We still love you, Sir Paul McCartney. Oh, we do!
Fans in New York and New Jersey (and from many other places) wrapped their arms around beloved adopted son Paul McCartney on Thursday night at Metlife Stadium with an organic, heartfelt “Happy Birthday” performance for the World Entertainment and Pop Culture icon.
Saturday, June 18, 2022, marks the 80th anniversary of McCartney – a fact known to 60,000 attendees without prompting.
The still-powerful “Cute Beetle” ended its 13-city “got back” tour of the United States, where the Beatles’ all-time endless love affair with the Beatles began almost 60 years ago in New York City.
As McCartney spoke halfway through the show between his tunes, the building erupted from the upper decks of the end-zone seats opposite the stage. At first it seemed like a kind of ruckus – a swelling, disorienting murmur heard when a fight broke out.
But this commotion is not a fight – it is an eruption of joy.
Generations of McCartney fans have been singing “Happy Birthday” to the songwriter for the past two days. The murmur spread quickly from the cheap seats and around the arena.
When he and the other Beatles conquered America in 1964, many of Sir Paul’s fans were no longer alive.
At the JFK International Airport, 19 miles east of Metlife Stadium, the Beatles flew to the US on February 7 of that year to suffocate screaming young fans.
More than 70 million Americans – about 40 percent of the total U.S. population – tuned in from the Midtown Manhattan two nights later to watch the band perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show”.
“We know what songs you like” – Paul McCartney
At one point that year the Beatles topped the top five on the American pop charts – an incomparable feat in music history.
America’s passion for The Beatles and their music has now surpassed two and three new generations.
At one point on Thursday’s Metlife ‘show, a couple and their three young children – probably not older than 8 or 9 years – danced happily while McCartney performed “Love Me Do”. Young children respond naturally to the sound of the Beatles, possibly having their grandparents in 1964.
“Love Me Do” was ranked 17th in the UK when it was first released in 1962. It topped the American charts in 1964.
Everything changed when the Beatles came to the United States, McCartney mentioned on the show.
“We know what kind of songs you like,” he told the audience. He says those songs are almost always Beatles classics.
He joked that girls in England could scream. But American girls have brought Beetle Mania to a whole new level. He invited the women in the audience to give him the distinctive Beatles scream – to which they reacted hostilely.
Bruce Springsteen The second part of the show featured McCartney performing “Glory Days” and “I Want to Be Your Man” – leading the Beatles to “Let It Be” and “Hey Jude”.
Springsteen’s fellow American rock icon and NJ native Joan Bon Jovi arrives on stage at the end of the show.
He offered Sir Paul official birthday wishes and released the balloons into the air.
But Metlife Stadium has already shown its love for Sir Paul on the occasion of his 80th birthday – without asking.