The Concert for Bangladesh (or Bangla Desh, as the country name was originally spelt) was the name given to two benefit concerts organised by former Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison and Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar. The concerts were held at 2:30 and 8:00 pm on Sunday, 1 August 1971, 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 Bangladesh Liberation War-related genocide. 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 Ali Akbar Khan – both of whom had ancestral roots in Bangladesh – performed an opening set of Indian classical music. 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."
The concerts were attended by a total of 40,000 people, and raised close to $250,000 for Bangladesh relief, which was administered by UNICEF. Although the project was subsequently marred by financial problems – a result of the pioneering nature of the venture – the Concert for Bangladesh is recognised as a highly successful and influential humanitarian aid project, generating both awareness and considerable funds as well as providing valuable lessons and inspiration for projects that followed, notably Live Aid. By 1985, through revenue raised from the Concert for Bangladesh live album and film, an estimated $12 million had been sent to Bangladesh in relief.
Sales of the live album and DVD release of the film continue to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.
|The Concert for Bangladesh|
Poster outside the Madison Square Garden box office, July 1971
|Dates||1 August 1971|
|Location(s)||Madison Square Garden, New York City|
|Founded by||George Harrison, Ravi Shankar|
As East Pakistan struggled to become the separate state of Bangladesh during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, the political and military turmoil and associated atrocities led to a massive refugee problem, with at least 7 million displaced people pouring into neighbouring India. East Pakistan had recently endured devastation as a result of the Bhola cyclone, and the Bengalis' desperate plight increased in March that year when torrential rains and floods arrived in the region, threatening a humanitarian disaster. Quoting figures available at the time, a Rolling Stone feature claimed that up to half a million Bengalis had been killed by the cyclone in November 1970 and that the Pakistani army's subsequent campaign of slaughter under Operation Searchlight accounted for at least 250,000 civilians, "by the most conservative estimates". Following the mass exodus to Calcutta, a new threat arrived as the refugees faced starvation and the outbreak of diseases such as cholera.
Appalled at the situation affecting his homeland and relatives, Bengali musician Ravi Shankar first brought the issue to the attention of his friend George Harrison in the early months of 1971, over dinner at Friar Park, according to Klaus Voormann's recollection. By April, Shankar and Harrison were in Los Angeles working on the soundtrack to the film Raga, during which Harrison wrote the song "Miss O'Dell", commenting on corruption among the Indian authorities as aid shipments of rice from the West kept "going astray on [their] way to Bombay". After returning to England to produce Badfinger's Straight Up album and take part in sessions for John Lennon's Imagine – all the while, being kept abreast of developments by Shankar, via newspaper and magazine cuttings – Harrison was back in LA to finish the Raga album in late June. By then, the Sunday Times in London had just published an influential article by Pakistani journalist Anthony Mascarenhas, which exposed the full horror of the Bangladesh atrocities, and a distraught Shankar approached Harrison for help in trying to alleviate the suffering. Harrison later talked of spending "three months" on the phone organising the Concert for Bangladesh, implying that efforts were under way from late April onwards; it is widely acknowledged that the project began in earnest during the last week of June 1971, however, five or six weeks before the event took place on 1 August.
Shankar's original hope was to raise $25,000 through a benefit concert of his own, compered perhaps by actor Peter Sellers. With Harrison's commitment, and the record and film outlets available to him through the Beatles' Apple Corps organisation, the idea soon grew to become a star-studded musical event, mixing Western rock with Indian classical music, and it was to be held at the most prestigious venue in America: Madison Square Garden, in New York City. According to Chris O'Dell, a music-business administrator and former Apple employee, Harrison got off the phone with Shankar once the concept had been finalised, and started enthusing with his wife, Pattie Boyd, and herself about possible performers. Ringo Starr, Lennon, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Jim Keltner, Voormann, Billy Preston and Badfinger were all mentioned during this initial brainstorming.
O'Dell set about contacting local musicians from the Harrisons' rented house in Nichols Canyon, as Harrison took the long-distance calls, hoping more than anything to secure Bob Dylan's participation. Almost all of Harrison's first-choice names signed on immediately, while a day spent boating with Memphis musician Don Nix resulted in the latter agreeing to organise a group of backing singers. A local Indian astrologer had advised early August as a good time in which to stage the concert, and as things transpired, the 1st of that month, a Sunday, was the only day that Madison Square Garden was available at such short notice.
By the first week of July, Harrison was in a Los Angeles studio recording his purpose-written song, "Bangla Desh", with co-producer Phil Spector. The song's opening verse documents Shankar's plea to Harrison for assistance, and the lyrics "My friend came to me with sadness in his eyes / Told me that he wanted help before his country dies" provided an enduring image for what United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan later recognised as the basic human aspect behind the cause.
Harrison then met with Badfinger in London to explain that he would have to abandon work on Straight Up, before flying to New York on 13 July to see Lennon. During the middle of July also, once back in Los Angeles, Harrison produced Shankar's Bangladesh benefit record, an EP titled Joi Bangla. The latter featured contributions from East Bengal-born Ali Akbar Khan, on sarod, and tabla player Alla Rakha. As with Harrison's "Bangla Desh", all profits from this recording would go to the newly established George Harrison–Ravi Shankar Special Emergency Relief Fund, to be distributed by UNICEF.[nb 1] Also around the middle of July, the upcoming concert by "George Harrison and Friends" was announced "via a minuscule ad buried in the back pages of the New York Times", author Nicholas Schaffner wrote in 1977. Tickets sold out in no time, leading to the announcement of a second show.
Towards the end of the month, when all parties were due to meet in New York for rehearsals, Harrison had the commitment of a backing band comprising: Preston, on keyboards; the four members of Badfinger, on acoustic rhythm guitars and tambourine; Voormann and Keltner, on bass and drums, respectively; and saxophonist Jim Horn's so-called "Hollywood Horns", which included Chuck Findley, Jackie Kelso and Lou McCreary. Of the established stars, Leon Russell had committed also, but on the proviso that he be supported by members of his tour band. Eric Clapton insisted that he too would be there, even if O'Dell and other insiders, knowing of the guitarist's incapacity due to severe heroin addiction, were surprised that Harrison had considered him for the occasion.
