What's the connection between UNICEF, the IRS, Madison Square Garden and the Iconic Live Aid ?
Concert for Bangladesh🕊️, 1/08/1971
"Trailer" of the concert:
On August 1, 1971, George Harrison🐞 and Ravi Shankar, finally got together for a special long-awaited day at Madison Square Garden in order to realize their plan.
It was the first time musicians tried to spread awareness and raise money 💸 for international humanitarian purpose.
For two performances that took place On August 1, 1971 alongside Harrison and Shankar, you'd see on stage (together and separately): Ringo Starr, Leon Russell, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston and many others.
One of the lineup's highlights, was Bob Dylan returning after a two year absence from the stage, to support the cause and collaborate with the other all-stars.
An 8-minute video about the legendary concert:
The idea of the concert started due to a severe situation of war refugees and natural disasters in the country's region. Shankar, who has family roots in the area, was greatly affected by it all.
He made a phone call 📞 to his good friend (and Sitar student) George Harrison ("The Silent Beetle"), who immediately replied that he'd see what he can do.
After many phone calls and planning, a few months later, on the only day Madison Square Garden wasn't booked, almost instantly... the whole world knew where Bangladesh was and what's the purpose the awesome musicians was coming together for!
The show was also recorded for a music album and videotape, both of them included a wide spread international distribution. Years after, many remastered, digital and anniversary versions came out. That way, beyond revenue from both concerts, it still produce revenues to the George Harrison UNICEF Foundation, the sole rights holder for the recordings.
Not everything went so smoothly money wise. No one ever done such a non-profit event at an international level🌎 and the fact that the event wasn't registered in the first place as an UNICEF charity event, didn't help. It caused the American Tax Authority (IRS) to delay large sums of the concert revenues for about 10 years (!).
Initially, over 13 million $ was transferred in the 1970s, a nice sum in terms of those days, especially in times when the world wasn't that well connected (communication/media speaking).
Harrison said in an interview during the 1990s that the revenues already summed up to about 45 million $ (which has grown since then and is probably expected to grow some more due to the 50th anniversary).
His experience in "producing a global musical charity event (and the arrival of revenues safely on time🙃)" was passed on by Harrison, as advices, to another young British man...
So without the Bangladeshi show, Bob Geldof probably wouldn't decide to collect a group of 80s All-stars and broadcast live to the whole world (a large part already with TV sets) the iconic Live Aid in 1985, for the benefit of famine victims in Ethiopia.
Apparently, following the appearance of the late Freddie Mercury that Live Aid, a similar concert was held about a decade later in Wembley... in the memory of Mercury, along with arousing tremendous awareness for AIDS (which he suffered from)...
I clearly remember myself as a 12-year-old boy, watching my first musical heroes live📺 on TV with about half of a billion (!!!) spectators around the globe.
Apparently each generation has its own "concert for Bangladesh" that emphasize the cosmic and wonderful "glue" of music, which connects people around good causes!
The sound waves of an innocent phone call about 50 years ago between 2 good friends... produced legendary sounds, for a noble cause, proving you can use the musical, cultural and media power to do some good in the world!
Each one of us can still create sound waves of their own to spread some positive vibes to others 🙏 ... in form of kind words or especially with good music!
The concert on vimeo:
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