4 Jun 02
Eric Clapton joined an all-star cast of pop musicians to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee on 3 June 2002 as part of a UK two-day public holiday. The concert was held in the garden at Buckingham Palace, which is usually host to sedate garden parties. Lucky ticket holders had been allocated invitations by a nationwide ballot to gain entry to the Palace gardens. The ‘Party at the Palace’ was only one of a series of concerts and pagentry held over the long weekend. It was estimated that over a million people gathered outside the palace grounds to watch the concert on huge screens set up in nearby London parks and along the Mall.
Eric first came on stage in the early evening to join Beach Boy Brian Wilson for "Warmth of the Sun". Later in the evening,Clapton performed an electric version of "Layla" for the delighted audience. The house band of the evening includeda number of Clapton sidemen: Phil Palmer, Pino Pallindino, Ray Cooper and Phil Collins on drums.
The evening culminated with a much anticipated performance by Paul McCartney who peformed impromptu acoustic versions of "Her Majesty" and "Blackbird". George Martin then gave a tribute to the late George Harrison and Eric joined McCartney onstage for a haunting rendition of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Later EC was back on stage for an all cast sing along of "All You Need is Love" and "Hey Jude". The evening ended with a spectacular firework display.
A full review of the evening will be in the next issue of Where’s Eric! Magazine.