Hey Kid: A Beatle
I love The Beatles and the chance to see Paul McCartney LIVE in concert was too good to pass up. Below are my memories of the concert we attended in July of 2010. I hope you learn how significant Sir Paul and The Beatles are to music and music history. If you're not yet, you will be by the time I get done with you!
I'm too young to qualify as a Beatles fan. They made their first appearance in America in 1964, four years before I was born and the band broke up when I was 2. However, growing up with older brothers (10-14 years older) provided me with the opportunity to listen to their songs and other classic bands like the Beach Boys. The Beatles records were the first records I listened to... probably hand-me-downs from my brothers. As artists, they were always just historical figures to me... separate from the music I loved... until John Lennon was shot in 1980. I was 12 by then and well aware of what had taken place. When I saw the reaction of the nation, I realized then that America loved the artists as much as the music they created.
There are few things in life that stir emotions in me as effectively as music. My life has its own soundtrack. I have assigned particular songs to the milestones I've experienced and even have even thought out future tracks for the years to come. Music has been an integral part of every significant relationship I've ever had especially with my relationship with my children. From the time they were born, they were exposed to all different kinds of music. We spent so much time in the car when they were little, it was only natural to listen to music and to sing along as we went. I love all music... classic, country, rock, jazz it's all good but I have always been partial to music by the Beatles because of the stories they told.
My greatest memories of these songs are undoubtedly with my children. We would sing them over and over again... mostly in the car. The tunes were energetic and the words were clear. The songs were short and in no time at all, the kids knew them as well if not better than I did. We of course had our favorites, but we knew them all just from listen to them over and over again.
A couple of months ago, my cousin in Utah mentioned on Facebook that Paul McCartney was touring and that she would like to see him. Now I'm not a concert person by any means. I don't like the crowds or the loud music... but seeing Paul McCartney LIVE was on my "bucket list." I quickly dismissed the idea because of our schedule but not before mentioning to Leroy how cool it would be to go. Well, I should have known, my sweet husband would do anything to make me happy. When he looked into the schedule we saw that he was making only one appearance in California... at AT&T Park in San Francisco... which just happens to be my favorite city in the world. Could this really happen?
Sierra was home the day the tickets went on sale. She overheard us making plans and said she wanted to go too, so Leroy bought 3 tickets. (Steel opted out. When I asked him if he wanted to go with us to see Paul McCartney he said, "who?" But don't let him fool you. He knows all the songs too.) I started a countdown and to be honest, in the back of my mind... I didn't really think it was going to happen. I figured something would come up and we wouldn't be able to go... but we did!
It was a beautiful day in San Francisco with clear skies, so that means it was windy... but we didn't care. We left really early to spend some time at Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. We arrived at AT&T Park about 90 minutes before the concert was scheduled to start and found our seats. We were seated in section 319 - 2nd row from the very back... Way up on the top. Our view of the bay was magnificent...The brilliant white sailboats filled in the deep blue color of the bay water. Peeking behind us, through the wind shield, we had a spectacular view of the city as well. It was magical... and as I sat there taking it all in... I was struck by the moment. Here I was in my favorite city in the world... with 2 of my favorite people... about to see Sir Paul McCartney. How blessed I am. Not everyone gets an opportunity like this... to experience an event that has so much personal meaning.
Of course Leroy had to pee. (He's the worst. Can't take him anywhere.) We knew the concert was going to begin soon because they had started scrolling photos and video on the giant video screens on each side of the stage. Leroy debated and debated... and finally just decided to go and take a chance at missing the beginning. While he was gone. Sierra and I noticed a woman walking up the stairs in our direction. We were making fun of her '80's style ear phones until we realized she also had a mic so we decided she was an employee. She stopped and talked to a couple several rows away from us... pointed down to the floor and pulled a stack of tickets out of her pocket. The couple immediately grabbed all of their stuff and left. Sierra and I looked at each other in disbelief. Sierra asked if I would move if she offered them to us, and not thinking it was an option, I said... "Ah no, we're fine here." The lady started to come up and when she got to us she said, "Would any of you like to go down to the floor level?" We were in shock. The people behind me responded immediately and so she began to trade tickets with them. I told her "YES! We need 3 tickets" and she asked for mine. That's when I panicked. Leroy had the tickets with him and he was IN THE BATHROOM! I screamed at Sierra to quickly call him to get back while I stalled. I grabbed a hold of the lady's shirt tail and held on for dear life. She started trading with others around us and I begged her to wait until my husband returned. Fortunately (for him) Leroy was on his way back up the stairs. He could see the panic in my face and wondered what was going on. I just yelled at him to give me the tickets and I traded them. All he knew as we ran down the stairs was that we got "better seats" but he had no idea how much better."
We went from the 2nd to the last row to ROW 5!
We ran and ran... out of breath... and in a state of disbelief. We kept asking ourselves... "Did that really just happen?" Once we got down on the floor and caught our breath, we explained to Leroy what had just happened. Everyone around us had been moved down too and we just kept looking at each other like we couldn't believe where we were.
FINALLY - an hour after it was scheduled to start, Sir Paul McCartney took the stage.
It's very difficult to put into words the rush of emotions that went through me. He started off by singing two quiet, lesser known songs... but the moment that he started "Jet" and then went right into "All My Lovin" I knew this experience was going to be everything I had hoped it would be. That's when the tears started to flow. I was trying very hard not to make a fool of myself, so I kept the sobbing at bay... but the tears came. The three of us just kept looking at each other like we couldn't believe it was happening... Checking in for confirmation that this was real... not just a dream.
Sir Paul McCartney sang 40 songs... in 3 hours. The man never stopped. It was an extraordinary show... with exceptional music but what I will remember most was the way it made me feel.