August 1: Watch Bob Dylan & George Harrison – The Concert for Bangladesh, New York City, 1971

Redirecting to a newer version of this post….

Bob Dylan & George Harrison: August 1, 1971, New York
The Concert for Bangladesh (or Bangla Desh, as the country name was spelt originally) was the name for two benefit concerts organised by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, held at 2.30 and 8 pm on Sunday, 1 August 1971, playing to a total of 40,000 people at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The shows were organised to raise international awareness and fund relief efforts for refugees from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), following the 1970 Bhola cyclone and the civil war-related Bangladesh atrocities. The concerts were followed by a bestselling live album, a boxed three-record set, and Apple Films’ concert documentary, which opened in cinemas in the spring of 1972.The event was the first-ever benefit concert of such a magnitude and featured a supergroup of performers that included Harrison, fellow ex-Beatle Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and the band Badfinger. In addition, Shankar and another legend of Indian music, Ali Akbar Khan, performed a separate set. Decades later, Shankar would say of the overwhelming success of the event: “In one day, the whole world knew the name of Bangladesh. It was a fantastic occasion …”

This was Dylan’s first live performance in two years. Harrison had to twist his arm to get him to take part in the benefit concert, and we can be very glad he did: it’s a stunning performance (both shows), modest, confident, richly textured, with Dylan feeling and communicating genuine love for the music he’s playing (in the case of” Blowin’ in the Wind” this was his first public performance of the song in seven years). Most of all, Dylan’s voice on this midsummer afternoon and evening has a rare, penetrating beauty that is immediately noticeable to almost anyone who hears it. This is, in a very real sense, the Dylan a large part of his audience dreams of hearing; this is the voice to fit the stereotyped or mythic image of Bob Dylan, guitar strumming poet laureate of the 1960s.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)

Madison Square Garden
New York City, New York
1 August 1971
Rehearsals before the Bangla Desh Concert


  • Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal)
  • George Harrison (guitar & vocal)
  1. If  Not For You

Madison Square Garden
New York City, New York
1 August 1971
Afternoon concert


  • Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal)
  • George Harrison (guitar)
  • Leon Russell (bass)
  • Ringo Starr (tambourine)

bob dylan george harrison 1971


Setlist & Videos

  1. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
  2. Blowin’ In The Wind
    only 1 min
  3. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  4. Love Minus Zero/No Limit – Taken down
  5. Just Like A Woman

bob dylan george harrison 1971

Here is audio of their studio session from May 1, 1970:


Bob Dylan and George Harrison
Columbia Studios B
New York NY
May 1 1970

Ghost Riders In The Sky
All I Have To Do Is Dream
Gates Of Eden
I Threw It All Away
I Don’t Believe You
Matchbox (Carl Perkins)
True Love
Telephone Line
Honey Just Allow Me One More Chance
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
New York:
Song To Woody
Mama You Been On My Mind
Don’t Think Twice (Instrumental)
Yesterday (Lennon/McCartney)
Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
Da Doo Ron Ron (Barry/Spector)
One Too Many Mornings I
One Too Many Mornings II

Afternoon Studio Session; Bob Dylan (guitar/piano/vocals), George Harrison (guitar/vocals), Charlie Daniels (Bass), Alvin Rogers (Drums), Al Kooper (guitar/piano), Ron Cornelius (guitar)

-Egil & Hallgeir

9 thoughts on “August 1: Watch Bob Dylan & George Harrison – The Concert for Bangladesh, New York City, 1971”

  1. Clearly Bob at his most powerful, especially after several years out of spotlight. He seemed to understand and respect the immense power of the material and delivered it with commitment.

  2. Of all of Dylan’s many finest hours. This to me is one of his best! I think it is all because of the respect that he had and still has for George Harrison. I never get tired of seeing or hearing this.

  3. i´ve seen bob many times in concert too, but i was born in august 71, i´ve seen my share of great concerts by almost all of my favorite bands, but that night was really special and yes Bob was singing great & feelin fine along is friend George. Love this guys…thanks for your great posts

  4. have to agree about Dylans performance at the BANGLA DESH shows his voice was in fine shape
    shame that there does not seem to be any footage of him singing TAMBOURINE MAN at the evening show. its one of his all time great performances and my own personal favourite version of the song.

  5. I’ve seen Bob many times in concert. I was at the George Harrison Concert for Bangladesh. The reason I went was because I heard Bob showed up as a special guest at the afternoon show.

    I was upstate with friends that weekend, and returned around 4 PM. I went home, showered, and took the train solo into Manhattan to try to get a ticket. It was next to impossible. I got lucky and picked up one $7.50 (face value) ticket for $20. Possibly one of the best shows I’ve seen in my lifetime, including the Brothers Live at The Fillmore, Woodstock, The Who Tommy 20th Anniversary at Radio City Music Hall and The Stones’ “Get Yer Ya Yas Out” Concert in 1969 at MSG. Bob’s voice was great. The trio with George and Leon was excellent.

    Thanks for the reminder 42 years later.

Comments are closed.