Watch Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr Perform "Something"

(Image credit: The Interwebs)

On November 29, 2002, the first anniversary of George Harrison's death, an impressive assemblage of the former Beatle's band mates, family members and buddies gathered at London's Royal Albert Hall to pay tribute to his life and music.

That event—which was released in 2003 as The Concert for George—featured performances by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and many others.

One of the Harrison-penned tunes tackled that night was "Something," which originally appeared on the Beatles' Abbey Road album in 1969. The performance, which you can watch below, is something of a two-parter.

It starts off with McCartney singing and playing a ukulele.

“Sometimes if you’d go ‘round to George’s house, after you’d have dinner, the ukuleles would come out," McCartney said as he introduced "Something" that night. "And one time not so long ago, we were playing and I said, 'There’s a song I do on the ukulele.’ I played it for him—[I'll] play it for you now. It’s a tribute to our beautiful friend.”

At the 1:50 mark, the arrangement shifts to the original Beatles version, with guitarist Marc Mann playing Harrison's solo pretty much note for note. At this point, McCartney grabs an acoustic guitar and Clapton takes over on lead vocals.

There are a few cool moments in this section of the song, including 3:13, when McCartney sings backing vocals—just as he did on the Beatles' recording—as Ringo Starr plays drums behind him. It's also a nice touch that Billy Preston, who played keyboards on Abbey Road and Let It Be, is part of the band.

As I've written before, it was as close to a Beatles reunion as you could get in 2002.

Other musicians on stage in this clip include Jeff Lynne, percussionist Ray Cooper and ace guitarist Albert Lee, not to mention George Harrison's son, Dhani.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.