El Niño, Downtown Los Angeles 1966 - age 3.

El Niño, Downtown Los Angeles 1966 - age 3.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"I must see a Beatle" - Paul at the Hollywood Bowl

Paul McCartney at the Hollywood Bowl, March 30, 2010

back of photo reads "Hannah Miller, Hollywood Bowl Nov, 1948"

When I was 6 years old, the night before a planned trip to Disneyland I would never sleep. I would be up at 5am ready to go while my parents would still be in bed hours away from a departure time to Anaheim. Well into my forties now, I had that same feeling awaiting to see Paul McCartney at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday Night. I still get up at 5am as part of my daily ritual of getting ready for work, dog walking and catching public transportation to my job. As an adult in the working world I found the day to go by quickly and at 4:30pm my journey to the Bowl commenced. Arriving promptly at Hollywood and Highland at 7pm via the Red Line and making the short walk up to the Bowl, I was finally seated at 7:30ish despite “Beatle, People, Scalper and Traffic Mania” at the front gate. As a side commentary, if one is a young and/or able bodied person and needs a shuttle to go from Hollywood and Highland to the Bowl, then I would really hate to see what your bathroom looks like.
The show started at 8:30 rather than the 7:30 ticket time which is now very common for a concert in the congested City of the Angeles. With his longish hair, Paul looked like the vintage 1974 Wings Paul, very incredible for a 67 year old rock icon. The show did not disappoint, with Paul digging into his extensive Beatles, Wings and solo catalogue for a rich two hour plus show. Highlights included paying tribute to those no longer with him; Linda McCartney (My Love), George Harrison (Something), John Lennon (Give Peace a Chance) and an instrumental version of Hendrix’s Foxy Lady paying tribute to his late friend, as Paul jammed on the familiar riff using his Lefty Les Paul. I have never seen Paul before but I have seen Bruce Springsteen many times, and Paul shared candid stories before many of his songs much like Bruce does. Stories included how Jimi Hendrix was playing Sgt. Peppers live at his own shows just two days after the Beatles released it, how the elements of Blackbird were written in a touching story with George, never being able to say the things he wanted to say to John with Here Today, bringing out the original guitar he used to record Paperback Writer and of course how the Fab Four played the Bowl back in 1965. Sharing the stage with him were four incredible musicians, Rusty Anderson, Brian Ray, Abe Laboreil Jr and Paul Wickens and they ruled the stage climaxed by a pyrotechnics display during Live and Let Die. My favorites of the evening were Blackbird, All My Loving, Jet, Something (with Paul on a Gibson Ukulele, a gift from George) and I Got A Feeling from Let it Be, where they rocked the house with Paul on the Lefty Gibson once again. Although everyone expected him to be there, Ringo Starr was not in the house.
The encore included, Day Tripper, Lady Madonna, Get Back, Yesterday, Helter Skelter and Sgt. Peppers with all 5 musicians looking as if they could play into the morning hours. “I must see a Beatle” as my friend Mike L recently put it and now I have finally seen one. If you want to experience this you must hurry though, as time and our choices (only 2 left) are running out. Paul plays again tonight at the Hollywood Bowl, don’t miss it. Thanks Paul for an incredible and memorable evening.

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