Bucks Writs - Fall 2017 - 29

entertainment

Better See Paul
- By Nancy Larkin Taylor

A

Concert!" "Ballroom Dance with a
Vegetarian Librarian." "Please sign my
butt." "Let's have a look," quipped Paul.

s a longtime John Lennon fan, I was ambivalent about
seeing Paul McCartney in concert. But so many friends
raved about his shows and saw him repeatedly. So, when
I was offered a ticket, I trained it from Hamilton Station to
Newark's Prudential Center on a recent Tuesday night to
see for myself.

His band was energetic and tight. The guitarist
was a young, more handsome Ron Wood and the
bald bejeweled drummer was crazed. "Lady Madonna." By
this time, the audience was singing along unashamedly.

The entrance steps were full of panhandlers and scalpers.
Tickets ranged from $87 to $763 on Stub Hub. One Soprano-esque seller loudly berated fans who waited too long to
pay $150 for his $250 face value seats, "Right up front!!
You are f*** ing crazy not to jump on this deal!"

The most interesting song for me was "In Spite of all the
Dangers," a Quarrymen song I never heard before that John
and Paul wrote when they were 16 and 17. It had a skiffle
country twang with delicious harmony.

The Pru was impressive, shiny and brand new with Seton
Hall NCAA banners hanging from the rafters. I sat in section
128, a comfortable seat with a good view. Most of the time
I watched him on the TV anyway.

Paul reminisced about Abbey Road and George Martin.
I never knew "Blackbird" was written to honor the U.S.
Civil Rights struggle. I was moved by "If You Were Here
Today," which related a conversation he imagined with John
after October 1980.

Paul did not disappoint. He was entertaining musically,
charming and sweet, not to mention still gorgeous. Walking
in, when I heard "Can't Buy Me Love," I was hooked. I even
sang along to Band on the Run tunes although I am not a
Wings fan. I find Wings songs catchy but forgettable.

During his new songs, the screen behind him showed slick
videos of pretty young girls in black miniskirts and off-theshoulder tops. Also on screen were photos of old Russia
during "Back in the USSR." He projected the words to his
new songs on the prompter so the audience could sing
along even though the songs were unfamiliar.

Paul wore a navy-blue military jacket with a sergeant stripe on
the sleeve and black jeans. He took off the jacket and wore
his white shirt during the rest of the show. He looked more fit
than ever, very thin actually, sporting his still impressive hair,
smiling with that familiar, adorable face and captivating the
audience with his Liverpool accent in between songs.

During "Something," loving images of George appeared.
No one was not singing. "Let it Be" played perfectly on
keyboard and had everyone swaying. This was followed by
serious pyrotechnics for "Live and Let Die." Fireworks, flames,
multiple explosions. Where was the Newark Fire Department?

Then, "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite," "I've Just Seen a Face"
and "I Saw Her Standing There." Paul threw in stories about
seeing Jimi Hendrix play Sgt. Pepper tunes two days after
the album was released and expressing true shock that it
was already 50 years old. "I Want To Be Your Man" was
apparently gifted to the Stones during a cab ride by the
Beatles in '67 when the Stones needed a single. Who knew?

With no break, the concert lasted over two hours; "Hey
Jude," a medley from Abbey Road, "Carry that Weight,"
"Polythene Pam." My personal favorite was "Sgt. Pepper's
Lonely-Hearts Club Band." Behind him on the screen, the
iconic figures from the infamous cover came to life and
danced about. Marilyn Monroe, Stan and Ollie and friends.

He rolled up his sleeves to croon about his "Joisey Gurl"
wife, Nancy, a lovely "My Valentine," with sincerity only
Paul can muster.

By this time, I had fallen in love all over again. I pictured
those Tiger magazines we surreptitiously passed around and
swooned over during recess in the parking lot of St. Peters
Grammar School in Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ. And along with
millions of fans throughout the world, I savored his talent,
the history we shared and his wonderful music. My recommendation is, if you have not, "Better See Paul." 

Paul laughingly revealed that when he sang on stage, he
could not help but be distracted by the clever audience
signs, reading a few out loud. "I saved for a year to buy
these tickets for my fiancé." Aww. "This is my 111th
29

FALL 2017



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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Spring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2017
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