Friday, August 15, 2014

sir paul mccartney

On Tuesday around noon I received a text message from my dad:

"You busy tonight?" 
Nope! Why?
"Father daughter date, just us two!"
Oh ok! Sure! 

My dad is a rather fabulous fellow, fun and exuberant and loving. He has brought a lot of joy to my life, including a large portion of my taste in music. He also loves surprises. Probably at the top of his list is "surprising" my mom with some extravagant gift from Santa every year, though she has always disliked the idea of Santa. Which might be why he does it. Despite her decades-long protest, Santa has never missed a Christmas at the O'Neil house.

I've mentioned before that I love the Beatles. That's all dad's fault. I stole his British Invasion CDs at a young age, twisted and shouted probably before I could walk. 

Dad and I left for our dinner date around 530. He told me it was a new restaurant opening up, something he called "Sororise", that had groovy ambience music that he thought I would love. It was a private opening that apparently required tickets. As we began our drive he handed me a piece of paper and said, "I printed the address here, can you look it up?"

Unfolding the paper I discovered a ticketmaster ticket.

Liar liar pants on fire! I had been tricked, swindled, kidnapped, surprised.

He of course began dancing like a maniac and we blasted Paul McCartney music all the way there.
He was so excited he exclaimed, grinning, 
"We gotta take a picture in our seats with the stage behind us. Selffiiieee!!"

It was one of the most surreal (and wonderful and exhilarating and life-changing) moments of my life. I kept crying because I felt like I had always dreamed of being in the same room with Paul McCartney. With my dad. Of course this room was actually a gargantuan stadium with thousands of other humans, but the dream was still being realized.

This was the incredible set list of the evening:

Eight Days a Week 
Save Us
All My Loving 
Listen to What the Man Said 
Let Me Roll It
Paperback Writer 
My Valentine
My Love
The Long and Winding Road
Baby I'm Amazed 
I've Just Seen a Face 
We Can Work It Out
It's Just Another Day 
And I Love Her
Here Today 
Queenie Eye
Lady Madonna
All Together Now
Lovely Rita 
Everybody Out There
Eleanor Rigby
For the Benefit of Mr. Kite 
Ob La Di Ob La Da
If We Ever Get Out Of Here 
Band On The Run
Back in the USSR
Let it Be
Live and Let Die 
Hey Jude
Day Tripper 
High on Life
Get Back! 
Helter Skelter
Golden Slumber/The End

As you can see, it was a pretty extensive list. It was three hours of musical history, rock and roll and beyond.
The giant screens were active the entire time, showing photos and videos of the young Beatles (also made me cry) and other artistic displays. I find it fascinating to imagine myself in the 60's when they first arrived. What must that have been like? What were they like? What was life like for them in those days, writing music and finding love and stumbling around as the headmasters of Beatlemania.
It's amazing to be here now, to see how it all turned out for those young strapping British boys that the whole world fell in love with. It's an honor to hold the knowledge of their story, in all it's bittersweet glory.

The band was phenomenal and watching Paul perform was so fun. He's so full of life and talent, and we were just seeing a glimpse of the music he has written in his lifetime. It's absolutely astounding.
Some of my favorite moments included, obviously, the earlier Beatles music. He performed "Paperback Writer" on the original guitar he recorded it on! 
He also performed a ukulele version of "Something", which was a beautiful and sentimental tribute to a fabulous song written by the late George Harrison. 
I think my heart would have exploded if he had sang "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", but even so, it was fit to burst. 
Needless to say I've been listening to Paul McCartney all week long!

I will remember that night forever. What a wonderful gift to spend a night with my dad and his favorite Beatle, honoring the musical legacy he has cherished and passed on to me.

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