Sunday, August 16, 2009

Evenings With Sir Paul

I'm having a very strange sensation today.

It feels kind of like Paul McCartney Week to me.

Well, by proxy.

Tomorrow night, McCartney will be playing in Tulsa, Okla., which is about 100 miles or so from where I went to college. I know someone who will be there. We went to college together. He's back in the area now, and he will be attending the show with his 10–year–old son. He e–mailed me about it recently and told me it will be his son's first rock 'n' roll show.

That's the kind of thing that makes me envious of my friends who found someone to share their lives with. The ones who have sons also get to experience these father–son moments — a first ballgame or a first rock concert, whatever shape the coming–of–age ritual may take.

(For instance, a guy I knew in school has established a personal tradition. When each of his sons has reached a certain age, the two of them go on father–son camping/fishing trips in the Canadian wilderness. It sounds like fun, but it isn't quite the same thing as spending an evening with Sir Paul.)

I've never met my friend's son. But I've been to ballgames with his father, and I've been to concerts with his father. In fact, I remember that, within a relatively short period, he and I went to concerts by REM and Eric Clapton and we went to a major college football game. I had a blast each time. I know his son will, too.

Imagine ... seeing Paul McCartney in your first concert. I think Three Dog Night performed at my first concert.

For that matter, the only Beatle I have ever seen in person was Ringo with his All–Starr Band. Now, Ringo is a Hall of Famer because he was with the Beatles, but he isn't a legend on his own like Paul McCartney.

I hope that young man appreciates the fact that he will be seeing a legend. I was about his age when I saw Three Dog Night. It was an enjoyable show, but it took me several years — and many concerts headlined by B–list entertainers — to work my way up to genuine legends.

So I have to wonder — what's next when your first concert experience is Paul McCartney? Where do you go from there?

Then, on Wednesday night, McCartney will be here in Dallas. I won't be going to that show, either, but my pastor will.

I don't know if he has ever seen McCartney before. But if this is his first time, I hope he enjoys the show. I'm sure he will. From what I have heard, McCartney puts on quite a performance.

I suspect that my pastor will get more from the show than an evening's entertainment — although I have no doubt McCartney will deliver. My pastor's a musician himself, and he plays with a band that participates in many charitable fundraisers locally. I've never been to a concert with him, but I know, as a writer, that I am influenced, both consciously and subconsciously, by things I read.

My guess is that it works the same way with musicians. On a conscious level, my pastor will enjoy listening to Sir Paul. He may even feel moved to sing along with him. And, on a subconscious level, he may be accumulating tips that will add to his performances in the future.

My old college friend is also a musician. There was even a time when he and I collaborated on songs (trust me, though, the Lennon–McCartney team is in no danger of being replaced in the public's affections). And I'm sure he'll be doing the same thing.

All kinds of things will be going on at the shows in Tulsa and Dallas this week. Wish I could be there.

Have fun, y'all.