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Paul performs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, on 9 December.


01): ‘A Hard Day’s Night’
02): ‘Junior’s Farm’
03): ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’
04): ‘Jet’
05): ‘All My Loving’
06): ‘Let Me Roll It’-‘Foxy Lady’
07): ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’
08): ‘My Valentine’
09): ‘Nineteen Hundred And Eighty-Five’
10): ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’
11): ‘I’ve Just Seen A Face’
12): ‘In Spite Of All The Danger’
13): ‘You Won’t See Me’
14): ‘Love Me Do’
15): ‘And I Love Her’
16): ‘Blackbird’
17): ‘Here Today’
18): ‘Queenie Eye’
19): ‘New’
20): ‘Lady Madonna’
21): ‘FourFiveSeconds’
22): ‘Eleanor Rigby’
23): ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’
24): ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!’’
25): ‘Something’
26): Popurrí: ‘A Day In The Life’-‘Give Peace A Chance’
27): ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’
28): ‘Band On The Run’
29): ‘Back In The U.S.S.R.’
30): ‘Let It Be’
31): ‘Live And Let Die’
32): ‘Hey Jude’

33) ‘Yesterday’
34) ‘Get Back’
35) ‘Mull Of Kintyre’
36) ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ (Reprise)
37) ‘Helter Skelter’
38)‘Golden Slumbers’-‘Carry That Weight’-‘The End’





Paul with Anthony “Ant” McPartlin and Declan “Dec” Donnelly ,backstage in Brisbane.



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Paul relished the “competitive” nature of his relationship with John Lennon. The iconic duo penned some of the most famous songs in history during their days with the Beatles, and Sir Paul has revealed how the late star’s determination to be the best helped to improve his own songwriting.

He explained: “It was quite competitive because if I wrote something he’d try and better it and then I’d try and better that, so it’s a good system.

“It means you’re going up a staircase and each time you’re trying to make it better, so if that works it can make the song very good … and in our case memorable. “That was the trick because we couldn’t put it down, we couldn’t put it on a recording like today, you just had to remember it. So that was a good restriction too, it meant if you forgot it, too bad. “So, it had to have a hook and nearly always, even if you forgot it in the evening, you’d go out for a drink and say, ‘what was that bloody song’. You’d wake up in the morning an go ‘oh yeah, I remember!’ It would just come back.”

The Beatles split in 1970, but Paul never considered quitting music altogether, admitting it remains his obsession.

He told Australia’s ABC: “It was either that or quit. And that was the decision at the time but I realised I liked music too much and if I quit, I’d still be doing it as a hobby.

“If you’re a good cook, and they suddenly say ‘Ok, you’ve won MasterChef’, it’s not like you’re going to stop cooking. “It’s something you love doing, same for me, it’s something I love. “I’m always surprised when a song comes because I started with nothing and suddenly get a little idea I’m chasing and go ‘ah, is this good?’. If you write something decent, you feel good. It’s all part of the same thing. It can be a little bit of a therapy thing to.”



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Over the following week he’ll play five more shows across the Ditch before finally playing Mt Smart Stadium next Saturday night.

“We’re practising on the Aussies,” he jokes. “Getting up to speed.”

In a summer crammed with big shows, McCartney’s is undoubtedly the biggest. As a Beatle he wrote songs that, quite literally, changed the world. Now, after nearly a quarter of a century he’s back. His last gig here was in 1993. That’s a long time between drinks.

“It is, yeah,” he laughs. “For a lot of that time I was having to be Daddy and do the school run. I had a young kid I was bringing up, so I couldn’t get enough time away to make it practical.”

He’d planned to visit in 2002, as part of the Driving tour, but the Bali terrorist attack in Kuta prevented it.

“We thought we can’t go waltzing in with a happy show while the whole country’s in mourning, so we had to call that off.”

An odd footnote in Beatles trivia is that the Fab Four toured here at the height of Beatlemania in 1964, playing all four main centres. Does he remember much about that tour?

“I remember rubbing noses with the Maori,” McCartney answers, referencing the traditional hongi greeting that welcomed the band at the airport. “That was very good.”

News reports from the time suggest a sleepy country struggling to comprehend, let alone contain, Beatlemania. Woefully inadequate policing levels struggled with unprecedented crowds and the band was besieged by screaming fans.

