Paul Celebrates 50th London Show and 'Yesterday' Anniversary

6 March 2015

Paul McCartney’s first UK show in three years marks the 50th anniversary of the writing of one the world’s most popular songs ‘Yesterday’ and will be Paul’s 50th solo performance in London

Saturday May 23rd – The O2, London

Paul McCartney, currently enjoying global chart success with ‘FourFiveSeconds’, a collaboration with Kanye West and Rihanna, announces plans to bring his ‘Out There’ tour to Europe in 2015 for his first full concert in the UK in over three years. The O2 show will coincide with the 50th anniversary of one of the world’s most loved and most popular songs of all time, ‘Yesterday’.

Although the exact writing dates remain uncertain, it will be 50 years this May since Paul finished writing his classic anthem ‘Yesterday’, a cross generational song that continues to stand the test of time. He is first said to have composed the melody in a dream whilst living at Jane Asher’s family home in Wimpole Street, London. Famously, the working title of the song remained as ‘Scrambled Eggs’ for some time afterwards while Paul worked out the exact lyrics. In late May 1965, he finally completed the ‘Yesterday’ we all know and love today during a long drive on holiday in Portugal.

Paul then began recording the track at Abbey Road on June 14th 1965 and it later appeared on The Beatles’ fifth studio album ‘Help!’ The rest is musical history. Although originally not released as a single in the UK, ‘Yesterday’ went on to top the charts across the world including reaching the Number 1 spot on the US Billboard Hot 100.

The song went on to win countless awards including the Ivor Novello Award for ‘Outstanding Song of 1965’. ‘Yesterday’ was also voted the ‘Best Song of the 20th Century’ in a Radio 2 poll in 1999 and was the third most played song on US radio in the 20th century. Guinness World Records has even declared it to be the most covered song ever written, with over 2,200 versions of the song having been recorded around the world by 2013. Even Paul’s very own hero, Chuck Berry, has said ‘Yesterday’ is the one song he wishes he had written himself.

Speaking about the anniversary, Paul said,

"I’m often never aware of these anniversaries until someone points it out. People always say to me ‘hey, did you know it was 30 years since this and 30 years since that’, so it’s impossible to stay on top of it all. But I never need an excuse to celebrate so it’s always nice to hear! For me it’s a happy coincidence that The O2 show falls at this time. It’s great that people all over the world reacted so well to the song, it’s all you can hope for!  It feels like it has taken on a life of its own over the years.  The song still is and always has been an important part of our live show.  It’s always very emotional for me to hear crowds singing it so loudly at my concerts and I’m looking forward to singing it along with the audience at the O2 in May.__"

The concert at The O2 Arena also marks another special career moment for Paul as it will be his 50th solo performance in the UK’s capital since appearing at Live Aid in 1985.  Since then, Paul has performed in a number of London’s most iconic venues and locations including the 100 Club, Royal Albert Hall, Earl’s Court, Electric Ballroom, ICA, Roundhouse, Battersea Power Station, Hyde Park, the Olympic Stadium and of course, Buckingham Palace. His most recent London performance was in 2013 when he played a pop-up show in Covent Garden’s Piazza.

It is also fitting that Paul celebrates his 50th London solo performance at The O2. As well as playing there twice previously in 2009 and 2011, Paul used the Millennium Dome (as it was then known) as a rehearsal space in 2004 for his massive stadium ’04 Summer Tour’ which ended with Paul’s headlining performance at Glastonbury, widely agreed to be one of the festival’s greatest moments ever.

Now 18 months since it began, Paul’s incredible ‘Out There’ tour has already been seen by almost two million people around the world. So far, this tour has seen Paul and his band perform a total of 64 shows in 12 different countries in venues of all different shapes and sizes. Before the tour reaches Europe in May, Paul is also set to play shows in Japan and South Korea.

The 'Out There' tour features music from one of the best loved catalogues in popular music. Paul will perform songs that span his entire career - as a solo artist, member of Wings and of course as a Beatle.  The McCartney live experience is a once in a lifetime moment all music fans should experience. The three hour concert includes some of the greatest moments from the last 50 years in music, many of which have shaped the very soundtrack of our lives.

2015 got off to a flying start for Paul with the release of new collaborations with Kanye West and Rihanna as well as a performance together at the Grammys. A couple of weeks later and Paul performed a surprise intimate Valentine’s Day gig at New York’s Irving Plaza, which became the city’s hottest ticket. On the same weekend Paul appeared and played on Saturday Night Live’s 40th Anniversary prime time special (not to mention a massive all-star jam at the show’s special after party).