Sir Paul McCartney is embarking on one of his last tours around the world and he’s picked Columbus, Ohio as one of his few stops in North America. Tickets go on sale to the general public Monday, August 31.
My immediate reaction was to pay whatever to see this show. This is my last chance to see a Beatle.
But after a few minutes, my mood changed. Why would I pay good money to see him play songs I have heard over and over again on my record player, tape, CD, or iPod? I recently watched Paul crash & burn during the SNL 40th anniversary show and this made me wonder if his Columbus show would be everything I would want it to be.
I know Sir Paul is a Beatle and has a vast amount of experience, wisdom, and gut instinct when it comes to live performance, but he’s getting up there in age. Comparing him to his peers, he’s really like 150 in rock star years. This may be the last time any of us will get to see him. And I’d like it to be more spectacular than anyone’s ever imagined.
So what would it take for me to put down my hard-earned money to see Sir Paul at Nationwide Arena? The perfect set list (clear and free of anything post-Wings) and the perfect band to back him up.
Here’s a dream set list of all the Beatles and Wings songs I’d love to hear… in the perfect order… and even a few covers.
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
A Hard Day's Night
Back In The U.S.S.R.
Satisfaction (The Rolling Stones)
Live And Let Die (Wings)
We Can Work It Out
I'll Follow The Sun
When I'm Sixty-Four
Here, There And Everywhere / My Love (Wings)
One (Three Dog Night)
Good Day Sunshine
She Loves You
All My Loving
Silly Love Songs (Wings)
Can't Buy Me Love
I Saw Her Standing There
Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen)
Got To Get You Into My Life
With A Little Luck (Wings)
(Break - Close)
Yellow Submarine – (Ringo)
The Long And Winding Road
Band On The Run
Imagine (Tribute to John)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Tribute to George)
Why Don't We Do It In The Road
Carry That Weight
Let It Be
I know I threw in a few weird covers. A cover of "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones makes perfect sense. But "One" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love?" After listening to those songs many times in my life, Paul’s voice would sound amazing on a McCartneyesque version of Three Dog Night’s "One." And his casual baritone phrasing would make "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" ten times better than the Freddie Mercury version.
And think about how Paul could totally blow everyone’s mind when he comes back to the encore with a piano riff of "Imagine" and simply saying, “This is for John.” And then following it up with George’s "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." It would be one of the most poignant moments ever in rock n roll history.
This spectacular set list needs a band that can step up to the task. Paul needs more than just session players, he needs the best. Any one of these guys are stars in their own right and have filled stadiums across the world, but each would leap at the chance to play with Sir Paul McCartney
Lead Guitar – Eric Clapton
There’s only one person in the world who could fill George Harrison’s shoes and that’s Clapton. First, it’s well known that he played on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." But Eric could also shine on songs like "Blackbird," "Back in The U.S.S.R," "Day Tripper," "Oh! Darling," and all the older Beatles songs. Everyone knows Eric’s connection to Columbus (his wife is from here), which is why Paul may have picked it as one of his stops.
Rhythm Guitar – Izzy Stradlin
You need a guy who knows how to play rhythm and not another lead guitarist. The rhythm guitarist from Guns 'n' Roses should fill Lennon’s shoes. John was a tremendous player to George’s lead which is what Izzy was to Slash. Izzy is widely respected in the guitar world for being one of the best rock rhythm guitarists alive with amazing feel and groove. He can nail songs like "Paperback Writer," "Eleanor Rigby," "Band on The Run," and add hardness to songs like "Live and Let Die," and "I Saw Her Standing There." And seriously, imagine him on "Helter Skelter."
Piano and Keyboards - Paul Shaffer
There is no keyboardist alive with the diverse range of Paul Schaffer. This set list calls for someone that can groove out the clean, classical sound of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," then go right into the power synths of "Live and Let Die."; someone who can add deep emotion to "Hey Jude," "The Long And Winding Road" and "Let It Be,"; someone who can then rock out "Lady Madonna" and "Good Day Sunshine." Plus, Paul can lead the band. That’s what he did for The Blues Brothers, Saturday Night Live, and The Letterman Show. There’s no short list here – there’s only one name and that’s Paul Shaffer’s. Paul doesn’t have much going on now since his Letterman gig is over and I’m sure he’ll do it for just the chance to get stoned with McCartney.
Drums – Dave Grohl
Dave says his entry into music was the Beatles and his reference to everything musical. His respect for Ringo runs deep. (His words, not mine. Take a listen here.) He can lay down the backbeats of "Penny Lane," "Get Back," "Can’t Buy Me Love," "Got To Get You Into My Life," and just kill it on "Day Tripper," "Live And Let Die," "Eleanor Rigby," "Hard Day's Night," and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
That's my wish and I doubt it will ever come true. But I'll still be going to the show in Columbus in the event any of it actually happens. If I can get a ticket before it sells out.
Wal Ozello is Music and Lifestyle contributor at pencilstorm.com. When he's not blogging about rock n roll or supporting others, he's writing science fiction novels. His suspense filled time-travel books, Assignment 1989, Revolution 1990, and Sacrifice 2086 can be found at Amazon.com.