classical and traditional
Indian instruments and with 96 channels to mix to surround
sound, Jeff Lynne has produced a masterpiece. Ably assisted
by Mark Mann and Ryan
Ulyate, the concert audio took five months
hard work to mix and sounds incredible, one of the finest
things Jeff has ever done.
highlights are many and too numerous to mention but include
McCartney and Clapton performing a duet of "Something,"
with Starr on drums; Starr performing his hit "Photograph"
(which was co-written by Harrison), Oscar-winner Tom
Hanks sitting in with Monty Python (featuring
Eric Idle, Michael
Palin, Terry Gilliam,
and Neil Innes) for
a hysterical version of "The
Lumberjack Song," one of Harrison's favourites,
and Lynne and Anoushka Shankar's spellbinding performance
of "The Inner Light".
Lynne's fine vocal and harmonies shine throughout while
also of interest to ELO fans is the invaluable contribution
Mark Mann plays. Performing many of Harrison's guitar solos
while Clapton directs the musicians on stage, Mann's inter-play
with Andy Fairweather-Low
is a particular joy to watch.
Lynne: "We chose the
numbers we wanted to do and then we just rehearsed really
hard for probably two-and-a-half weeks in London. We just
kept bashing away until it started sounding good."
Monty Python team with Tom Hanks. Anoushka Shankar,
Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney
Lynne and Dhani Harrison with Tom Petty and The
extra features on the second DVD are illuminating, especially
rehearsal footage showing Jeff taking Harrison's and Petty's
lines on Wilburies classic "Handle
With Care" which was ultimately different to
how the song was performed on the night with Tom
Petty And The Heartbreakers.
proceeds from the concert, film, DVD and CD will be donated
to The Material World Charitable
Foundation, which George Harrison founded in
1973. The foundation supports the arts, music, education
and people with special needs.
Olivia Harrison: "The Concert
For George was all I hoped it would be. I don't think I've ever
heard a band play with so much emotion and respect."
DVD and CD are thoroughly recommended, not just for fans of
Jeff Lynne, The
Traveling Wilburies or ELO,
but for everyone who is a fan of beautiful, heartfelt, quality
Lynne: "Everybody was there
for George, that was the good thing."
addition to the regular DVD and CD releases, Warners have
prepared a series of promotional items. A 4-song sampler
in jewel case with colour sleeve has been circulated to
radio stations worldwide and features the following tracks:
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps";
Need You"; and "Handle
specially commissioned radio show for the Capital
Gold network (details below) has also been
made available as part of the Concert For George press
kit. The custom printed CD's come in two versions: a continuous
show narrated by Robert Lindsay
and the other without narration but with track cues and
idents, enabling radio stations to insert their own voice-overs.
hour-long radio special devoted to the concert is scheduled
for broadcast on 28 November via Capital Gold in the UK
and features music from the concert, interviews with Olivia
Harrison, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne and more.
concert photos on this page are copyright www.concertforgeorge.com
and Warner Strategic Marketing. Used with permission and not