“It was a lot of screaming girls, which was great, ’cause we were screaming boys,” Paul recalls.

One headline shrieked, “Screams and eggs greet the Beatles,” and led with this wonderfully loony paragraph: “The Beatles are in New Zealand. And they were met by deafening screaming, singing and yelling, Maori songs, and eggs – hurled at them.”

“I don’t actually remember that,” Paul laughs when asked about the eggs. “But you block out all those things, don’t you?”

Instead, he remembers the tour fondly.

“It was lovely to finally get to New Zealand, to experience a place we’d heard so much about. Coming from Liverpool a lot of people you knew had relatives who’d emigrated. I felt the bond with New Zealanders. It was great. We had a lot of fun. The shows were really good. That’s always the main memories, enjoying the crowds.”

He briefly pauses, and says, “I don’t remember any eggs, anyway. I just remember having a good time.”

That good time also includes a yarn that’s slipped into local Beatles lore. While trapped in their Wellington hotel, he requested a guitar so he could work on a song. He got the guitar, accounts differ on how, but no one knows what song he was working on.

“Let’s pretend it was Yesterday,” he quips, when asked to shed some light on this mystery. “No, it’s a little too long ago to remember. It might have been a great mysterious lost song … I don’t think there was a lost song, because I normally remembered those songs. But it would have been one of the songs throughout that period that we recorded.”

Whichever song it was, I’ll Follow the Sun perhaps, maybe I’ve Just Seen a Face or, probably not but let’s pretend, Yesterday, there’s a good chance he’ll play it next Saturday.

That’s because Paul’s playing more Beatles material now than ever. His set’s packed with it. Onstage for over three hours he’ll play far more Beatles tunes than the Beatles did during their 28-minute New Zealand sets.

“The first thing I ever do when trying to choose the setlist is think, ‘If I was going to this show, what would I want to see them do?’,” he explains. “There’s certain songs I wouldn’t want to see the band leave out. Those start the list. Then you go on from there.

“Sometimes I’ll hear something over the radio and think, ‘Oh, I’d love to do that,’ so we’ll take it into rehearsal and learn it up.”

Then, a surprise confession.

“Sometimes it’s a bit daunting because in the early days of recording, you know with The Beatles, sometimes I wouldn’t put the bass part on ’til we’d done the song. That enabled me to get quite complex with the bass lines.”

Because The Beatles had retired from touring this was never a problem. Until now…

“When it came to do it live it was like, ‘Oh my God. I’ve really set myself a problem’. I’ve got this complicated bass line and I’ve got to sing this song that’s going in a completely different direction. It’s one of those co-ordination things. There are a few that I’ve got to concentrate. They’re quite hard to do, particularly the ones with the crazy bass lines. But it’s good to have a challenge. I wouldn’t like to be phoning it in.”

He says sometimes he fluffs it, “that used to really panic me, the shame of it all”, but nowadays he’ll just stop the band and restart.

“It proves we’re live,” he says. “The funny thing is, the audience like it. It gives them a special memory, ‘remember when they blew it?’.”

That audience connection is the thing he’s enjoying the most.

“There may be thousands of people there but there’s something about the show which feels like I’m talking to you directly,” he says. “It’s me and you.”

Coming from anyone else, it’d be easy to be sceptical, but when the guy who has written some of the world’s sincerest love songs says it, you believe him.

“Why I write about love, I think it’s a great feeling. It’s a universal feeling. That’s the one thing that ties everybody on this planet together. Whether you’re single, married, young, old, life involves love in one way or another. It’s a very special thing.

“Sometimes I think I don’t want to get too soppy, I don’t want to get too corny, but I do like the subject so much that I find myself returning to it.”

His car’s pulled into the stadium now and the singer’s got to sing a song. He genuinely wants you all to sing along. We’ll get our chance next weekend. I can’t wait.

“Great, man,” he enthuses. “I know we’re gonna have some fun.”

Then Paul McCartney, one of the world’s greatest musicians, reassures me by saying, “I’m practising!”