Among Harrison's former bandmates, Lennon initially agreed to take part in the concert without his wife and musical partner Yoko Ono, as Harrison had apparently stipulated. Lennon then allegedly had an argument with Ono as a result of this agreement and left New York in a rage two days before the concerts.[nb 2] Starr's commitment had never been in question, and he interrupted the filming of his movie Blindman in Almeria, Spain, in order to attend. Paul McCartney declined to take part, however, citing the bad feelings caused by the Beatles' legal problems on their break-up.[nb 3]
The Harrisons decamped to the Park Lane Hotel in New York City, and the first rehearsal took place on Monday, 26 July, at Nola Studios on West 57th Street. Harrison had written a possible setlist for the concert while sketching design ideas for Shankar's Joi Bangla picture sleeve. As well as the songs he would go on to perform on 1 August, Harrison's list included his own compositions "All Things Must Pass" – "with Leon [Russell]", apparently – "Art of Dying" and the just-recorded B-side "Deep Blue"; Clapton's song "Let It Rain" appeared also, while the suggestions for Dylan's set were "If Not for You", "Watching the River Flow" (his recent, Leon Russell-produced single) and "Blowin' in the Wind". Only Harrison, Voormann, the six-piece horn section, and Badfinger's Pete Ham, Joey Molland, Tom Evans and Mike Gibbins were at Nola Studios on that first day, and subsequent rehearsals were similarly carried out in "dribs and drabs", as Harrison put it. Only the final run-through, on the night before the concert, resembled a complete band rehearsal.[nb 4]
On Tuesday, 27 July, Harrison and Shankar, accompanied by a pipe-smoking Allen Klein, held a press conference to promote the two shows; notoriously performance-shy, Harrison admitted: "Just thinking about it makes me shake." The "Bangla Desh" charity single was issued in America on 28 July, with a UK release following two days later. Ringo Starr arrived on the Thursday, and by Friday, 30 July, Russell was in town, interrupting his US tour. Russell's band members Claudia Linnear and Don Preston were added to Don Nix's choir of backing singers; Preston would switch to lead guitar for Russell's solo spot during the shows, just as bassist Carl Radle would replace Voormann temporarily. By this point, Clapton's participation was gravely in doubt, and Harrison had drafted in Jesse Ed Davis as a probable replacement. The ex-Taj Mahal guitarist received last-minute coaching from Voormann, who was more than familiar with Harrison's songs, as well as those by Billy Preston and Starr.
The final rehearsal, or the first for some of the participants, was combined with the concert soundcheck, at Madison Square Garden, late on 31 July. Both Dylan and Clapton finally appeared at the soundcheck that night. Even then, Clapton was in the early stages of heroin withdrawal – only a cameraman supplying him with some methadone would result in the English guitarist taking the stage the following day, after his young girlfriend had been unsuccessful in purchasing uncut heroin for him on the street. To Harrison's frustration, Dylan was having severe doubts about performing in such a big-event atmosphere and still would not commit to playing. "Look, it's not my scene, either," Harrison countered. "At least you've played on your own in front of a crowd before. I've never done that."
Through Harrison's friendship with the Band, Jonathan Taplin served as production manager, while Chip Monck was in charge of lighting. Gary Kellgren from the nearby Record Plant was brought in to record the concerts, overseen by Spector, and "Klein's people", led by director Saul Swimmer, would handle the filming of the event. The official concert photographers were Tom Wilkes and Barry Feinstein, the pair responsible for the artwork on Harrison's acclaimed 1970 triple album, All Things Must Pass.[nb 5]
Except for brief support roles in December 1969 for both the Delaney & Bonnie and Friends band and Lennon's Plastic Ono Band, the Concert for Bangladesh was Harrison's first live appearance before a paying audience since the Beatles had quit touring in August 1966.[nb 6] Dylan had stopped touring that same year, although he had made a moderately successful comeback in August 1969 at the Isle of Wight Festival, his most recent live performance at this point. Speaking in 2005, Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner described the "buzz" preceding the first Concert for Bangladesh show as being at a level unexperienced in New York since the Beatles' 1966 visit.
In his role as "master of ceremonies", Harrison began the afternoon show (or matinee) by asking the audience to "try to get into" the opening, Indian music portion of the programme. He then introduced Ravi Shankar and the latter's fellow musicians – sarodya Ali Akbar Khan, tabla player Alla Rakha, and Kamala Chakravarty on tamboura. Shankar first explained the reason for the concerts, after which the four musicians performed a traditional dhun, in the format of a khyal rather than a standard raga, titled "Bangla Dhun". Their set included a second piece, authors Chip Madinger and Mark Easter suggest, citing Harrison's own description that each show's Indian music segment lasted for three-quarters of an hour, whereas only seventeen minutes of music appears on the Concert for Bangladesh live album.[nb 7] The recital was afforded a "fidgety respect" from fans eager to discover the identity of Harrison's advertised "Friends", although the audience's goodwill was more than evident. A short intermission ensued while the stage was cleared and a Dutch TV film was shown, displaying footage of the atrocities and natural tragedies taking place in former East Pakistan.
To thunderous applause from the New York crowd, Harrison appeared on stage along with his temporary band, comprising Ringo Starr, a very sick Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Billy Preston, Klaus Voormann, Jim Keltner and eighteen others. Backed by this "full Phil Spector/All Things Must Pass rock orchestra", Harrison began the Western portion of the concert with "Wah-Wah", followed by his Beatles hit song' "Something" and the gospel-rocker "Awaiting on You All". Harrison then handed the spotlight over to Preston, who performed his only sizeable hit (thus far), "That's the Way God Planned It", followed by Starr, whose song "It Don't Come Easy" had recently established the drummer as a solo artist.[nb 8] Nicholas Schaffner was in the audience for this first show and later described Starr's turn as having received the "biggest ovation" of the afternoon.
