Everett Historic Theatre hosts concert in honor of legendary musician


Jay Johnson

Everyone performing the final song, “My Sweet Lord”

To celebrate the life and legacy of former Beatles member George Harrison, 22 local musicians came together to perform 26 of Harrison’s hits. The musicians provided a wonderful musical experience and atmosphere for the fans, performing hits such as “My Sweet Lord,” “I Me Mine” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

The event was hosted by Andy Volmer, a self described “lifelong Beatle fan” and musician. Volmer has hosted other tribute events for musician Tom Petty, such as several live shows with his band, Petty Thief. Volmer wanted to organize an event to celebrate Harrison’s life and legacy.

“We’ve based our show off the “Concert For George” show that Eric Clapton and Friends did at the Royal Albert Hall on the 1st anniversary of George’s passing in 2002,” Volmer said.

The event kicked off with a video of Harrison with religious music in the background. Harrison became a devout Hindu in the late sixties and his religion was an important factor in his life and music. After the video and a brief introduction to the event, the band kicked off with “Cheer Down,” a 1989 single written for the movie Lethal Weapon, which Harrison wrote with Petty.

Harrison formed The Traveling Wilburys in the late eighties, along with his friends and fellow musicians Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Petty. The supergroup formed after they recorded a song together in Dylan’s home studio, where they decided to form a band and create music together. A handful of Traveling Wilburys songs were performed at the event, such as “Handle With Care,” the song that inspired the band’s creation.


Another standout performance was a cover of “Horse To The Water,” beautifully sung by Canadian singer Leah Harris. The song was written by Harrison and his son Dhani Harrison, and was performed by Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. Harrison was battling cancer and although he wasn’t able to play guitar, he provided backing vocals. This was the last song George Harrison recorded, as he passed away eight weeks later.

Harrison was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1997 and he battled with it until his passing in 2001. His last words to his wife and son were “Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.”

Volmer’s interest in Harrison is attributed to not only his guitar playing and lyricism, but his moral and religious values. “I’ve always admired him for what he stood for; peace, love and understanding. His eternal search to live his life on a higher plane. A higher consciousness. That always spoke to me,” Volmer said.

The last song covered was “My Sweet Lord.” Harrison released the song in 1970, he wrote it as a message against religious sectarianism, with him using ties to both his Hindu religion and his Catholic religion in the lyrics.

The song was covered by all the remaining musicians from the night, notably Volmer with Justin Kasual, Lyle Ronglien and Scott Donaldson on vocals and guitars, and with Seattle local Jon Bolton on lead vocals. As Harrison’s most famous solo song, it was an appropriate way to end the night.

The musicians did an excellent job throughout the night. The show was an overall success, and a great way to celebrate the life of George Harrison.