Still Buzzing on LA

Still Buzzing on LA

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"We're all still buzzing on the few days we spent in Los
Angeles. We packed so much in and all of it was good quality stuff.

The day after I arrived in LA, I began rehearsals, with my
band, for our appearances later in the week. Then, after a short drive
across town, I went into rehearsals at the famous Capitol Recording
Studios, with Diana Krall and her band, for the shows that were coming
up later that week. It was great to get back with my guys and, as
usual, we kicked around a lot of songs for the fun of it and
eventually concentrated on the songs we knew that we were due to be
performing. At that time, we had Magical Mystery Tour and Junior's
Farm selected for the MusiCares show, which is an event that happens
each year where somebody (it was me this year!) is designated
MusiCares Person of the Year. We also concentrated on 1985 and Golden
Slumbers which we would close the show with.

Later in the afternoon, over at Capitol A Studio, Tommy Lipuma
and I selected a programme of songs that would be our set list for the
iTunes streaming event, where we would play live in the studio before
an invited audience and cameras would relay the show around the world
via the internet.

At the same time as all this, I was able to enjoy some good leisure
time with the Mrs. On Thursday afternoon I was also being honoured
with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which was particularly nice
because the other three Beatles already had theirs there. Mine was
next to them and would complete the foursome. Interestingly enough,
the four of us are right next to Buddy Holly, who was a great
influence on us when we started the band.

On hand to introduce me was the ever-great Neil Young, who followed
the introductions made by Hollywood council members with his own
inimitable intro. Neil was due to play at the MusiCares event. The
format of the show has special guest artists performing the songs of
the Person of the Year in their own style and I had heard that Neil
was due to do All My Loving.

I was intrigued to hear his arrangement of that song but, at the
Walk of Fame do, he told me that they had tried it but thought it was
too hard and, as it didn't sound good, they decided to do I Saw Her
Standing There instead. During conversation, I happened to mention to
him a fond memory of mine, which was that the original lyrics had been
"She was just 17, Never been a beauty queen", which John and
I winced at and changed to "You know what I mean", and we
laughed about this. Neil's intro was great and the crowd gave great
feedback during the whole ceremony.

After that, we went into Capitol Studios and got ready for the
iTunes stream. During the recording of Kisses On The Bottom, it had
been such fun working with great musicians like Diana and her band and
now, for this event, we were being joined by my friend, Joe Walsh, who
had agreed to play Eric Clapton's part on My Valentine and Get
Yourself Another Fool because Eric was on holiday with his family at
the time, and couldn't do it.

The event was really exciting, if a little nerve-wracking, but the
atmosphere in the studio was super cool and all of us really enjoyed
ourselves, as those of you who saw the streaming may have picked up!
The show was also being made into a longer programme using interviews
and B-roll footage and different camera angles so I'm looking forward
to seeing that.

The next night was Friday and the night of the MusiCares Person of
the Year event. We were all excited about being at rehearsals and
seeing the other acts rehearse their own contributions. Cirque de
Soleil did an amazing opening segment and, after rehearsing our own
songs, we decided it would be a good idea to extend the end of Golden
Slumbers to include Joe Walsh. This led to the thought that Dave Grohl
of the Foo Fighters, who was also on the show, may like to join in. So
now there was me, Rusty, Brian, Joe and Dave lined up for the end
guitar jam. The show was fantastic, with a number of great acts
appearing, and I was quite overwhelmed hearing my songs done by these
great artists and, at the same time, being honoured by this great
charity, MusiCares. The artists include Foo Fighters, Tony Bennett,
Coldplay, Norah Jones, James Taylor, Diana Krall, Duane Eddie, Alison
Krauss (whose version of No More Lonely Nights blew our minds) and
Neil Young (as mentioned before, Neil played I Saw Her Standing There
but, after our brief conversation about the song, he decided,
cheekily, to go back to the old original lyrics that John and I
altered so, for probably the only time ever, the song began, "She
was just 17, Never been a beauty queen!")

Next day we had a day off so, even though we were packing the work
in, there was a chance to catch our breath before The Grammy's. All we
had to do on the Saturday was a quick rehearsal for the following day
at the Staples Center, where the show would take place. Again, it was
a great show to be on. This year had a particularly good line up of
performers, some of whom we would get a chance to watch rehearsing.
They included Adele, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Foo Fighters,
Glen Campbell, Coldplay, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and The Beach Boys!

I was due to do My Valentine with Diana, and her band, and Joe
on lead guitar and then we were scheduled to close the show and I had
suggested 1985 as a closer but, at rehearsals that evening, Abe and my
Manager, Scott, had been talking about things and, when Abe realised
that we were closing the whole show, he put forward the suggestion
that it would be better to have a number like Golden Slumbers to close
with. Nancy mentioned this later in the car and I immediately rang
everyone and said this was a much better idea than mine and we should
go ahead with it. The producer, Ken Erhlich, had been too polite to
tell me he didn't think 1985 would be the ideal closing song so, when
he heard we were changing it to Golden Slumbers and the guitar jam, he
was overjoyed.

As Bruce Springsteen was opening the Grammy's this year, with
his band, it seemed like a good idea to ask him if he would like to be
part of the guitar jam which we would close the whole show with. Even
though it came at such short notice, Bruce agreed to do it so we now
had me, Rusty, Brian, Joe, Dave and Bruce in our heroic line-up.

The show went great and had higher ratings than ever before
which everyone was pleased about and we had a great night out doing
first My Valentine and then Golden Slumbers to close the show and, in
between, getting a chance to watch many of the performances by the
many great artists on the bill. So now you see why we're still buzzing
with memories of our trip to LA (and I didn't even get to mention the
aftershow party!)"


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