Beck kicked off George Harrison Week on Conan with a rousing rendition of the jangly All Things Must Pass track "Wah-Wah." Somehow Beck, who's known for his relatively lo-fi production, managed to strip away some of the gauzy layers of atmospheric sound that shroud Harrison's original recording, in favor of a surprisingly direct take on the song. He also managed to trim two minutes off the original's run time, as he gyrated around the stage to the tambourine beat.
Beck is one of four musicians paying tribute to the Beatle this week on Conan to mark the arrival of a new, comprehensive, eight-disc box set, The Apple Years 1968-75, which compiles Harrison's first six solo records and comes out Tuesday. The other musicians participating this week include Paul Simon Tuesday night, Dhani Harrison (George's son) on Wednesday and Norah Jones on Thursday.
Conan isn't the only outlet for Harrison revelry this week. On September 28th, a star-studded, one-night tribute to the Beatle – George Fest: A Night to Celebrate the Music of George Harrison – will take place at Los Angeles' El Rey Theatre. Participating musicians include Brian Wilson, Norah Jones, Dhani Harrison, the Killers' Brandon Flowers and Mark Stoermer, the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd, Heart's Ann Wilson, Spoon's Britt Daniel and even "Weird Al" Yankovic. Additionally, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Cold War Kids and members of the Strokes, the Cult, Weezer, Velvet Revolver, Guster and others are set to perform. All of the money from tickets to the event will go to Sweet Relief, a long-running charity that helps struggling musicians make ends meet.