Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’ — live on stage next week

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Playing George Harrison’s triple album “All Things Must Pass” live is quite an ordeal.

There’s the issue of multiple instruments — guitars, keys, bass players, strings, horns, auto harp, tambourines — to capture the wall of sound Phil Spector employed on the quiet Beatle’s first solo album.

Then there’s the issue of expectations on hearing the beloved, critically hailed record live.

But out of love for the 40-year-old LP and to mark the ninth anniversary of Harrison’s death from cancer, the Sunset Park-based orchestral pop collective Universal Thump is taking it on in its entirety at the Bell House on Nov. 29.

“The first time I heard the record, I was completely stunned by how incredible it was.” said Greta Gertler, who heads up Universal Thump along with Adam Gold. “I love every minute of it.”

Harrison recorded “All Things Must Pass” right after the Beatles’ breakup (hence the name). The guitarist had amassed material for a triple-album after years of being overshadowed by the likes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It remains the highest selling of any Beatle solo album.

“There’s a lot of pressure to live up to everyone’s expectations of the album and their connection with it, so we’re staying as close to his aesthetic as possible,” said Gertler, who’s invited 16 vocalists to join them in performing the first two albums (there’ll be selections from the third instrumental record interspersed throughout the evening). Gertler got dibs to perform the tile track.

“It’s one of the more gentle ballads,” said the singer, whose tribute concert also raises money for the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF. “There’s a lot of really big belting numbers, but my voice is better suited to a quieter one.”

She’ll leave such numbers to acts like John Wesley Harding, who’ll sing on the amped up “Wah Wah.”

“ ‘All Things Must Pass’ is one of my top 10 albums of all time,” said the Fort Greene-based musician. “I’m looking forward to being in the middle of that maelstrom of noise!”

Among the other featured vocalists, Rick Moody will sing on the mournful, “Isn’t it a Pity”; Lee Feldman will lead on the psychedelic, “I Dig Love”; and Dayna Kurtz will croon on the country-esque “Behind that Locked Door.”

There is also a surprise guest vocalist in store that night (though don’t expect either of the surviving Beatles to show up).

“I tried to get in touch with Paul McCartney, but he didn’t get back to me,” said Gertler with a laugh. “He’s probably busy that night.”

And no one reached out to Ringo Starr.

“All Things Must Pass” 40th anniversary concert at the Bell House [149 Seventh St. between Second and Third avenues in Gowanus, (718) 643-6510], Nov. 29 at 8 pm. Tickets $15 (in advance). For info, visit

Updated 5:21 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: