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Friday, 29 November, 2002, 08:14 GMT
Stars' farewell to a friend
George Harrison
The concert marks one year since Harrison's death
A year to the day since George Harrison's death, his closest musical friends are lining up on stage at London's Royal Albert Hall to pay their respects. BBC News Online looks at the line-up.

Surviving Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will join Eric Clapton, Ravi Shankar and a host of stars to pay tribute to former Beatle George Harrison.

Jools Holland, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne will perform alongside Harrison's pals from TV comedy Monty Python's Flying Circus for the three-and-a-half-hour show celebrating his life and work.

Fans can expect some of Harrison's best-known compositions as well as a handful of his favourite songs penned by other writers.

George Harrison
Harrison's music will be played by his friends
It seems a fair bet that his friends will run through a chorus or two of My Sweet Lord, Harrison's biggest hit and the song that came to capture his spirit after his death from cancer on 29 November last year at the age of 58.

There are plenty of guitar heroes on hand to replicate the languid phrasing of his best-known love song Something, or the upbeat drive of Got My Mind Set On You.

Posthumous

Clapton, the show's musical director, might reasonably be tempted to recreate the solo part he made his own on Harrison's White Album opus, While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Harrison's former side project, The Traveling Wilburys, are represented by co-member Tom Petty, and by Jeff Lynne who helped to produce Harrison's posthumous album Brainwashed with his son Dhani.

Sir Paul McCartney
Sir Paul McCartney will join Ringo Starr on stage
There have been persistent rumours that Harrison's long-time friend Bob Dylan will also show up, but this is thought to be unlikely.

It is thought Jools Holland and Joe Brown may perform the old-time standard The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, their collaboration with Harrison on Brainwashed.

Bankrolled

If the audience is in danger of getting a little too misty-eyed, un-named Pythons will be on hand to administer some of Harrison's beloved comedy.

He was a particularly close friend of Python member Eric Idle, and his film production company Handmade bankrolled the Pythons' 1979 film Life Of Brian.

Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton is the show's musical director
The real treat for Friday's 5,000 paying guests is expected to be the reunion of the two remaining Beatles alongside Harrison's musical guru, Ravi Shankar.

It was Shankar, now 82, who introduced Harrison to the sitar and helped to define his unique sound inside the world's biggest group on tracks such as Within You, Without You and Love You To.

Foundation

Harrison spent most of his final years at home with his family in Oxfordshire, but was reunited briefly with McCartney and Starr for the Beatles Anthology project in the 1990s.

Jools Holland
Jools Holland plays on Harrison's posthumous album
Profits from Friday's show will be given to The Material World Charitable Foundation set up by Harrison three years after The Beatles broke up.

Tickets, priced up to 150, have long since sold out - and are reportedly changing hands for as much as 1,000 on the black market.

What Harrison would have made of the touts cashing in on his musical wake is difficult to determine.

Olivia Harrison
Harrison's widow Olivia has attacked ticket touts
Profit

Although famed for his dry sense of humour, he was entirely serious about the charity he established in 1973 to support the arts, music, education and people with special needs.

His widow, Olivia, has had harsh words for the racketeers, saying: "I am extremely disappointed to discover that some people have bought tickets for the tribute concert only so they can sell them on for a profit.

"This completely goes against the spirit in which this celebration was conceived.

"I only hope that the people who intend to sell these tickets on will donate the profits to our charity or to another charity."

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's David Sillito
"Fans from all over the world have arrived for the concert"


The quiet Beatle

The Beatles years

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18 Nov 02 | Entertainment
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