For Whom The Bell Tells...Issue 10
The Titanic Presence Of A True Rock God...
Another run of shows, another flood of staggering reviews as Paul continues to wow the world's critics with the Up and Coming Tour. Just when we think there can't possibly be another way to sum up how amazing the Macca live experience is, along comes another reviewer bowled over by the concert and bursting with praise even more enthusiastically than the last. Looks like Paul just has that effect on people.
This month, one very satisfied critic in Nashville was even moved to comment on the titanic presence of a true rock god after seeing him in action. We'll definitely have to remember that one. Here in the newsroom we've now read literally thousands of amazing live reviews of our man and his band and we're convinced that no other artist in the world constantly receives such mind-boggling write ups. It's one thing leaving the audience spellbound but to consistently move the press to feel this way too is not easy. Critics are notoriously difficult to impress, yet Paul manages to win them over time after time and it's the best possible testament to how great the live experience is. It's simply unprecedented. With a little help from Wix, Abe, Rusty and Brian, Paul never fails to do the business.
Leading music website Nashville Scene agreed, leading their review with the nifty headline, 'Macca Book Pro'. They went on to declare: From musicality to sheer spectacle to momentous, life affirming jubilation, Paul McCartney's debut at Bridgestone Arena on Monday night (26th July) was an all out master class in rock n' roll showmanship. The review concluded by simply saying, what a f++king experience! Which is pretty much what all the crew say to each other after every show!
The Charlotte Observer, on the other hand, told the story of one 28-year-old fan in the audience, who first saw Paul‚s live show when she was 11 and was returning this month for her second Macca experience. After the concert she told the paper it was, "Absolutely amazing. My advice is to start saving for the next time he tours. Go and see him. No matter the price. We can‚t argue with advice like that.
Another fan in Nashville was equally starstruck when she had a night to remember at the Bridgestone Arena. Sarah Furlow, 27, already had a tattoo of Paul's Hofner bass on her back when she went to the show and decided to hold up a message during the performance asking the man himself to sign it. She couldn't believe her luck when Paul finished Yesterday‚ and promptly called up her on stage so he could autograph his name under the Hofner. She was so chuffed, in fact, she had the signature tattooed on permanently the next day. Now that's dedication! It's the most amazing thing that's every happened to me, she told our good friend, blogger Steve Marinucci. Certainly as souvenirs go, it doesn't get much better and hearing stories like that really makes us smile. It reminds us all how lucky we are to be part of a tour that evidently brings so much happiness and joy to concert goers all over the world. The feedback we constantly get after each show is truly unique. No two stories or experiences are the same and it never fails to amaze us to see the devotion and enthusiasm Paul inspires in people. It's no wonder he always says he has the best fans in the world.
A Knight To Remember‚
Last week the focus returned to one particularly high profile (to put it mildly!) Macca fan on the 28th July when PBS broadcast Paul's recent show at the White House as part of its In Performance at the White House series. As if we need we to tell you again but in June, Paul had played one of his most memorable gigs yet in the East Room of the President's home after being awarded the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. In front of a crowd including Dave Grohl, Elvis Costello, The Jonas Brothers, Jack White and Barack Obama himself of course, Paul sang 'Michelle' to the First Lady, performed 'ÄòEbony and Ivory' live with Stevie Wonder for the first time and even led a star-studded sing-a-long of 'Hey Jude' with the Obama family joining him on stage. As if the gig itself wasn't extraordinary enough, the coverage of the concert on television was simply mind-blowing. The show was previewed and featured as Pick of the Week in papers across the board including Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Enquirer, The San Francisco Chronicle and New York Daily. The prestigious USA Today even declared, The affection is well earned and the cultural impact indisputable. So please allow your children, parents or grandparents, whatever the case may be, to bop along in peace.