Next up was Harrison's "Beware of Darkness", with guest vocals on the third verse by Russell, who covered the song on his concurrent album, Leon Russell and the Shelter People (1971). After pausing to introduce the band, Harrison followed this with one of the best-received moments in both the shows – a charging version of the White Album track "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", featuring him and Clapton "duelling" on lead guitar during the long instrumental playout. Both the band introduction and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" are among the few selections from the afternoon show that were included on the album and in the film. Another one was Leon Russell's medley of the Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and the Coasters' "Young Blood", which was also a highlight of Russell's live shows at the time. With Don Preston crossing the stage to play lead guitar with Harrison, there were now temporarily four electric guitarists in the line-up. Don Preston, Harrison and Claudia Linnear supplied supporting vocals behind Russell.
In an effective change of pace, Harrison picked up his acoustic guitar, now alone on the stage save for Pete Ham on a second acoustic, and Don Nix's gospel choir, off to stage-left. The ensuing "Here Comes the Sun" – the first live performance of the song, as for Harrison's other Beatle compositions played that day – was also warmly received.[nb 9] At this point, Harrison switched back to his white Fender Stratocaster electric guitar and, as recounted to Anthony DeCurtis in 1987, he looked down at the setlist taped to the body of the guitar and saw the word "Bob" followed by a question mark. "And I looked around," Harrison recalled of Bob Dylan's entrance, "and he was so nervous – he had his guitar on and his shades – he was sort of coming on, coming [pumps his arms and shoulders] ... It was only at that moment that I knew for sure he was going to do it." Among the audience, Schaffner wrote, there was "total astonishment" at this new arrival.
As Harrison had envisaged, Dylan's mini-set was the crowning glory of the Concert for Bangladesh for many observers. Backed by just Harrison, Russell (now playing Voormann's Fender Precision bass) and Starr on tambourine, Dylan played five of his decade-defining songs from the 1960s: "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall", "Blowin' in the Wind", "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry", "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" and "Just Like a Woman".
Harrison and the band then returned to perform a final segment, consisting of "Hear Me Lord" and his recent international number one hit, "My Sweet Lord", followed by the song of the moment – "Bangla Desh".
Harrison was reportedly delighted with the outcome of the first show, as was Dylan, who accompanied him back to the Park Lane Hotel afterwards. They discussed possible changes to the setlist for the evening performance, beginning at 8 pm.
The songs played and their sequence differed slightly between the first and second shows, most noticeably with Harrison's opening and closing mini-sets. After "Wah-Wah", he brought "My Sweet Lord" forward in the order, followed by "Awaiting on You All", before handing over to Billy Preston. The afternoon's "creaky" "Hear Me Lord" was dropped, so that the post-Dylan band segment consisted of only two numbers: "Something", to close the show, and a particularly passionate reading of "Bangla Desh", as an encore. Dylan likewise made some changes, swapping "Blowin' in the Wind" and "It Takes a Lot to Laugh" in the order, and then playing a well-received "Mr. Tambourine Man" in place of "Love Minus Zero".
The second show was widely acknowledged as superior to the afternoon performance, although Village Voice reviewer Don Heckman noted that many in the audience reacted to the Shankar–Khan opening set with a lack of respect. Not aiding the Indian musicians was the failure of a microphone on Rakha's hand drums, Heckman observed, so denying the crowd a vital element of the musical interplay between sitar and sarod.
During the Western portion of the show, Harrison's voice was more confident this time around, the music "perhaps slightly more lustrous", according to Rolling Stone. Towards the end of "That's the Way God Planned It", Preston felt compelled to get up from behind his Hammond organ and take a show-stealing boogie across the front of the stage.
Dylan's walk-on was again the show's "real cortex-snapping moment", Heckman opined. Dylan finished his final song, "Just Like a Woman", with a victorious salute – "holding up both fists like a strongman", Rolling Stone's reviewer remarked shortly afterwards. Following Dylan's set, Harrison introduced the band, before taking the show "to yet another peak" with "Something". Watching from the wings, Pattie Harrison described her husband's performance throughout that evening as "magnificent".
Following the two sellout concerts, all the participants attended a celebratory party in a basement club known as Ungano's. Dylan was so elated, Harrison recalled 16 years later, "He picked me up and hugged me and he said, 'God! If only we'd done three shows!'" Like Harrison, the experience of playing at Madison Square that day did not lead to Dylan immediately re-embracing the concert stage; only a brief guest appearance with the Band on New Year's Eve 1971–72 and sitting in during a John Prine club gig eventuated before he returned to touring in January 1974.[nb 10]
The post-concert party featured live performances from Harrison and Preston, after which a "roaring drunk" Phil Spector played a "unique" version of "Da Doo Ron Ron". The celebrations broke up in the early hours once Keith Moon of the Who began smashing up the drum kit, which actually belonged to Badfinger's Mike Gibbins.
Harrison's manager, Allen Klein, immediately boasted of the entirely peaceful nature of the event: "There was no rioting. Not one policeman was allowed in there ... Zero!" In fact, as reported in The Village Voice on 12 August, midway through the evening show, a crowd of 200 non-ticket-holders charged and broke through the doors of Madison Square Garden.[nb 11] Aside from this episode, press reports concerning the Concert for Bangladesh shows were overwhelmingly positive.
The appearance of Bob Dylan on the same stage as two former Beatles caused a sensation, and lavish praise was bestowed on George Harrison. "Beatlemania Sweeps a City!" was a typical headline, and in Britain the NME declared the concerts "The Greatest Rock Spectacle of the Decade!" Billboard described the artists' performances as "their best music ever" and commented on the likelihood of a live album from the concerts: "there is no politics involved. What is involved is starving children and for once, relief through 35 musicians who should represent the feeling of anyone who loves their music."
Dylan's choice of songs, particularly the "apocalyptic" "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall", were found to have a new relevance in the context of the early 1970s – the words made "the more chilling for the passage of years", opined Rolling Stone. The same publication stated of Starr's contribution: "Seeing Ringo Starr drumming and singing on stage has a joy in it that is one of the happiest feelings on earth still." Ravi Shankar's role as concert instigator and the true conscience of the UNICEF shows was also noted. Musically, The Village Voice observed, the pairing of Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan was "almost as unique as the mix of Dylan and Harrison".
