Forty-five years after the Beatles’ American TV debut at the Ed Sullivan Theater, Paul McCartney got back — with a concert on top of the marquee.
McCartney put on an outdoor show atop the theater’s marquee Wednesday for a crowd estimated at between 3,500 to 4,000 people. The performance was shown during the former Beatle’s first appearance on CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman.”
The Beatles made their American television debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Feb. 9, 1964.
During his appearance with Letterman, McCartney recalled that it was “kind of scary” the first time the Beatles appeared on Sullivan’s show.
However, he didn’t acknowledge it during a later appearance when a floor manager asked “you nervous?” when the curtain was about to be raised for McCartney to perform “Yesterday” alone without his bandmates.
“You should be,” McCartney said the manager told him. “There’s 73 million people watching.”
Letterman said that his impression of the Beatles was that it was four guys on a long spring break, having a great time. The Beatles went briefly to Miami the first time they came to the United States.
“The British car firm loaned us an MG each and, you know, there was a beach and sand and girls and, come on!” McCartney said.
McCartney advised Jackson to think about music publishing as an investment. Jackson bought rights to many of the Beatles’ songs, and McCartney’s hopes of getting a better deal with the new owner were in vain.
“We kind of drifted apart after that,” McCartney said. “But he was a lovely man, massively talented and we miss him.”
On the show, McCartney performed the Beatles hit “Get Back” and the song “Sing the Changes” from his most recent album.
McCartney opens a U.S. tour Friday at Citi Field, which is the New York Mets stadium that opened this year. Their previous home, Shea Stadium, was also where the Beatles performed for a sold-out crowd of screaming fans in 1965.