The Best Rockumentaries: #14 "The Concert for Bangladesh" (1972)
By John Roberts
Los Angeles, California
August 19, 2017 8:46am CST
A big deal back in the day, this was the first mega benefit concert held two nights at Madison Square Garden in 1971. George Harrison organized the event with concert album and movie proceeds going to Bangladesh relief. The concert movie was directed by Saul Swimmer who had previously done “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” starring Herman’s Hermits. Harrison’s band is comprised of Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Billy Preston, Jesse Ed Davis, Jim Kelter and Klaus Voorman. Ravi Shankar opens the show and Badfinger is on hand. The problem is not sloppy production values but ragged performances. Harrison momentarily forgets lyrics to “Something” and Starr likewise for “It Don’t Come Easy.” Clapton is awkward during “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” On the plus side are “My Sweet Lord” and “Here Comes the Sun.” Bob Dylan does a set including “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Just Like a Woman.” The best performers are Preston and Russell.
George harrison Live Bangladesh August 1st 1971
10 people like this
Always liked Dylan's performance on the album. The sequencing of his songs in my view was excellent. I always heard Clapton was going through heavy heroin addiction during that time and was not well. Probably explained his poor performance. Leon Russell and Preston were outstanding. Admire George for trying to put it together and his humanitarian efforts!
3 people like this
• United States
Unlike now, where there are cable channels and all this other stuff to give 24/7 coverage to things like the Bangladesh genocide, Harrison's concert was about the only way to get Americans to divert their attention away from the Vietnam War long enough to think about some other country's misery.