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As Sir Paul McCartney confirmed he will headline Glastonbury’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, we look back on the unique magic of Mr McCartney on stage in his home city.
This was the last time The Beatles played Liverpool, just two days after the release of Rubber Soul. Supported by The Koobas, another Liverpool band signed to Brian Epstein, Paul jumped on drums during their track, Dizzy Miss Lizzy.
Friends and family of the band attended, but Paul noted a more subdued atmosphere at the gig, which he blamed on the heavy Police presence: “Just lately, it’s getting ridiculous,” he said. “There are so many of them about, it ruins the whole atmosphere of enjoyment.”
Wings played the Liverpool Empire in ’73 and ’75, but Paul and Linda opened their UK tour with four dates at the Royal Court, after allegedly receiving a letter which suggested the venue was struggling.
It seems LIPA was almost inevitable, when you hear how staff and pupils from his old school, The Liverpool Institute, and John’s, Quarry Bank, attended Wings’ rehearsal for free. That night, tickets were 10p and the band opened with Got To Get You Into My Life.
A month after the Lennon tribute at The Pier Head, 50,000 fans gathered as Paul returned for the first time since his appearance with Wings at the Royal Court. Backstage, Macca shared plans to convert his old school into a centre for the performing arts, with funds raised from the night going towards that project, along with local charitable organisations.
20,000 balloons were released as Macca took to the stage with a Liver Bird patch on his jacket. He’d rehearsed something especially for the city, he said, before playing a medley of John’s songs: “This is just a little tribute to someone we loved dearly…”
A sentimental Sir Paul decided on making this film so his last gig of the decade, and final gig of the millennium, would be held where it all began. Playing a set of covers from his Run Devil Run album, Macca was joined on stage by musicians including Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour and Deep Purple’s Ian Paice.
The concert was shown live on an outdoor screen in the city centre, simultaneously broadcast on Japanese TV and on BBC Radio One, with a subsequent DVD release, Paul McCartney Live at The Cavern Club.
Joining our European Capital of Culture celebrations with a line-up including The Zutons, Kaiser Chiefs and Peter Kay, Sir Paul returned after five years. And boy, did he return with swagger!
Kicking-off with Hippy Hippy Shake, Sir Paul powered through Wings’ numbers, paid homage to George with Something on ukulele, and with Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison in attendance, was accompanied by former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighter, Dave Grohl, on several tracks. A hugely emotional appearance, and one we won’t forget in a hurry.
We haven’t forgotten about Sir Paul’s other incredible Liverpool appearances, including:
-His 2010 Christmas gig at the 02 Academy
-The On The Run tour at the Liverpool Echo Arena
-Macca’s love of playing King’s Dock
-And of course, his amazing surprise gigs at the Cavern and the Philharmonic Pub last year
Where you at a McCartney gig you’ll never forget? We’d love to hear from you @TheGuideLpool
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