The only proper way to celebrate one’s 64th birthday is with a particularly well-known Beatles ballad, and that’s what Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal did. Sort of.
Van Gaal was caught on video delivering a brief snippet of the Beatles’ “When I’m 64” during a post-game press conference today, and Bleacher Report was quick to share the moment.
The impromptu Beatles riff came up when van Gaal was asked if his team’s victory over Spurs at Old Trafford — a very narrow one — made for a good birthday present. Apparently, it did.
“The Beatles had a song,” he informed the crowd at the press conference after reminding them that it was his 64th birthday. “Did you know that?”
Originally, the Beatles song was written by Paul McCartney at the age of 16, but wasn’t released until 1967 as a track on the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It showed up again in the trippy jukebox musical releaesd in 1978, performed by Frankie Howerd. Funnily enough, this moment comes hot on the heels of Rolling Stone Keith Richards expressing an extreme dislike for the exact same album, calling it “rubbish” and comparing it to the Stones’ own (in his opinion) worst album. Apparently, not everyone shares his opinion, as the crowd gathered at the post-match conference seemed to get a laugh out of the unexpected hat-tip to the Beatles.
That said, arbitrary Beatles performances are apparently not the strangest thing van Gaal has done at press conferences. The Telegraph says he has something of a history of odd behavior, and that this most recent interlude just upholds the Dutch manager’s reputation for quirkiness in the public eye. During United’s pre-season tour, he referred to footballer Chris Smalling — a player he knows and oversees — as “Mike.” He also attempted to prove that United didn’t play too many long balls by handing out a dossier on the matter last season.
This certainly isn’t the first time the Beatles song has been used as an actual 64th birthday tribute, either. Notably, Paul McCartney’s own children recorded a cover of it at Abbey Road for the Beatle’s own 64th birthday back in 2006. This may be the first time a person of note has been caught on camera giving themselves a birthday serenade with the Beatles tune, however. Either way, it seems Man U’s performance this weekend genuinely made van Gaal happy enough to sing.
[Image: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images]