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Concert for Bangladesh Film Premiered on This Day in 1972

March 23, 2017

It's been 45 years since the New York City movie premiere of GEORGE HARRISON's "The Concert For Bangladesh," the film chronicle of the historic concerts held at Madison Square Garden the previous summer. (Briefly, the former Beatle, having embraced Eastern religion years before, was the organizer of 3 separate efforts, all designed to raise awareness and relief funds for the people of the war-torn country of Bangladesh: the single "Bangladesh," the concerts, and the concert album.) 

The 2 concerts on August 1st, 1971 (afternoon and evening performances) are historic not just for the great performances and all-star lineup of participating musicians, but even more so for having the distinction of being the very first “benefit” concert (in the world!) of such large scale! The initial amount donated to UNICEF (1972) from the concert and live album proceeds came to just under $245,000. Even more impressive is the fact that the George Harrison UNICEF Fund is still benefitting from sales of the DVD release of the film (2005) and the soundtrack album (released in December, 1971) a few months before the film. The 2005 DVD package offered up a nice bunch of “bonuses” that included performances left out of the original film. It's worth picking up, and ... proceeds go to George's charity!

The performances are still captivating and fun to watch and listen to. And after 45 years, it's somewhat sobering to see all those great musicians in their youth, considering that a good number of those performers have died—George Harrison, Leon Russell, guitarist Jesse Ed Davis, and members of Badfinger, among others.

Catch the original trailer below: