george harrison 1974 tour

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awc

“Pepperland”

Since: Dec 06

Pepperland

#1 Nov 2, 2007
FLASHBACK: GEORGE HARRISON BECOMES THE FIRST SOLO BEATLE TO TOUR AMERICA
It was 33 years ago tonight (November 2nd, 1974) that George Harrison launched his "George Harrison & Friends North American Tour," at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, becoming the first solo Beatle to tour North America.
The 30-date tour was particularly grueling for Harrison, who had blown out his voice in the rush to complete his Dark Horse album, resulting in some reporters mockingly referring to the dates as the "Dark Hoarse" tour. To make matters worse, Harrison and his band were often playing two shows a day, with some dates not selling out.
The show, which had already had pacing problems due to Harrison's choice of material, featured guest spots by saxophonist Tom Scott and Billy Preston, as well as two long Indian music sets by sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar interspersed within the concerts, which all but wrecked any momentum the "rock" aspects of the show had gained.
Although Harrison and the press liked to portray the concert audiences as hostile toward his performances, underground recordings of concerts taped in such cities as Fort Worth and Baton Rouge show boisterous fans cheering the show -- including the songs from Harrison's soon-to-be critically bashed Dark Horse album, which didn't hit the stores until the tour was halfway over.
For many, the main problem with the tour was Harrison tampering with the lyrics and arrangement of Beatles classics. "Something," which surprised many as the second song of the night, had its lyrics changed to "When something's in the way we move it"; "For You Blue" was changed into an up-tempo jazz number; "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" became "While My Guitar Tries To Smile"; and Harrison's update on John Lennon and Paul McCartney's "In My Life" had Harrison declaring during the song's chorus, "In my life, I love God more."
Among his solo hits performed on the tour were "What Is Life" and the Number Ones "My Sweet Lord" and "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)." Conspicuously absent from the tour was Harrison's Beatles hit "Here Comes The Sun."
Billy Preston performed show-stopping renditions of his hits "Will It Go 'Round In Circles," "Outta Space," and "Nothing From Nothing."

awc

“Pepperland”

Since: Dec 06

Pepperland

#2 Nov 2, 2007
Harrison had his share of friends visit him throughout the tour, with Bob Dylan checking out both his afternoon and evening Los Angeles Forum shows, John Lennon and girlfriend May Pang catching one of the Nassau Coliseum show on Long Island, and Paul and Linda McCartney attending one of the New York City shows at Madison Square Garden. McCartney tried to disguise himself in afro wig and fake mustache, but was easily spotted by die-hard fans.
Beatlefan magazine reported that David Bowie visited Harrison backstage in Memphis, but that he and Harrison "didn't hit it off that well."
After the dates, Harrison was so turned off to performing that it was 17 years before he embarked on his next tour, a series of dates in Japan far away from the glaring Western media.
Mark Lapidos, who that same year founded what is now known as The Fest For Beatlefans, caught several of Harrison's 1974 New York shows and said that the press were too harsh on Harrison: "You know, after a while the headlines take over; Dark Hoarse, H-O-A-R-S-E, the Dark Hoarse Tour as it became known as. I don't think that the people were bothered by his voice. I noticed that it was a little bit off. My objection (laughs) was when he did 'In My Life'(and) he changed the words. I would have rathered him not to, but he was religious and that was his thing."
Harrison's widow, Olivia Harrison, who was with him for the duration of the '74 tour, says that although it's still on the backburner, she's planning some type major retrospective around the tour, including a reissue of the Dark Horse album, and a live CD and DVD: "There's a lot of footage and a lot of history around that 1974 tour. You know George filmed quite a lot, so I think that it needs a little more time to sort that out. Because there's this great footage, you know he filmed backstage, he filmed in lots of cities, so many things happened on that tour, as well as a live album."
Andrew Sanders

Peoria, IL

#3 Nov 19, 2008
I was at the show in STL in 1974 ( I was 17) and I remember that even then I realized I was witnessing something really special. It was like when a good friend goes a little astray, you still love them and you smile.Mt freinds and I had just about worn out a copy of his solo record. Remember vinyl?

Rest in Peace George
digger

Northridge, CA

#4 Nov 28, 2008
The 1974 tour was not the complete diaster assome have indicated. Lt me point out the following:
1)George was very well reicved in Oakland, Long Beach, Tulsa, Forth Worth, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and NYC.
2)Theses memories really stand out, In Tulsa, Leon Russell joined him on stage doing "My Sweet Lord". The uidence responded great and was stil cheering 30 minutes after the end of the show and the venue had to tell the remaining auidence that george left and was not coming back. Also in Detroit (the second show), The auidence was still so pumped up that after the last song, the auidence was still cheering and George had to reappear to say goodbye. In Phiadelphia, George was touched by the overweling reception and for the afternoon show of 12/21/74, George did a 10miniute version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps that got a tremendous ovation. 3) The tour received many positive pressw reviews especially in the heartland and his voice-still sub par-improved alot as he reached the east USA/ 5718
BuzzKirk

