The Quiet Beatle could have been 73 today, and we fans get a birthday present tomorrow, in the form of the George Fest package.
Late last year, a crew of luminaries including Brian Wilson, Norah Jones, Wayne Coyne, Britt Daniel, Conan O’Brien and “Weird Al” Yankovic assembled at Los Angeles’ Fonda Theatre for a performance at George Fest: A Night To Celebrate The Music Of George Harrison. This was the culmination of a longtime dream of Dhani Harrison — while he was overseeing the remastering sessions on his father’s Apple catalog, he thought about a small club gig with some of his favorite artists interpreting some of his dad’s deeper solo tunes. “I never thought about what our generation was capable of and how much they actually appreciated his music,” Dhani said. “I’ve been reduced to tears several times by unexpected performances.”
One of the high points was Dhani’s friend Ben Harper‘s take on “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth), from Living In The Material World, which was George’s 1973 followup to the awe-inspiring All Things Must Pass. “To me it almost doesn’t get its just desserts,” Harper muses. “When you talk about George songs, it’s not one of the first five that usually come up. You know, between Here Comes The Sun and My Sweet Lord, that one kind of gets lost in the shuffle in a way. Maybe I’m completely wrong about that, but from an outsider’s perspective, and for me, it’s one of my favorites. I wanted to jump at that. And it’s hard.”
The George Fest concert in its entirety will be available tomorrow on CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, a set of three vinyl LPs, and — as the media release indicates — digital download. I’ll have to assume that this means there will be no analog downloads.