Searingly insightful yet painfully poignant; Concert for George is a celebration of George Harrison’s life and music – a beautifully bound publication that perfectly captures the sentiment and emotion behind the 2002 concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Concert for George is the new title from Genesis Publications, painting an intimate portrait of a man who was loved by millions.
In a gallery of 450 images, most never seen before, Concert for George takes the reader through the entire process of the concert – from inception to performance. Providing a photographic record of the rehearsal process, the book also serves as a communal diary, with touching, insightful contributions from everyone involved in the concert – including Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and Michael Palin. The book also features a foreword by Paul Theroux – acclaimed author and personal friend, whose moving introduction evokes the emotion and the elation of a memorable night.
Concert for George is more than the story of one concert, however. Eric Clapton talks about George’s contrariness while Eric Idle, Michael Palin and Ringo Starr reveal a quiet social recluse who loved company and couldn’t shut up. Sam Brown remembers his ruthless honesty and compassion, Klaus Voorman his desperate anger at the state of the planet, and Ravi Shankar his dedication to meditation and the sitar. Tom Petty recalls the time he spent as a Traveling Wilbury, along with Jeff Lynne who is just one of many to comment on George’s unusual songwriting. Tom Hanks and Andy Fairweather Low tell of high-speed rides in ‘The Rocket’ and Jim Capaldi and Terry Gilliam remember George’s love of laughter. Most poignantly, Olivia and Dhani Harrison recall a husband and a father.
Brian Roylance, founder of Genesis Publications and co-editor of the book with George’s wife Olivia, was George’s book publisher and friend for many years (the idea for the actual “Concert for George” in fact came from a lunchtime chat between Brian and Eric Clapton.) In creating Concert for George, Brian’s collaboration with Olivia has ensured that George’s tastes in book design, content and production have been faithfully reflected in a way that he would have approved of. The beautifully crafted book is limited to 2,500 numbered copies, each housed in a silk-screened box, and each signed by Olivia Harrison, with the motif for the fabric design taken from the original stage backdrops.
“This book is the behind the scenes story of a remarkable concert and film which struck a chord in the hearts of people all over the world,” comments Brian Roylance. “But it is substantially more than that. It is also a precious and lasting memento, an insight into the life of George Harrison created by those close to him. Others will close this book feeling closer to him too.”
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