WRITTEN BY PHILLIP SILVERSTONE
“Beware of Sadness,
It can hit you, it can hurt you
Make you sore and what is more
That is not what you are here for”
On Nov. 29, 2002, George Harrison’s lyrics energized London’s Royal Albert Hall as the “quiet Beatle’s” best mates celebrated the anniversary of Harrison’s death. Indeed, all things must pass. Yet the spiritual and inspirational aspects of Harrison pervaded the room and the musicians on stage performed as they had never before performed in their collected lives. With harmony and passion and profound perfection. We all knew George was with them. This past week I watched the concert for the umpteenth time on the DVD “Concert For George” and savored every morsel of the 140-minute film while marrying each pattern in the eclectic musical tapestry of Harrison’s life with an appropriate libation. As noted in this column many times before, wine and food obsessions are not for me, but film, and, better yet, wine and music, are admirable companions. And “Concert For George” presents so many opportunities for mood and taste’s groovy gear change.
As the stunning Anoushka Shankar played her father Ravi’s specially written “Your Eyes” followed by “Arpan” (giving) on sitar, the mystical eastern music I adore begged for an aromatic, ethereal Gewurztraminer, a white grape which transcends all others. As I closed my eyes and peaceful images filled my head, I sipped Leonard Kreusch Estate Gewürztraminer (reviewed in last week’s column, approx. $14) and it offered grace and serenity and an existential cohesion of sounds and tastes and feelings of well being.
When western music arrived on stage, the aging 60’s icons had an aura around them that exuded love, contentment, accomplishment and peace. They had matured and reached their zenith. And as I was swept along by the moment, I opened a bottle of Grahams 20-Year-Old Tawny Port (approximately $45) that too had started life a little unsure of itself — temperamental, yet full of promise. And now it had mellowed into a truly great performer, with soft chords, and mesmerizing nuances, which harmonized to produce a sweet, velvet note lingering long into the night.
I maintained my composure until Joe Brown, a British pop star when I was still in short trousers, ended the concert on his ukulele with a rendering of “I’ll See you in my dreams.” As petals fell from the sky onto the audience, I was seeing them through very misty eyes. Yet it was a sweet note to end the evening and Hogue’s Late Harvest White Riesling (approximately $17) struck just the right chord as the credits rolled.
“I look at you all see the
love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps”
— Lyrics by George Harrison
Phillip Silverstone’s column appears each week in this publication. “Time Out With Phillip Silverstone” is a weekly two-hour podcast heard exclusively on TuneIn radio anytime and anywhere worldwide either on the free TuneIn app for all smart phones and tablets (Search: Phillip Silverstone) or online on Tunein at: http://bit.ly/1gY2Ht4. “Follow” the show for weekly updates. You can also LIKE Phillip on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Phillipsilverstone and follow him on Twitter: @wining