More than a decade after his last visit, Paul McCartney is heading back to Spain for a double celebration.
As part of the events to mark EL PAÍS’s 40th anniversary, the newspaper has teamed up with Los 40 – the SER radio network’s music station, which is celebrating its own half century this year – to bring the former Beatle to Madrid for a concert at the Vicente Calderón stadium on June 2.
The bulk of the show will be reserved for his Fab Four compositions
The last time McCartney was in Spain was on May 30, 2004, when he performed at Madrid’s La Peineta stadium in front of a crowd of 20,000. Prior to that, he had kicked off his Summer Tour 04 in Gijón, Asturias.
Given the scarcity of his previous visits, the Calderón gig is sure to be an historic date. “We feel that this is the last opportunity to see a major concert by a Beatle in Spain,” says Elena Sánchez, organizer of EL PAÍS’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
The bond between Macca and Spain’s leading music station goes back a long way. “In 1989, Paul McCartney inaugurated studio 40 on the eighth floor of the Gran Vía building [headquarters of the SER network in Madrid]. Since then, everyone who works at the broadcaster has called it the McCartney studio,” says Eva Cebrián, director of PRISA Radio’s music stations.
“It is an honor that he is joining Los 40’s 50th anniversary celebrations,” she adds.
The concert at the Calderón will see McCartney present his One on One tour alongside the same band that has been accompanying him for the past decade: Paul Wix Wickens (keyboard), Brian Ray (bass guitar), Rusty Anderson (guitar) and Aby Laboriel Jr. (drums). With them, the 73-year-old singer and guitarist will perform songs from the three phases of his career: the Beatles era, his Wings’ days and as a solo artist.
The bulk of the show, however, will be reserved for his Fab Four compositions. These include some of the best songs of all time, immortal tracks that people continue to listen to with the same love and intensity decades later.
Although McCartney and Lennon agreed to take joint credit for each song they wrote for the Beatles, many of them carry the unique seal of one or the other. Paul’s back catalogue includes some of the most important works in not just the band’s history but in the history of popular music as a whole: Hey Jude, Let It Be, Eleanor Rugby, Michelle, Penny Lane and Yesterday, the most covered song in the world according to the Guinness World Records and, according to one survey conducted by the BBC, the best of all time.
Video: The Beatles perform ‘Yesterday.’
Numerous generations of musicians have cited McCartney as a key influence, and numerous generations of music fans have grown up listening to his songs, which have been shared between parents and their children, between friends, and between lovers.
Under the slogan “Let’s Make History!,” the June 2 date in the Vicente Calderón promises to bring these generations together with one single aim: to enjoy a unique experience, a concert to remember forever.
Video: Paul McCartney sings ‘Hey Jude’ in London’s Hyde Park.
English version by Anne-Gaelle Sy.