Once there was a way to get back homeward
Once there was a way to get back home.
Most anyone who's ever glanced at this blog probably has an inkling or two that I've seen my fair share of Bruce Springsteen concerts over the course of the last four decades.
Lest you think I'm a one-trick music pony, you should know that between all those Bruce shows, there's also been a healthy dose of other live musicians, including, at a bare minimum, the Clash, the Who, David Bowie, Queen, the Police, Prince, Frank Sinatra, Fleetwood Mac, the Moody Blues, and so on and so on.
But there's one group of musicians who I've never had the pleasure to include in my list of experiences, and that's for a host of good reasons.
Number one being, the Beatles broke up when I was 6 years old.
Then John Lennon was shot and killed when I was only 16.
And when George Harrison passed away from an untimely illness, the chances of me catching any of the Fab Four live in concert just continued shrinking and shrinking.
Until Sunday night.
Finally, after decades of waiting, I was able to find that Golden Ticket inside my regular Wonka bar and score tix to see Sir Paul McCartney perform at Fenway Park. I had heard for years from my friend Martin about how epic his shows were. Martin Brewer and Paul Askew were among the folks who took the Magical Mystery Tour in England to retrace the Beatles' steps. They were also at the historic Bruce concert when Sir Paul joined him on stage only to have the power cut out because of curfew issues. Lore like this only helped compound my fervent wish to finally take one of these shows in for myself. Call it a concert bucket list, if you will. And now it can be checked off.
Short review: the show was everything my twisted mind had envisioned these past four decades, and far more.
A mix of Beatles tunes, both the biggest and obvious blockbusters (Let It Be, Hey Jude) and some from way out of left field (Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite?)
And of course, the smattering of Wings tunes sprinkled throughout the set list pleased those who've followed Paul's musical exploits since the Beatles broke up and broke global Beatlemania's collective heart in 1970.
The mood at Fenway was electric, on Yawkey Way and all the surrounding streets, restaurants and bars. Andrew and Joey riffed on music almost the entire night.
The Band on the Run.
Jimmy and Candy have seen McCartney before, so this was old hat for them, even though the setlists have been very dynamic. Jack and I were ready for a Hard Day's Night.
Not surprisingly, I bumped into people I knew everywhere I went
And Mark Buckley
Magneto and Titanium Man were ready and the Crimson Dynamo came along for the ride.
For the record, Mike Cassidy (who was always a HUGE Wings fan) and I could never quite understand the thought process behind this song. I mean, Magneto was an X-Man villain! What would he be teaming up with Iron Man baddies for??? But I digress......
Taped to our seats was something new: a packaged poster with cryptic instructions:
Jackie's not sure about this whole sign stunt thing.....
Until it came time to execute.
Kinda cool to be part of Sir Paul's official welcome back to Fenway.
Not many times you can say the Pesky Pole offers you an obstructed view of a living legend.
The show included tributes to fallen Beatles George (Something) John (Here Today) and even George Martin (Love Me Do) - the producer, not the guy behind Game of Thrones.
And then after nearly three hours of rocking and rolling at the age of 74, came the encore guests.
Bob Weir from the Grateful Dead, who appropriately helped everyone get Hi, Hi Hi.
(McCartney's Facebook photo here)
And the guest star that all the world is talking about. At least in New England.
Gronk came out for Helter Skelter, a song that will likely become his new anthem.
I mean seriously, this guy's stock just continues to rise and rise and rise.
Thankfully, he didn't have long at the microphone and instead rocked the air guitar. But who on the face of the Earth could ever have imagined seeing this duet perform on the world stage together?
Here's Gronk's twitter pic capturing the moment
Gronk, you may be a lover, but you ain't no dancer.
The setlist of Beatles' songs included opening with a Hard Day's Night, Can't Buy Me Love, I've Got a Feeling, Here, There and Everywhere, We Can Work It Out, You Won't See Me, Love Me Do, And I Love Her, Blackbird, the Fool on the Hill, Lady Madonna, Eleanor Rigby, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite, Something, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Back in the U.S.S.R, Let It Be, Hey Jude, Yesterday, Helter Skelter, Birthday, Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, and the End. Whew! An even two dozen Beatles classics!
So the concert repertoire has been expanded. Not THE Beatles, but pretty damn close. My long-unanswered question about what would the experience be finally seeing a live performance by at least one-fourth of the Fab Four In My Life?
And when the broken-hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
(Click on the YouTube video below to see how it went down)
Finally, I got my Answer.
And in The End
The love you take
Is equal to the love