Category: benefit concert

George Harrison, “Here Comes the Sun”, August 1, 1971

From the Concert for Bangladesh of course. You can see at the beginning how nervous George was! Not only his first solo performance, his first concert appearance at all since 1966, featuring his first performances of his own compositions ever – but here, also for the first time on stage, vulnerable and stripped down to an acoustic guitar. George’s little smile as the audience reaches out to him is priceless.

His duet partner, Badfinger’s Pete Ham, later revealed that they hadn’t even rehearsed! “George just wanted to keep it simple,” he said. After George told him the chord changes, Pete ducked into his hotel room to listen to the version on Abbey Road a couple of times, and that’s all there was time for! 

The result: magic. And beauty and joy and, yes, sun, sun, sun! Here it comes!

(Mi pequeña, está toda bien!)

(Note that by the time you come across this post, the video may have been taken down. It happens. Here’s the YouTube search for you to find another version. Worth the extra clicks!)

George Harrison & Bob Dylan, rehearsal for Concert for Bangladesh, August 1, 1971, New York City. 

The Concert for Bangladesh: George Harrison, Leon Russell, and Bob Dylan, August 1, 1971, by Alan Pariser

Smilin’ Bob Dylan,

backstage at Friends of Chile Benefit concert at Felt Forum in NYC. May 9, 1974, by Bob Gruen

Alice Cooper, Concert for the Homeless in Central Park, with special guest Black Sabbath

Bob Dylan at the Concert for Bangladesh, August 1 1971, Madison Square Garden

Jimi Hendrix, United Block Association Harlem Benefit, 139th & Lenox, September 5, 1969, my edit of originals via jimihendrix.forumactif

Jimi: “Sometimes when I come up here, people say I play white rock for white people.”

New York Times: “What are you doing up here?”

Jimi: “Well I want to show that music is universal – that there is no white rock or black rock. Some of these kids haven’t got the $6 to go to Madison Square Garden. Besides I used to play up here myself at Small’s over 135th and Seventh.”

George Harrison & Bob Dylan, rehearsal for Concert for Bangladesh, August 1, 1971, New York City. 

Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia at the Sufi Choir Benefit, March 24, 1971 at Winterland, San Francisco. Photo by Bob Marks.

Joni Mitchell during the “Conspiracy of Hope” Amnesty International Concert Tour, at the Giants Stadium show in Rutherford, New Jersey, June 15, 1986, by Patrick Harbon, via socanmagazine

(I was there! An amazing day I’ll have to tell you about some time. Joni played with Sting’s Blue Turtles band backing her. Her appearance was a last-minute addition, so there was no time to rehearse – but she was floored that they all knew her songs, and they decided to just go for it! Coming on after sets by Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, and Bryan Adams had burned the joint to the ground, and with U2 and the first post-breakup appearance of The Police due up next, the crowd was a bit itchy, to say the least, but Joni and the fellas slayed.)