My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Macca rocks Vancouver.

Sir Paul, YOU ROCK. Both figuratively and literally.

Incredible, non-stop charm, charisma, phenomenal music – the best rock band ever, no question, so tight and skilled, the music unrelenting, one hit after another with such an extraordinary range – soft ballads, old rock’n’roll, loud screamers, the weird electronic “Temporary Secretary,” he can do them all, and he WROTE THEM ALL. Yes, his voice is rough, no question, but the man is a performer like no other. The show is the best yet – at one point, there was a projection on the stage that looked like an old house, the band gathered close around Paul, Abe played on a small drum kit, and it was like an intimate house concert as they played their first recorded song from about 1962. Then an explosion of psychedelic colour, then a parade of glorious shots of women behind “Lady Madonna,” then the flaming flashpots of “Live and let die” – what a show. What a showman. Oh, and Diana Krall popped in to play the piano at one point.

Those of us at the front were on our feet for the entire show, dancing – at least, moving slightly in the tight space – and singing along. The sound of 19,000 people singing at the top of their lungs – wondrous.

Here’s the Vancouver Sun review. Drink it in.
http://vancouversun.com/entertainment/music/review-vintage-paul-mccartney-gets-intimate-at-rogers-arena

The sound check was thrilling, as it was in Toronto – we were kept well back from the stage, but still, it was a private one hour long concert of songs he doesn’t do in the show while testing all the instruments in the vast space – the Hofner violin bass, surely the most iconic guitar ever, the red Les Paul, the two pianos, the ukelele, the acoustic guitar. When he sang All My Loving, the security guard nearby sang along, beaming. Paul was wearing baggy black jeans and a blue shirt, chatted, was friendly but looked pale and tired. He sang 13 or 14 songs and then we were dismissed to go to our delicious vegetarian dinner with free-flowing wine and beer, while – those of us who lingered in the hall heard – he rehearsed with the Delta Police Force Pipe Band on “Mull of Kintyre” for half an hour.

I had dinner with Laura from Seattle and Steve from Edmonton, both superfans who make me look like the merest amateur. And Paul had a short break before doing a 3 hour show which he’ll repeat, with sound check, tomorrow. And then on to a score of other concerts.

What drives him? He’s the richest musician in the world, it’s not money. It’s just his life – you can see how he drinks it in, the adulation of thousands of people, the waves of applause, the shouts of joy. It doesn’t bore him. It’s his music and he wants us to share it with him. It’s his life.

I did bring a sign and waved it a few times; he reads the ones that amuse him, and chooses someone from the audience to come on stage and meet him, and he signs their sign or their arm. As I said, it’s so not me, but I made myself do it, tried to figure out something amusing. Finally, I wrote, “52 YEARS A PAUL GIRL. TIME FOR A HUG.” I thought that was cheeky enough. But a family – parents, grandmother and six kids – all in shiny Sgt. Pepper costumes, made the cut. (They introduced themselves; all the kids had hippy names. One of the girls was named Ocean. “Atlantic or Pacific?” asked Paul.) Thank God. The thought that I might actually be brought on stage in front of 19 thousand people was terrifying. I was going to give him my book and say that he has been singing to me all my life and that, speaking for everyone in the room, he is a gift to the planet and we thank him and we love him. I didn’t get to say that. But he knows it.

And now I’m done. That book is done, it’s over, I’m putting it aside and moving right along. Thank you, my dear friend, for a lifetime of glorious music. And now I have work to do, and so do you.

Coming in for the sound check…

 and for the concert.

 A fellow fan

None of my shots are any better than this. He’s incandescent. (And I’m a lousy photographer.)

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4 Responses to “Macca rocks Vancouver.”

  1. theresa says:

    What a great description! Too bad you couldn't put your book in his hands…

  2. beth says:

    Ah well. He has quite a bit to do besides reading my book. And it's time for me to move on. But still, I'm glad to have had this lifelong love – I have loved this man since February 1964. No love in my life has lasted as long except peanut butter and books.

  3. alandmillen says:

    I enjoyed your account of the concert. My sister from Victoria was in the audience for one of the shows. The guy in the "Sgt. Pepper" family plays bass in a tribute band called The Fab Fourever. They were at Beatle Week 2015 in Liverpool. As an ex-Vancouverite, I took the opportunity to chat with them after they had performed the entire Yesterday and Today album. Cool moment. Closer to your story, if anyone had told me back in the Sixties that one day a piano player from Nanaimo (where I came of age) would join Paul McCartney on stage in Vancouver, I would have seriously questioned their mental state. Life is a carnival! Your Banff experience sounds pretty "fab" too. My next west coast adventure starts May 8 and concludes with the scattering of my parents ashes on June 4. In the meantime, greetings from Zurich, where snow is falling (not on cedars) this morning.

  4. beth says:

    Alan, glad to take you with me to the concert. I'm sorry he didn't invite me on stage but glad too – and who can compete with a tribute band in full costume? He was magnificent, as always. Have a wonderful trip. Welcome home.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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