Bob Dylan & George Harrison: August 1, 1971, New York
The Concert for Bangladesh (or Bangla Desh, as the country name was spelt originally) was the name for two benefit concerts organised by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, held at 2.30 and 8 pm on Sunday, 1 August 1971, playing to a total of 40,000 people at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The shows were organised to raise international awareness and fund relief efforts for refugees from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), following the 1970 Bhola cyclone and the civil war-related Bangladesh atrocities. The concerts were followed by a bestselling live album, a boxed three-record set, and Apple Films’ concert documentary, which opened in cinemas in the spring of 1972.The event was the first-ever benefit concert of such a magnitude and featured a supergroup of performers that included Harrison, fellow ex-Beatle Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and the band Badfinger. In addition, Shankar and another legend of Indian music, Ali Akbar Khan, performed a separate set. Decades later, Shankar would say of the overwhelming success of the event: “In one day, the whole world knew the name of Bangladesh. It was a fantastic occasion …” ~Wikipedia
This was Dylan’s first live performance in two years. Harrison had to twist his arm to get him to take part in the benefit concert, and we can be very glad he did: it’s a stunning performance (both shows), modest, confident, richly textured, with Dylan feeling and communicating genuine love for the music he’s playing (in the case of” Blowin’ in the Wind” this was his first public performance of the song in seven years). Most of all, Dylan’s voice on this midsummer afternoon and evening has a rare, penetrating beauty that is immediately noticeable to almost anyone who hears it. This is, in a very real sense, the Dylan a large part of his audience dreams of hearing; this is the voice to fit the stereotyped or mythic image of Bob Dylan, guitar strumming poet laureate of the 1960s.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)
Madison Square Garden New York City, New York 1 August 1971 Rehearsals before the Bangla Desh Concert
Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me
I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how
At the time I wasn’t particularly thrilled that Frank Sinatra did “Something” … I was more interested when Smokey Robinson did it and when James Brown did it. But I’m very pleased now, whoever’s done it. I realise that the sign of a good song is when it has lots of cover versions.
– George Harrison, 2000
“Something” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1969 album Abbey Road. It was written by George Harrison, the band’s lead guitarist. Soon after the album’s release, the song was issued as a single, coupled with “Come Together”, making it the first Harrison composition to become a Beatles A-side.
Beatles for Sale is the fourth studio album by the Beatles, it was released on 4 December 1964 and produced by George Martin. The album marked a minor turning point in the evolution of the Lennon -McCartney partnership, John Lennon particularly now showing interest in composing songs of a more autobiographical nature. I’m a Loser shows Lennon for the first time coming under the influence of Bob Dylan, whom he met in New York while on tour, on 28 August 1964.
John, when you were in New York, what did you like best about it?
I just like cities, you see, and preferably big ones. That’s why I liked it. And we met some good people like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, you know, and I enjoy meeting people I admire.
Beatles for Sale didn’t produce a single for the UK – the non-album tracks I Feel Fine and She’s a Woman performed that role. Nevertheless, that coupling was followed up in the United States by Eight Days a Week, which became their seventh number one.
He was a giant, a great, great soul, with all the humanity, all the wit and humor, all the wisdom, the spirituality, the common sense of a man and compassion for people. He inspired love and had the strength of a hundred men. He was like the sun, the flowers and the moon and we shall miss him enormously. The world is a profoundly emptier place without him.
– Bob Dylan (George Harrison’s Obituary, Nov 2001)
“That was the great thing about [the Beatles] splitting up: to be able to go off and make my own record … And also to be able to record with all these new people, which was like a breath of fresh air.”
– George Harrison, December 2000
All Things Must Pass is a triple album by George Harrison, released in November 1970. His third solo album, it includes the hit singles “My Sweet Lord” and “What Is Life”, as well as songs such as “Isn’t It a Pity” and the title track that were turned down by Harrison’s former band, the Beatles. The album reflects the influence of his musical activities outside the Beatles during 1968–70, with Bob Dylan, the Band, Delaney & Bonnie, Billy Preston and others, and Harrison’s growth as an artist beyond his supporting role to former bandmates John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Continue reading “November 27: George Harrison All Things Must Pass was released in 1970”→
This is a classic interview with Dick Cavett. Recorded 40 years ago (November 23, 1971), the conversation starts with light small-talk, then tackles some bigger issues. Did Yoko break up the band? Did the other Beatles hold him back musically? Is there any relationship between drugs and the Indian music that so fascinated Harrison? It was a question better left to Ravi Shankar to answer, and that he did: