home to Liverpool to a
whole lotta love
Macca came home and certainly Rocked the Dock! Our city for the past week has been like Beatlemania all over again. This show may have been a big deal to Paul but it was the same big deal for us too.
I should just add that whilst in Liverpool Paul spent a considerable amount of time at LIPA. He did 1:1 tuition with some hand picked students.
My Macca weekend began on Friday evening when I spotted Rusty, Brian and Abe entering The Cavern Club for the "end of tour" party. It was a private affair with no chance of anybody infiltrating the heavy security.
Saturday I went
along to the Jacaranda. This was
just an opportunity for everyone to pass on tickets and swap Macca stories. What everyone didn't know at the time was that
there was to be a very special guest. That guest was Rusty Anderson who
graciously joined us for a short time. I would like to thank Rusty
for taking time out of a very busy schedule to come and see everyone. With
his pleasant and unassuming style he's won the hearts of everyone during this
world tour and he really is a very nice guy. He posed for photos and
signed autographs before leaving. He said he just wanted to take a moment
to meet the people who make things happen.
Special thanks to Corrine and Martha for "making this happen.".
Rusty with Jackie Spencer from Liverpool Tours
arrives and we begin our Macca's Liverpool Tour.
We visited all the regular places related to Paul. First home he ever lived in, hospital where he was born, places where he first played with the Quarrymen and much, much more with some surprises too.
group we had this morning were from all over the world, a really wonderful bunch
of people who made the 5 hours we spent with them, perfect.
We visited Forthlin Road (see above) and St. Peter's Church Hall where we sat for a while and had a vegetarian buffet lunch. A visit to this Hall is made special by the appearance of the Verger, Graham Paisley who is always happy to meet with people and show them around.
After a hearty lunch and some rest we set off again to continue our tour with a view to being back in the city centre early enough for people to get themselves together to rock the night away, and Rock we did!
FOR PHOTOGRAPHS FROM LIVERPOOL CLICK HERE
For me 1 June
began with the tour mentioned above and that was a very fitting start to
what was going to be a fab night. Macca
was returning home to Liverpool for the 90th and final show
of his current world tour. He’d
been to every corner of the world almost, but this was the only “MUST
SEE” show on the tour, not just for me, I saw him in Madison Square
Garden last year but Liverpool beat that hands down, but for Paul, the
band and everyone seated in the King’s Dock, Liverpool.
What a venue.
A purpose built arena on the banks of the Mersey.
A warm, balmy evening, the lights becoming brighter as darkness
began to fall, the shadowy outline of the Cathedral, the Liver Buildings
and the dock area itself – pure magic.
I always think there's something wonderful about listening to
music in the open air. This venue can't be beaten.
First up was
the sound check where the band jammed on various instrumental tunes that
included a very bad interpretation of “Ferry Across The Mersey”
(which sounded more like "Puff The Magic Dragon" LOL –
it was all taken in jest as they laughed at each other trying hard to
get the tune right. They
never did, but it was interesting to listen to – someone requested it
from the side stage and I bet it was Paul!!!
The jamming session ended abruptly as Paul appeared on the stage
and hugged each band member. You’d have thought they hadn’t seen each other in weeks!
total band sound check included: India,
Coming Up, Volare, Honey Don't, Matchbox, Instrumental Jam, Celebration
(where I lost it!), C' Moon, Things We Said Today, Here There &
Everywhere, Midnight Special, San Francisco Bay Blues, Lady Madonna,
Blackbird, Jam. (not in this order). After a couple of songs Paul removed his jacket and caused a
ripple of screaming from the “tiny audience”.
During this sound check Paul proved that he is not just a Bass
maestro – what an awesome lead guitarist he is too.
The Gibson came out and he was rocking away, nice guitar licks
too. Paul continually
looked across the arena at the pre show sound check crowd and
acknowledged the whoopin’ and hollerin’ with “thank you tiny
audience”, “thanks to the people in the corale” – LOL.
He thanked the fuzz by saying “I see the firemen are in.
Oh, it’s not the firemen it’s the fuzz (police) but we thank
the firemen anyway”, St, John’s Ambulance and other voluntary
workers in the arena. He was in an excellent mood and we knew this was going to be
a night to remember. The
eyes of the world would be on Paul tonight and there’d be high
expectations combined with lots of love and emotion.
He delivered on all three.
Almost at the end of the sound
check Gerry Stickells, tour production manager (I think), known for
wearing loud Hawaiian shirts, appears at the front barrier.
Paul says “This is the man who tells us to stop”.
I’d noticed a row of ladies all wearing the same shirts lined
up at the side of the stage. On
the given word they march in front of the stage and dance.
