"Gonna rock the Colosseum, yeah," Sir Paul called out to the 400 VIP fans who paid dearly to hear him perform a 100 minute show in Rome's ancient area this evening. The published reports say Sir Paul was awed by his surroundings. As he took a few moments to pause and gaze at the Colosseum bathed in the orange glow of the floodlights, he told the crowd:
" This is a beautiful, beautiful place. As you can imagine, this is a magnificent occasion for us. You keep getting the view. I keep wanting to turn around. I'm not coming all the way way to miss this... I think we're the first band to play here since The Christians. Thank you for coming and sharing this wonderful occasion with us."Sir Paul thoughtfully performed a mostly acoustic concert to protect the ancient walls of the Colosseum from the thump of his amplifiers. Sir Paul was also honoring a request not to disturb Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. Many audience members seized the opportunity to dance under the moonlight to the sound of the live McCartney tunes. As a a special tribute to Rome, Sir Paul added the Italian song Volare to his set list. And after all these years, he's still having trouble with the lyrics to Eleanor Rigby. He explained to the audience:
"I've done it again. I keep doing this and I wrote this song and I always forget the words."A the end of the concert, Sir Paul thanked the audience for making the night special, and looking up at the sky he added:
"And I'd like to thank God for the moon. Nice one."Sir Paul will perform a second concert tomorrow evening in the plaza just outside the Colosseum, using the ancient arches as a backdrop. More than 200,000 people are expected to attend this free concert. Proceeds from the sale of television rights for both concerts will be donated to an Italian archaeological mission which hopes to help reopen the Iraqui National Museum in Baghdad that suffered tremendous damage at the hands of looters during the recent war.
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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