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Thursday, July 8, 2010

There For a Bit of History and Happy for IT! Ringo and Paul on stage!

When I was in High School, I discovered the Beatles.

Of course, everyone else had discovered them about 2 decades early. For me, as I rifled through my brother's old CD's and started to buy a few of my own, my choices were eclectic: Best of Bachman Turner Overdrive; Best of Steppenwolf; The Tubes Double Completion Backwards Principle; Elvis. You know, some really rockin' driving music for touring around in my second-hand '72 Mustang.

Those songs were great for the afternoon and night time excursions, no doubt, but in the morning, dragging myself out of bed and heading to Texas High, the CD I always reached for was "Abbey Road." I loved the orchestration, loved it as a whole, the way one song flowed into another, painting pictures, telling stories, bringing you in. It really was a whole-- a rock opera--and still one of the best albums ever produced in my mind.

No matter my mood in the morning, by the time I got to school, listening to "Here comes the sun" and wrapping up with the "love you take is equal to the love you make," my day was already brighter.

Well, I've been lucky enough to have seen Paul in concert several times now: year's ago in my Marvel days when he was touring with Wings and my boss, Craig Anderson and I headed to the Garden with great anticipation. Then last year, TWICE, at CitiField for two amazing concerts--one on the floor near the stage--me wearing my Union Jack in support for what turned out to be one of the best concerts I've EVER seen. And, I've seen Ringo almost every year he has had an All-Starr's band, my friend Jim Salicrup turning me on to how fun these shows are, many years ago!

But, for myself and some of my friends, the Holy Grail was to always see the two remaining Beatles together.

It seemed like it would just never happen. Oh, and we had our hopes high when Paul played Citi-Field... hoping against hope that Ringo would show up... never happened. In fact, the ONLY time the two have been on stage together was last year for a very high priced concert that I didn't even hear about until it was over....benefit ting transcendental meditation...

So, imagine our surprise and sheer delight when on July 7th--Ringo's 70th Birthday-- we finally got our wish, and Sir Paul come on stage at the end of Ringo's show at Radio City! The crowd went absolutely crazy! And I know that some of the ear deafening roar was coming from us! No doubt.

It was an uplifting moment for me for an otherwise terrible day...I went in to that show down in the dumps, and left with a smile on my face that lasted for hours.

These little nuggets, these moments of magic, just serve to remind us that everything isn't really all crap. That life is good. :-) That tomorrow is a new day.... "Here comes the sun" afterall...

Thanks guys, for making me feel like it was MY birthday. Good show.


Below an article from someone also the concert... a nice, heartfelt report:

Ringo Starr's 70th birthday concert: Guests galore, and Paul McCartney, too!

Ringo-<span class=Starrs-70th-birthday">Image Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

The cake had been served, the candles had been blown out, and Ringo Starr had all but told the sold-out crowd at NYC’s Radio City Music Hall to go home, but the most exciting part of his 70th birthday show last night was still to come. That was the exact moment, right around 10 p.m., that none other than Paul McCartney bounded on stage in his skinny tie and fitted suit. The art-deco hall filled with 1964-style squeals as Sir Paul tore through the Beatles’ “Birthday” with the wild-eyed drive of someone decades younger.

McCartney’s unannounced appearance was the perfect end to an evening of festive collaboration. Ringo calls his touring act the All-Starr Band for a reason: They’re all handpicked veterans of bands from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. In between his solo hits (“Photograph,” “It Don’t Come Easy”) and Beatles classics (“Yellow Submarine,” “Act Naturally,” “Boys”), he gave each of his bandmates ample time to demonstrate their own claims to fame. Keyboardist/saxophonist Edgar Winter led electrifying renditions of “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride.” Guitarist Rick Derringer of the McCoys rocked “Hang On Sloopy.” The Romantics’ Wally Palmar told us “What I Like About You.” Mr. Mister’s Richard Page spread his “Broken Wings.” Gary Wright crooned “Dreamweaver,” which he said was inspired by a book on Eastern philosophy that George Harrison once gave him. (“George Harrison never gave me no damn book,” cracked Ringo.) I’m not sure I’d sit through an entire concert by any of those guys’ original groups, but seeing them run through their hits with Ringo was fun — a classic-rock radio revue with one of history’s greatest beat-keepers behind the kit. Starr himself was as energetic as any 70-year-old I’ve ever encountered, grooving gamely at front stage or drumming with that familiar head-bobbing enthusiasm.

Halfway through a Mr. Mister song, my mother and I noticed the E Street Band’s Stevie Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren and ELO’s Jeff Lynne simultaneously leaving their seats a few rows ahead of us. For a moment I thought they must not be big “Broken Wings” fans, but of course they were only heading backstage. A few numbers later, Starr said he wanted to play a tune that he was considering cutting from his set list due to lukewarm crowd reactions. The song was “With A Little Help from My Friends.” Oh, Ringo, you joker! This was the cue for a cavalcade of celebs to join him. Seeing Starr giddily jam with Van Zandt, Lofgren, Lynne, Yoko Ono, Joe Walsh, and quite a few others is not a sight I’ll soon forget.

My mother and I had been hoping all along that McCartney might pop up. He was conveniently in between tour dates in London and San Francisco this week, and 70 is a big birthday. But “With A Little Help” transitioned into a sweet singalong of John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance,” followed by a spontaneous crowd rendition of “Happy Birthday” and the aforementioned cake and candles, and Macca was nowhere to be seen. Oh well. Who could complain after all those other guests? And then he turned up after all. His “Birthday,” with Walsh on wicked lead guitar, was the best possible way to end that show. Afterward, teary hugs were exchanged between McCartney, Starr, and Ono. McCartney softly repeated the words “Happy birthday to you” into the microphone. The appreciative surprise on his old friend’s face looked altogether genuine.

And so, for the second time in as many years, the two surviving Beatles shared a concert stage. (The same stage, as it happens.) My mom, who never got to see them when she was a teenaged fan in the ’60s, was pretty psyched to be there. So was I. On our way out from the venue, someone was raving about “history in the making.” Were any of you lucky enough to see last night’s show? If not, console yourself with the extremely shaky fan video of “Birthday” below.