LOS ANGELES – In essence, George Harrison and his best pals won another Grammy at last night’s 2005 Grammy ceremony in Los Angeles. The moving tribute DVD, CONCERT FOR GEORGE, won the Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video. In addition, the song “Something” from CONCERT FOR GEORGE with Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney was nominated for a Grammy as Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Olivia Harrison was on hand for the ceremony and producer Jon Kamen accepted the award with the emotional comment, “George Harrison is still with 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) celebrates that magical night with the DVD of CONCERT FOR GEORGE, a double-disc set highlighting the gala event, which was beautifully filmed for posterity and released in a limited theatrical run. Also available is a 2-CD soundtrack consisting of nearly two hours of music from this historic tribute.
Disc 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, 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.
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, while Clapton oversaw the entire proceedings as Musical Director.
In one memorable segment, Anoushka Shankar conducted a full orchestra of musicians performing a special composition by her father and Harrison’s mentor, Ravi Shankar, celebrating Harrison’s love of Indian classical music. The piece, entitled “Arpan,” means “offering.”
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 cowritten 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 DVD of “Concert for George,” containing the full-length version of the Concert plus the edited theatrical version and further bonus material is available in the webshop or through regular retailers.
Orders now being taken for Limited Edition Genesis Publication of Concert for George book (to benefit the Material World Foundation).