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Wings Over America
Wings Over America
(2013 Remaster)
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2002-May-03: A New York City Review

Today's London Times published a review of Sir Paul's Madison Square Garden concerts written by Nicholas Wapshott.  Mr. Wapshott had seen Sir Paul perform twice before - once when Wings turned up at York in a van and Sir Paul played his first rock'n'roll in public since Get Back on the roof of the Apple building.  Before that, he was present at the Beatles' final concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.  In his article, Mr. Wapshott writes about Sir Paul then and now.  He then goes on to make some British observations about Sir Paul's American fans.  He writes:
"He [Sir Paul] is plainly at ease with himself nowadays. In the past he has often seemed too eager to please, too keen to show that he is a good musician and a clever composer. Now that George Harrison and McCartney's wife Linda and, of course, John Lennon are all dead, it is as if he has come to terms with the old Beatles tensions and purged a constant need to compete and come out on top ...

"On June 18, McCartney will be 60. Like many of his generation, he wears his age well. Looking at him up close before the show, he looks barely 40. He is slim without having the muscled shoulders of those who exercise to stay trim. Vegetarianism and smoking grass appear to have done him no harm at all. And looking round the Garden at his audience, the Beatle generation, they were looking good, too.

"They are what Americans have always called baby boomers, a concept that has never quite taken hold in Britain. Born during or in the aftermath of the war, when their fighting parents decided that their children deserved the best of everything, they are now aged between 45 and 55. They came to the concert with the children that they had delayed having until their careers were established enough to avoid scrimping and saving. Well dressed and studiedly casual, they are white, middle class and comfortably well off. Along with the beer and hot dogs were waiters in black tie delivering glasses of champagne to the bleachers.

"This is the Clinton and Gore generation, even the George W. Bush generation. They are certain of themselves, predominantly liberal and often libertarian in attitude, progressive on social matters, if surprisingly traditional when it comes to bringing up their own children. They spend a lot on holidays, music, entertainment, culture and themselves and their offspring. They still dominate how America is run and, because of their huge numbers, will remain in charge for a long while.

"McCartney says he dreams of being wheeled on stage when he is 90 and being asked to sing Yesterday. If so, he will be cheered on by massed ranks of lively, powerful, wealthy geriatrics for whom the 1960s will still fondly be remembered as a golden age."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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