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News of Otsego County

80

McCartney column

We saw him standing there

Commentary: Ted Potrikus

Fair warning: I’m about to go large on the name-dropping thing.

My wife, Angie, and I drove to Syracuse last weekend to see Paul McCartney in concert. We’re big Paul fans – our first date, in fact, in London, England, in November 1984 — was to see his not-great movie “Give My Regards To Broad Street” not long after its premier.

The guy turns 80 years old in two weeks. Eight-zero. If nothing else, he’s a walking testament to a vegetarian lifestyle. And there he was, on stage in a sold-out Carrier Dome, still blazing away on bass, piano, and guitar, still singing the songs in their original keys, still whipping out nuggets from “Love Me Do” through the obligatory “Hey Jude” to “Band on the Run” and, in a terrific surprise, a duet of sorts with John Lennon with a video capture from the “Let It Be” rooftop concert.

Paul McCartney on stage in Syracuse on June 4, 2022

A beautiful show; engaging, energetic, emotional, and joyful, filled with spectacle and a canon of indelible songs, some now six decades old. We won’t see his like again. Saturday was my tenth Paul McCartney show since 1989 and was, far and away, the best of them all.

I met Paul McCartney on three occasions when I was in college in London in 1984. All these years later, I remember it like it was yesterday. I had an internship not far from Soho Square – where Sir Paul’s office still sits – and would walk through on my way home. One Monday evening as I walked past the McCartney Productions Limited office, he popped out the front door. There was no mistaking my glee.

Surely I blurted out overly-excited fanboy gibberish, but I do remember saying, “No one is going to believe this.” I mean, there I was with no camera or Sharpie or anything to record the moment. He patted me on the shoulder. “Come back on Friday afternoon,” he said. “Bring a friend. Bring a camera. We’ll make ‘em believe it!” And then I got the trademarkable Paul McCartney Thumbs-Up gesture as he stepped into his waiting car (a metallic green Mercedes sedan) and inched off into London’s nighttime traffic.

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