In September of 1997, many of the biggest names in rock gathered at London’s Royal Albert Hall to raise money for Montserrat, a small Caribbean island that was dealing with the vicious aftermath of a volcanic eruption. It was one of the biggest all-star classic rock shows of the decade, featuring Paul McCartney, Elton John, Phil Collins, Sting, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Jimmy Buffett and Carl Perkins (four months before he died), but it’s been mostly forgotten.
McCartney was going through a very tough time when this show came around. Linda McCartney was in the final stages of her devastating battle with breast cancer and Paul was focused entirely on her health, but the cause was important to him and he agreed to participate. Near the end of the show, he performed a jaw-dropping rendition of a large portion of the Abbey Road medley with an orchestra and many of the night’s performers.
The Beatles were obviously long off the road by the time Abbey Road came out, so this remains one of the definitive live representations of the Beatles’ last work together.