Friday, July 16, 2010

Maybe I'm Amazed

Last night was the Paul McCartney concert. And what a story I have to tell.

While we were in Michigan, I told my Dad that we were going to see Paul McCartney. I was pretty excited and thought he'd be proud that I have an interest in and am willing to pay money for an artist who was in his prime during my Dad's era of music. It was a deflating conversation in that for the next 10 minutes I heard all about why I should not be giving Paul McCartney any of my money ever, and that Dad had lost all respect for him as a person AND an artist. All this because of the flip comment about books, a library and former President Bush. I will agree the comment was unnecessary, rude and offensive to many. For me, I was only interested in the music.

Last night gave me insight into the music during a tumultuous time in American history. During the three-hour rock fest, Sir Paul McCartney shared stories about the things he experienced during The Beatles rise to fame and spoke of the inspiration that propelled him to write some of the most iconic music to date. The Beatles (speaking as if they are a single entity rather than 4 incredible musicians) single-handedly changed the face of music. You can see in his eyes that he has experienced more in his life than many of us can ever dream of.

And then he told the story of writing Blackbird. I cried. His inspiration: In September of 1957, Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas was desegregated. Nine black students entered the building under the protection of the US Army and the news of this pivotal event swept the globe. The news footage broadcast across the world changed the face of America. It was an event in our history that we have all learned about in school. Half of you reading this can actually remember the day it happened (if there are four who read this, two are my age, and I know two are older!). To see it through the eyes of a young man from Liverpool England will go in my book as one of the 10 most incredible experiences I have had. And then he sang.

After more than three hours of Beatles/Wings/Firemen rocking with no break, Sir Paul McCartney began his third encore. He out-sang and out-performed men half his age.

Today I am exhausted but feel as though I experienced American History in a way no book could ever illustrate. I am honored that I was able to see one of the most iconic singer/songwriters in music history before this chapter is closed forever. Sorry, Dad. Politics aside, this was an experience I am sorry my children will never have (assuming there are some someday--don't read into that one, ladies!).


  1. Wow, I felt like I was there with you. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jenna, I agree with your dad politically, but you write a compelling point of view about the musical contributions of the Beatles during a time when the world needed them.

    Your introspection drove me to research the feeling of those involved in the Little Rock incident in 1957. The following website is a great location to re-read the school paper and remember that piece of history that yes, I remember.

  3. Jenna, thank you for sharing! Ellie is sitting on my lap and we sang along with Paul in the video (we didn't do it justice!) "Blackbird" is one of my favorites, I sing it to the girls. I really had no idea why it was written. It means a lot more now. Hey, opinions are opinions. Glad you had fun!

  4. A great blog entry and comments. Thanks to all for sharing. I relearned some history and enjoyed the music.