Paul McCartney crossed Abbey Road (again, and solo)
McCartney went back to the mythical studio to play a secret show for Spotify. When he came out, he recreated the scene that was immortalized on the Abbey Road cover 49 years ago.
When a person embodies one of the most famous images, brands and names of the planet, anything that person does becomes a well-attended mass event.
So, for Paul McCartney it only took one gesture and a few seconds: he re-enacted what he had done almost 49 years ago with the three other members of “The Fab 4” — he walked along the pedestrian crossing of Abbey Road in London.
Rather than being (literally) immortalized around the world — like in the renowned photo of him, John, Ringo and George on the cover of the "Abbey Road" album — the scene was recorded on video and posted on Instagram. (A little bit of marketing always helps no matter how famous you are.) He is wearing guava colored pants (not bell-bottoms) and a long sleeve shirt. He is not barefoot but wearing sandals, and he is hanging his jacket on his shoulder. He suddenly stops in the middle of the pedestrian crossing and says "hi" to the camera. The Paul McCartney, now a Sir of the British Empire and a 76-year-old man. A line-up of cars is waiting for him to cross. The crowd is cheering and screaming a couple of hundred meters away, but not in "A Hard Day’s Night" mood.
Iain MacMillan took the original photo on August 8, 1969, and the album was released on September 29 that year. On Monday, McCartney was back in Studio 2 on Abbey Road to play a secret show prior to his coming 17th album solo, "Egypt Station." According to Billboard, the show was recorded for Spotify “for broadcast at a later date.” In the setlist, there were some Beatles’ hits as well as songs from his previous records, plus four new songs from the album to be released on September 7: “Fuh (cq) You,” “Who Cares,” “Confidante” and “Come On To Me.”
The word of mouth must have worked very efficiently. When McCartney came out and crossed the pedestrian walkway, a lot of people were already gathering behind the security barriers.
That is exactly what happened on June 9 in Liverpool. Many passersby saw him, out of nowhere, on the streets. The most famous Liverpudlian was hanging out in Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and inside the house where he lived from age 12 to 18, where he wrote many of The Beatles songs with John Lennon.
McCartney was being filmed for Carpool Karaoke, the section of "The Late Late Show" hosted by James Corden. This time Corden’s co-driver came out of the car with him and walked around the milestones of the history of The Beatles. At the end of the 23 minutes of video that was posted on June 21, they go to the Philharmonic Dining Rooms, one of the pubs were The Beatles used to play when they were just getting started. People are there drinking their pints. James Corden is helping behind the bar and encourages people to pick songs from the jukebox. “It’s free for the rest of the night!”
So they do.
The first tunes of “Obladi Oblada" come on. At the bottom, the curtain rises and there he is, Paul McCartney, playing the song live with a band, his guitar in his lap, white hair. He is wearing a light blue shirt opened up to the chest with the sleeves folded. Very soon more people rush in. McCartney keeps playing shorter versions of "Love Me Do," "Back in the U.S.S.R." and "Hey Jude," which Corden sings on stage too. Younger and older women and men know all the songs.
The official video of this Carpool Karaoke episode has already hit 28,345,509 this hour and it continues to rise.
That’s what happens when you are one of the main Beatles, and one of the only two alive. “A literal living legend,” as one of the YouTube viewers remarked.