To Sir Paul With Love
Baby, I was amazed — because the only disappointing moment in one of the greatest musical performances I have ever seen was that Sir Paul didn’t sing those lyrics last Saturday night at Piedmont Park.
Maybe I was amazed that Sir Paul had the energy of a teenager. Maybe it was because he looked twenty years younger than his 67 years, even through my binoculars. But mostly, I was amazed by the voice.
The voice that I grew up with was still there — one that can tear your heart out when he is singing a gorgeous ballad like “My Love.” (He didn’t have to tell us he wrote it for his beloved late wife Linda, but he did, and then dedicated it to lovers everywhere). Those of us who’d had our own long and winding roads with a mate sang along, and yes, wept a little, knowing how far we’d traveled, often with Paul as our soundtrack.
Then there was the rocker’s voice. He used it just as amazingly throughout the night beginning with the opening number “Drive My Car,” which signaled we were in for something special. His distinctive bluesy vocal power rocked us with one signature song after another from “Band on The Run” to one of my personal favorites, “Back in the USSR” from The White Album.
Then during the evocative strains of “Eleanor Rigby,” the rain exploded with a mighty crash. But even as we stood there in the pouring rain (very strange, most of us didn’t have a mac) we were mesmerized.
We were here, there and everywhere we’ve ever been since hearing that voice.
The first time, I was eight. I listened to “I Saw Her Standing There” at a friend’s house while looking at the album “Introducing the Beatles” (owned by her older brother). I gazed at that cute impish face of Paul’s and it was love at first sight.
Like all of my generation, there is a memory connected to every song I ever heard him sing since. But I must admit that I have also gone through my John phases. As I matured and became one of those obnoxious pseudo-intellectual college kids discoursing about the meaning of existentialism into the wee hours, I was totally John.
But then came 1976 and the release of “Band on the Run.” I was a Paul-girl all over again. Years have passed, and I have certainly flirted with John now and then, but deep down there still beats the heart of that eight year-old who first fell in love with Paul.
Now, here I was at fifty-something standing 100 feet away from this person who I have spent most of my life with (he just didn’t know it). He hoped we were having fun. We were. And, the way he looked was way beyond compare.
With many other middle-aged girls who had mascara dripping down our faces and hair matted to our heads, I screamed “I love you Paul” and meant it. I love how your songs make me feel. I love the memories they evoke. I love how you loved Linda and got rid of that trashy gold-digger Heather. I love that you can still fall in love (he’s now dating a woman about my age). I love the hope your songs have brought me when I’ve found myself in times of trouble.
But most of all, I love the fact that last Saturday night at Piedmont Park, the years fell away. He was just a lad from Liverpool and I was just seventeen (you know what I mean).