Thursday, May 23, 2024

“Bangla Desh” George Harrison Film Gets Free Showings for 40th Anniversary


Believe it or not, kids, it’s the 40th anniversary of “The Concert for Bangla Desh.” George Harrison and Ravi Shankar‘s landmark event took place in the summer of 1971. Seems like yesterday (not). Anyway, to commemorate the milestone, ITunes is showing the film for free from July 30th – August 1st. The concert film will also be shown for free on those dates at Today, the soundtrack went online on ITunes for the first time for downloading. This is a big deal. “The Concert for Bangla Desh” was the first all -star charity rock concert. Harrison got the biggest names on the scene–Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Leon Russell, Billy Preston — to be featured. Badfinger was the house band. Paul McCartney and John Lennon, however, stayed away. (It was also the summer of McCartney’s great second solo album, “Ram.” In the fall, Lennon released “Imagine.”) There’s just about nothing better than Harrison and Russell singing “Beware of Darkness.” The free showings are a lovely gesture, no doubt due to Olivia and Dhani Harrison. I still have my 1971 box set of LPs from “Bangla Desh,” by the way, a cherished souvenir. Proceeds from the downloads and the streaming, etc will go to the George Harrison Fund at UNICEF.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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