DEC 12, 2012 – Ravi Shankar, one of the first musical activists of modern times, passed away on Tuesday at age 92. He, George Harrison, and other musicians put on "The Concert for Bangladesh", considered to be THE first "large-scale" activist musical concert ever and set the stage for future events like "Live Aid". Ravi introduced Eastern spiritualism to The Beatles, and became a teacher for George Harrison and other musicians who wanted to learn to play the sitar and learn the South Asian musical style. The huge event featured Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Leon Russel and the group Badfinger. Ravi and Ali Akbar Khan played a separate set of traditional South Asian music, all to raise awareness and funds for the victims of the 1970 Bhola cyclone, and atrocities inflicted upon eastern Pakistan refugees fleeing war. The concert was a huge success, and raised millions for a UNICEF fund. Help continues to this day through the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF. Read more about his long and eventful life on Wikipedia here.
Read more on Washington Post.com, especially the part about Ravi Shankar fleeing the Monterey Pop Festival when he saw Jimi Hendrix burn his guitar (Shankar thought it was "irreverent") in a piece by Robert Thomason. (Photo credit: CC/AIgnatenko)