The early 70s were an eventful time for George Harrison. He released his, “All Things Must Pass”, triple album in 1971. It established him as a major artist in his own right and brought him out from under the shadow of the Beatles. In 1972 he put together and fronted “The Concert For Bangladesh” with Ravi Shankar. Guests included Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Ringo and many others. It was released in the movie theaters and played to millions of fans.
In 1973 he released his second post-Beatles studio album, “Living In The Material World”. His marriage to Pattie Boyd was falling apart around this time and she left him for his friend, Eric Clapton. In 1974 he started his own label, “Dark Horse”. He met his future wife, Olivia Arias, in the offices of his new company.
In late 1974, the Beatles officially separated as business partners freeing each to work without legal ties to their past. He released his third post-Beatles studio album around the same time, also titled “Dark Horse”. He toured the USA and Canada to promote it. George was the first of the Beatles to go on tour. For this he put together a band, Billy Preston (keyboards), Robben Ford (guitar), Willie Weeks (Bass), Andy Newmark (drums), Emil Richards (percussion).
The shows included Ravi Shankar performing with 15 Indian musicians. Shankar conducted the band and occasionally played sitar. Billy Preston also shared the spot light and performed a few of his own songs. It suggested that George was not comfortable with his superstar status and preferred to be part of a group.
His tour met with criticism due to the heavy use of Indian music and musicians. He altered lyrics to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Something”, which met mostly with disapproval. He was suffering from laryngitis and his vocals were rough and strained.
During the tour, Harrison would see audiences that were indulging in alcohol and drugs. They showed no feeling for the message he wanted to get across. He felt no connection to the people who came to see him perform. He was tired from touring and later retreated to his estate to focus on gardening where he felt closest to God.
My friends and I saw George Harrison perform at
the Oakland Coliseum November 8th, 1974.
To see my photos of the concert and read
our memoirs, go to -
BRIT ROCK BY THE BAY
BRIT ROCK BY THE BAY
A history of George Harrison in
"The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia
Of Rock & Roll".
© Rolling Stone Press 1983
A button with the
"Dark Horse" logo.
My ticket to the concert.
The set list from the concert.
The official program from the concert.
The tour is first announced March 9, 1974.
Ironically, Paul is on the cover.
All information concerning
George's up coming tour, in this
article, is wrong
The same day SOUNDS released
the same information.
This one had Clive Bunker, from
Jethro Tull, on the cover.
A month later, April 11, 1974,
the US papers picked up the story,
but it is still mainly rumors
George's label, "Dark Horse",
is launched May 25, 1974.
The tour is officially announced
September 28, 1974
A few days later, October 10,
it is announced in the US.
The tour is launched and rumors of
The Beatles reforming are put to rest
by George, who said, "I couldn't join a
band with Paul McCartney!" He answers
questions about his tour, new label, The Beatles
and his separation from Pattie Boyd.
November 2, 1974.
An article from the San
Francisco area just before his
first concert there. The
source and date are unknown.
The first review is in
and it is negative.
November 9, 1974.
Another negative review.
December 9, 1974.
The Beatles partnership
officially comes to an end.
December 21, 1974.
The tour ends at Madison Square
Garden in New York. Paul and
Linda are there, incognito. John missed
the concert but made the party afterward.
January 30, 1975.
Bill Graham discusses
some of the difficulty he had
promoting the tour in the
book, "San Francisco ROCK -
The Illustrated History".
1965/1985 by Jack McDonough
© Chronicle Books 1985.
Bill Graham talks about his battles with
other promoters concerning Bob Dylan,
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
and George Harrison.
Taken from Graham's auto-bio,
"BILL GRAHAM PRESENTS"
© The Estate of Bill Graham 1992.
George talks about the tour in 1987 from
the book, "The Beatles...After the Break-up",
by David Bennahum © Omnibus Press 1991.
Related Links -
The album, "Dark Horse".
The cover was a parody of the Beatles
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album.
It was his 3rd studio album after the Beatles split.
The back cover.
The inside gatefold.
The inner sleeve.
The lyrics sheet.
The label on the album shows George's face
on side one. Side two shows a mystery
woman's face. Most likely it is his new
girl friend and future wife, Olivia Arias.
An article from September 15, 2011.
Billy Preston died June 6, 2006
of complications from
George Harrison died
November 11, 2001
Related Websites -