Monday, January 17, 2011

Eric Clapton & Billy Preston: Isn't It A Pity

On November 29, 2002, a group of musicians gathered on the first anniversary of the death of George Harrison at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate the life and music of George Harrison in what was called “The Concert for George.” The title was a play on George Harrison’s own benefit for the Bengali people with his Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. The proceeds from the concert went to George’s own Material World Charitable Foundation.

Today’s cover song is by Eric Clapton and Billy Preston who do a version of George’s song “Isn’t it a Pity” from his “All Things Must Pass” album. Marc Mann plays the slide guitar that is reminiscent of Harrison’s original recording. The young man that looks surprisingly like a young George Harrison playing the acoustic guitar is George’s son Dhani Harrison.

Dhani is playing George’s custom made Zemaitis acoustic guitar with the heart shaped sound hole. The prototype of this guitar was designed by Eric Clapton and was a 12-string that Dhani’s father borrowed when he recorded “My Sweet Lord.” Clapton’s model was named “Ivan the Terrible.” George had six and 12 string models in this style but they were less ornate than Clapton’s prototype.

George Harrison’s Version One

Written during the “White Album” sessions, the song was not used by The Beatles, but would later surface on “All Things Must Pass” and as a double A-sided single along with “My Sweet Lord.” It appeared as the final cut on side one of the album.

George Harrison’s Version Two

George included a second, slower, and shorter version of “Isn’t It A Pity” on “All Things must Pass.” It appears on side four of the three disc set and is not as well known as the initial version.

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