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Concert for Bangladesh

From Academic Kids

The Concert For Bangladesh was the event title for two concerts held on the afternoon and evening of August 1, 1971, playing to a total of 40,000 people at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Contents

Background

As East Pakistan struggled to become the separate state of Bangladesh, tremendous political and military turmoil led to a massive refugee problem. This problem was compounded by torrential rains causing devastating floods and threatening a humanitarian disaster.

Bengali musician Ravi Shankar consulted his friend George Harrison regarding a means of providing help to the situation. Harrison recorded the single "Bangladesh" to help raise awareness and pushed Apple Records to release Shankar's single "Joi Bangla" in a dual-pronged effort to raise funds.

Shankar also asked Harrison's advice regarding a small fund-raising concert in the United States. Instead, Harrison took over and persuaded his friends to join him at a large concert at Madison Square Garden. The event was organised within five weeks.

Harrison first asked his fellow Beatles to appear. John Lennon agreed to take part in the concert, hower Harrison stipulated that Lennon's wife Yoko Ono not attend. Lennon agreed, but left New York two days before the event following an argument with Ono regarding his and Harrison's agreement that she not participate. Paul McCartney declined because of the bad feelings caused by the Beatles' legal problems on their break-up. Ringo Starr, however, readily agreed to appear.

Concert program

Shankar opened the concert with a 25-minute recital of Indian music. Eric Clapton made his first public appearance since the end of the five-month Derek and the Dominos tour the previous December. Clapton was still in the grip of a heroin addiction, and partook of his habit before going onstage. The heroin had been cut with talcum powder and Clapton collapsed on stage. A doctor was able to revive him, and Clapton continued the performance.

Musical help was also on hand from Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Klaus Voormann and Badfinger (along with Jim Horn, Carl Radle, Jesse Ed Davis, Don Preston and a host of backing singers organized by Don Nix).

Bob Dylan made his first stage appearance since the Isle of Wight Festival in August 1969. Apart from sitting in for a few numbers with The Band on New Year 1972 and an unannounced appearance backing John Prine on harp at a Greenwich Village club, he did not play live again until January 1974.

Album release

The event was recorded for an album and released as a triple-LP box set (later a 2-CD set), produced by Harrison and Phil Spector. This record was Dylan's first official live release. The concert was also filmed, although Harrison later complained that half the camera operators appeared to have been indulging in illegal substances, which left the focus of some shots rather soft. There was a theatrical release for the film and it was later issued on video.

The 2-CD set was re-released in 2001 and Harrison had been working on an expanded deluxe edition prior to his death. In the spring of 2005, at least one Beatles fan site reported that a late 2005 release was planned for both a DVD edition and an expanded CD edition.

The longplay

numbersinger(s) / player(s)titlem:ss
1 .1George Harrison / Ravi ShankarIntroduction ( Text )6:16
.2R.Shankar/A.Khan/A.Rakah/K.ChakravartyBangla Dhun16:19
2 .1George HarrisonWah-Wah3:15
.2My Sweet Lord4:16
.3Awaiting On You All2:37
.4Billy PrestonThat's The Way God Planned It4:05
numbersinger(s) / player(s)titlem:ss
3 .1Richard Starkey ( = Ringo Star )It Don't Come Easy2:38
.2George Harrison / Leon Russell / Jim HornBeware Of Darkness3:26
.3Introduction Of The Band ( Text )3:00
.4George Harrison / Eric ClaptonWhile My Guitar Gently Weeps4:39
4 .1Leon Russell / Carl Radle / Don PrestonJumping Jack Flash9:11
Leon Russell / Don PrestonYoungblood
.2George Harrison / Pete HamHere Comes The Sun2:51
numbersinger(s) / player(s)titlem:ss
5 .1Bob Dylan
Leon Russell
George Harrison
Richard Starkey
A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall5:04
.2It Takes A Lot To Laugh / It Takes A Train To Cry2:54
.3Blowin' In The Wind3:34
.4Mr. Tambourine Man4:06
.5Just Like A Woman4:14
6 .1George HarrisonSomething3:05
.2George Harrison / Jim HornBangla Desh4:14

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