(update)Sir Paul announced yesterday: "I am doing this benefit gig because, to borrow a phrase, I love New York."
Sir Paul has a special fondness for the city since New York was Linda's home town. Now he says that he has been enjoying introducing Heather to this magnificent city. In interviews granted yesterday, Sir Paul described the horror he witnessed on September 11 in New York city:"I was there when the tragedy occurred and I watched the last moments ofHe added more details in another interview:
the World Trade Center. I was on the runway at JFK airport when the captain announced we were grounded. We couldn't believe what was happening.""I was sitting in an airplane at the airport in New York and watched the whole thing happen. We were just taxiing out on to the tarmac at 8:45am. Suddenly the captain said 'look' and we saw the tower in flames - Heather and I couldn't believe what had happened. On our side of the plane we could see the twin towers smoking. I thought 'what can I do?' But there was nothing.Sir Paul went on to speak of his deep respect for the rescue workers:
"A tragedy like this affects everyone and everything. A few days after the
attack we went down to the Canal Street area and you could smell it and
feel it, people were still in a daze.
"At first I felt useless. I thought 'what can I do?' I knew I had to do
something to help. So I'm going to do this concert. Although the events are
dreadfully sad, in a way I was glad I was in New York when it was all
happening because I was able to witness the tremendous heroism that has
come out of the city since the disaster.
"This concert will honour those heroes and heroines and I'm very proud to
be doing that. It will benefit the families of the victims, including the
families of the firefighters involved. I feel a connection with the
firefighters because my Dad was a volunteer fireman in Liverpool during
World War Two.
"So I'm going to do this benefit show to show solidarity. The thing is that
people may disagree with how we live, but this attack has crossed the line;
it is a real no-no and you have to show the people who have done this that
we are not going to put up with it.
"You've got to stand up and do something. I can't fight fires, but I can do
a concert. It will be a difficult night, but it needs doing and I hope to
help raise a lot of money for the families of the victims.""I am honored and proud that I might in some way be able to do something to benefit the families of the victims - including the New York firemen. I have a special connection with the fire-fighters because my dad was a volunteer fireman in Liverpool during the war. Like the rest of the world, I have great admiration for the amazing courage those guys showed.In order to focus on this project, Sir Paul has canceled the biggest concert of his career. He had been working on plans for a free concert to be held in Moscow's Red Square. He said those plans have been put on hold for now because :"The New York concert is very important and I want to show my full support."
"I know if I was faced with what happened I'd want to run the other way. But those brave guys can't and they didn't. They actually have to run into the building. A friend said why don't you do a concert and I thought 'yes'. I can't fight fires but I can put on a gig."
Sir Paul's plan for a small benefit concert snowballed after film boss Harvey Weinstein got behind the project. One thing we know for sure - he will sing Let It Be: "It's a song for people to put their emotions into."
Tickets for "The Concert for New York" will go on sale Sunday, October 7 at 12 noon through Ticketmaster phones, outlets and www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets range from individual seats to VIP packages. Proceeds from the event will go to the Twin Towers Fund, which was
established by New York City's Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to assist and support the families of uniformed services members and other government personnel lost in the tragedy, plus other unnamed charities.
The concert will be aired live and commercial free on VH1 On Saturday, October 20th, 8pm (ET/PT) From Madison
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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