Why no George Harrison at The Last Waltz?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Interpolantics, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Interpolantics

    Interpolantics Forum Resident Thread Starter

    There could be a straight forward answer to this but it has always puzzled me why George Harrison was never involved with the Last Waltz.

    * The Last Waltz took place on Nov 26th 1976
    * George released 33 and a third on Nov 19th 1976
    * He performed on SNL on Nov 20th but did not tour the album.

    Anyone care to speculate as to why he wasn't involved? From what I have read George was a massive fan of The Band.
    longdist01 and ohnothimagen like this.
  2. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff

    New England
    There were lots of massive fans of The Band, but they primarily invited only those who they had some association with or were heavily influenced by. If I'm not mistaken. George was neither. Or maybe his fee was too high! :)
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  3. Interpolantics

    Interpolantics Forum Resident Thread Starter

  4. Culpa

    Culpa Forum Resident

    Philadelphia, PA
    They shoulda done Sunshine Life For Me!
    joelee, maclen, guy incognito and 6 others like this.
  5. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Harrison visited Woodstock in late '68 or so, and became greatly enamored (?) with the communal music approach of Dylan and The Band. He tried to pitch this to the other Beatles, I think.
  6. culabula

    culabula One-time Boulevardier.

    Belfast, Ireland
    Fortunately, Neil Diamond was there, by way of compensation.
  7. Interpolantics

    Interpolantics Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Funnily enough that song was written by George down the road from me!
    Yorick, john lennonist, Culpa and 2 others like this.
  8. jwb1231970

    jwb1231970 Forum Resident

    Couldn't miss Patti's turkey, cranberry dinner?
    majorlance likes this.
  9. bostonscoots

    bostonscoots Forum Resident

    Boston, MA
    Those were the days that if you needed a Beatle, you got Ringo.

    George was probably just not that interested. He had performed live on SNL - but his segment was taped previously without the studio audience. I think George was still feeling PTSD from his 1974 tour and not going anywhere near a live audience, regardless of how many of his friends would be there or whatever cause it supported.
  10. Mook

    Mook Forum Resident

    Neil Diamond is the one person who I have to skip on my DVD, his voice is like nails down a chalkboard to me.
    MarkO, Electric, Davmoco and 8 others like this.
  11. Rufus McDufus

    Rufus McDufus Forum Resident

    Twickenham, UK
    George wasn't interested in The Band's kind of music then. He preferred pirate music.

  12. sunking101

    sunking101 Forum Resident

    I bet you love Tom Waits though?:D
    savemenow, Dog Ear and Fullbug like this.
  13. Wright

    Wright Forum Resident

    Because the Band's influence on him was overstated.

    The truth is Scorsese and Robertson just brought on any A-list musician they could get. Ringo and Ron Wood have no connection to the band, but they're a Beatle and a Stone, so they were there to lend their star power to the flick and help to elevate The Band by association. It's all showbiz. In fact, they got so many unrelated rock stars interested that they almost had to boot Muddy Waters, who was one of the few legitimate inclusions.
  14. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    I bet George would have done it, if they'd asked him to, but hey ho
    The Quiet One and NaturalD like this.
  15. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Forum Resident

    Yeah, but Tom Waits sounds like my fun drunk uncle. Wait, that's me. :)
    Ignatius likes this.
  16. Mook

    Mook Forum Resident

    He was top class in Rumble Fish.
    Dark Horse 77, Frosst and sunking101 like this.
  17. blastfurniss

    blastfurniss Forum Resident

    Marion, OH, USA
    Never add anyone to the bill who can upstage the main act.
    audiotom, wayneklein, Yorick and 17 others like this.
  18. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    clifton park,ny
    none of the things you listed have anything to do with the band as far as I can see. not being snarky but I'm curios, why would those events be related to the band or the last waltz?
    Evan Farina likes this.
  19. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Ringo and George share the connection that The Band played with them on Sunshine Life For Me, written by George and sung by Ringo on the Ringo album.

    But George was not in a mood to perform for a much longer time than this after 74 tour, and was never much of a fan of live performance - also being the Beatle who most wanted to stop touring.
  20. Brother Maynard

    Brother Maynard Forum Resident

    Dallas, TX
    The Band certainly influenced him in '69-'70, which affected his outlook on the Beatles. That alone is rather significant.
  21. Interpolantics

    Interpolantics Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I was purely highlighting the fact that

    a) he was not on tour or in the studio when the concert happened, and
    b) he was in the US at the time
    bpmd1962 likes this.
  22. 911s55

    911s55 Forum Resident

    Ron Wood and Ringo were there to drink.
  23. Wright

    Wright Forum Resident

    What's the evidence for that? That the Beatles played one (1) Band song during the Let it Be sessions?
  24. Wright

    Wright Forum Resident

    It's a pretty thin connection, though. It's as if Lou Reed would have been invited to a Yes anniversary show just because Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman played on his first album.
  25. Interpolantics

    Interpolantics Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Where did the phrase "All Things Must Pass" come from?
    I think I got it from Richard Alpert/Baba Ram Dass, but I'm not sure. When you read of philosophy or spiritual things, it's a pretty widely used phrase. I wrote it after [the Band's 1968] "Music From Big Pink" album; when I heard that song in my head I always heard Levon Helm singing it!

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