In the wider countercultural context of the time, with disillusion increasingly rife with each post-Woodstock rock event, commentators viewed the concerts as, in the words of Rolling Stone, "a brief incandescent revival of all that was best about the Sixties". Writing in 1981, NME critic Bob Woffinden likened it to a "rediscovery of faith", adding: "Harrison had put rock music back on course." Among Harrison's biographers, Alan Clayson describes the 1971–72 period covering the concerts and their associated releases as "the George Harrison Moment", while Gary Tillery has written: "The Concert for Bangladesh sealed Harrison's stature as something more than just a major celebrity ... He changed the perception of recording artists, making it clear they could be good world citizens too – willing to set aside their egos and paychecks in order to help people who were suffering."
Politically, as Bangladeshi historian Farida Majid would note, the "warmth, care and goodwill" of the August 1971 concerts "echoed all over the world", inspiring volunteers to approach UNICEF and offer their assistance, as well as eliciting private donations to the Bangladesh disaster fund. Although the altruistic spirit would soon wane once more, the Concert for Bangladesh is invariably seen as the inspiration and model for subsequent rock charity benefits, from 1985's Live Aid and Farm Aid to the Concert for New York City and Live 8 in the twenty-first century. Unlike those later concerts, which benefitted from continuous media coverage of the causes they supported, the Harrison–Shankar project was responsible for identifying the problem and establishing Bangladesh's plight in the minds of mainstream Western society. According to Gary Tillery: "Because of its positioning as a humanitarian effort, all descriptions of the show included a summary of the catastrophe in South Asia. Overnight, because of their fascination with rock stars, masses of people became educated about geopolitical events they had not even been aware of the week before. The tragedy in Bangladesh moved to the fore as an international issue." One of these revelations was that America was supplying weaponry and financial aid to the Pakistani army, led by General Yahya Khan.
Harrison's musical biographer, Simon Leng, identifies friendship as the key factor behind the success of the two UNICEF shows, both in bringing all the participants together on the stage and in the affection with which the audience and music critics viewed the event. Klaus Voormann, a close friend of Harrison's since 1960, has often cited this quality as well.
Friendship played out through the next, significantly more lucrative stages of the Bangladesh relief project, as the associated live album and concert film were prepared for release. Harrison had assured all the main performers that their appearance would be removed from these releases if the event turned out "lousy", to save anyone having to risk possible embarrassment. Having sent out personalised letters of thanks to all the participants on 1 September, he expressed his gratitude further by guesting on Billy Preston's first album on A&M Records that autumn and donating a new song to Jesse Ed Davis.
Around the same time, there were rumours of a possible repeat of the New York concert triumph, to be held at London's Wembley Stadium in early October. Harrison and Klein quashed the idea, but an English version of the Concert for Bangladesh did take place, on 18 September, before 30,000 fans at The Oval in south London, with a bill featuring the likes of the Who, the Faces, Mott the Hoople, America and Lindisfarne. On 22 September, George and Pattie Harrison arrived home in the UK, with mixing having been completed on the upcoming live album, and Harrison due to meet with Patrick Jenkin of the British Treasury, to deal with the unforeseen obstacle of purchase tax being levied on the album. This was one of a number of problems that hindered Harrison's Bangladesh project following the Madison Square Garden shows, and the British politician would allegedly tell him: "Sorry! It is all very well for your high ideals, but Britain equally needs the money!"
On 5 June 1972, in recognition of their "pioneering" fundraising efforts for the refugees of Bangladesh, George Harrison, Ravi Shankar and Allen Klein were jointly honoured by UNICEF with its "Child Is the Father of the Man" award. In December 2008, seven years after Harrison's death, the BBC reported that moves were under way in the Bangladeshi High Court to have Harrison officially recognised and honoured as a hero for his role during the troubled birth of the nation. Writing in 2003, author Bill Harry bemoaned the lack of recognition afforded Harrison in the UK honours system for his staging of the Concert for Bangladesh. Harry said that, given the influence of the event and Harrison's other charitable activities, and also how his company HandMade Films "virtually revived the British film industry", it was "difficult to equate" his MBE status (which he gained in 1965 as a member of the Beatles) with the knighthoods or other higher orders lavished on the likes of Bob Geldof, comedians, pop stars and other figures in the music business.
The two Madison Square Garden shows raised US$243,418.50, which was given to UNICEF to administer on 12 August 1971. By December, Capitol Records presented a cheque to Apple Corps for around $3,750,000 for advance sales of the Concert for Bangladesh live album.
Aside from complaints regarding the high retail price for the three-record set, particularly in Britain – a result of the government's refusal to waive its tax surcharge – controversy soon surrounded the project's fundraising. Most importantly, Klein had failed to register the event as a UNICEF benefit beforehand, and it was subsequently denied tax-exempt status by the US Government. As a result, most of the money was held in an Internal Revenue Service escrow account for ten years. In an interview with Derek Taylor for his autobiography in the late 1970s, Harrison put this figure at between $8 million and $10 million. Before then, in early 1972, New York magazine reported that some of the proceeds remained unaccounted for and had found their way into Klein's accounts. Klein responded by suing the magazine for $150 million in damages, and although the suit was later withdrawn, the accusations attracted unwelcome scrutiny at a time when questions were also being asked about Klein's mismanagement of the Beatles' finances. That year, an estimated $2 million had gone to the refugees via UNICEF before the IRS audit of Apple got under way; finally, in 1981, $8.8 million was added to that total following the audit.[nb 12]
By June 1985, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times, nearly $12 million had been sent to Bangladesh for relief. Around this time, according to music journalist Mikal Gilmore, Harrison gave Geldof "meticulous advice" to ensure that Live Aid's estimated £50 million found its way, as intended, to victims of the Ethiopian famine. In an interview to promote the 1991 CD release of The Concert for Bangladesh, Harrison said that $13.5 million had been raised in the early 1970s, from the concert and the accompanying album and film. He added that, while this figured paled in comparison to ventures such as Live Aid, "you have to remember, that was at a time when nobody was really aware of this kind of benefit concert, certainly there hadn't been anything like that, and, of course, $13.5 million back then was probably much more than it's worth now."
Speaking in the 1990s, Harrison said of the Bangladesh relief effort: "Now it's all settled and the UN own the rights to it themselves, and I think there's been about 45 million dollars made." Sales of the DVD and CD of the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh continue to benefit the cause, now known as the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.