El Segundo, CA

#5 Feb 6, 2009
The Los Angeles show was the Forum in Inglewood, not Long Beach as mentioned above. Kudos to Tom Scott and the band (Robbin Ford, etc.) who played well, but George was not in good form that night. George jokes when introducing "Dark Horse," that "it ought to be called 'Hoarse Horse' because I've lots my voice."
Jim C

Wareham, MA

#6 Mar 7, 2009
I saw George on his 1974 US tour at the Boston Garden on December 10,1974. The place was sold out..
he was very well received by the crowd..although the local Boston papers were not especially kind because of his voice..and because he refused to be"Beatle George"...
If Not For You

Maracay, Venezuela

#7 Mar 9, 2009
digger

Irvine, CA

#8 Mar 12, 2009
In response to BuzzJirk, George played 4 shows in Los Angeles County. The first show was in Long Beach and the other three were at the Fprum. It was the Long Beach show that epople went nuts althiugh he was still well received at the forum

awc

“Pepperland”

Since: Dec 06

Pepperland

#9 Mar 13, 2009
Recently Olivia again mentioned that a cd/dvd project from the 74 tour was in the works, possibly a late 2009 release.

Martin Scorsese is currently working on George's life bio-movie,it will feature complete narration by George using interviews he gave during the years.
Ringo Starr and Paul Mccartney were recently interviewed for the movie.
Greg

Atlanta, GA

#10 Mar 16, 2009
I am a big fan of George Harrison. I love the beatles and he is my favorite beatle. Having said that, the Dark Horse tour was a bit "problematic" for George. I don't believe that much of it would be releasable. If you want to hear any bootlegs of the tour go to utube. I could believe the jazzy version of For You Blue...yuck. While My Guitar gently Weeps had different lyrics and a slower pace. George's version of In My Life was interesting. Not all of the vocals were that hoarse. Biggest issue was hearing great rock songs performed as faux jazz. I Love Goerge so if a Dark Horse live Cd came out I'd still have to buy it.
digger

Northridge, CA

#11 Mar 24, 2009
I think also the fact that George did only 2 tours in his career, it makes it more special. Perhaps some were not 100% satisfied at the time, people seem more appreciative that they were there because he did not tour that much and look back at the 74 tour more positively. Like I said, it was not the toital disaster some of the press made it out to be.
Howie Edelson

Howard Beach, NY

#12 Jun 20, 2009
Although uncredited, this story was written by me -- Howie Edelson
Clayton

Bothell, WA

#13 Aug 4, 2009
I'm 24 just getting into the Beatles and I have come into Possesion of a 74 George Harrison Live in Vancouver Still Sealed and A Live in Texes in great shape.
Could any of you wise fan give me some info on these records I cant find them anywhere on the web
Thank you

awc

“Pepperland”

Since: Dec 06

Pepperland

#14 Aug 7, 2009
Howie Edelson wrote:
Although uncredited, this story was written by me -- Howie Edelson
Great article, it was posted on a New York radio station's site, without credit to anyone.
You are a great writer, and a true Beatle's and solo fan.

awc

“Pepperland”

Since: Dec 06

Pepperland

#15 Aug 7, 2009
Clayton wrote:
I'm 24 just getting into the Beatles and I have come into Possesion of a 74 George Harrison Live in Vancouver Still Sealed and A Live in Texes in great shape.
Could any of you wise fan give me some info on these records I cant find them anywhere on the web
Thank you
Hi Clayton,
The 1974 concerts have never been released officially, but there are many boot-leg copies floating around.
Olivia promises a cd/dvd very soon, hope it is very soon.
Tuner

Oakland, CA

#16 Dec 7, 2009
I was at the show in Oakland, CA and I remember it being a bit of a let down. I was 20 years old, had grown up listening to the Beatles and was looking forward to a great performance. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out as expected but was glad to have attended and will look forward to any GOOD cd or dvd that can be produced from the tour.
William

Garland, TX

#17 Feb 2, 2010
Duane Leeper

Troy, NY

#18 Feb 12, 2010
I saw my first Beatle in Montreal. Yes, his voice was hoarse (he SCREAMED "Something", but it was my first concert by a BEATLE !! It was special to say the least...and the ticket was only $8,,,can you believe it,,,,I have since paid over $200 to see McCartney. I recently found my old ticket stub to sadly see the concert date was Dec 8. Six years later, John would be dead. How ironic that my most cherished day in my own Beatles history would also be the worst.
Kent

AOL

#19 Sep 24, 2010
I was there for the Ft. Worth performance. I thoughIt was great. Very fond memory. Rest easy George, and Billy.
Jimmy Hines

Garland, TX

#20 Oct 25, 2010
Would have loved to see George in concert, too bad in 1991/92 he only toured Japan.
I would buy a cd/dvd of his 74 tour, hope it's really coming out.

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