If you weren’t already aware of the greatness of George Harrison, both the quality and quantity of his music, and the depth of friendships he forged over his lifetime, this special will surely deliver that home to you.
A solid two hours of essentially George’s greatest hits, played by the musicians that he was closest to. It’s a similar set up to the Concert For Bangladesh, the benefit show George produced in 1971. A staggering lineup of stars onstage, a fabulous set of tunes, and a great audience excited to see the show. Incidentally, if you’re a George or Beatles fan in general, the Concert For Bangladesh film is a can’t miss.
The result is a satisfying concert movie that almost makes you feel like you were there, except it exceeds that by delivering closeups with the cameras, different angles to view the performers, and no rowdy audiences members blocking your view or hearing!
Still, the show itself is to pay tribute to George, and like stated before, the lineup of stars participating is staggering. Eric Clapton leads the charge, but is supported by Jeff Lynne of the Electric Light Orchestra, Beatles Ringo and Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Billy Preston, Ravi Shankar, and even almost the entirety of Monty Python.
The songs themselves reflect George’s catalog both with the Beatles and after as a solo artist. Some of these tunes were rarely played live by George during his lifetime, namely the Beatles tracks. Since he didn’t become a prolific writer until after the band had stopped touring, many of his best songs weren’t performed live.
Interspersed between some songs are short interviews with the participants, explaining what George meant to them in both their musical careers and in life, and they all have something unique to say.
George touched every one of them in a different way, and the emotive relief that they got by doing this show is clear in their body language and the way they speak.
As Clapton says, “I’m doing this for me.” It’s not just a celebration of a great musician, but a way to deal with the pain of losing such a friend. We all grieve, but we also all enjoy the wonderful music.