The Concert for Bangladesh was satirised in two episodes of The Simpsons: "Like Father, Like Clown" and "I'm with Cupid". In the former, Krusty plays the album while a visitor at the Simpsons household. In "I'm with Cupid", Apu's record collection contains The Concert Against Bangladesh, which features a picture of a mushroom cloud on the cover, reflecting Indian−Pakistani nuclear rivalry in the region.
The July 1974 ("Dessert") issue of National Lampoon magazine satirised Tom Wilkes' original cover design for The Concert for Bangladesh, by using a chocolate version of the starving child, the head of which has had a bite taken out of it. Two years before this, the National Lampoon team spoofed Harrison's humanitarian role on record, in their track "The Concert in Bangla Desh" on the Radio Dinner album. In the sketch, two Bangladeshi stand-up comedians (played by Tony Hendra and Christopher Guest) perform to starving refugees in an attempt to collect a bowlful of rice so that "George Harrison" can mount a hunger strike.
Crowd noises from the Concert for Bangladesh were put into Aerosmith's cover of "Train Kept A-Rollin'" by producer Jack Douglas. Some of stills photographer Barry Feinstein's shots from the 1971 concerts were used on the covers of subsequent albums by the participating artists, notably the compilations Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II and The History of Eric Clapton.
Harrison himself sent up the benefit-show concept on film, in the 1985 HandMade comedy Water. At the so-called Concert for Cascara, he, Starr, Clapton, Jon Lord and others make a surprise appearance on stage, supposedly before the United Nations General Assembly, performing the song "Freedom".
The 1970 Bhola cyclone was a devastating tropical cyclone that struck East Pakistan and India's West Bengal on November 12, 1970. It remains the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded and one of the deadliest natural disasters. At least 500,000 people lost their lives in the storm, primarily as a result of the storm surge that flooded much of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta. This cyclone was the sixth cyclonic storm of the 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, and also the season's strongest.The cyclone formed over the central Bay of Bengal on November 8, and traveled northward, intensifying as it did so. It reached its peak with winds of 185 km/h (115 mph) on November 11, and made landfall on the coast of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) the following afternoon. The storm surge devastated many of the offshore islands, wiping out villages and destroying crops throughout the region. In the most severely affected Upazila, Tazumuddin, over 45% of the population of 167,000 was killed by the storm.
The Pakistani government, led by junta leader General Yahya Khan, was criticized for its delayed handling of the relief operations following the storm, both by local political leaders in East Pakistan and in the international media. During the election that took place a month later, the opposition Awami League gained a landslide victory in the province, and continuing unrest between East Pakistan and the central government triggered the Bangladesh Liberation War, which led to widespread atrocities and eventually concluded with the creation of the country of Bangladesh. This storm as well as the Bangladesh Liberation War and 1971 Bangladesh genocide and the subsequent refugees led ex-Beatle George Harrison and Bengali musician Ravi Shankar to organize The Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 in Madison Square Garden, New York City.Carl Radle
Carl Dean Radle (June 18, 1942 – May 30, 1980) was an American bassist who toured and recorded with many of the most influential recording artists of the late 1960s and 1970s. He was posthumously inducted to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2006.Carl Radle drove most of the Top 10 hits of Gary Lewis and The Playboys, "Everybody Loves A Clown", Just My Style",and "Count Me In' before moving into the 70's. Radle was best known for his long association with Eric Clapton, starting in 1969 with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends and continuing in 1970 with Derek and the Dominos, recording with drummer Jim Gordon, guitarist Duane Allman, and keyboardist Bobby Whitlock. In 1970 Radle joined Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. He worked on all of Clapton's solo projects from 1970 until 1979 and was a member of Clapton's touring band, Eric Clapton & His Band, from 1974 to 1979. Radle was instrumental in facilitating Clapton's return to recording and touring in 1974. During Clapton's three-year hiatus, Radle furnished him with a supply of tapes of musicians with whom he'd been working. Dick Sims and Jamie Oldaker were the core of Clapton's band during the 1970s. Radle served as more than a sideman, acting also as arranger on several songs, notably "Motherless Children". Radle earned credit as an associate producer of Clapton's album No Reason to Cry.
Radle was a session musician for many of the most famous blues rock and rock and roll artists in the 1970s, including Rita Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson. He appeared in the film The Concert for Bangladesh; recordings from that concert were released as an album in 1972. Over the two-year period before the release of the album The Concert for Bangladesh, Radle recorded albums with Dave Mason, J. J. Cale, George Harrison, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, and Buddy Guy, among others. He can be seen in Martin Scorsese's 1978 film The Last Waltz, which documented the final concert of the Band, held in 1976.
Over the course of his career, Radle played on a number of gold and platinum singles and albums and garnered the respect of many musicians. His bass lines were often simple and repetitive, but always with the purpose of supporting the song.Radle was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and died in May 1980 from a kidney infection, exacerbated by the effects of alcohol and narcotics; he was 37.Don Preston (guitarist)
Don Preston is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He recorded in the 1970s with Leon Russell on Leon Russell and the Shelter People and other albums, and with Joe Cocker on Mad Dogs and Englishmen (as "The Gentle Giant"). He backed Russell at The Concert for Bangladesh and appeared in the film and played on the album The Concert for Bangladesh.
Preston recorded two albums on A&M Records, both produced by Gordon Shryock. The first was Bluse (1968), and the second was Hot Air Through A Straw (1968) by Don Preston & The South with Bob Young, Casey Van Beek, and Bobby Cochran. He also recorded an album on Stax Records titled Still Rock (1969), as well as solo albums on Shelter Records Been Here All The Time (1974) and Sacre Blues (1997) on DJM Records.Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert
Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert is a live album by Eric Clapton, recorded at the Rainbow Theatre in London on 13 January 1973 and released in September that year. The concerts, two on the same evening, were organised by Pete Townshend of the Who and marked a comeback by Clapton after two years of inactivity, broken only by his performance at the Concert for Bangladesh in August 1971. Along with Townshend, the musicians supporting Clapton include Steve Winwood, Ronnie Wood and Jim Capaldi. In the year following the two shows at the Rainbow, Clapton recovered from his heroin addiction and recorded 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974).
