And so to the private reception downstairs in the lounge under Albert Hall following 'A Concert for George.' (See the Fox 411 from Saturday for Part One of this report.)
Mesmerized and slightly weepy the guests came, perhaps not realizing when they entered the hall that the performance would be a kind of memorial service for what we used to call rock and roll — or for everyone's collective youth. In a way, this was the last round-up. The feeling was palpable.
What you must understand about this show is that the house lights were up for most of it. You could look around, see everyone. There was heat in the room, and I don't mean just from the vents. It was like a warm glow settled on the audience and the people on stage.
Stepping into the reception, which perhaps comprised of 150 people, I was surprised to see Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. They had been in town to see Tom's son Colin in his West End stage debut in Kenny Lonergan's This is Our Youth with Kieran Culkin. (How was the show? "He's my kid. I loved it," Tom told me with a broad, proud smile.) Tom's daughter Elizabeth was there on a furlough from college, as well as Tom and Rita's son, Chester.
Tom seemed flabbergasted. "I've seen a lot of great rock shows. Springsteen. But this, this was the most amazing thing ever. To see all those musicians on one stage together…"
He and Rita greeted producer-directors Richard and Lauren Shuler Donner, who just finished a film. Donner, of course, directed Christopher Reeve in the first two Superman movies. Reeve's son Matthew has been roommates with George Harrison's son Dhani at Brown University for the last four years. Six degrees of separation.
"We got our tickets at the last minute and came over," Dick Donner said. He does not have high hopes for the new Superman movie being planned at Warner Brothers, by the way. "They'll ruin him, won't they?" he said of the Man of Steel.
Meanwhile, Tom and Rita accepted kudos from fans for their producing My Big Fat Greek Wedding. There had been a story about its success in the London papers earlier in the week.
I said to Rita, "You've been all over the London papers."
The color drained from her face. I forgot what this meant. These papers make the Enquirer and Star look like Highlights for Children when it comes to vicious coverage of celebrities.
"What did I do?" she said. "I didn't do anything!"
She was quickly reassured.
The couple wanted to meet Jeff Lynne, who helped organize the show and produced Harrison's new and final Brainwashed album. This was obliged, and they posed for pictures like regular old fans with Lynne, with "Soul Man" Sam Moore, who was in town for a pair of shows at Albert Hall with Jools Holland, with Billy Preston and others.
I asked Lynne about the terrible way Brainwashed has been handled in the States, selling only 73,000 copies in its debut week and getting almost no publicity.
"It's too beautiful a night to discuss that," he said, clearly disgusted.
The Hankses almost missed Ringo, who came into the room with wife Barbara Bach for a quick peek at the proceedings. (Clapton was the only members of the all-star ensemble who skipped the entire afterparty.) That was when he told me he'd wanted to cry but held back the tears. His eyes were fuzzy with emotion.
Ringo ran into original Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, now shrunken by age, experience and women. He could pass for Dudley Moore's twin brother at this point. The pair exchanged salutations, at which point it was announced that Sir Paul McCartney was about to arrive. There was a suggestion of Ringo and Paul taking a picture together.
Not in this lifetime, seemed to be the answer. Ringo and Bach, pulling Wyman with them, vanished like rabbits into the woods.
Tomorrow: Part three of this special report. Click on www.allthingsmustpass.com to see the 7-minute video made by George Harrison about Brainwashed.
Here's the complete list of songs and performers from Friday night's show following the Ravi Shankar section:
"I Want to Tell You" — Jeff Lynne, Clapton and band
"If I Needed Someone" — Clapton and band
"Old Brown Shoe" — Gary Brooker and band
"Give Me Love" — Lynne and band
"Beware of Darkness" — Clapton and band
"Here Comes the Sun" — Joe Brown
"Horse to Water" — Sam Brown, Jools Holland, Tom Scott featured on horn
"Taxman" — Tom Petty and Heartbreakers
"I Need You" — same
"Handle With Care" — same, with Jeff Lynne doing Roy Orbison imitation
"Isn’t it a Pity" — Clapton and Billy Preston on gospel piano solo
"Photograph" — Ringo Starr (Ringo said: "Of course, the meaning’s changed now")
"Honey Don’t" — Ringo
"For You Blue" — Paul McCartney
"Something" — 1st part, McCartney on ukulele
"Something" — 2nd part, traditional version, Clapton
"All Things Must Pass" — McCartney
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" — Clapton with McCartney on piano and Starr on drums
"My Sweet Lord" — Billy Preston
"Wah Wah" — entire ensemble
"I’ll See You In My Dreams" (famous 1951 song from a Doris Day movie) — Joe Brown