Friday, August 25, 2023




I recently posted a Bytes item of Ringo Starr singing at the Concert for George, held on 29 November 2002 as a memorial to George Harrison on the first anniversary of his death. He was 58 at his death.

Here is another item from that concert, I don’t grow tired of watching it – George Harrison’s close friend Eric Clapton, and massed musicians, playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps.


I defy you not to be moved and not to get goosebumps at times.

Some viewer comments at the above link:

0:02 Jim Keltner (back)
0:06 Dhani Harrison
0:11 Andy Fairweather Low
0:16 Eric Clapton
0:27 Paul McCartney
0:30 Chris Stainton
0:41 Albert Lee (middle), Dave Bronze (L)
0:47 Marc Mann & Dave Bronze (right)
2:10 Ringo Starr
3:11 (in order of appearance) Jim Capaldi, Emil Richards, Ray Cooper
4:03 Jeff Lynne (L)
4:49 Henry Spinetti (L)
5:27 Gary Brooker (bottom left), Billy Preston (bottom right)

There are 6 drummers and it sounds like one. That’s musicality at its finest.

The stars must have all aligned..because this is a Stellar band. Talent galore....and the collaboration is spot on. I could watch and listen to this all day. Plus...everyone appears to be genuinely enjoying the moment.Kudos!!

I love how Eric is one of the most badass guitarists of all time but he just looks like someone’s dad

Unreal. The amount of talent on this stage. May be the best live version of this epic song ever. Eric Clapton, so perfect--nothing more to say.

One of the most beautiful songs ever written. Clapton's guitar unbelievably actually seems to be weeping. An absolute genius performing another genius' song. Fantastic.

Amazing rendition by Eric Clapton and the entire band along with Paul, Ringo and George’s son Dhani. R.I.P. George & John 🙏🏽✝️

One of the greatest songs ever written what an absolutely beautiful tribute

George was and is my favorite of all of the fab 4. His songs touch different emotions for me than the others. He was the sweet soul of the Beatles. Eric plays and sings beautifully on this magnificent tribute to his friend. George's son playing with all those assembled is emotional beyond words that can be expressed. The all star talent level of all those performing on this version is amazing. RIP George

Brings tears to my old eyes. the young man there with his dad's best mates playing his music, simply beautiful.

If you think about it, that was one of the most legendary live performances of any song of all time

Truly the best version of this song. The solo at the end... every note flows right out of his soul.

You know it’s something special when McCartney is just a sideman. Wow.

This is a fantastic version of one of George's greatest songs. Paul backing Clapton's lead vocal is perfect. The guitars have a drive that this song needs. Great to see George's son there. Just wow.

Oh my God, Eric, the Rock God, Clapton. Flawless, unequaled boyhood hero. And after all the years he hasn't lost any of his magic. I still get chills when he plays. The legend lives on. Seemingly immortal.

To anyone that hasn't watched this entire concert, what ever you do, you must, it really is an amazing experience to involve yourself in, there's no greater thing (in my opinion) than watching such an array of outstanding talent, pouring out raw emotion, in the form of fantastic music, to celebrate their love, affection & appreciation of a great friend.

A man who lost his son, playing his quitar and weeping inside for the loss of his friend... playing next to a son who lost his father and paying homage for the whole world to see.. Beautiful!

Eric put his heart and soul into that song for George. When it was over he looked stunned for a few seconds.

George Harrison and Eric Clapton:

Eric Clapton and George Harrison were best friends, but there were some strange aspects to their history.


The Bizarre Story of Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and Pattie Boyd
By Matty Cord and Colin Newby
October 27th, 2022

Pattie Boyd, the ex-wife of George Harrison and Eric Clapton, interviewed with Telegraph Magazine after the release of her new book My Life in Pictures last week. 
Pattie Boyd (centre) and George Harrison (right) after their wedding at Epsom Register Office, pictured with Paul McCartney (left)

Eric Clapton at his 1973 comeback concert organized by Pete Townshend at the Rainbow Theatre in London

The book’s official site described Boyd as a “model, photographer, and one of the most iconic muses of the twentieth century.” However, many classic rock fans will only ever associate her with her bizarre, topsy-turvy relationships with two of the greatest rock stars of her generation.

She is the inspiration for Harrison’s single “Something” and two of Clapton’s most recognizable hits “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight.”

Boyd married George Harrison in 1966 while Beatlemania continued to sweep the music world off its feet. However, she suffered through incredible insecurity that ultimately ended her marriage with the Beatles’ guitarist in 1977.

“I felt I had to leave George because things were getting really out of hand. George was just being a different George. We had gone in different directions, basically. But we still loved each other… It’s just that I think he wanted to spread his wings and take advantage of being the handsome, famous, rich guy that he was and see how the girls feel about him,” she told Telegraph.

Eric Clapton was Harrison’s closest friend, but he had actively pursued Pattie Boyd romantically while she was married to Harrison. He wrote “Layla” in 1970 with Derek and the Dominos about his painful desire for the famous model.

In an unusual twist of events, Clapton married Boyd in 1979. His drug abuse issues complicated the relationship before and after the marriage, and they ultimately split up in 1989.

Having the same ex-wife is hardly a common bonding point of best friends, but Clapton and Harrison remined close until Harrison passed away in 2001.

