It’s no Abbey Road or Penny Lane, but the new street leading to the Infinite Energy Center shows how excited local officials are for Paul McCartney’s upcoming visit to the county — and how much they wanted to get him here.
The folks at Explore Gwinnett and the Infinite Energy Center want to make the most of their chance to get the former Beatle to visit as part of his One On One tour, so they offered to name a street for him as part of their bid to get on the tour, according to the center’s Executive Director of Sales, Book and Event Management, Dan Markham. The music legend had the final say on the road name, but a proclamation issued by county commissioners on Tuesday revealed his pick: Paul McCartney Boulevard. “It was actually one of the things that we did in the marketing, as far as luring him in, because it’s a smaller venue than he typically plays, so we kind of enhanced it,” Markham said. “We kind of got the idea because the road was getting ready to go in, and we told him we’d actually name a road after him, and he thought that was absolutely fantastic. “We gave him some suggestions, Abbey Road, Penny Lane, that kind of stuff and then he picked it. He said, ‘If you’re putting a road in, I want Paul McCartney Boulevard,’ so he got the final word.”
The naming of the road is being done ahead of McCartney’s July 13 concert at the Infinite Energy Arena. Infinite Energy Center officials said the not-so-long, but definitely winding road that is being named for McCartney is a new one that snakes its way down to the center property from Meadow Church Road. Signage with the new road’s name has already been posted at the street’s intersection with Meadow Church.“It was a little unique,” Markham said. “In each case (with a concert booking), we’ve got to be a little clever because we’ve got so much competition in town.”
This is the first time the center has hosted McCartney, who is often referred to simply as “Macca” by diehard fans. He has won 18 Grammy’s, been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and received France’s Legion of Honour. He is coming to Gwinnett County as part of his One On One Tour, which opened in April.
Tickets to his concert at the center went on sale May 1, and officials said it was one of the fastest selling shows in the center’s history.
“The tickets were actually spoken for literally as it went up for sale,” Markham said. “It is a great honor for the county and Infinite Energy Center to have such a renowned performer visit,” the center’s General Manager, Joey Dennis, said in a statement. “The community is excited to show Paul true southern hospitality.”McCartney’s links to street names don’t end with those last two song titles, or the road at the Infinite Energy Center though. The Beatle infamous street crossing cover photo for the Abbey Road album fueled rumors that he had died and was replaced with a look-a-like, in part, because he was only member of the band who was barefoot in the picture.
In the proclamation issued on Tuesday, county commissioners highlighted McCartney’s career, but they also said naming the street in his honor symbolizes the center’s ability to get a performer of his caliber. “I will tell you as a kid in school in Dacula, I could never have imagined having world class talent coming to perform in Gwinnett county,” Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said. “This was a very different place at that point in time. “I want to say thanks to the hard work of the folks at the convention and visitor’s bureau, to the folks that have worked so hard with the center and ave sold that as the great venue that it is and have turned it into a place where performers from all aspects of entertainment are excited about coming and performing there.”
While a Paul McCartney Boulevard sign might sound tempting for sticky fingered Beatles fans who might want to steal it for their personal collection of memorabilia, Explore Gwinnett Executive Director Lisa Anders said the tourism group and the center are hopeful that it doesn’t happen.
She had a simple suggestions for fans who might be tempted: “Selfies, not stealing,” referring to the fact that she said fans can take selfies in front of the sign if they want to. “We hope that people respect the property that’s there, and maybe take a selfie with it,” Anders said. “We’ll encourage selfie taking, but not ‘borrowing.’ We have a backup plan (if the sign is stolen), but we don’t anticipate that happening. We have faith in our citizens.” And, while Markham said McCartney is aware that the road was named in his honor, he won’t see it for the first time until he arrives for the concert. “They’re going to route his limo and bring him in that way exclusively because he’s going to want to see it,” Markham said.
Gets ‘ONE ON ONE’ with Mexico City
New 2017 concert announced
28th October: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
Speaking about his forthcoming visit Paul said:
“Mexico holds so many special memories for me. We’ve had some brilliant nights there and I’m looking forward to making more great memories on this tour. We are going to have a huge party together. Getting ready to rock Mexico!”
PAULMcCARTNEY.COM PRE-SALE INFO:
Fans registered with PaulMcCartney.com will be eligible to purchase pre-sale tickets through PaulMcCartney.com at 10am (local / 4pm BST) on Friday 30th June. To purchase your tickets on Friday, click the link below and enter the following access code: PAUL1ON1MEXICO
28th October: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City – CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS!
