June 18 – 80? Maybe We’re Amazed

One of rock music’s true living legends turns 80 today. Happy birthday Sir Paul McCartney! Few rock stars are household names even in houses that never listen to pop or rock, but Paul is one of those few. Knighted by the queen, first non-American to be awarded the Gershwin Prize for Popular Music by the Library of Congress, 21 #1 songs with The Beatles in the U.S. plus 9 more since as a solo artist or with Wings… there’s so much to be said about Paul but so little to add to the well-known bio. So instead, we’ll look at Paul in words – words of his own and those of others.

Paul Reflects:

* “I don’t work at being ordinary.”

* “I can’t deal with the press…I hate all those Beatles questions.”

* “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” (Paul is a well-known and outspoken vegetarian, as was his deceased wife Linda.)

* “We were pretty good mates, until the Beatles started to split up and Yoko came into it.” (Speaking about his relationship with John Lennon.)

I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others ‘weird’ that are weird.”

Others Talk Paul:*

* “Paul McCartney is a genius. Paul married rock and roll to beauty and forever raised the bar for composers, musicians and fans.” – actor Alec Baldwin

* “Within the confines of the studio, Paul was the one who sort of saved the situation always and the one who always went that little bit extra to perfect things.” – EMI Records’ engineer Geoff Emerick

* “I’d put Gershwin, Berlin and Hank Williams. I’d probably put Paul McCartney in there too.” Paul Simon answers who he thinks the greatest songwriters of all-time are.

* “Paul was the first love of my life. Yoko was the second.” – John Lennon

* “I’m in awe of McCartney. He’s about the only one that I am in awe of. He can do it all.” – folk singer & Nobel laureate Bob Dylan.

If you want to see the living legend, you’ll have your chance this summer… if you’re in Britain. He’s playing this year’s Glastonbury Festival next week. However, sadly us North Americans have missed out, it seems for this year as he just wrapped up a tour Thursday at Metlife Stadium outside of New York City. And he wrapped it up in style, doing a 40 song show (a bit longer than his usual , though the average for the tour which kicked off April 28 in Spokane was over 30 songs and two hours plus length), highlighted by Bruce Springsteen dropping by to wish him an early Happy Birthday and sing “Glory Days” with him, and Jon Bon Jovi also coming by to sing “Happy Birthday” to him. Among the songs he did were 16 Beatles songs in the main part of the concert including “Lady Madonna,” “Love Me Do” and “Hey Jude” , which ended the set. In addition he added in eight Wings songs including “Live and Let Die” and “Jet” plus some of his solo ones. Then he played an encore of “I’ve Got A Feeling,” “Birthday”, “Helter Skelter”, “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry that Weight” and “The End.” An Asbury Park news report said McCartney seemed to get more energetic as the night went by, despite it raining at times, and that “he kicked and skipped as he and his band were taking their bows with Springsteen.” Which gives one hope that maybe we will indeed do what he said before leaving the stage: “We’ll see you next time!”

18 thoughts on “June 18 – 80? Maybe We’re Amazed

  1. southernhon1

    Last Sunday in Baltimore. An awesome show!! He seemed so down to earth and was really engaging. I don’t know what I expected of him (aside from the great music), but his personality on stage seemed so genuine and he seemed so happy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I read that in reviews of his NJ/NY show, he seemed very chatty and told some good stories, which I like (in person, though as I have written at times, doesn’t wear well on live albums!) . More power to him. If he manages to tour once again, I will make a definite effort to see him.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Badfinger (Max)

    The man just loves to play music… I have to include Ringo also. He still sounds good… not as well as 10 years ago but still good. Great post Dave

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you! Yes, he loves what he’s doing, Ringo too, and it really is inspirational. I don’t know if I really listened to anything off his current album but I can’t say I liked his Egypt Station, which I did hear. But man, hats off to a guy who’s done so much so long and is still trying to add to the catalog. a real music legend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Badfinger (Max)

        Like I was telling Christian….you go to a Paul concert and out pops Bruce…what a bargain! You can’t ask for much better than that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yeah, I mean, icing on the 80th birthday cake. Then Bon Jovi too…like I think you and I have both expressed, probably a better guy than musician but still, having him come out and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ would be quite cool.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Badfinger (Max)

        Yes I admit…that would be pretty cool. The only time I got to see a surprise visit at a concert was Bob’s concert when Elvis popped up…and at Ringo’s when Joe Walsh pops up…it is pretty cool.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I couldn’t believe how after more than 2.5 hours, Macca still gave a pretty energetic rendition of “Helter Skelter.” I just find him such an amazing inspiration.

    Also, think about how many kids after they had seen The Beatles on Ed Sullivan and other TV shows decided rock & roll is what they wanted to do! To me that’s truly mind-boggling!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely! I read so very many artist profiles of people who came to notice in the 70s who said that seeing the BEatles on Ed Sullivan was entirely the reason they became musicians…even if the Beatles hadn’t become anything much after ’64, that alone would have been enough to ensure their rightful place in pop music history. I saw a special on him maybe two years back where he went back to Liverpool, visited his old childhood home, did a few singalongs at a local pub with surprised local beer-drinkers…it was pretty neat. In the overall scheme he might be my fourth favorite Beatle… but damn, that still makes him pretty incredible. And still going on almost 60 years later

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think it’s impossible to summarize Paul’s contributions to our music and culture. As for his tours, he could easily do a short, canned show with a set list that never changes, and people wouldn’t love him any less. But he does long, energetic shows, with set list swaps, and collaborations like having Springsteen join him on stage. At Desert Trip he had both Neil Young and Rihanna join him on stage for songs. He doesn’t stop working and collaborating.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very true. good for Rhianna for acknowledging the contribution of …what, her grandparents’ generation? – in making music that mattered and probably influenced at least the general trajectory of music she followed. Neil too, but he’s a contemporary and I can see him liking the Beatles.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rihanna was on the FourFiveSeconds collaboration with Paul and Kanye. That’s what she and Paul performed. I actually liked it a lot! Yes, Neil was clearly enjoying himself on that stage.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I second that. Makes me think back and frown a little at one or two concerts I saw in the 80s and 90s by artists less than half his age which ran under one hour!

      Like

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