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Wings Over America
Wings Over America
(2013 Remaster)

2003-Feb-22: Sir Paul's First Private Birthday Gig

(updated February 24) Imagine you are a huge Paul McCartney fan and that its your birthday and Sir Paul is performing at your party.  This dream came true this evening for CNN senior vice president, Wendy Walker Whitworth.  In a statement, Sir Paul said:
"Normally I don't do this sort of gig, but I was chuffed to do it because it was a win-win show."
Financier Ralph Whitworth secretly hired Sir Paul to perform at his wife's 50th surprise birthday party held at the Ranch Blues Club in San Diego, California.   Understandably, Mrs. Whitworth was completely stunned when at 9:00 her husband announced, "Now we're going to play a bit of rock 'n' roll for Wendy" and Sir Paul and his band appeared on the club's stage.  According to a spokesman for Sir Paul:
"She was totally gobsmacked (shocked) and she was reduced to tears by the shock of it all."
A member of Sir Paul's crew added:
 "Wendy Whitworth's jaw hit the floor when Paul took to the stage. The gig had been arranged in total secrecy and only her husband was in on the secret.  As you can imagine the audience just went wild.  The atmosphere was electric."
Mrs. Whitworth described her birthday surprise this way:
"Paul McCartney walked on stage and I thought somebody was playing a trick on me.  It was sooooo exciting. How would you feel? You can't believe it."
Not only did Sir Paul perform 19 songs for Mrs. Whitworth and her 150 guests - at the end of his 90-minute performance, he invited Mrs. Whitworth to join him on the stage so that he could present her with 50 roses.  Then Mr. Whitworth joined his wife on stage for a dance as the band played the Beatles classic "Birthday".

Among the lucky guests at the party were CNN's Larry King and NBC's Katie Couric.

After the performance, Sir Paul explained why this was a "win-win show":

"Ralph gets to be the great husband for organizing the surprise, his wife gets a rocking party, I get to rehearse the band for the tour, and most important, Adopt-A-Minefield gets one million dollars.  It was a very human evening and we all had a fabulous time.''

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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