Paul’s new ‘One On One’ Tour launched in the US in 2016 and saw him play 41 shows across 12 different countries to over 1.2 million people, winning rave reviews from both concert-goers and the media. The final run of shows in 2016 concluded with Paul’s headlining performance at the now legendary Desert Trip festival in the US. Last week saw Paul play his first shows of 2017 in Japan as well as announcing new North American dates for this summer. Paul played four huge sell out shows in Tokyo winning rave reviews.
This show marks Paul’s first visit to Mexico in five years. His last trip saw him play a historic massive outdoor show in Zocalo Square as part of his record breaking ‘On The Run’ world tour, pulling in more than 250,000 attendees! Since his first visit in 1993 Paul has played ten concerts in Mexico.
The Beatles’ illustrious eighth album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” lends itself to anniversary celebrations. The central conceit of the album is that of a twentieth-anniversary concert by a once famous musical group that has returned from the oblivion of pop history to “raise a smile” on the faces of its aging, nostalgic fans. At the time John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote that opening number, twenty years must have seemed like an eternity to them: more than enough time for a pop sensation like the Beatles, say, to fade from living memory.
As the recent media blitz of tributes surrounding the fiftieth anniversary of “Sgt. Pepper” illustrates, the Beatles and their alter egos in the Pepper Band are still very much with us––not least because “Sgt. Pepper,” more than any other single work, was responsible for generating the aura of artistic legitimacy that would institutionalize the presence of rock music in the mainstream of modern culture. The album inspired an unprecedented outpouring of reviews, cover stories, and sober cultural commentaries in newspapers, mass-circulation magazines, and highbrow literary journals, many of which had never covered rock as an artistic phenomenon before. “The Beatles are good even though everyone already knows that they’re good,” the composer Ned Rorem declared in The New York Review of Books, at the end of 1967, slyly acknowledging the way the group had transcended the limits of both condescension and connoisseurship. Rorem had already told Time magazine that “She’s Leaving Home,” the mock-Victorian parlor ballad on the first side of “Sgt. Pepper,” was “equal to any song that Schubert ever wrote.” Portentously titled “The Messengers,” Time’s cover story went on to enlist a chorus of well-known conductors and composers, such as Leonard Bernstein and Luciano Berio, in singing the praises of the Beatles’ music. The New Yorker greeted “Sgt. Pepper” with a “Talk of the Town” piece written by its editor, William Shawn, who posed as a “professorial-looking” Times Square record-store patron named “Lawrence LeFevre,” to extoll the album as “a musical event comparable to a notable new opera or symphonic work.”
Predictably, the acclaim that was heaped on “Sgt. Pepper” in the summer and fall of 1967 inspired a critical backlash. Richard Goldstein’s tone-deaf dismissal of the record as “an album of special effects, dazzling but ultimately fraudulent,” in the Times, inspired a firestorm of angry letters to the editor, which the paper published for weeks on end. But the most prescient criticism came from the British critic Nik Cohn, who agreed that “Sgt. Pepper” “was genuinely a breakthrough,” but complained that “it wasn’t much like pop. It wasn’t fast, flash, sexual, loud, vulgar, monstrous, or violent.” Cohn’s words presaged the rise of punk, which emerged, a decade later, as a corrective to the rock-as-art pretensions that “Sgt. Pepper” represented. “The Beatles make good music, they really do,” Cohn concluded, “but since when was pop anything to do with good music?”
It is now possible to see “Sgt. Pepper” as the hallmark of an era, which reached from the mid-nineteen-sixties to the mid-nineteen-seventies, when pop had a lot to do with good music––when some of the most profound and provocative music being made was also some of the most popular and commercially successful. This ten-year apotheosis of rock and soul was the result of a unique convergence of culture, commerce, and technology, in which the interplay of African-American and Anglo-American talent that had shaped the sound of popular music in the U.S. and Britain since the mid-nineteenth century was supercharged by the advent of multitrack recording, which turned studios into compositional laboratories and allowed musical artists to exert an auteur-like sovereignty over their work. At the same time, the advent of stereo records and FM broadcasting gave these artists the medium they needed by turning long-playing albums, rather than three-minute singles, into the commercial basis of pop.