As if that wasn't enough, the statistics for the news coverage of the White House show first time around reached us this month and absolutely blew us all away. When you work for Macca, you almost get used to the sheer staggering scale of most facts and figures, we've had blackberry's break under the sheer strain of Macca Google News Alerts in the past. But this was something else. Seems like the combination of the biggest rock star on the planet with the most powerful man on earth proved particularly irresistible. On the 3rd June alone, over 1400 news articles were produced about the event with an estimated 30 million readers in the US alone! And yes, you did read that right. CNN and all local news affiliates reported on the night with all major breakfast shows following up and full news packages running online at ABC News, PBS News Hour, NBC News and Voice Of America. All the major news outlets featured video footage on their websites, as did other major websites including Rolling Stone, Spin Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and E! News, who featured it both online and on TV as well as on their news bulletins throughout the following day for international broadcast. Phew.
And that wasn't all. Quotes from Paul on the day also featured on ABC News and were picked up by the likes of MNBC, Chicago Sun-Times, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Detroit Free Press, The Sacramento Bee, Examiner and the Washington Post's Express. But the news wasn't just confined to the US. Globally Paul and the President appeared on countless covers of national newspapers and dominated the evening TV news. News stories featuring quotes from Paul's press conference also ran on all major news outlet websites with the most popular quotes being those where Paul talked about chatting to the President about being a dad and serenading the First Lady. The backstage video made by The Jonas Brothers about their Paul experience was also a sensational online smash hit, featuring on countless websites and championed by uber blogger Perez Hilton. Seems like every news outlet and social networking site on the planet whatever their usual focus, target audience or style wanted to know more about this incredible gig.
Paul himself, of course, took the whole thing in his stride (although we know he was impressed), commenting afterwards that, It was such a nice, friendly atmosphere. It was almost like a little family gathering. So I felt free to say anything I wanted to, just like he was a cousin, like a family wedding or something, just goofy stuff. We found his whole family very relaxing to be with, and I think he found us, hopefully, the same way. Paul was certainly impressed by the President too, albeit not in the way you might imagine, telling us At the very end, President Obama leaves the stage and he shook hands with my longtime associate, my guitar roadie John Hammel. John was quite taken aback. The president said, "That was fun, wasn't it? Thank you." But then the thing that I thought was amazing was he then reached over to our keyboard technician who was a little out of the way, and he didn't need to do that. He reached over to this guy D.J. who is a big admirer of Obama's and he took his hand and he said, "Thank you, thank you." I was blown away. For me, the fact that he reached out to my crew was very heartwarming. It takes a great man to do that. In this business, some people are just jerks.
Still buzzing from an incredible few weeks, Paul's thoughts have now turned to the next stop on the Up and Coming Tour and as I write, we're all about to pack up and head to Canada. The greatest show on earth rolls into Toronto on Sunday - almost five years since Paul's last show there in October 2005 and after a second date in the city next week, heads on to Montreal. Our records also indicate that the show in Toronto on Sunday night (8th of August) will be Paul's 10th live appearance in Canada to date. I'll let you know how it goes in the next installment but we are already excited about what might be in store. Last time Paul played Toronto, he performed a rare rendition of Mull of Kintyre' to honour Canada's strong links with Scotland. Several of the country's towns, rivers and mountains are named after Scottish explorers and traders who moved to Canada to make their fortune and the two countries are still proud of their close connection. As Paul played Mull of Kintyre' just over a month in Glasgow, the band would certainly be rehearsed and ready to play it again if they get the word from the man himself. We'll keep you posted.
Speaking of which, you may have read some speculation on the internet recently about Paul appearing in the wildly popular Glee. The truth is there have been some conversations between the producers and Paul's office MPL so it's definitely a case of watching this space.
Finally, the newsroom were thrilled to hear this month that a friend of Paul has become the latest high-profile convert to vegetarianism. After Paul played bass on Travis frontman Fran Healy's forthcoming solo album, Fran was so bowled over he repaid the favour in the best way possible and has become a vegetarian. Nice one Fran, it must have been after he sampled our catering when he came to the show in Berlin last December.
Onwards to Canada!