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George Harrison in Chicago

"There has been quite the resurgence of interest in George Harrison of late," No Depression notes.

"All of which is understandable (it's the 10th anniversary of his death) and deserved (he was always seemed overshadowed by Lennon and McCartney). Harrison has been on the cover of several rock magazines, including Rolling Stone. HBO recently premiered the big Martin Scorsese-directed documentary, Living In The Material World and his widow Olivia Harrison has put together a coffee table book under the same name.

"Tied into both the documentary and the book, the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles has assembled an exhibit, also entitled Living In The Material World. Taking up most of the museum's second floor, it is filled with some terrific Harrison material, with Harrison songs filling the air and plenty of video footage to watch (although some of it you might have seen in the HBO documentary)."

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of video footage of Harrison playing in Chicago - namely his stop here at the old Chicago Stadium on November 30, 1974. Let's take a look at what we did find.

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Harrison performed both a matinee and an evening show. Several bootlegs such as this one are floating around out there (here's one with a set list and another that seems to be relatively popular.

"Not looking unlike his Beatles' White Album period," Tony Bonyata writes, "with thick shoulder length hair and mustache, Harrison ran through the obvious solo numbers such as 'What Is Life,' which featured a new funky guitar-line, 'My Sweet Lord,' which broke into a strange middle section chanting 'Krishna, Krishna, Buddha, Buddha' in pre-rap-like fashion, 'Give Me Love' and 'Dark Horse,' as well as lesser known numbers such as 'Maya Love,' 'Hari's On Tour' and 'Sue Me, Sue You Blues.' Although he had recently strained his voice prior to this tour (leading critics to call this his 'Dark Hoarse' tour) it didn't seem to matter much to a crowd that was just happy to see a Beatle in the flesh . . .

"Billy Preston took the lead on three of his own tunes 'Will It Go 'Round In Circles,' 'Outta Space' and 'Nothing From Nothing,' while Harrison handed the spotlight over to Scott for the horn-driven jazzed up instrumental 'Tom Cat.' In a risky move for a rock show Harrison opened up the stage mid-concert for three songs which featured Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar, along with a group of other Indian musicians . . .

"But the songs that this stadium full of Beatle fans wanted to hear more than any others were the gems from his former fab band. Not disappointing Harrison pulled out reworked versions of 'Something,' 'For You Blue,' and 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps,' which became even more introspective as the tempo was slightly slowed down.

"'I'd like to do a tune written by an old friend, a dear friend,' Harrison explained before tearing into an upbeat, guitar heavy version of John Lennon's 'In My Life,' which also featured a rousing organ solo from Preston."

Video highlights:

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From the afternoon show:

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And:

Paul McCartney's tribute to George at Wrigley Field on August 1, 2011.

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Comments welcome.



Permalink

Posted on October 18, 2011


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