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Among those who played with Eric Clapton were Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, Billy Preston, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jools Holland, Ravi Shankar with Anoushka Shankar and Ringo Starr.
BY GEORGE, THEY DID IT!
All-Star Band Fetes Late Beatle on Anniversary of his Death
It was an air of celebration, rather than mourning, that filled London’s Royal Albert Hall Friday night, as an all-star band helped celebrate the legacy of the late George Harrison with a gala concert marking the one-year anniversary of his death from cancer last Nov. 29. Harrison’s posthumous Brainwashed album, produced by Jeff Lynne and his 25-year-old son Dhani, came out on Dark Horse/Capitol last week to critical acclaim (including a four-star Rolling Stone review), debuting at #20, with more than 73k in sales.

The Concert for George was organized by the legendary Beatle’s wife Olivia Harrison and longtime friend Eric Clapton, with proceeds going to Harrison’s Material World Charitable Foundation, which he established in 1973, the year he released the album Living In The Material World.

"George gave the song royalties from that album to the foundation in order to allow people to explore other philosophies and cultures," said Harrison.

Among those who played with Clapton were Lynne, Paul McCartney, Billy Preston, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jools Holland, Ravi Shankar with Anoushka Shankar and Ringo Starr.

"It was easy to pick the people for the show," Clapton said. "A definite group of people were always involved in George’s life at one stage or another."

"The show was Eric’s and Olivia’s idea to start with," Lynne explained. "And I feel honored to be among them."

Among those in the Clapton-led backing band were Lynne, Andy Fairweather Low, Albert Lee, Marc Mann and son Dhani on guitars; Jim Keltner and Henry Spinetti on drums; percussionist Ray Cooper; Chris Stainton and Gary Brooker on keyboards, and Jim Horn and Tom Scott on horns, with Jim Capaldi and Klaus Voormann also taking part on several numbers.

The concert had two parts, starting with an original composition for George by Ravi Shankar performed by a 40-member Indian and Western Orchestra, including Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and conducted by Anoushka Shankar. Lynne and Clapton joined them for "Inner Light," after which Ravi spoke about George. Former Monty Python members Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin began the second half of the show performing the classics "Sit On My Face" and "The Lumberjack Song." Harrison’s Handmade Films produced the original Python movies.

Some of the concert highlights included Petty and the Heartbreakers doing "Taxman"; Clapton, Preston and the house band’s rendition of "Isn’t It A Pity"; Ringo’s poignant version of "Photograph"; McCartney’s take on "Something," a song he performs as his own tribute during his current world tour; Clapton and McCartney fronting "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and the finale, "See You In My Dreams," performed by Joe Brown with the entire band.

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