A remastered expanded edition of the album was released on 13 January 1995, the 22nd anniversary of the concert.George Harrison
George Harrison (25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001) was an English musician, singer-songwriter, music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison embraced Indian culture and helped broaden the scope of popular music through his incorporation of Indian instrumentation and Hindu-aligned spirituality in the Beatles' work. Although the majority of the band's songs were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, most Beatles albums from 1965 onwards contained at least two Harrison compositions. His songs for the group included "Taxman", "Within You Without You", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Here Comes the Sun" and "Something".
Harrison's earliest musical influences included George Formby and Django Reinhardt; Carl Perkins, Chet Atkins and Chuck Berry were subsequent influences. By 1965, he had begun to lead the Beatles into folk rock through his interest in Bob Dylan and the Byrds, and towards Indian classical music through his use of the sitar on "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)". Having initiated the band's embracing of Transcendental Meditation in 1967, he subsequently developed an association with the Hare Krishna movement. After the band's break-up in 1970, Harrison released the triple album All Things Must Pass, a critically acclaimed work that produced his most successful hit single, "My Sweet Lord", and introduced his signature sound as a solo artist, the slide guitar. He also organised the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh with Indian musician Ravi Shankar, a precursor to later benefit concerts such as Live Aid. In his role as a music and film producer, Harrison produced acts signed to the Beatles' Apple record label before founding Dark Horse Records in 1974 and co-founding HandMade Films in 1978.
Harrison released several best-selling singles and albums as a solo performer. In 1988, he co-founded the platinum-selling supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. A prolific recording artist, he was featured as a guest guitarist on tracks by Badfinger, Ronnie Wood and Billy Preston, and collaborated on songs and music with Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and Tom Petty, among others. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 11 in their list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". He is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee – as a member of the Beatles in 1988, and posthumously for his solo career in 2004.Harrison's first marriage, to model Pattie Boyd in 1966, ended in divorce in 1977. The following year he married Olivia Arias, with whom he had a son, Dhani. Harrison died from lung cancer in 2001 at the age of 58, two years after surviving a knife attack by an intruder at his Friar Park home. His remains were cremated and the ashes were scattered according to Hindu tradition in a private ceremony in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India. He left an estate of almost £100 million.In Concert 1972
In Concert 1972 is a double live album by sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar and sarodya Ali Akbar Khan, released in 1973 on Apple Records. It was recorded at the Philharmonic Hall, New York City, in October 1972, and is a noted example of the two Hindustani classical musicians' celebrated jugalbandi (duet) style of playing. With accompaniment from tabla player Alla Rakha, the performance reflects the two artists' sorrow at the recent death of their revered guru, and Khan's father, Allauddin Khan. The latter was responsible for many innovations in Indian music during the twentieth century, including the call-and-response dialogue that musicians such as Shankar, Khan and Rakha popularised among Western audiences in the 1960s.
The album features three ragas, including "Raga Sindhi Bhairavi", which Ali Akbar Khan had previously interpreted on his landmark 1955 recording Music of India. In Concert 1972 has received critical acclaim; Ken Hunt of Gramophone magazine described it as a "sometimes smouldering, sometimes fiery, masterpiece" and "the living, fire-breathing embodiment of one of the greatest partnerships ever forged in Hindustani [classical music]".In Concert 1972 was produced by George Harrison, Zakir Hussain and Phil McDonald. It was the final Shankar-related release on the Beatles' Apple label, following his and Harrison's work together on Raga and The Concert for Bangladesh. Apple issued In Concert 1972 on CD in 1996 and 2004, reuniting the 50-minute "Raga Manj Khamaj", which had previously been split over two LP sides.Joi Bangla
Joi Bangla is an EP by Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, issued in August 1971 on Apple Records. The recording was produced by George Harrison and its release marked the first in a series of occasional collaborations between the two musicians that lasted until the Chants of India album in 1997. Shankar recorded the EP in Los Angeles, to help raise international awareness of the plight faced by refugees of the Bangladesh Liberation War, in advance of his and Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh shows at Madison Square Garden, New York. Side one of the disc consists of two vocal compositions sung in Bengali, of which the title track was a message of unity to the newly independent nation, formerly known as East Pakistan. The third selection is a duet by Shankar and sarodya Ali Akbar Khan, supported by Alla Rakha on tabla, a performance that presaged their opening set at the Concert for Bangladesh.
