By Claire Levine
The 1970 album All Things Must Pass is as big and all-encompassing as George Harrison’s life and spirituality: it embraces everything. Hailed as George’s liberation from the shadow of the Beatles, it is at once joyous, sad, regretful and optimistic.
Fifty years later, we still have a terrific amount to glean from Harrison’s music. So Mark Bowden — musician, composer, producer, promoter and lover of big sounds — is commemorating the album’s release with a 30-plus-musician show on Feb. 1 at Revolution Hall. He is modeling the show after Concert for George, the stunning tribute to George’s life and music put on by Eric Clapton and friends.
A portion of the proceeds will support the Musicians’ Emergency Health Care Fund.
“I have always loved All Things Must Pass,”
Mark said, “It has the magic of the Beatles,” that neither Lennon nor McCartney could capture after the band broke up.
Mark said, “I love that Phil Spector ‘Wall of Sound.’ You can’t recreate that with five or 10 musicians, That’s why I’m bringing all those musicians together. I want the power of that performance to hit you hard and knock you over!”
Mark also wants this production to represent Portland’s tremendous talent pool. That means lots more women than performed at the Concert for George. For example, Anita Elliot will play the pedal steel and Kate O’Brien will lead the all-female string section. Little Sue, a recent addition to the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, signed up early on.
In fact, Mark said, “Every single musician I’ve talked to has said, ‘Are you kidding me? I absolutely want to be there.’”
“Some people go to silent retreats; some people climb mountains. People seek out experiences to find the truth within themselves. For me, music has always been a religious experience. The stage is a sacred space to be taken seriously,” Mark said.
“This is my Wailing Wall, my Vatican City, My Hindu Temple.”
For Mark, All Things Must Pass is a labor of love, not a money maker. He didn’t want something this important to stop at the walls of the concert hall. So, a portion of all ticket sales will help musicians who need financial help during a time of a medical crisis through the Musicians’ Emergency Medical Fund. To learn more about All Things Must Pass at Revolution Hall, follow Mark at https://twitter.com/SonicbutterPDX and https://www.instagram.com/mbcaster/.