The Day George Harrison Made Beatles Solo History

11/02/2011
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(Gibson) On this day in 1974, George Harrison became the first Beatle to undertake a solo world tour when he played the first show of a 30-night tour in Vancouver, Canada. Gibson takes a look back:

It's amazing to think that in the fall of 1974, more than four years after the band had broken up, none of The Beatles had toured North America. Each one had scored huge post-Beatles albums and singles, not John, Paul, George or Ringo had embarked on a tour of the U.S. since the band's final trek in 1966. That is, until "The Quiet Beatle" became the first one to hit the road.

In 1974, George Harrison announced that he was going on a 30-date North American tour to play songs off his #1 solo albums (1970's All Things Must Pass and 1973's Living in the Material World) as well as a few Beatles classics. Harrison assembled a 10-piece band, including pop star and Beatles collaborator Billy Preston, horn player Tom Scott and guitarist Robben Ford. The former Beatle also brought along friend, mentor and Indian music legend Ravi Shankar, who would perform two sets with his group during each concert.

Although Harrison had staged The Concert for Bangladesh a few years before, he had never organized a full tour for himself. As such, he seemed a bit uncertain about how he'd feel about doing so, saying, "I either finish this tour ecstatically happy and want to go on tour everywhere, or I'll end up just going back to my cave for another five years."

As it ended up, following the tour, Harrison would go back to his "cave" for much longer than five years. more

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