Joi Bangla was the first of four Shankar-related releases on the Beatles' Apple label, closely followed by the Raga soundtrack album. The EP has been out of print since soon after its release. Of the three tracks, only "Oh Bhaugowan" has been reissued – on the Harrison-compiled Ravi Shankar: In Celebration box set (1996).Kinfauns
Kinfauns was a large 1950s deluxe bungalow in Esher, Surrey, England, on the Claremont Estate. From 1964 to 1970 it was the home of George Harrison, lead guitarist of the Beatles, and was where many of the demo recordings for the White Album were made. The bungalow has since been demolished, and another house built in its place.List of awards and nominations received by George Harrison
This is a list of awards received by English artist George Harrison. Harrison has won awards both as a recording artist and for his work in film. Additional honors are posted at George Harrison#Legacy.List of songs recorded by George Harrison
George Harrison (1943–2001) was an English musician who gained international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. With his songwriting contributions limited by the dominance of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Harrison was the first member of the Beatles to release a solo album. Wonderwall Music (1968), a mostly instrumental soundtrack album combining Western and Indian sounds, was followed by Electronic Sound (1969), an experimental album containing two lengthy pieces performed on Moog synthesizer. Following the Beatles' break-up in 1970, Harrison released the triple album All Things Must Pass. Co-produced by Phil Spector, it included the hit singles "My Sweet Lord" and "What Is Life". The album featured musical contributions from Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr, both of whom collaborated regularly with Harrison throughout his solo career, and two signature elements of Harrison's work: his slide guitar playing and spiritually themed songwriting.While organising the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971, Harrison recorded the charity single "Bangla Desh". The Concert for Bangladesh live album included three of Harrison's best-known Beatles songs: "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Here Comes the Sun" and "Something". Living in the Material World (1973) featured a pared-down sound and increasingly devout lyrics. It included the single "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" and a title track in which contrasting sections of Indian music and Western rock mirrored Harrison's struggle to attain his spiritual goals. Dark Horse (1974) included songs inspired by the end of his marriage to Pattie Boyd and, particularly in the title track, vocal performances marred by Harrison contracting laryngitis – a result of overexertion as he prepared to launch his Dark Horse record label. Extra Texture (Read All About It) (1975) contained several songs in a downbeat soul style, reflecting his despondency following the mixed reception afforded his 1974 North American tour with Ravi Shankar. Largely recorded in Los Angeles, the album included "This Guitar (Can't Keep from Crying)", a sequel to "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".Thirty Three & 1/3 (1976) furthered the American soul influence and, with its singles "This Song" and "Crackerbox Palace", was a more buoyant collection than its predecessors. Marked also by a more subtle approach to religious pronouncements, the album typified Harrison's move towards love songs seemingly addressed to his deity as much as to a romantic partner. Co-produced by Russ Titelman, George Harrison (1979) reflected Harrison's contentment after a period spent travelling. It included the hit single "Blow Away", songs celebrating the tranquil surroundings he had discovered on Hawaii, and a tribute to Formula One racing drivers, "Faster". Somewhere in England was released in 1981 and featured "All Those Years Ago", a tribute to Lennon following his murder in December 1980. Gone Troppo (1982) included the single "Wake Up My Love" and "Circles", a song that, like "Not Guilty" from George Harrison, had originally been considered for the Beatles' White Album in 1968.After a four-year hiatus, Harrison returned with Cloud Nine (1987), co-produced by Jeff Lynne. It included a cover version of Rudy Clark's "Got My Mind Set on You" and the Beatles tribute "When We Was Fab". Harrison then formed the Traveling Wilburys with Lynne, Dylan, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty. He issued the 1989 compilation Best of Dark Horse, which included "Cheer Down", co-written with Petty. Harrison's 1992 album Live in Japan, recorded on tour with Clapton, included renditions of "Taxman", "If I Needed Someone" and several other Harrison compositions from the Beatles' catalogue. Harrison then reunited with Starr and McCartney for the Beatles Anthology multimedia project and collaborated extensively with Shankar, but he issued no further recordings under his own name before his death in November 2001. His final album, Brainwashed (2002), included the singles "Any Road" and "Stuck Inside a Cloud", and the slide-guitar instrumental "Marwa Blues".Live in Japan (George Harrison album)
Live in Japan is a live double album by English musician George Harrison, released in July 1992. Credited to "George Harrison with Eric Clapton and Band", it was Harrison's second official live album release, after 1971's Grammy-winning The Concert for Bangladesh. The album was recorded during his Japanese tour backed by Eric Clapton in December 1991, and it contains a selection of Harrison's hits as a solo artist alongside some of his best-known Beatles songs. Aside from the 2001 reissue of All Things Must Pass, with previously unavailable bonus tracks, Live in Japan was Harrison's last release before his death in November 2001.Raga (film)
Raga is a 1971 documentary film about the life and music of Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar, produced and directed by Howard Worth. It includes scenes featuring Western musicians Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison, as well as footage of Shankar returning to Maihar in central India, where as a young man he trained under the mentorship of Allauddin Khan. The film also features a portion of Shankar and tabla player Alla Rakha's acclaimed performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.
The majority of the documentary was shot in the late 1960s, during a period when Shankar's growing popularity saw Indian classical music embraced by rock and pop musicians and their audiences. Financial problems then delayed production until Harrison provided assistance through the Beatles' company Apple Films. In addition to actively promoting Raga, Harrison produced the soundtrack album – a project that led directly to he and Shankar staging the Concert for Bangladesh in August 1971.
The film's working title was alternately East Meets West and Messenger Out of the East. In 2010, to coincide with celebrations for Shankar's 90th birthday, East Meets West Music released a fully remastered version on DVD, titled Raga: A Film Journey into the Soul of India. The expanded soundtrack album was also made available, via digital download.Raga Mala (book)
Raga Mala is an autobiographic work by Indian classical musician Ravi Shankar, published in 1997 as a hand-bound, limited edition book by Genesis Publications. The initial print run was limited to 2000 signed and individually numbered copies, with a foreword by George Harrison, who also served as Shankar's editor. In addition, Oliver Craske was credited with providing "additional narrative".
In May 1998, American music magazine Billboard announced the release there of a boxed deluxe edition of the book (priced at $342), which included two CDs of music and a packet of incense.The book was Shankar's second autobiography, after the 1968 publication of My Music, My Life. Following its original edition, Raga Mala was issued in mass-market format by New York publishers Welcome Rain in September 1999.Straight Up (Badfinger album)
Straight Up is the third album by British rock band Badfinger, released in December 1971 in the United States and February 1972 in Britain. Issued on the Beatles' Apple record label, it includes the hit singles "Day After Day" and "Baby Blue", and the similarly popular "Name of the Game", all of which were written by singer and guitarist Pete Ham. The album marked a departure from the more rock-oriented sound of Badfinger's previous releases, partly as a result of intervention by Apple Records regarding the band's musical direction. Although Straight Up received a mixed response from critics on release, many reviewers now regard it as the band's best album. Rolling Stone critic David Fricke has referred to it as "Badfinger's power-pop apex".Production on what became Straight Up lasted nine months, at the start of which the group made an album's worth of recordings with producer Geoff Emerick, in between their touring commitments. Once Apple had decided to shelve these recordings, George Harrison took over production, only for him to become indisposed with events associated with the Concert for Bangladesh, at which Badfinger also performed. Harrison then handed the project to American producer Todd Rundgren, who oversaw recording for most of the album.
