Surviving Beatles Pay Harrison Tribute

By | November 30, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney reunited Friday night for an emotional musical tribute to the memory of George Harrison on the anniversary of the ex-Beatle’s death.

With Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker and Harrison’s son Dhani, the surviving Beatles shared a night of musical memories with an audience of 5,000 devoted fans at the “Concert For George” at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Money raised by the concert is to benefit the Material World Charitable Foundation, which Harrison founded.

The ex-Beatle, 58, who succumbed to cancer was the second from the group to die. John Lennon was shot to death in 1980.

Harrison left almost $155 million in his will, according to court documents released Friday. Details of the beneficiaries and the division of the money was not made public.

Sitar star Ravi Shankar, Harrison’s musical guru in his Beatles days, told the audience, “I strongly feel that George is here tonight. I mean how can he not be here when all of us who loved him so much have assembled all together to sing for him and play music for him.”

Clapton kicked off the Beatles hits with “I Want To Tell You,” before Cocker and Dhani Harrison joined him for “Here Comes The Sun.” Clapton had the crowd on its feet for a standing ovation with the words: “Ladies and gentlemen, Ringo Starr!”

The ex-Beatle ran on stage to tumultuous applause. He saluted the crowd and said: “What a night! I loved George and George loved me.”

Many in the audience danced to the music. Starr grabbed the mike and introduced McCartney, bringing the audience to its feet again.

All the performers assembled onstage for a specially written finale, “I’ll See You In My Dreams,” and many fans wiped away tears as the artists bowed and clapped the audience.

In Los Angeles, a small crowd gathered Friday at the Beatles’ star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to mark Harrison’s death. Longtime Southern California peace activist Jerry Rubin said the memorial was marked by sadness as well as “a celebration of George’s life and his ongoing promotion of peace and love.”

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