Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images The sad news came across late Wednesday afternoon…
- Posted on Jul 16th 2009 11:15AM by Dan Reilly
Before the performance, McCartney sat down for a long interview with Letterman, opening with the host teasing Macca about never accepting the an invite to appear as a guest, to which McCartney quipped, "I don't like the show." He then reminisced about the Sullivan appearance, saying that while he was waiting to perform a solo rendition of 'Yesterday,' a floor manager approached him and asked if he was nervous. "No," responded McCartney, and the floor manager said, "You should be. There's 73 million people watching." McCartney also touched on the famous "Paul is dead" rumor from the late '60s, saying that never understood the connection between going barefoot on the the 'Abbey Road' album cover and somehow dying.
McCartney also addressed his relationship with Michael Jackson, opting for gracious respect than displaying any outward signs of resentment over their famous falling out. "It was great, you know, we had a great time," McCartney said. "It was Christmas, and I was at home and my phone rang and, you know, a little voice talked to me and I said, 'Who's this?' You know, kind of guarding my privacy, private number. I said, 'Who's this?' 'It's Michael.' 'Michael who?' because I thought it was, you know, a little bit sort of dodgy, but anyway, he said 'Michael Jackson' and he said, 'You want to make some hits?' So I said, 'Yeah, sure,' so, you know, being of the hit-making variety."
McCartney noted that he thought Jackson was joking when he said he was going to get into the business of music publishing, saying "I thought, 'OK, here's the guy historically placed to give Lennon-McCartney a good deal at last,' because we'd got signed when we were 21 or something in a back alley in Liverpool and the deal had remained the same even though we made this company the most famous -- hugely successful." He said after that, Jackson kept ignoring the issue whenever it came up between them. "So we kind of drifted apart," McCartney said. "It was no big bust-up. We kind of drifted apart after that. But he was a lovely man, massively talented, and we miss him."
After the interview, McCartney and his band headed to the theater's marquee on Broadway between 53rd and 54th for a set beginning with 'Get Back.' Rather than playing in front of the 700 people in the '64 Sullivan audience -- Letterman noted that they were 50,000 ticket requests for that taping -- McCartney was able to perform for thousands of New Yorkers that packed the streets. The rest of the 30-minute set included his new single 'Sing the Changes,' 'Band on the Run,' 'Helter Skelter' and 'Back in the U.S.S.R.' This weekend, McCartney kicks off three dates at Citi Field, which replaced as Shea Stadium as home of the New York Mets, the site of one of the Beatles most legendary concerts.