Nov 29, 2002: ‘Concert For George’ Tribute Honors Harrison

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Rock and roll royalty assembled at London’s Royal Albert Hall on November 29, 2002, for the Concert For George, to pay tribute to George Harrison, one year to the day after he died of lung cancer at 58. The organizers and performers did not disappoint.

Harrison’s widow, Olivia, and their son, Dhani, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Lynne were the musical directors. They enlisted a remarkable bill: performers also included his Beatles’ mates, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, fellow Traveling Wilbury Tom PettyBilly Preston, various members of Monty Python (whom Harrison had befriended), Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker and many more.

Watch the band rehearse

The setlist included a Harrison career retrospective including songs recorded by The Beatles:”I Want to Tell You,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (featuring Clapton on guitar, McCartney on piano and Starr on drums), “I Need You,” and “Something,” among others.

Watch the performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” featuring Clapton, McCartney, Starr, Lynne and Dhani Harrison

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Watch Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers perform “I Need You” at the George Harrison tribute concert

The evening’s repertoire also included recordings Harrison made with the Wilburys (“Handle With Care”), his solo work (“Isn’t it a Pity,” “Give Me Love [Give Me Peace on Earth]”) and more.

Watch the performance of “Isn’t It a Pity”

Watch Lynne sing “Give Me Love [Give Me Peace on Earth]”

Towards the end of the evening, “George’s Band” assembled to perform several songs from Harrison’s 3-LP 1970 solo debut, All Things Must Pass.

Watch McCartney sing the title cut

Preston handled lead vocals on “My Sweet Lord” and Lynne and Slowhand did the honors on “Wah Wah.”

Profits went to Harrison’s Material World Charitable Foundation. Less than two years later, many of these same legends performed at Harrison’s 2004 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Concert For George was re-released for Harrison’s 75th birthday on February 23, 2018.

Related: Prince, Petty and Winwood honor Harrison

Best Classic Bands Staff

6 Comments so far

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  1. Brad
    #1 Brad 30 November, 2016, 02:30

    I was fortunate to be near this production and worked on the theatrical distribution. It was one of my favorite projects ever. At the LA premiere after party I noticed a guy sitting alone, who had shined moments before onscreen. I spent a thoroughly enjoyable time chatting with Billy Preston, the only person to be co-credited on a Beatles single. He was great in Concert foe Bangladesh and great in Concert for George. RIP.

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  2. Alang
    #2 Alang 29 November, 2019, 13:43

    Fantastic show all round! I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched this DVD and also downloaded on my IPad. Absolutely the greatest show ever!

    Reply this comment
  3. Marco1962
    #3 Marco1962 30 November, 2019, 00:56

    Highlight for me was Paul’s rendition of All Things Must Pass. Incredible!

    Reply this comment
  4. Gordo
    #4 Gordo 30 November, 2020, 09:41

    In a world where low class porn like “WAP” is #1, thank the Lord for Best Classic Bands! Concert for George reminds us of when music was great and messages were positive and/or meaningful. And musicianship was stellar! Thank you for keeping the greatness alive

    Reply this comment
  5. Alecko
    #5 Alecko 30 November, 2023, 00:31

    Tickets were like gold dust..My wife and I flew from Glasgow ticketless but at the venue we brazened it out and managed to get into the place where a staff member took pity and showed us up to a spot in the highest balcony where the lighting crew worked.It was amazing to see and hear all those megastars.And it was a freebie.To this day I cant believe we pulled it off.

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  6. Chuck Mc
    #6 Chuck Mc 30 November, 2023, 05:16

    Billy Preston’s “Isn’t It A Pity” and the “Wah Wah” jam blow me away every time I watch…RIP George

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