Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Long and Winding Road


I went to the Paul McCartney concert Saturday night at Fedex Field, in the Washington DC suburbs.

On virtually any list of the most influential music artists of the 20th century, the top three would include Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and the Beatles. Drugs and tragedy were ultimately involved in the lives of Elvis and Michael. Drugs swirled through the lives of the Beatles but weren’t related to their tragedies; John Lennon’s tragedy was being killed by a mentally ill gunman; Paul’s was losing the love of his life to breast cancer.

With those thoughts as a backdrop in my own mind, it took awhile for this thought to sink in: a 67-year old music and culture icon was performing legendary 45-year-old songs as well as new songs with both joy and humility before 50,000 fans. His stage banter was informative and humorous; he told stories to the stadium crowd as comfortably as if he was sitting on your living room sofa.


Crappy cellphone picture from the concert


Baby You Can Drive My Car, Jet, Band on the Run, Michelle, My Love, The Long and Winding Road, Back in the USSR and on and on and on.

I saw more gray hair in that stadium than I’ve ever seen at a concert. Yet young people enjoyed the show too, including my ‘non-date’ date (she is younger than many of the Beatles songs).

Paul McCartney has certainly travelled a long and winding road in his life, but he is still out there having a good time and sharing it with the rest of us. An additional connection noted during this show: the first Beatles concert of their first American tour was played right here in DC.

I’ll add him to my list of role models for creative aging.

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