Sir Paul McCartney: The Man, The Beatle, The Legend

I am listening to Sir Paul McCartney playing live here in San Diego.  He sold out Petco Park.  There are not many artists who can do that these days. 

What’s fascinating is the different kinds of people who lined up to get in.  Young and old, rich and not so rich, kids with their parents and grandparents, people speaking every language out there.  Paul McCartney brings us all together.

His music has a universal appeal.  It will never get old.  It will continue to be covered by new artists (“Yesterday” is the most covered song ever) and with each new iteration his music and the music of the Beatles will breathe new life into new generations of fans.

This has been a huge event for San Diego.  Sir Paul hasn’t been here since 1974 with Wings (my mom and dad were there). The local radio station has been playing McCartney and Beatles music all day in preparation for the big event, rebranding for the day to PaulFM. 

Welcome back to San Diego, Sir Paul.  Please come back again soon.  And thank you for sharing your gift with us.

The Grammy’s Salute to the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan

Last night I was glued to my television watching the Grammy’s salute to the Beatles on the 50th anniversary of their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.  My mom told me stories about that night.  She was 12.  I grew up a huge Beatles fan, and last night was like watching history unfold.  People will talk about this show for years and years to come.

What was great about the way they brought together true Beatles fans to celebrate this momentous occasion.  To see Anna Kendrick singing along in the audience, as star-struck as Tom Hanks and Jeff Bridges, really made it clear how much of an impact and a reach The Beatles had on American culture.  Dave Grohl’s “Hey Bulldog” and Adam Levine’s “I Saw Her Standing There” were incredible.  Stevie Wonder wowed with a funkified version of “Got to Get You Into My Life” and it got everyone up and dancing in the aisles.  Frankly, there aren’t many bands that can have that kind of impact these days.  The Beatles left an indelible mark on the world.  Watching Dave Grohl’s little girl clapping and singing along was powerful.  Even Ringo acknowledged it.

A few nights ago I was at a comedy show where the comic talked about the transitory state of music these days.  Kids can get music whenever they want it.  It’s all very accessible now, and in that vein it’s all very disposable.  Very few artists have staying power.  It’s hard to remember the top artists of the past decade because there are so many musicians.  The same can be said of movies.  Remember a decade ago when a movie stayed at number one for weeks and months on end?  A blockbuster is now lucky to have two weeks at the top of the charts.  None of this was true with The Beatles.  When they released the movie “A Hard Day’s Night” they had five songs in the top five spots of the chart.  Their songs competed with each other for the top spot.  Think about that.  It’s unheard of these days.

I liked how they let Ringo and Paul have a few songs on their own, but I wish they would have let them play together for a longer set.  If you’re going to do something like this, then doing a few more songs seems to be in order.  Seeing Paul and Ringo onstage while Yoko and George’s wife danced in the audience was wonderful.  I’m surprised that Julian or Sean Lennon didn’t perform the way Danny Harrison did.  How amazing would a Sons-of-The-Beatles performance be? (Zack Starkey is a famous drummer in his own right, and Paul’s son is also a musician)  The night could have gone on for hours more.  People would have watched.  When you get the surviving Beatles together, you let them do what they want to do.

What the program really showed us is that fifty years later, the surviving Beatles still have it, and their fans still adore them.

A Gala Night with David Garrett

I had the pleasure of seeing violin virtuoso David Garrett at the Balboa Theater tonight.  He played ACDC’s anthem “Thunderstruck,” which just about sums it up. 

Freaking amazing.

Lithuanian world champion accordion player Martynas Levikis opened for Garrett and even joined in on two songs.  His take on Lady Gaga was awesome.

Garrett made his entrance from the back of the theater, walking down the aisle playing “Eye of the Tiger” and looking every bit like a rock star.  He played Metallica, Mozart, Beethoven, Michael Jackson and the signature piece from Swan Lake.  He finished the night with “Hey Jude,” the Beatles’ anthem, and then returned for an encore with “Annie Are You Ok?” By the end his bow had strings hanging down.

This was a concert I will never forget.  From this moment on, I am a David Garrett fanatic.