Paul stops playing and laughs and then sings “There’s only
one Gerry Stickells” Pointing
to the ladies he says, “Oh look, they’re multiplying.”
This tour must have been a total blast to work on.
One huge family having fun.
of sound check, everyone disappears off stage.
Doors open almost immediately and the arena filled fairly quickly
with people running to be at the front or to find a suitable place to
stand. On this tour people
have been able to send text messages to a huge screen on the stage.
The usual smart remarks are there for the world to see and it
entertains the crowds as they wait.
Typical scouser type messages like “Paul check your Limo,
it’s on blocks”…lol
The pre show
began with the performers mingling in the crowds.
Then…..the biggest image of a man and a Hofner bass held high
appears in silhouette behind a very large screen.
Suddenly Paul, who limbos under the screen slightly in his
eagerness to be in front of it appears on stage to a tumultuous welcome.
Everyone gets to their feet and goes crazy as he stands on stage
with a huge smile on his face soaking in the amassed love hysteria from
the crowd – THE man is home.
amazing and very emotional as he stared out at 35,000 people standing
applauding him. This was
just a taste of the emotion that ran through the whole show for Paul and
for us also. He wore his heart on his sleeve and was teary all evening.
First up, as with other shows, Hello Goodbye.
He did a number of songs before he actually spoke and then said
“Hello Liverpool, it’s good to be home and we’re here to rock
Paul was very
relaxed and seeing him amongst his own people was special for him and
for everyone else. He
adlibbed and deviated sometimes from the script of all the other shows
which showed he was comfortable. It
was like being at a private McCartney family party!
This was always going to be the biggie.
Paul himself said “We’ve been to Moscow, we’ve been to Rome
but this is LIVERPOOL – this is the one.”
The show was
peppered with lots of reminiscences of his earlier life in Liverpool. He talked about John, George, Stuart Sutcliffe, the hospital
where he was born, his family. The
screens showed his red eyes during these moments and it was like he’d
suddenly realised who he was, where he was, where he came from and how
far he’d come in his lifetime. He
made a very pointed comment to his family.
He looked over to where they were sitting (same place as myself)
and in a choked voice said “"I just want to say that as long as
we're sitting out here on the banks of the Mersey, that I DO love each
and every one of you.”
included the set list at the end so I’m not going to go through each
song one by one.
were going wild and then during his tribute to John (Here Today) you
could literally have heard a pin drop – it was eerie to hear the crowd
suddenly go silent. 35,000
people just stopped talking and Paul lost it with the words “I love
you……” His tribute to
George though was somewhat different in that everyone sang along.
Around the arena you could hear the voices build, singing
“You’re asking me will my love grow, I don’t nooooooo, I don’t
nooooooo” – wonderful! Everyone
began shouting “What about Ringo” to which Paul struck up “Yellow
Submarine” mentioning that he’d told Ringo he would be doing this at
wasn’t going to mention every song I have to tell you about one or two
and the line change in “Two Of Us” – Paul sang “All roads lead
He made a
comment about being born at Walton Hospital and pointed in the direction
of Walton. Another emotion
filled moment as a look crossed his face that said something like “I
got from there to here” – it was like he was seeing his life in
another perspective. He was draped over the magic piano at this point and you can
see the look in the picture on this page.
– now there’s a song! Paul
sang all the verses of this well known Liverpool song telling the crowd
“We chucked this in for tonight.”
The backdrop changes to images of Liverpool and the crowd go wild
cheering each image – the Cathedrals, the docks, The Cavern Club,
Eleanor Rigby, the Football grounds, Forthlin Road, LIPA and others.
Shortly after Paul tells the crowd that his brother Mike took the
photos that were shown during “Something.”
Before he sang Michelle Paul began
telling the story of how the song came to be.
As soon as he mentioned being arty and wearing a black polo neck
sweater the girls at the front began screaming.
This was hilarious. Paul
entered into almost a private conversation and each time the polo neck
was mentioned the screams followed.
He then said “I think it’s really sad to scream at a
garment”….LOL Carrying on with the story the black polo neck became “the
garment”…..you had to be there…this is an in joke amongst a
certain crowd of people!!! We
are all black polo neck people and I’m saying no more…..J
show Paul gave each of the band the opportunity to say a few words.
Wix said that Paul had told him Liverpool was the capital of
Ireland!!! He then produced
this silly Guinness hat and actually put it on.
that it was amazing to be playing in Paul’s hometown with Paul.
It was something he’d never forget.
He then said he was going to take a picture of the audience and
asked “Would everyone bunch together” (see the pic above). Lovely, lovely guy. He
then introduced “Maybe I’m Amazed” and this has to be one of the
best live versions I’ve ever heard.
