by Robert Wilkinson
Updated from two days ago: Today Sir George Harrison, "the Quiet Beatle," would have been 68. He died way too young 10 years ago. Today on the web there's a Concert for George, a tribute concert done for him 9 years ago on the anniversary of his death. This is a tribute by some of the greatest musicians in history to this extraordinary Spiritual man.
Ordinarily I would have had a LOT of videos of this man for all seasons, but due to work considerations this one won't have as many as I would like. He was truly a remarkable man, as he personally opened the door to the exploration of Eastern Spirituality by millions of western young people AND wrote some of the most beautiful pop songs in history. Besides these not insignificant achievements, he also introduced Ravi Shankar to the Western world, introduced the sitar to pop music (though the Raga form had been introduced earlier by the Kinks in "See My Friends,"), and produced two of the funniest movies ever made, both by Monty Python.
Anyway, I did find some good material, and to quote Sir John, "I'd like to turn you on...." So let's get on with this year's musical celebration of one of the most spiritual musicians to ever pluck a string on this Earth.
Eric Clapton and George teamed up in Japan in 1991 on a couple of George's hits from his Beatles years. Here's George's composition from the "Rubber Soul" album, "If I Needed Someone," and from the "Revolver" album, the ascerbic "Taxman." From the same concert, his tune from the amazing triple album "All Things Must Pass," "What Is Life." (For a treat, here are the Beatles in Japan in July 1966 doing "If I Needed Someone."
Now, from the second annual Prince's Trust concert, here's Sir George, Sir Ringo, Sir Elton, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins and others performing George's hit from the Beatles' "Abbey Road" album, "Here Comes The Sun."
We continue with George and some friends live in London in 1992 performing as Hari and the Hijack Band, doinging his hit composition also from the Beatles' "Abbey Road" album, the beautiful "Something."
After the Beatles, his social conscience prompted him to create the first major charity concert in history, The Concert for Bangladesh. From 1971 in Madison Square Garden, featuring Sir George, Sir Ringo, Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, and a whole lot of other great Beings, here's George and friends performing the title song of this pioneering effort, "Bangladesh." Bone chilling to this day, given what the concert was all about....
The following are set to still photos, except for the original music videos for his various hits.
We begin this section with a truly beautiful spiritual song, "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)"
Here's George's tribute to Sir John after his assassination, the wistful "All Those Years Ago." On a related note, here's the original music video of George's statement looking back on the Beatles, "When We Was Fab."
Here's one of my favorites from later in his career! Enjoy the original music video of George Harrison doing his last hit, the irresistably danceable "Got My mind Set On You." (I found a real treat! Here's the original 1962 version of "Got My Mind Set On You" by James Ray. Testify! Just hit the play arrow and start dancing to the Choir!!)
Here are two videos of still photos set to George's music from the great "All Things Must Pass":
Toward the end of his life, he got together with friends Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison to create The Traveling Wilburys. Here's a song composed by George that someone smart decided not to make a "B" side of another song, since it was good enough to be released on its own. For your enjoyment, the original music video by the Traveling Wilburys of their hit, "Handle With Care."
We'll close today with a couple of tunes from his last album, released posthumously. First, the upbeat "Any Road" and the closer of the album, a profoundly spiritual message given to us by a dead man, "Brainwashed."
RIP, Brother George. You made the world a more joyful, playful place, and your genuine humor and devotion to all that is good left a mark on all of us that will live across the lifetimes.
© Copyright 2011 Robert Wilkinson