|Sunday night at the O2 in London. Photo by MJ Kim © MPL|
A large contingency from Norway travelled to Denmark for his gig there, and a couple of them even attended the soundcheck. I kept tabs on this, because even as I was vacationing, I was involved in putting together the "Norwegian Wood" Beatles magazine, which I am editor-in-chief for. After three weeks, it was time to go home, and we landed in Norway on Saturday, December 8.
Assuming my duties as a blogger was not on the agenda for a few days, I had too much to do elsewhere. Meanwhile, McCartney and his gang descended upon Liverpool on December 12th, and through Facebook and friends in Liverpool, I was kept up-to-date about the concert. It was Quarryman drummer Colin Hanton's 80th birthday on the day Paul played in Liverpool, and the two old band mates met up again backstage, thanks to the organisational skills of Freda Kelly. Upon playing "In Spite of All The Danger", which featured Colin on the original recording, Paul mentioned him during the introduction at the show. Very nice. I don't think they had seen each other for the past sixty years. There was some anticipation now that Paul was in Liverpool, was he going to show up at Roag Best's new Beatles museum? I don't think he did.
Anyway, come Friday the 14th, I got word that a friend suddenly had a spare ticket for McCartney's show in London on Sunday the 16th, just two days later. His mate could no longer accompany him, due to sudden illness in the family. A couple of phone calls later, I had a flight booked and Sunday morning I was on my way to London!
I did actually have three Norwegian friends to meet in London, all of whom I had been to previous McCartney concerts with. In fact, I had recently made a list of all the times I had seen McCartney play live since I first saw him on Live Aid in 1985, and the count stopped at 29. This was going to be my Macca gig no. 30!
|Two creative employees at London Transport have been using their service announcement boards in funny ways lately, and this is what the board at the North Greenwich station looked like at the night of the concert. #allontheboard|
|Arriving in the rain to London's O2 Arena|
Arriving at the gig, we noticed Sir Peter Blake being wheeled in, as one of Sir Paul's guests.
|Sir Peter Blake arrived at the same time as us.|
|The programme was £25|
So we found our seats, and this is what the view was from where we were sitting:
|The O2 is a huge venue|
|In the audience: Ringo Starr and Rami Malek, who starred as Freddie Mercury in the film Bohemian Rhapsody|
There must have been a few of those, because after the rousing singalong of "Hey Jude" quite a number of people made their way to the exits, even during the song. Of course, we knew better, and were still hoping for that "special guest". By now of course, you will all know that the special guests this evening turned out to be Ron Wood and Ringo. After a nice version of "Wonderful Christmastime", featuring the Capitol Children's Choir, Paul introduced "Ron Wood from the Rolling Stones" to big cheers, but when he introduced Ringo, the whole audience got on their feet and gave the biggest round of applauds of the evening. I filmed and streamed the whole thing on Facebook, and also posted it on The Daily Beatle Facebook page, but as my view was from way back in the arena, I have found another nice video for you, edited from several sources.
And here's Paul's own, abbreviated video:
It was really touching to see the two remaining famous Beatles friends back on stage together, something I had personally witnessed just once before, at the Concert For George.
|Evening Standard's five star review of the concert|
|The editor seemed to think there's a war going on between the Beatles and the Stones.|