Yesterday marked the 69th birthday of one of the greatest songwriters in history-Paul McCartney. For almost fifty years, the cute Beatle has maintained and polished his legacy with very few hiccups. Think about it, Paul’s least-liked period (critically) came at a point when he was enjoying a great deal of commercial success (post-Wings, early ’80s, “Ebony & Ivory”/”Say Say Say”). While he’s not selling records at the level that he was thirty years ago, his new albums routinely debut in the Top 5 and go Gold, and critics fall over themselves praising them. You won’t find many knowledgeable people knocking McCartney’s place in the pantheon.
Let’s face it, the man can sell out stadiums, appear with George Michael at the Super Bowl, write a classical oratorio, and still outcool Jay-Z (the definition of modern “cool”) at the Grammy Awards. Jay (wearing a smart outfit including a T-shirt featuring the same image of John Lennon that greets people who enter my apartment) is performing an already mashed-up version of his “Encore” with Linkin Park’s “Numb” (a collaboration that would win both acts a Grammy), when The Beatles’ “Yesterday” is added to the mix and Paul strolls out to deafening applause. Granted, Paul could’ve walked out, not sang a word, and still gotten a rapturous fanfare from the audience, but still.
Can you imagine what it must have felt like for Chester Bennington to share a stage with Paul McCartney? I would’ve wet myself. It must have been like Marcus Mumford felt, being able to sing along with Bob Dylan at this year’s ceremony.