Though “Sgt. Pepper” was hailed as a marvel of technical innovation upon its release, multitrack recording was still in its infancy in 1967, and the album was made using a jerry-rigged system of patched-together tape decks that required each layer of instruments and voices to be premixed and rerecorded in order to make room for additional overdubs. In the process of these so-called “reduction mixes,” the presence and clarity of the basic tracks were significantly compromised. Stereo records were still an anomaly in Britain at the time—so much so that the Beatles themselves did not bother to participate in the stereo mixes of the album, which were done mainly for the American market. Minor improvements were made when “Sgt. Pepper” was remastered by the Beatles’ producer George Martin in the nineteen-eighties, for release as a CD. But, for the past half century, “the act you’ve known for all these years” has come to us in a rather crude stereo format that placed the voices and instruments on one side or the other with precious little in between.
George Martin died in 2016, but his son Giles had worked with him for the last decade of his career, during which he assimilated a great deal of his father’s expertise, ingenuity, and impeccable musical taste. In preparing the silver-anniversary edition of “Sgt. Pepper,” Giles, with the full consent of the surviving Beatles, drew on the archives of EMI’s Abbey Road Studios to exhume the original, unreduced tapes, which were recorded during the marathon sessions that ran through the winter and spring of 1967. He digitized these tracks, fed them through a modern mixing board, and then, using the Beatles-approved mono mix as a guide, recast the album in true stereo. For Beatles enthusiasts who can’t get enough, the new reissue of “Sgt. Pepper” is also available in a deluxe package that includes a generous selection of outtakes, which provides a fascinating glimpse of the empirical process by which the Beatles went about their work.
On the occasion of the album’s fiftieth anniversary, how does this refurbished version of “Sgt. Pepper” hold up? The famous cover photograph, staged by the Pop painter Peter Blake, now looks as dated as the Edwardian-era portraiture it was meant to satirize. Yet, for all its identification with Swinging London, the Haight-Ashbury, and the Summer of Love, the album effortlessly transcends the bounds of its historical moment. As Ned Rorem might have said, “Sgt. Pepper” is a masterpiece even though everyone already knows that it’s a masterpiece. The giddy, glad-handing promise of pop (“We’d love to take you home with us!”) still exerts its seductive power over the popular imagination. And the world is still full of girls like the ethereal “Lucy in the Sky” and the earthy “Lovely Rita,” desperate daredevils like Mr. Kite, and cheerfully reformed domestic tyrants like the one in “Getting Better.” The experience of immersing oneself, as a listener, in the rich stylistic swirl of satire, sentiment, and sensation of the Pepper Show, only to be torn from it, at the very end, by the sublime majesty of “A Day in the Life,” on which the Beatles abandon the gaudy self-assertion of their Pepper Band personae to expose the deep well of alienation and vulnerability that lies behind the mask of the crowd-pleasing entertainer––none of this has lost its power to astonish, enlighten, and delight.
Rex Makin – one of Liverpool’s best-known personalities – has died. The 91-year-old lawyer passed away in the last 24 hours. Mr Makin, who was known for his philanthropy, had been increasingly frail in recent years. Confirming the news on Twitter, Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said today: “Sorry to hear of the death of colourful character and Freeman of the City, Rex Makin. “The flags will at half mast.”
This morning staff at his office in Whitechapel declined to comment.
A source close to Mr Makin said everybody who knew the solicitor was “devastated” by his death. Robin Makin, his son and a lawyer at his dad’s firm, said he was unable to comment. Mr Makin, whose first name was actually Elkan, for many years wrote a weekly column for the ECHO. He practised law for more than 60 years and was involved with the Beatles’ early career and also the Hillsborough and Heysel disasters.
Mr Makin was the family solicitor to Brian Epstein, who in 1963 sought his advice on setting up a perpetually binding contract between himself and the Beatles. He was also credited with creating the term Beatlemania.
He was also involved in the Knowsley Hall murder case – in which Lady Derby was shot – the Walton sextuplets, and successfully appealing the conviction of George Kelly, a young Liverpool labourer hung at Walton jail in 1950.
Mr Main also provided legal advice to a variety of celebrities and sports personalities including John Lennon, Gerry Marsden, Bill Shankly, Anne Robinson, Ken Dodd and Carla Lane.
In 2003 he was appointed a Freeman of the City of Liverpool, the first solicitor to receive that honour.
At that time, he said: “The ordinary people of Liverpool and I have had a long love affair. I’ve been there in all their disasters and most of their triumphs.”