Brian’s turn came he referred to Liverpool as Liverpaul!
He turned to look at Paul saying “Liverpool, you’ve raised a
great guy”. The crowd
I don’t recall what Abe
was in the audience and at one point he began the chant “Macca’s
coming home” to the well known tune of “Football’s coming home.”
Paul listened as the chant ran around the arena and smiled when
he realised what it was – I have to say it was pretty awesome to hear. Skinner then shouted “Top that Macca”.
a red heart and the words “Home is where the heart is.
Liverpool 1 June 2003” were passed throughout the crowd.
During Hey Jude everyone held the hearts up in the air.
Paul began to loose it slightly saying “oh…everybody, what
are you doing to me?” During
the fade out he adlibbed a little with words like “And our hearts go
out to you too”, “I love you”, “I don’t know what to say
now.” Now I’ve never
believed this because I’ve seen Paul in a state of emotion before in
various situations but in the past he’s been accused of not being able
to show emotion but on the banks of the Mersey he proved the world
wrong. His emotions were in
the heart that was on his sleeve the whole evening.
He found it hard to contain the tears as 35,000 red hearts
fluttered in the Mersey breeze, he patted his own heart in
the show he constantly made references to the fact that this would not
be his last tour – which is great news.
don’t recall at which point in the show he said this but he referenced
Liverpool’s bid for the European Capital of Culture by saying
“Capital of Culture is coming up, but "Liverpool is the capital
of the universe." (After such a great weekend the announcement was
made on Wednesday 4 June that Liverpool had indeed been awarded the
title of European City of Culture in 2008)
During one of
the encores Paul came on with an acoustic guitar saying “When I was 14
years old I wrote my first song. I
have an uncontrollable urge to sing it now and I don’t know why.
I’m not sure it’s a good idea.”
He chuckled at this point as he tried desperately to find the
opening chords and tune. “I’ve
forgotten it!” “No I haven’t.
Hang on” – then he launched into “Lost My Little Girl.”
A lot of the crowd appeared not to know this song but then not
everybody does I guess. They
sang along to just about everything else though with certain songs
getting everyone to their feet. Band
On The Run, Back In The USSR, I Saw Her Standing There, Lady Madonna to
name a few.
As the show
came to a close Paul did the usual round of thanks to everyone.
The crew, Pab from Crosby who’s at LIPA and is on the sound
desk tonight (what an opportunity), the band (his mates), his friends
Paul tried to
tell everyone they had to go home.
The crowd shouted “NO” and he said “YES”, the Yes and No
went back and forth as Paul hugged the band, took bows and cried.
Shouting “We’ll see you next time” as the fireworks began.
Paul was the last to leave the stage, popping back to throw a
fist in the air.
He left the
stage again and appeared once more waving the Union Jack flag.
It was over.
It was amazing, a fantastic band, fabulous atmosphere, terrific
audience. Paul had been on
stage for more than three and a half hours. It was a very personal and emotional show for him.
The setting added to that emotion.
He sounded like a 25 year old and the quality of his voice is
beyond any comprehension for someone his age.
He is an incredibly unique human being with the ability to bring
out the best in everyone he touches.
He is filled with “whateveritis” and when we know what that
is we’ll bottle it.” I
remember Alistair Taylor once saying “The Beatles had Brand X, if we
knew what it was we’d have bottled it”.
Paul still has that Brand X, whateveritis.
home-comings go, they don't get much bigger or better that this and I for one will never forget this evening.
As I sat there listening to the music that has become the
soundtrack of my life my thoughts wandered back to the day when I saw
Paul McCartney for the very first time in Mathew Street.
How lucky am I to have discovered this exceptional man and his
three band mates all those years ago?
question still remains. “How
can 4 people change the world the way The Beatles did and how can one
man achieve so much in his own lifetime and remain a man of the
people.” We will never
know the answer.
And in the end....he came home
FOR PHOTOGRAPHS FROM LIVERPOOL CLICK HERE
All My Loving
Let Me Roll It/Foxy Lady- ending
Your Loving Flame
We Can Work It Out
You Never Give Me Your Money/Carry That Weight
The Fool On the Hill
Here There and Everywhere
I've Just Seen A Face
Two Of Us
Slow version of Band On The Run Intro then Band On The Run
Back In The USSR
Maybe I'm Amazed
Let Em In
She's Leaving Home
Can't Buy Me Love
Live and Let Die
Let It Be
Baby Face (whole song)
Long And Winding Road
I Saw Her Standing There
I Lost My Little Girl
Sgt. Pepper's Reprise/The End
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