WSM and Warner Vision International celebrate the life and music of George Harrison with DVD and CD release of Concert for George
All-Star Tribute Features Performances By Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Ringo Starr and more
2-Disc DVD and 2-CD Sets In Stores November 18 (US)
On November 29, 2002—one year after the passing of music legend George Harrison—wife Olivia Harrison and longtime friend Eric Clapton organized a performance tribute in his honor. 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 Clapton, Jools Holland, Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, Monty Python, Tom Petty, Billy Preston, Ravi and Anoushka Shankar, Ringo Starr, and many more.
Warner Strategic Marketing (WSM) and Warner Vision International celebrate that magical night with the DVD release of Concert for George, a double-disc set highlighting the gala event, which was beautifully filmed for posterity and recently released in a limited theatrical run. Also being released the same day is a 2-CD soundtrack consisting of nearly two hours of music from this historic tribute.
Concert for George will be available in the US on November 18th at all retail outlets. November 17th will be the release date for the CD set and November 24th for the DVD in the UK.
Disc I of the DVD contains the complete concert, including performances not featured in the theatrical version. Disc II contains the theatrical version featuring concert highlights, interviews with the performers, rehearsals, 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 cared for him.
Directed by David Leland (whose credits include the feature Wish You Were Here, HBO’s Band of Brothers and The Traveling Wilburys’ video Handle With Care), the Concert for George DVD 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 (covered by Jeff Lynne and Anoushka Shankar). Lynne, Harrison’s longtime friend and collaborator, produced the audio elements of the concert CD, while Clapton oversaw the entire proceedings as Musical Director.
Anoushka Shankar and a 16-piece orchestra of Indian musicians performed a composition by her father, Harrison’s mentor, Ravi Shankar. The piece, Arpan, (Offering) celebrates Harrison’s love of Indian classical music and was specially composed by Shankar for this event.
Among the other high points are McCartney and Clapton performing a duet of Something with Starr on drums; Starr performing his #1 hit Photograph (which was co-written by Harrison), and 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 favorites.
Harrison’s friend, Joe Brown, played the old standard I’ll See You In My Dreams to close the emotional evening.
“The Concert for George was all I hoped it would be,” said Olivia Harrison. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard a band play with so much emotion and respect.”
Concert for George captures the majesty of Royal Albert Hall from more than a dozen camera locations. The film was shot in high definition and digitally mastered with sound recorded in 5.1 surround.
The film is a @radical media production with producers Ray Cooper, Olivia Harrison and Jon Kamen. Net proceeds from the concert, film, DVD and CD will be donated to The Material World Charitable Foundation, which Harrison founded in 1973.