Concert For Bangladesh
Posted by Osman on May 12, 2007
Concert For Bangladesh
“The Concert for Bangla Desh” (1971), is rock’s first great charity concert and the model for all to come after. George Harrison, Ringo Starr, surprise guest of the night Bob Dylan, and his best friend Eric Clapton sign the album cover. Includes photos of all those that signed the cover to create a one of a kind set-up. Framed size 24″ x 41″.
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The Concert For Bangladesh was the event title for two benefit 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.
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.
Eric Clapton made his first public appearance since the end of the five-month Derek and the Dominos tour the previous December. This was Clapton’s first live performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and was the first time the public knew that it was he that played the solo on the Beatles recording.
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 harmonica at a Greenwich Village club, he did not play live again until January 1974.