Straight Up was reissued on CD in 1993, with bonus tracks, and remastered again in 2010.The Apple Years 1968–75
The Apple Years 1968–75 is a box set by English musician George Harrison, released on 22 September 2014. The eight-disc set compiles all of Harrison's studio albums that were originally issued on the Beatles' Apple record label. The six albums are Wonderwall Music (1968), Electronic Sound (1969), All Things Must Pass (1970; spread over two CDs), Living in the Material World (1973), Dark Horse (1974) and Extra Texture (1975). The final disc is a DVD containing a feature titled "The Apple Years", promotional films from some of his previous posthumous reissues, such as The Concert for Bangladesh, and other video clips. The box set marks the first time that the Dark Horse and Extra Texture albums have been remastered since their 1992 CD release.Among the bonus tracks spread across the set is an alternative, instrumental version of Harrison's 1968 B-side for the Beatles, "The Inner Light"; a remixed version of his non-album single "Bangla Desh"; and a 1992 re-recording of "This Guitar (Can't Keep from Crying)" (featuring overdubbed contributions from Ringo Starr and Dhani Harrison) that was used to promote Dave Stewart's Platinum Weird project in 2006. Also included in the package is a book containing essays by author Kevin Howlett and rare photos.The Concert for Bangladesh (album)
The Concert for Bangladesh (originally spelt The Concert for Bangla Desh) is a live triple album credited to "George Harrison & Friends" and released on Apple Records in December 1971 in America and January 1972 in Britain. The album followed the two concerts of the same name, held on 1 August 1971 at New York's Madison Square Garden, featuring Harrison, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and Eric Clapton. The shows were a pioneering charity event, in aid of the homeless Bengali refugees of the Bangladesh Liberation War, and set the model for future multi-artist rock benefits such as Live Aid (1985) and the Concert for New York City (2001). The event brought Harrison and Starr together on a concert stage for the first time since 1966, when the Beatles retired from live performance, and represented Dylan's first major concert appearance in the US in five years.
Co-produced by Phil Spector, The Concert for Bangladesh features his Wall of Sound approach in a live setting. Besides the main performers, the musicians and singers include Badfinger, Jim Horn, Klaus Voormann, Alla Rakha, Jim Keltner, Jesse Ed Davis and Claudia Linnear. Minimal post-production was carried out on the recordings, ensuring that the album was a faithful document of the event. The box set's packaging included a 64-page book containing photos from the concerts; the album cover, designed by Tom Wilkes, consisted of an image of a malnourished child sitting beside an empty food bowl. The album was delayed for three months due to protracted negotiations between Harrison and two record companies keen to protect their business interests, Capitol and Columbia/CBS.
On release, The Concert for Bangladesh was a major critical and commercial success. It topped albums charts in several countries and went on to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in March 1973. Together with the 1972 Apple concert film directed by Saul Swimmer, the album gained Indian classical music its largest Western audience up until that time. It was reissued in 2005, four years after Harrison's death, with revised artwork. As of 2011, sales of the album continue to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF, which raised $1.2 million for children in the Horn of Africa, in a campaign marking the album's 40th anniversary.The Concert for Bangladesh (film)
The Concert for Bangladesh is a film directed by Saul Swimmer and released in 1972. The film documents the two benefit concerts that were organised by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar to raise funds for refugees of the Bangladesh Liberation War, and were held on Sunday, 1 August 1971 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. As well as notable performances from Harrison and Shankar, the film includes "main performer" contributions from Harrison's fellow ex-Beatle Ringo Starr, Billy Preston and Leon Russell, and a surprise walk-on from Bob Dylan. Other contributing musicians include Ali Akbar Khan, Eric Clapton, the band Badfinger, Klaus Voormann, Jesse Ed Davis, Jim Horn and Jim Keltner.
The film was the final part of Harrison's "pioneering" aid project for the people of former East Pakistan, following his "Bangla Desh" charity single, the UNICEF benefit concerts, and a triple live album of the event credited to "George Harrison and Friends". The Concert for Bangladesh was produced by The Beatles' Apple Films; after delays caused by problems with inadequate footage from the event, it opened in US cinemas in the spring of 1972. The film was released on DVD in 2005 accompanied by a newly created documentary feature, The Concert for Bangladesh Revisited with George Harrison and Friends, which included recollections from many of the project's participants and contextual input from then UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, US Fund for UNICEF president Charles Lyons and Live Aid founder Bob Geldof.
As with the live album, sales of the DVD release of the film continue to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.The Day the World Gets 'Round
"The Day the World Gets 'Round" is a song by English musician George Harrison, released on his 1973 album Living in the Material World. Harrison was inspired to write the song following the successful Concert for Bangladesh shows, which were held in New York on 1 August 1971 as a benefit for refugees from the country formerly known as East Pakistan. The lyrics reflect his disappointment that such a humanitarian aid project was necessary, given the abundance of resources available across the planet, and his belief that if all individuals were more spiritually aware, there would be no suffering in the world. Adding to Harrison's frustration while writing the song, the aid project became embroiled in financial problems, as commercial concerns delayed the release of the Concert for Bangladesh album, and government tax departments failed to embrace the goodwill inherent in the venture.
Harrison recorded "The Day the World Gets 'Round" in England between October 1972 and March 1973. The recording features an orchestral arrangement by John Barham and a similarly well-regarded vocal performance from Harrison. The other contributing musicians were Nicky Hopkins, Klaus Voormann, Ringo Starr and Jim Keltner. Reviewers have described the composition variously as a protest song, a devotional prayer, and a counterpart to John Lennon's peace anthem "Imagine".
As with all the new songs released on Living in the Material World, Harrison donated his publishing royalties from the track to the Material World Charitable Foundation, an organisation he set up to avoid the tax problems that had befallen his Bangladesh relief effort. The song typifies Harrison's ideal for a world unencumbered by national, religious or cultural delineation. In 2009, Voormann and Yusuf Islam covered "The Day the World Gets 'Round" and released it as a single to benefit children in war-torn Gaza.Wonderful Today
Wonderful Today, subtitled The Autobiography, is the 2007 autobiography by English former fashion model and photographer Pattie Boyd, written with journalist and broadcaster Penny Junor. It was published by Headline Review in Britain, on 23 August 2007, and by Harmony Books in the United States, where it was titled Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me. Beginning with her childhood in Kenya, the book covers Boyd's modelling career in London during the 1960s, her marriage to and divorce from Beatle George Harrison and later marriage and divorce of Harrison's best friend, Eric Clapton. The book's title is in reference to Clapton's 1977 song "Wonderful Tonight", which he wrote about Boyd.
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