The Concert for Bangladesh (1972)

The Concert for Bangladesh is a musical documentary about the first benefit rock concert. The concert starts off with a real downer. Ravi Shankar and three other Indian musicians get set to play on their weird Indian musical instruments. But first, Shankar informs the audience that they must be quiet while he is playing, because this is the kind of music you have to concentrate on. And then he tells everyone not to smoke while he is playing. The audience is quite chastened, and they clap politely after the first number. But it wasn’t a number. The musicians were only tuning up their instruments. But with that kind of music, who can tell? They could have played the wrong notes on instruments out of tune, and nobody would have known the difference.

Once that is over, and the Western musicians start playing normal music, things get a lot better, especially when half the musicians start smoking, letting the audience know that Mrs. Grundy has left the stage, and everyone can loosen up.

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