Paul McCartney was at a New York high school on Wednesday to celebrate his second wedding anniversary with his wife, Nancy Shevell, and a few hundred students.
He gave a surprise performance at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, which was opened by Tony Bennett.
McCartney, 71, said, “Happy Anniversary, Baby,” to Nancy, before launching into his latest song, entitled “New.” He said that it was his wife who had been the inspiration for the song. McCartney’s album, also called “New,” is due for release next week.
When McCartney was asked by a student when he felt he had officially entered the music industry, McCartney replied that it was when the Beatles recorded their first single, “Love Me Do.”
The crowd of students and adults became excited when McCartney performed 13 songs including “Hey Jude,” ”Eight Days a Week”, and “Jet.” These had been selected from his Beatles and Wings albums, and from his solo catalog.
McCartney told the audience, “this beats going to class.”
He was asked why he wanted to continue being a musician after enjoying so much success and receiving so many accolades, and why didn’t he retire. ” I say, ‘Thank you very much. No,’ ” he said.
Tony Bennett, who was present at the event, was responsible for launching the school in Queens in 2001. McCartney spoke about the school that he and George Harrison had once attended in Liverpool, England, “I used to say that half of the Beatles went to that school.”
McCartney also mentioned that this day would have been John Lennon’s 73rd birthday, While it is true that he connected with Lennon through songwriting, their personal relationship deteriorated after the Beatles split up, especially following Lennon’s link-up with Yoko Ono.
But Paul McCartney is not living in the past, and he intends to continue entertaining audiences far into the future.