Being the big McCartney fan that I am (heard he is gonna start another US tour next September- 10 cities so far), I watched his Super Bowl interview the other day concerning the halftime show. He is keeping the songlist secret, but this reporter says he knows the 4 songs Macca is gonna play (and hints are given in this article). Don't ya just love it when the media just can't keep a secret. They always have to try and get that "scoop" and spoil things.
SFM Exclusive: The Walrus Was Paul
By Owen Perkins
Friday, February 04, 2005
Owen Perkins will be in Jacksonville during Super Bowl week, filing daily reports and photos for SportsFan Magazine. Check back often for feature stories on the teams, both fan bases, and on-the-scene coverage of the biggest buildup in sports.
Jacksonville—Listen. Do you want to know a secret? For those who’d rather save the surprise for later than savor the scoop now, I’ll disguise the carefully guarded information regarding the choice of songs at Paul McCartney’s Super Bowl half time show so you’ll never know the songs until he strikes the first chord changes on his electric left-handed rockin’ guitar.
“I’m not going to say what we’re doing, because, you know, that spoils it,” McCartney told the biggest press gathering in Super Bowl memory Thursday, eager for any access to the man and his band. “We pretty much will get up there and use the time allotted to just rock. We want to go straight through. It will all be over in an instant, but we’re having fun rehearsing. I think the crowd will like it, hopefully, but we’re certainly going to have a good time and just rock through.”
Out of respect for Paul, I’ll avoid spoiling the surprise as well. In fact, take my keys, baby. You can drive me car down to the stadium and check out the parking situation while I dispense with this entertainment issue. Just be sure to get back before we return to the subject of football. Personally, I’m staying put. There’s a live-and-let-die quality to Super Bowl traffic, and I’m content to have a quiet evening with a video, maybe that Cold Mountain I've wanted to see with that actor, um...it's...I know his name--oh, yeah, hey, Jude Law. Supposed to be lots of snow in it, shoot 'em up scenes, a love story or two, the mountains, yada yada yada, na na na na.
McCartney thrilled the gathering of journalists turned Beatle-maniacs Thursday, casually tossing a souvenir Super Bowl ball, looking relaxed and comfortable center stage in a gig bigger than most musicians can ever dream of playing, but that arguably might not crack his hot 100 list of classic concerts.
Paul is an Englander, of course, and you get the feeling that he’s familiar with the hoopla-palooza this event has evolved into, but he certainly showed no remorse over his football shortcomings from years past.
“To tell you the truth, I didn’t see last year’s,” McCartney confessed when asked if Janet Jackson’s nipple incident put extra pressure on this performance. “Everyone told me about it, but I can tell you that I won’t have a wardrobe to malfunction.”
McCartney had earlier guaranteed he had found a solution to the potential wardrobe malfunction, promising the press “I’m going to play naked.”
But don’t hold your breath. I’ve heard these championship proclamations before. They hold about as much water as fox-hole conversions. Johnny Pesky promised to run naked through Fenway Park if the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, but the octogenarian has yet to make his Fenway Flash and Dash.
As for the game itself, Paul has done some quick research, but you get the feeling he’s happy just to know a field goal from a fumble.
“I’ve asked a lot of people, and I know who the favorites are,” McCartney said, declining to declare a rooting interest in the match up. “I like American football. Our game is soccer. We play soccer, but I’ve loved American football for a long time, because I’ve got a lot of American relatives, and at first, I couldn’t get the game. I was looking at it saying, ‘What’s he doing?’”
“Then someone said, ‘Watch that guy in the middle; he’s going to pass the ball,’ and that was the quarterback. The minute I spotted him, then, I understood the game. It’s a great game. I really love it, and I’m excited to see this one.”
Even if the game isn’t enough on its own to stir McCartney’s spirit, a return engagement to a city—and a field—he last played forty years ago clearly put a sparkle in his eye. McCartney vividly recalled the trip to Jacksonville with his fellow Liverpudlians in 1964, following in the wake of Hurricane Dora.
“My last memories of Jacksonville are exactly that,” McCartney confirmed. “We were coming in, and we were told that there was a hurricane and that we weren’t going to be able to play here. For some unknown reason, we went down to Key West and stayed in a hotel for a couple of days, probably to get out of the path of the hurricane. Then we came back here, so that’s actually what I remember Jacksonville for, is that hurricane.”
Though the week’s weather is far from being hurricane class, it has been cold and wet enough for people to check their geography to verify rumors that we’re not in Florida any more. McCartney cast off any concern about weather threatening his performance.
“It will not rain,” he stated with assurance. “It will not. I know these things.” And the funny thing is, when Paul McCartney tells you he has divine knowledge about near-distant weather patterns, he convinces you as easily as he once convinced you there was nothing you could sing that can’t be sung.
But for all his bottom end IQ in all things football, McCartney’s performance marks his second on the Super Bowl stage, having played his 9/11 tribute, “Freedom,” before the 2002 Super Bowl.
“That performance was sort of a special one, because I just came on to do that song, and it was a special song at the time because of 9/11,” McCartney explained. “Freedom was my response to it, which I did on the concept of New York. I did that to get that message to America that, you know, I have a right to freedom, and to show that we were with you on that one. It was strange times, but I’m very proud of it.”
McCartney closed his time with the press by reflecting on his music’s ongoing ability to inspire listeners, particularly younger generations he might have thought he’d lost touch with.
“One of the great things for me about touring the world is that I’m surprised to have a lot of young fans,” McCartney pointed out. “I expect [my fans] to be kind of my age, but what happens is you get their kids and their kids’ kids.
“I think the message of my songs is generally peace, love, come together. I think that’s as good a message as I can deliver. I hope they are going to enjoy it and take a good message of peace and love. And you know, it’s the same old one, but I can’t think of anything better.”
I know of some twenty young girls who are as inspired as any generation has ever been by Paul’s message, finding his mere presence every bit as hysteria-inducing as back in the day. SFM’s inside source on the half-time set list is a young woman taking time away from college, volunteering to take part in the show. I’ll maintain her anonymity, since I don’t want to be responsible for bringing about any sudden “accidents” if word gets out that she was coaxed out of her highly confidential information, but I will say that she shares the same name as Paul’s old sheepdog, immortalized in my favorite Beatles song, “Martha, My Dear.”
At any rate, “Marta,” as I’ll call her, has been practicing with McCartney for the last two days, going through the four-song set and honing the craft of synchronized hysteria, recreating the shrieking and fainting that greeted the fabsmen on those too few trips across the pond.
She’ll be shuttled to the stadium in time for the half-time performance and whisked away immediately after its conclusion, but Marta is living a dream already. While many of her colleagues are only in it for the football, Marta understands as well as anyone the once-in-lifetime opportunity to celebrate peace, love, and come togethering while screaming hysterically at the feet of a naked Beatle.