Boyd spoke about her life after divorcing two famous rock stars and how the astonishing path ultimately led her to happiness after the fame. “Well, I was no longer Mrs. Famous George or Mrs. Famous Eric, so who am I? I am no one. No one knows me. I don’t even know me. I was at a critical point in my life, and so I saw a psychotherapist who was quite wonderful. She was amazing. She guided me out of this mire of respond, and gradually, I learned to believe in myself.”

While My Guitar Gently Weeps – Lyrics:

I look at you all
See the love there that's sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps

I look at the floor
And I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don't know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love
I don't know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you

I look at the world
And I notice, it's turning
While my guitar gently weeps

With every mistake
We must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don't know how you were diverted
You were perverted too
I don't know how you were inverted
No one alerted you

I look from the wings
At the play you are staging
While my guitar gently weeps

'Cause I'm sitting here
Doing nothing but aging
Still my guitar gently weeps

While My Guitar Gently Weeps, about:


"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was written by George Harrison and is from the Beatles’ 1968 double album The Beatles (also known as "the White Album").

Harrison wrote "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" as an exercise in randomness inspired by the Chinese I Ching. The song conveys his dismay at the world's unrealised potential for universal love, which he refers to as "the love there that's sleeping".

The song also serves as a comment on the disharmony within the Beatles after their return from studying transcendental meditation in India in early 1968. This lack of camaraderie was reflected in the band's initial apathy towards the composition, which Harrison countered by inviting his friend and occasional collaborator, Eric Clapton, to contribute to the recording. Clapton overdubbed a lead guitar part, although he was not formally credited for his contribution.

When discussing another song he wrote at this time, "Not Guilty", Harrison said it referred to "the grief I was catching" from John Lennon and Paul McCartney for leading them to India supposedly hindering the group's career and the launch of their Apple record label. Eric Clapton, with whom Harrison collaborated on several recordings throughout 1968 as a distraction from the Beatles, said that "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" conveyed Harrison's spiritual isolation within the group.

Harrison later complained that John Lennon and Paul McCartney did not give ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ the attention he felt it deserved. The presence of Eric Clapton on lead guitar, at Harrison’s request, made the rest of the group take the song more seriously.

We tried to record it, but John and Paul were so used to just cranking out their tunes that it was very difficult at times to get serious and record one of mine. It wasn’t happening. They weren’t taking it seriously and I don’t think they were even all playing on it, and so I went home that night thinking, ‘Well, that’s a shame,’ because I knew the song was pretty good.

The next day I was driving into London with Eric Clapton, and I said, ‘What are you doing today? Why don’t you come to the studio and play on this song for me?’ He said, ‘Oh, no – I can’t do that. Nobody’s ever played on a Beatles record and the others wouldn’t like it.’ I said, ‘Look, it’s my song and I’d like you to play on it.’

So he came in. I said, ‘Eric’s going to play on this one,’ and it was good because that then made everyone act better. Paul got on the piano and played a nice intro and they all took it more seriously.

George Harrison

The full group recording was made in September 1968, at which point the song's folk-based musical arrangement was replaced by a production in the heavy rock style. The recording was one of several collaborations between Harrison and Clapton during the late 1960s and was followed by the pair co-writing the song "Badge" for Clapton's group Cream.

Harrison and Clapton often performed the song together live, during which they shared the lead guitar role over the closing section.

George Harrison wrote "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" after his return from India, where the Beatles had been studying transcendental meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi during the spring of 1968. The visit had allowed Harrison to re-engage with the guitar as his primary instrument, after focusing on the Indian sitar for the previous two years, and also marked the start of a prolific period for him as a songwriter.

Inspiration for the song came to him when he was visiting his parents in Warrington, Cheshire, and he began reading the I Ching, or "The Book of Changes". As Harrison put it, "[the book] seemed to me to be based on the Eastern concept that everything is relative to everything else, as opposed to the Western view that things are merely coincidental." Embracing this idea of relativism, he committed to writing a song based on the first words he saw upon opening a book, which happened to be "gently weeps".Harrison continued to work on the lyrics after this initial writing session.

A demo that Harrison recorded at his home in Esher includes an unused verse: "I look at the trouble and hate that is raging / While my guitar gently weeps / As I'm sitting here, doing nothing but ageing …" This version also includes the line "The problems you sow are the troubles you're reaping", which he similarly discarded. An early acoustic guitar and harmonium performance of the song features a slightly different third verse: "I look from the wings at the play you are staging / While my guitar gently weeps / As I'm sitting here, doing nothing but ageing …"

The song is a lament for how a universal love for humankind is latent in all individuals yet remains unrealised. Harrison sings of surveying "you all" and seeing "the love there that's sleeping". During the bridges, Harrison adopts a repetitive rhyming scheme in the style of Bob Dylan to convey how humankind has become distracted from its ability to manifest this love. He sings of people that have been "inverted" and "perverted" from their natural perspective.

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" follows in a lyrical tradition established by Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Bo Diddley, whereby emotions and actions are attributed to a musical instrument.

Harrison biographer Joshua Greene says that its message reflects the pessimism encouraged by world events throughout 1968, such as the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy in the United States, and the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.


George Harrison, left, with Eric Clapton at the Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden, New York, in 1971

Eric Clapton and Dhani Harrison, Concert for George

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