Who: Paul McCartney
When: Next Saturday night
Where: Mt Smart Stadium. Tickets available


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Back in the good and bad old days, in the early 1970s — when the Upper West Side was considered both a community in the best sense of the word and a place to get drugs or mugged — yellow-and-black “Safe Haven” decals began appearing in the windows of local shops. The stickers identified them as places where people, particularly schoolchildren, could duck into and get help if they felt threatened or lost in the streets.

John Lennon seemed to feel neither, according to Dr. Gary Tracy, the Upper West Side optometrist who provided him with his iconic, eponymous “John Lennon glasses” from 1974 to 1979. “Back then, there were a lot of John and Yoko sightings all over the neighborhood,” Dr. Tracy said. “They used to walk up and down the streets.”

Dr. Tracy, who turns 70 in January, was fresh out of optometry school in 1974, when he rented a “tiny” store on Columbus Avenue and 74th Street for $600 a month, with a five-year lease.

“One winter night,” he began, as if he had told the story many times before, “I saw a couple of faces peeking in the window. Then, they left. My friend from the flower store two doors down came running in and said, ‘That was John and Yoko peeking in your window.’ I was the closest optometrist to the Dakota at the time. I was, like, ‘Wow.’

“The next night, I was doing an exam around closing time and I heard somebody come in, and then, that voice: ‘Can I get my eyes examined?’ I knew right away. My receptionist was a middle-aged lady and she didn’t know who he was. She said, “You can make an appointment.” I heard that and I just ran and said, ‘Excuse me, I’m finishing up an exam. I’ll examine you in a few minutes.’ And that was the start of it.”

John Lennon found a safe haven at Dr. Gary Tracy’s Optometry and Eyewear.

“He liked glasses,” Dr. Tracy said. “I sold him a lot of pairs. I don’t think three months went by without him coming in for some sort of transaction. He didn’t take much time picking stuff out: ‘I want this, I want that.’

“He came at closing time on purpose,” Dr. Tracy explained. “We’d lock the door and he and Yoko would enjoy just sitting and relaxing and chatting about local things: what’s going on in the neighborhood, the Japanese market where they liked to shop, Café La Fortuna off of 72nd Street, where they liked to hang out.”

One thing they never talked about was The Beatles. “My friend from the plant store said, once John and Yoko went in there and he asked him about The Beatles. They never went back again. Whether there’s a connection or not, I don’t know,” Dr. Tracy said.

Meanwhile, the neighborhood was changing, gentrifying. “When my lease was up, my rent was going to go from $600 to $1,600. In 1979, I moved to 351 Amsterdam at West 77th Street. John never made it to the second store. He was shot in 1980. I had patients the next day who heard the shots. I was numb. I couldn’t process it. Now, when I think about it, there’s such a sadness for Yoko, too. They were very tight. I liked her a lot. She’s a very charming person.”

Dr. Tracy moved again three-and-a-half years ago, to his current location at 210 West 79th Street, between Amsterdam and Broadway. The store is a bit like a shrine to John Lennon, with photographs and articles everywhere about “The Man with Kaleidescope Eyes.” If you call the store and are put on hold, you’ll wait to the sound of The Beatles singing “Blackbird.” Dr. Tracy laughed. “I keep meaning to change it to “Norwegian Wood.”



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The music and spirit of John Lennon will be celebrated at a festival in suburban Lake Worth on Friday, the 37th anniversary of the musician’s death. Imaginefest, at the Sons & Daughters Farm and Winery, is being hosted by Ocean Ridge music promoter Daniel Hartwell, co-author of a self-published book called “Saint John Lennon.”

It will feature singalongs of classic Lennon and Beatles songs performed by more than 20 bands and prizes for a costume contest of outfits capturing the 1960s, ’70s and Beatles lookalikes.

“It’s a wonderful chance to get people together to pay tribute to John Lennon and The Beatles on the anniversary of his passing,” Hartwell said.

“John Lennon has that connection to every generation out there and I think what connects him to all of us is that he really focused on love and peace.”

Last month, Hartwell attended a Ringo Starr concert in Fort Lauderdale and gave a copy of the book to Ringo. “Ringo loved the concept. He told me he was looking forward to reading it,” he said.

Hartwell said he’s expecting at least 300 people to attend Imaginefest, which goes from 5 to 11 p.m. The winery is located at 5926 Fearnley Road, which is off Lantana Road just east of Florida’s Turnpike.