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Life-changing experience...

...a close friend of mine (who has nothing to do with the music industry) and his wife were given back stage passes for the Grammy's Sunday and hung around for this:

He said, "Be sure and set your DVRs to record the CBS special on Feb 9 from 8-10pm. It's the Beatles tribute show that was shot at the LA Convention Center on Monday evening, that I was fortunate to have backstage passes for. It was epic… truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I'll never forget. It would take me hundreds of words to describe what I had a chance to participate in, but it ranked in the top 10 experiences in my life.

Just to give you a sense for things, we got to spend the entire day (Monday) at the convention center in and around the set. I sat in the front row with no more than 50 or so people in the audience while I watched Paul McCartney run through his 5-6 song set of Beatles songs. It was like a private concert with a living legend. I also watched him rehearse with Ringo with a similar size audience, and then Ringo rehearse "Yellow Submarine"! Having never seen the Beatles in-person during the height of their careers, it was almost surreal seeing the last two remaining Beatles at this stage of my life. It was almost like a religious experience seeing Paul play in-person, in such an intimate way, understanding what he contributed to the music of the world. Arguably, no one alive today has had more of an impact on music. In fact, many of the musicians kept saying that they literally would not be playing their music today if it wasn't for The Beatles… and specifically McCartney.

For those wondering… Paul seems like a very humble, approachable person. I never felt like I should impose upon him with conversation, but I was close enough to be able to over hear how he talked with others… ranging from friends to stage people. It was all the same… friendly and easy going… no ego involved. Ringo is the same way, but more extroverted and seemingly fun-loving. I did get a chance to talk with him while over at Staples Center on Friday. I ran into him at the end of a hallway as he was was waiting to go downstairs. He looked at me and said, "Good morning". Knowing that it was about 12:30pm, I kiddingly corrected him and commented about the craziness of the day, which led to a couple of minutes of light conversation.

All sorts of musical stars gathered for the day and for the evening's show to pay tribute to Paul and Ringo. They included:

Annie Lennox
Dave Stewart
Alicia Keys
Katy Perry
John Legend
Stevie Wonder
Jeff Lynne
Joe Wash
Don Was
Adam Levine with Maroon 5
Imagine Dragons
Dave Grohl
Keith Urban
John Mayer
Brad Paisley
Ed Sheeran

There were others, too. For example, the "House Band" for the evening included Peter Frampton who was wandering around all day long… just one of the "guys" who was hanging out to be a part of the incredible evening. Paul and Ringo each had their respective bands, too, comprised of musicians we've all seen them play with for many, many years. Paul had his drummer — the heavy-set, bald one who always smiles and who has toured with him for at least 15 years. The drummer for the "house band" was the one who I have always seen playing at those benefits for the Queen's Royal Trust — going back to the days when George Harrison and Eric Clapton were there playing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".

I got to watch the show from stage right, where I had a direct view out to most of the stage, plus a large monitor next to me. In fact, Susan and I stood next to Sean Penn and his girlfriend, Charlize Theron for at least 90 min watching the show. Seeing what went on with the musicians behind the stage was as powerful as watching the show. One of the numbers included George Harrison's only son, playing guitar. I was standing right next to him as he came off stage and received a hug from Dave Grohl, then invited back to the trailer for a drink. Joe Walsh kept coming over to hang out next to us and talk with Sean Penn. Jeff Bridges also hung out next to us for quite awhile since he was one of the stars doing an introduction. Musicians who rarely ever play together, or perhaps never have before, could be seen embracing each other as they took in what they knew was a very, very special day together. Joe Walsh played lead guitar on, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", and Keith Urban and John Mayer collaborated on one of the other Beatles songs (name now escapes me), with searing guitar solos that brought the house down — hugging each other on stage as they ended the song.

The audience was filled with stars and LA's notables, but it was much less formal than the Grammys, and everyone was soaking in the epic moment. Backstage, it was like a who's who of music as friends of the musicians stopped by to say hello, even if they weren't playing in the show. LL Cool J hung around back stage, following his evening as the host of the Grammys.

It took 4 hours to shoot what will get edited down to a 2 hour TV special. I have no idea what will get edited out… probably all of the old Beatles films that they put up on the monitors in between sets. Afterwards, it was a mob scene back stage and just outside where friends and family of the musicians could be seen talking and hugging one another, as well as running over to talk with Paul and Ringo. It was pretty damn special!!!!!"

Edits: 01/29/14 01/29/14

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Topic - Life-changing experience... - mkuller 11:32:41 01/29/14 (8)


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