06 April 2009

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunite, part 1


Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr stage Beatles reunion for meditation fundraiser

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr

It was a scene straight out of a rock 'n' roll dream.

Paul McCartney was singing "I Saw Her Standing There." Ringo Starr was on the drums. Actually, so was Moby. Beach Boy Mike Love was singing harmony, alongside Donovan and Bettye LaVette. Ben Harper was playing guitar. And Sheryl Crow was shaking a tambourine and dancing around -- so was Eddie Vedder, playing maracas.

It was odd and beautiful like most of the work of "Blue Velvet" director David Lynch. And, like most of his work, it was made possible only through Transcendental Meditation. Never mind what you may or may not believe about the power of meditation. If it has done nothing else -- and as speaker after speaker have explained over the past two days, that is definitely not the case -- it reunited McCartney and Starr for their most significant musical collaboration for the public in decades.

After turning down countless invitations in the years since The Beatles disbanded in 1970, McCartney and Starr played together last night at Radio City Music Hall in the name of Transcendental Meditation, at the "Change Begins Within" benefit for the David Lynch Foundation, which hopes to raise funds to bring meditaion techniques to one million children around the world.

And play they did. McCartney and Starr vamped, pretending to steal the spotlight from one another, seeing who the crowd would cheer for loudest. They hugged and smiled, singing "With a Little Help From My Friends" into the same microphone.

They also called attention to The Beatles who could not be there last night, with McCartney calling for cheers for the late George Harrison and playing his tender "Here Today" for the late John Lennon.

McCartney was also in fine form during his solo set, packing together raucous versions of "Baby You Can Drive My Car" and "Jet" next to touching performances of "Let It Be" and "Blackbird." However, the anticipation was all building toward the reunion, signaled with a call of "Ladies and gentlemen, Billy Shears!"

SETLIST: Angelo Badalamenti - Theme from "Twin Peaks" / Moby with Bettye LaVette - Natural Blues / Moby with TM Kids Choir - We Are All Made of Stars / Bettye LaVette with Moby - As Close As I'll Get to Heaven / Sheryl Crow - Riverwide / Sheryl Crow with Ben Harper - My Sweet Lord / Eddie Vedder - Far Behind / Eddie Vedder - Rise / Eddie Vedder - Arc / Ben Harper with Eddie Vedder - Indifference / Ben Harper - Fly One Time / Ben Harper and Eddie Vedder - Under Pressure / INTERMISSION / Donovan with Jim James - Hurdy Gurdy Man / Donovan with Jim James - Wear Your Love Like Heaven / Donovan with Sheryl Crow and Moby - Season of the Witch / Donovan with Paul Horn - Isle of Islay / Paul Horn - Meditation / Ringo Starr with Ben Harper - Don't Come Easy / Ringo Starr - Boys / Ringo Starr with Sheryl Crow and Eddie Vedder - Yellow Submarine / Paul McCartney - Baby You Can Drive My Car/Jet/Got to Get You Into My Life/Let It Be/Lady Madonna/Blackbird/Here Today/Band on the Run/Can't Buy Me Love/ Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr - With a Little Help From My Friends // ENCORE: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and all performers - Cosmically Conscious/I Saw Her Standing There

PHOTO: Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunite for "With a Little Help From My Friends" at Radio City Music Hall. By Stephen Chernin for AP.

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1 comment:

Dr. Keith DeBoer said...

The concert was fantastic (and was recorded for PBS) as this cast of legendary musicians flowed through set after set of inspiring rock and roll with many artists making guest appearances on songs for others. During the many stage set ups David Lynch, Laura Dern, Howard Stern and Jerry Seinfeld added comments and comedy on the positive influence Transcendental Meditation has had in their lives. Background film clips of youngsters in schools around the world who practice TM gave us hope for a new era of peace and happiness. A charming and delightful evening that transcended all my expectations! www.tm.org

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