“There was never a time when I did not exist, no you. Nor will there be any future in which we will cease to be.”The Bhagavad-Gita

“I could do something like that someday … You have all your best pals out there being groovy and making it interesting. I mean if I had a ‘special’ I’d have a few people who mean something to me.”George Harrison

George finally got his special but unfortunately, he wasn’t there to enjoy it, or maybe he was. He died on November 29, 2001. One year later, to the day, a group of his best pals gathered at Royal Albert Hall in London for the Concert for George. The impressive list of participants included former Beatle-mates Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr along with sixth Beatle Billy Preston, Wilbury colleagues Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, Eric Clapton, Monty Python, Jools Holland, Gary Brooker, Joe Brown, Anoushka Shankar.

Joining his father’s friends on stage that night was a young Dhani Harrison, dressed in spectral white. He looked so much like George that you couldn’t help but wonder if George really was presiding over the concert that night.

Concert for George

The Concert for George was commemorated with an audio CD and a film release in 2003. The concert film was particularly beautiful set as it was in the majestic old hall. The film won a Grammy for Best Long Form Video and it has become a staple for PBS fundraising broadcasts.

George would have turned 75 on February 25 of this year. To mark the occasion, Concord Music has released the complete Concert for George in an impressive four-LP box set and a truly extravagant Deluxe Box Set (in a limited edition of 1,000) that includes four 180-gram audiophile LPs, two CDs, two DVDs, two Blu-rays, and a 12″x12″ hard-bound 60-page book. The concert is also available in new CD, DVD, and Blu-ray configurations.

“We will always celebrate George’s birthday and this year we are releasing Concert for George in a very special package in memory of a special man.”Olivia Harrison

The four-LP set marks the first time that complete concert has been available on vinyl and the box set includes a booklet full of photos as well as a stirring essay by noted writer Paul Theroux.

From the opening traditional prayer to the wistful closing number by Joe Brown, the Concert for George is as close to a perfect tribute as George’s friends could have hoped for. Like me, you may have seen the film several times and listened to the concert on CD, but the new 180-gram LP set is a revelation and it belongs in your library.

Purchase link: Concert for George – Four-LP box set

Four-LP Vinyl Track Listing:

Side 1:
“Sarve Shaam” — Traditional Prayer
“Your Eyes” – Anoushka Shankar
“The Inner Light” – Jeff Lynne & Anoushka Shankar

Side 2:
“Arpan” – Conducted by Anoushka Shankar

Side 3:
“Sit On My Face” — Monty Python
“The Lumberjack Song” — Monty Python with Tom Hanks
“I Want To Tell You” – Jeff Lynne
“If I Needed Someone” – Eric Clapton
“Old Brown Shoe” – Gary Brooker
“Give Me Love” – Jeff Lynne

Side 4:
“Beware Of Darkness” – Eric Clapton
“Here Comes The Sun” – Joe Brown
“That’s The Way It Goes” – Joe Brown
“Horse To The Water” — Jools Holland & Sam Brown
“Taxman” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Side 5:
“I Need You” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
“Handle With Care” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Jeff Lynne & Dhani Harrison
“Isn’t It A Pity” – Billy Preston
“Photograph” – Ringo Starr

Side 6:
“Honey Don’t” – Ringo Starr
“For You Blue” – Paul McCartney
“Something” – Paul McCartney & Eric Clapton
“All Things Must Pass” – Paul McCartney
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – Paul McCartney & Eric Clapton

Side 7:
“My Sweet Lord” – Billy Preston
“Wah Wah” – Eric Clapton & Band
“I’ll See You In My Dreams” – Joe Brown

Side 8:
Etched vinyl with mandala design

About the Author

Ken Shane

Ken Shane lives in Narragansett, R.I. He is a freelance writer and far and away the oldest Popdose writer. In fact, he may be the oldest writer, period. He wants you to know that he generally does not share his colleagues' love for the music of the '80s, and he does not forgive them for loving it. (Ken passed away in November 2022. R.I.P. —Ed.)

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