"Paul McCartney is coming to play in Boston," a friend told me a few weeks ago. Well, let me be frank: My idea of a good time is not going to a rock concert. I’ve just turned 60 and my concert thoughts tend to revolve around the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a stodgier crowd. But Paul McCartney, after all—and playing not in a giant indoor arena but in fabled Fenway Park, the home of the Red Sox. Well, I melted at the thought. The “cute” Beatle…and Fenway Park…I LOVE Fenway Park….so I thought, why not go and see what happens? So two nights ago, we went. It turned out to be a gorgeous evening and as we arrived the sky was streaked with the setting sun. A large stage had been set up in center field close to “The Green Monster,” Fenway’s famous left-field wall. I looked at the crowd. There were plenty of baby boomers around, but also younger people and parents with children. Paul McCartney came out with his band and started playing.
It’s loud. It’s pulsating. It’s The Beatles Amplified. And it’s a Hoot!
He and the band played for over two and a half hours … and he’s 67 years old! He played new songs and Wings songs and other songs from the past and they were fine…but whenever he played a Beatles tune the crowd became hysterical with happiness. I yelled to my friend, “It’s the music of our lives!” as I flashed back to the Beatles’ appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was a Sunday night in February 1964, and watching them, I smiled, really smiled, for the first time since the Kennedy assassination a few months before. Their songs that night threw life back into us and today they make us feel wonderful again. "The Long and Winding Road," "Back in the USSR," "Hey, Jude," "Let It Be"….and what is it about thousands of people chanting “Give Peace a Chance” that reminds us boomers of the fervor and the anguish of our youth? And what did the music mean to the younger people there? It’s been played all of their lives too, even though they don’t remember the Moptops or the Maharishi or The Breakup. Paul quietly sings one of my favorites, “Blackbird singing in the dead of night, all your life/you were only waiting for this moment to be free.” My friend was screaming “I love you, Paul!” just as she did 40 years ago. I didn’t scream. But like the blackbird, I loved the moment.