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Published: 2005/10/10
by Jesse Jarnow

Paul McCartney, Madison Square Garden, NYC- 10/1

NYC ROLL-TOP: 64 Things (When I’m 64)

When I'm 64, I hope…

64. ...Paul McCartney is still alive.

63. ...that he's still performing.

62. ...I can bring my children (and possibly grandchildren) to see the 101-year old ex-Beatle at Madison Square Garden.

61. ...I can tell them about that time back at the turn of the century when I saw him at the Garden, when Macca was a sprightly 63 years young.

60. ...I can tell them about the parade of Baby Boomers, social studies teachers, and stoners from the Jersey suburbs filing past me on 7th Avenue (back before the melting ice cap turned 7th Avenue into a canal).

59. (...I'm making enough money to afford a private taxi-gondola to the show.)

58. ...I can still remember the giddiness of being given a 10th row seat.

57. ...I can still visualize the gaudy psychedelic curtain wrapped in a circle around the Garden stage from floor to ceiling…

56. ...and the giant monitor playing sub-Yellow Submarine screensaver animations…

55. ...and remember the kinda pretentious classical music that played sedately on the PA…

54. ...and can still see the looks of surprise on concertgoers' faces as a DJ came out to the front of the stage to warm them up…

53. ...with generic techno…

52. ...and Beatles samples…

51. ....that got louder…

50. ....and louder.

When I'm 64, I hope that…

49. ...I can still remember the lone mustachioed Boomer clapping along, out-of-time…

48. ...and others with fingers in their ears.

When I'm 64, I hope that…

47. ... Paul is still booking opening acts that confuse the bejeezus out of most of his paying audience…

46. ...he's still using an entrance film that's a cross between a career retrospective and a wrestler's hype video…

45. ...that builds from Liverpool…

44. ...through the Beatles…

43. ...and Wings…

42. ...through a fuzzy few years…

41. ...and a blaring crescendo…

40. ...as the curtain drops…

39. ...and there's Paul and his band, looking like a music video with banks of lights and TV monitors…

38. ...playing "Magical Mystery Tour." (Jesus.)

When I'm 64, I hope that…

37 …I still remember how straight ecstatic I was because of this.

And when I'm 64, I hope that…

36. ... Paul's anecdotes still sound as spontaneous and charming as they did then, even though he'd clearly already told them a million times…

35. ...and that I remember how hard my cheeks hurt from laughing when the grand piano rose dramatically from centerstage…

34. ....and how, for the whole evening, Paul seemed to be in on the joke…

33. .(...but still took off his guitar or bass after every song and took a victory lap around the stage waving to people — again, like a wrestler…)

32. ...and how obviously happy he was playing "Fine Line," the first, er, "single" off of his not half-bad new album, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (produced by totally hip Radiohead and Beck producer Nigel Godrich).

When I'm 64, I hope…

31. ..."Got To Get You Into My Life" still sounds like you could change the world with one joyous horn fill.

30. ... Paul's band is still semi-hilarious, stocked with two L.A.-poofed shirt-open-a-few-buttons guitarists…

29. ...a keyboard dude who played all the horn and string parts…

28. ...a boistorously rotund goateed drummer with a shaved head who may've literally been Samoan…

27. ...and how, when they — all four of 'em plus Paul — hit those double-tracked Beatles harmonies on songs like "Eleanor Rigby," fleeting cathedrals of sound blossomed and drifted rapturously to the rafters.

When I'm 64, I hope that…

26. ...I remember the little girl two rows in front of me who sang along with all the Beatles' songs…

25. ...and the brothers (10 and 12 years old?) in my row, in Godsmack and Metallica shirts, sandwiched between their parents…

24-23. [Removed temporarily by author]

When I'm 64, I hope that I remember…

22. ...almost calling my friend who once claimed that "Penny Lane" had been stuck in her head for three straight years.

21. ...the hawt "Foxy Lady" jam.

20. ...how many people cheered for the Wings songs…

19. ...and how it made sense 'cause the generation of kids who grew up with Wings' records on the charts were probably just as likely to go see Paul as the Beatles' fans who were 10 years older…

18. ...and how "Band on the Run" held up as a nifty multi-sectioned song very much in the spirit of side two of Abbey Road…

17. ...but how "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" still topped it…

16. ...and how Paul introduced "Good Day Sunshine" by describing how NASA had used it to wake up astronauts on the day they were to return to Earth, after a harrowing few days with dwindling supplies…

15. ...and how "Good Day Sunshine" was subsequently backed by footage of spaceships blasting off.

When I'm 64, I hope that…

14. ...I remember turning to my friend during the beginning of "Live and Let Die" to ask if he thought there were gonna be, like, pyrotechnics when it got to the heavy part.

And when I'm 64, I hope that…

13. ...I can still feel the heat of the flame-jets that interrupted me before I could ask.

12. ...I still recognize that if there was every a time or a place for a full-throated six-minute sing-along of the "Hey Jude" coda, it's most certainly a Paul McCartney concert.

11. ...I still won't mind if he plays "The Long and Winding Road" with the string parts he supposedly hates played by his synth dude (wouldn't wanna upset anybody).

10. ...he doesn’t bound onto the stage before the encore waving an American flag…

9. ...but do hope he makes a surprise left turn from the "Sgt. Pepper’s" reprise into "The End"...

8. ...and doesn’t forget to play "Her Majesty"...

7. ...but does shoot off confetti cannons as he’s exiting the stage, leaving audience members stunned and drapped in crepe paper…

6. ...and happy.

Finally, when I'm 64, I hope that…

5. ...my progeny tolerate my rambling…

4. ...and come with me to see Paul…

3….and think it's as hilarious as I do…

2….though leave feeling as satisfied as me.

And I hope that…

1. ...they sing along.

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