Monday, April 6, 2009

My Beatle Story

In today's online New York Times, in the Arts Beat section, is an article about last Saturday night's show at Radio City Music Hall (photo credit Stephen Chernin/AP). It was a benefit concert for the David Lynch Foundation, (Yes, the Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet David Lynch. Read the manifesto here.) The show featured Paul McCartney as the headline act, with none other than Ringo (RINGO!) rounding out the bill.

It sounded, from the reviewer's perspective, like it was a great show, featuring a cavalcade of stars including Sheryl Crow, Donovan, the Beach Boys.

Whatever. I'm not interested in the foundation.

Paul and Ringo certainly were the only ones that mattered.

I've had the luck (what other way can you see a Beatle, after all) of seeing both of these guys live and in the flesh.

I got to see McCartney about 8 years ago at the United Center in Chicago. It was the first time he had been to town in a while, he had just released a fairly good record, Driving Rain. A friend of mine had offered me a ticket at the last minute.

Not free, mind you.

But it was a buck and a half very well spent. I went into this show thinking that it was going to be some gray haired, geriatric, viagra using group of party animals. What I got, though, was quite the opposite:

One of the most rockin' shows ever.

I was stunned, to say the least. He had a four piece band behind him, all of the guys in the band just kids in their '20s, all of them hungry. They played Mac's music like it was their own. They rocked with fury and authority, and convinced you that songs like Help and I Saw Her Standing There were still ass-kicking rockers; old tunes with new energy. His drummer even sang (you should almost never give the drummer a mic.)

Paul played bass, piano, and guitar that night. At one point, he was alone on stage with just an acoustic guitar, the cavernous arena silent, as he played and sang Blackbird. It served as a sound reminder as to why the Beatles were the best.


As for my Ringo experience, it was not nearly as eventful, but it was equally exciting (Ringo is SO underrated, by the way. He's a killer drummer.)

I was working a day job (huh?) downtown and the word on the street was that Ringo was going to be making an appearance at the Hard Rock Hotel that day, his birthday, to give a live press conference urging the world to all give the "peace sign", simultaneously, at noon, in solidarity of having...

You guessed it. World peace.


Anyways, I happened to be working right next door to the hotel, so I figured I'd try to get a glimpse. So I go down to the street, walk to the hotel, and see TONS of people. Thousands, if not hundreds. I make my way and stake out my spot. It just so happens that I was standing right next to a door that He was going to come out of to give his conference/peace flash. Apparently, this door was not the original point of exit, so I had a clear shot of seeing him.

And at high noon, the door opens, and out comes Ringo, all 5'2" of him (or however tall he is. He's a pretty short dude.) I was only a few feet from him. The moment lasted 5 seconds, tops.

But, boy, it was cool. I was/this/close to an actual Beatle.

New York should feel lucky that they got to see the last surviving Beatles share the stage again.

We should be so lucky in Chicago.

So it goes...

No comments:

Post a Comment