The Jools Holland Show

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Olivia Harrison and Ray Cooper on October 24, 2003


Jools Holland: How did this film really come about, who's idea was this to do this concert?

Olivia Harrison: It was really Eric Clapton's. He was, well we are all missing George a lot, and he came to me and said 'can you do a tribute concert' and let him organize it and he [Ray] egged him on for a bit.

[to Ray Cooper] How did you first get involved? But of course, I should point out but not are you known in British film but also a great did you meet George?

Ray Cooper:
In the dark days of Saville Row when the Beatles were doing individual projects at that point and they all had their co-musicians and I happened to be privileged to be one of George's co-musicians, working on George's projects, all that ever still the Beatles, and that's how we met, a long time ago.

JH: This film we now made, you've made, is very extraordinary, isn't it? Now who are some of the other people involved? 

There was Ringo and Paul, and Tom Petty -Traveling Wilburies- Jeff Lynne, Billy Preston, an old friend of George's who George met in Hamburg, a guy called Jools Holland, Sam Brown, Joe Brown

All the people who loved him, Ravi Shankar

Yeah, Ravi Shankar of course, Anouska Shankar, Klaus Voorman from the Hamburg days

The thing about George I found amazing is that not only was he this incredible songwriter, like Burt Bachariah, but he happened to be in the Beatles as well but also one of the biggest film producers Britian has ever had. Monty Python wer involved, why was that?

They were some of his best friends and we had to have some humor cause George was no the quiet one as you know. He never shut up and he had this great sense of humor and they were his friends so we couldn't have too solumn the occasion. He wouldn't have enjoyed that and they made sure it wasn't too solumn. And of course Tom Hanks happened to be around the night before and so he was asked if he would like to be a Mounty in the Lumberjack sketch. This is where Jools showed the end of "When My Guitar" from the film clip, starting "Still My Guitar..." and it is amazing to see Clapton with his head up high, eyes closed as if he is singing to his friend, so concentrated and so passionate, then this moment with Ray on percussion and Eric just starring at the audience as if a million memories of George passed his mind.

JH: It does look incredible and also it's going to be around in lots of cinemas and on DVD and in
America. Was it received well?

Very well received, got great reviews. Lots of people loved George, they want to see it and also now, it's quite a historic document really.

What do you think George would have made of the film?

I think he would have enjoyed it. Seeing all his mates, he loved everybody being together, cause he wouldn't have to play you see, he could just sit and watch.

Where do the proceeds go?

They go to the Material World Charitable Foundation which George set up in 1973 which supports established charities like for children or people with special needs.

JH: Okay, Olivia Harrison, Ray Cooper, thank you very much indeed.

**Special thanks to FPSHOT from the forum for transcribing this