Let's all get up and dance....
A rambling by Tom Knapp,
July 1990

"Let's all get up and dance to a song that was a hit before your mother was born."

- Lennon/McCartney

Very few things transcend time. Last Saturday, Paul McCartney proved to a packed stadium in Philadelphia that Beatles music is one of those rare things that endures.

As one of the fortunate thousands to witness the event, I was gratified to see fans several decades my senior out en masse to cheer on McCartney, who is recognized universally as one of the moving forces behind modern music. Perhaps more amazing, however, were the screaming throngs of teenagers and young children who were pouring out their devotion for a living rock legend. They were far too young to have heard the Beatles when those four lads from Liverpool topped the charts; many were too young even to remember McCartney's later band, Wings.

I was born too late to witness Beatlemania firsthand. But I do remember Wings, and my eldest brother tirelessly ensured my familiarity with McCartney's earlier music. For me, too, Saturday night's concert was a walk down memory lane.

This tour marked the first time a former Beatle has focused on music from that era, and McCartney went at it with gusto and enthusiasm. He dedicated a portion of the show to "three dear friends ... John, George and Ringo," and later played a medley of John Lennon songs to the delight of the crowd.

In many ways, the show was a giant song fest. Everyone, it seemed, knew the words to all of the classic old tunes, and they all seemed to join in singing. And a multitude singing the closing "na-na-na" chorus of "Hey Jude" is an experience you won't soon forget.

The 2 1/2-hour show boasted an assortment of Beatles classics, chart-toppers from the Wings era and some of McCartney's recent material. Through it all, fans sang, danced and shouted their devotion. It's good to know that something so memorable from my childhood and from the childhoods of my elders has withstood so well the test of time.

[ by Tom Knapp ]