It's safe to say George Harrison wasn't big on touring. After the Beatles' last tour in 1966, he didn't hit the road again (as a featured artist) until 1974. And, due to his nagging laryngitis and some strange song choices, that tour hasn't exactly gone down in history as a career highlight.
Harrison dodged the road until December 1991, when he and Eric Clapton toured Japan. They played only 12 shows, which was still probably more than enough for Harrison, who preferred being home, working in his garden and recording music.
In April 1992, Harrison got some of the 1991 crew back together for a one-off show at London's Royal Albert Hall. Since Clapton wasn't available, Harrison recruited guitarist Mike Campbell—Tom Petty's right-hand man—plus Ringo Starr, Gary Moore, Joe Walsh and Harrison's 13-year-old son, Dhani.
A few years ago, we shared a knock-out performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" from that night featuring Harrison and Moore trading extended solos. Today, we present Harrison's performance of another iconic Beatles track, "Something," which originally appeared on 1969's Abbey Road.
“George came into his own on Abbey Road,” says Geoff Emerick, who engineered "Something" and other Abbey Road sessions. “For the first time he was speaking out and doing exactly what he wanted to do. And of course he wrote these beautiful songs and we got a great new guitar sound.”
What a lot of fans don't realize is that this is some of the only footage of Harrison playing the "Something" guitar solo. Although he doesn't play it "like the record," he takes it to some new and interesting places before turning things over to Campbell, who plays the bonus solo section that was handled by Clapton during the '91 tour.
This show, which took place April 6, 1992, turned out to be the former Beatle's final full concert. He played a handful of tunes at Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary Concert that October, followed by a few songs on TV in 1997, but that was pretty much it. Harrison died of cancer November 29, 2001.
While we're at it, we thought we'd throw in some cool footage of Harrison in action on The Dick Cavett Show in 1971. He's backing Gary Wright and Wright's short-lived band, Wonderwheel.
Like the "Something" video at the top of this story, the video below depicts a rarity; in this case, it's Harrison in the act of playing slide. Sure, there's plenty of video of him playing slide in 1991, but to see him doing it in 1971 is unusual (Note: We know he played slide all the time; we're talking about watching him play slide). He's even playing the white Strat he used at the Concert for Bangladesh that August.
NOTE: Be sure to skip directly to 1:08.
The song, "Two Faced Man," is available on Wright's 1971 album, Footprint, which Harrison co-produced (uncredited). Harrison also plays slide on the studio version of the song, which has some cool chord changes, including Am to A. Enjoy!