The world was a mess 15 years ago. It wasn’t just 9/11. It was on the personal level. New city, new job, new apartment, new schedule (I began working night shift at the time)… it should have been an exciting time, full of hope and possibility. It was anything but.
As is often the case for me, music was my therapy. I’ve always run through a wide variety of genres and artists, but for whatever reason it was during this time that I circled back around to an old favorite: George Harrison. I can’t claim to be the biggest or most knowledgeable Beatles fan on the planet. My sister and my best friend are the ones I default to in that regard. But in my own way I had connected with their music, both as a group and in their solo careers, and ultimately it was Harrison’s music that spoke to me the most. It’s probably because he was a seeker. Even though his isn’t the path I walk, I understand on some level why and how he walked it. Suffice it to say, when things went sideways at this particular point in my life, Harrison’s music spoke to me again.
15 years ago today I got the email. I awoke to the news that George Harrison was gone. It was the weirdest feeling, as though the world had just stopped. Thing is, being the spiritual Beatle, it was as though he wasn’t really gone. I don’t know. In my not-yet-coffee’d-up-state, it was as though he’d merely become one with the Force or something along those lines. I immediately reached for my copy of All Things Must Pass, put it in the player, and just closed my eyes as the music washed over me. There were no tears, and there was no sadness. It was just me saying goodbye and thank you to a friend who never knew me.
One year to the day later, Eric Clapton organized the Concert for George. So much talent on one stage, gathered without ego to remember their friend. It was released later into theaters, which is where I first saw it, and then on DVD just in time for the second anniversary of Harrison’s passing. I watched it every year on the anniversary for five more years, and then occasionally after that, sharing it with anyone who’d watch it with me.
Today, on the 15th anniversary — because I can — I’d like to share this concert with my friends across the world who maybe haven’t experienced it, or haven’t done so in a while. My thanks to the YouTuber who posted it. You can find track information on Wiki. The playlist consists of Eastern music up front with George’s rock music in the second part, and a Monty Python interlude between them to lighten things up. I’ll let it speak for itself. Here’s to you, George.