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Robin Young: McCartney Performs Like It Was Yesterday

So I went to see Paul on Wednesday night.

It’s probably more accurate to say I was dragged, eyes rolling, to see Paul McCartney at Fenway Park, which is weird, because they were my tickets. As I told my guests, it’s just that my earliest memories are of the Beatles at Shea Stadium! I was at the Ed Sullivan show! I’m not into the whole “Wings” thing. What can I possibly learn from Paul McCartney today?

Video

Video courtesy of New England Cable News

What was I thinking?

The music was largely from the Beatles but also “Wings” and his new project “The Fireman.” There were homages to John and George and Linda, a peek at the new Beatles video game and a night-long conversation.

At one point Paul marveled at how “Sergeant Pepper” came out on a Friday, and by Sunday, Jimi Hendrix had learned it for his concert — during which Hendrix called out, “Is Eric Clapton here? Maybe he can tune my guitar.” Ouch.

There were little kids everywhere, riding on their parents backs, absorbing almost 50 years of rock ‘n roll.

As the Boston Globe writes, Paul was “vital and relevant.” The Herald adds: “bloody brilliant.”

My favorite moment: “Black Bird.”

He began by explaining he’d written it in the 60s, when there was “some trouble” in the American south. He had envisioned a little black American girl. The little black American girl, now grown up and standing next to me, was shocked.

Beverly and I looked at each other and said, simultaneously, “Who knew?”

Well, maybe we did know at one time and forgot.

But at that moment, he seemed to be singing right to her. And I was thinking, I can still learn a thing or two from Paul McCartney.


WBUR’s Robin Young is the host of Here & Now.

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