1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
As we go to press, Paul and the band are departing for Australia and New Zealand at the start of their New World Tour. Along with the release of the superb Off The Ground album, the tour provides for most of our content in this Spring issue.
Pre-tour fever has been intense for some considerable time now, heightened not only by the usual quantities of rumour and speculation but by Paul and the band's greatly increased media exposure when out promoting the album. They popped up on several radio and TV shows in a number of countries, including the BBC's Top Of The Pops twice.
The first testing-of-the-waters for the new stage show was a very impressive Friday-night "open rehearsal" concert at the London Arena, in the Docklands area of town, on 5 February, concluding three weeks of private rehearsal at the venue. An audience of about 3000 including a large contingent from the Fun Club -was admitted free to watch what was billed, quite simply, as "a small segment of the forthcoming show". It was certainly rousing stuff, with Paul and the band playing for a straight hour and a half, and thrilling the audience with marvellous renditions of many classic Beatles and Wings numbers and tracks from Off The Ground.
The performance enabled the band to fine-tune the show before the tour proper begins. It was also something of a teaser for the British audience, who will have to wait a few more months before the tour heads into the home straight!
The final warm-ups for the tour then took place on mainland Europe: in Milan on 18/19 February, and in Frankfurt on 22/23 February. Judging from the rapturous reception the band received, a hugely successful show has hit the road. Watch out world!
Our friends in America also had a chance to see the McCartneys in the first weeks of the year. The fabulous Up Close television special aired for the first time on MTV on 3 February, and was extremely well received. Filmed in December, it showed Paul and the band in special live performance at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City, the former CBS studios where the Beatles made their famous debut live appearance on American television 29 years ago.
Ten days after the MTV broadcast, Paul and the band could be seen again on American TV screens, making their musical debut on the revue show Saturday Night Live, broadcast direct from the NBC studios at Rockefeller Center on Manhattan. As well as playing a short set, Paul and Linda participated in a couple of comedy sketches. Sandwich regulars may recall a pic of Paul and Linda from the last time they appeared on Saturday Night Live, when they were dressed in their night-clothes! (It's in issue 22.)
Although Paul has had to focus his mind completely on the tour these past months, it's worth remembering that McCartney music of different type can be heard at performances of his Liverpool Oratorio, which continues to spread to new territories. The inclusion of the New World Tour itinerary later in this issue (remember - it was correct when we went to press!) means that there's no room for the usual "Coming Up. . . " box this time, detailing Oratorio productions, so here now are the details of Spring performances: Sandefjord, Norway (20 March); Hanley, England (24 March); Larvik, Norway (27 March); Carmel, Indianapolis, USA (2 May); St Joseph, Minnesota, USA (2 May); Prague, Czechoslovakia (14 May); Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada (15 May); Fresno, California, USA (15-16 May); Toledo, USA (23 May); Cleveland, Ohio, USA (28 May); Cracow, Poland (30 June).
Everyone here at MPL hopes that you're pleased with all of the "bonus" tracks coming out on the new singles. Paul's continual desire to give fans value for money means that he's issued 19 new tracks in recent weeks - 13 on the album and three more on each of the two singles so far, 'Hope Of Deliverance' and 'C'mon People'. There's more to come, too, and of course there's also the two 'Deliverance' dance mixes which had the ravers raving in night clubs across the world.
Before I sign off, congratulations are due to Fun Club members Genie Benson of Redmond, Washington, USA; Keith Biebl of Madison, Wisconsin, USA; and Keith Roffey of Milton Keynes, England, each of
whom won a copy of the exclusive MPL Treasury Of Songs sampler CD in the competition in issue 64.
Enjoy the concerts. We'll be back in the summer with lots of pix and more tour info.
'til next time