Petition for Paul to release his 2008 Independence Concert
There is an initiative to petition Paul McCartney and record company UMG to release Paul’s 2008 concert in the Ukraine to benefit Ukranian refugees.
On Saturday 14th June, 2008, over 350,000 concert goers braved adverse weather conditions as Paul McCartney played the biggest concert in the Ukraine’s history. It was at the invitation of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation that Paul McCartney performed a free concert in Independence Square, Kyiv, Ukraine. The event was named Independence Concert.
For this concert, Paul resurrected for the first time live on stage the “Band on the run” album track “Mrs. Vandebilt“, which had been a very popular song on the radio in the area, back in the seventies.
Paul’s special show was broadcast live on Novy TV. This exciting event was seen as symbolic for several generations of Ukrainians. It allowed people of different ethnicities and religions, political preferences and geopolitical orientations to come together around the ideas of peace, love and unity; the very ideas that Paul McCartney with The Beatles helped bring into the world. Independence Concert was an independent social initiative that aimed to strengthen the confidence and understanding in the Ukrainian society.
The crowds filled all the roads surrounding the square and the concert was shown all around the city on screens that were specially put up for this event. The concert was also beamed live to six major cities (Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovshchyna, Sevastopol, Lviv, Donećk and Odesa) across the Ukraine where over 195,000 people came out to watch the show. Together with the TV broadcast, it is estimated that the total amount of people that watched the Independence Concert in the Ukraine was more than 10 million.
Paul only played four concerts in 2008, all big events: Liverpool, Kyiv, Quebec and Tel Aviv.
Now, almost fourteen years later, Henrik from Denmark has appealed to Universal Music Group and to Paul McCartney to release the Independence Concert in aid of Ukraine.
Henrik writes: “When Paul could release “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” and “Freedom”, George could release “Bangladesh Desh” and John could release “Power to the People” and “Give Peace a Chance”, why not this?
Combined with the concerts (and film releases) benefitting Bangladesh and “Concert for Kampuchea”, there is a precedent for active political stance and I think McCartney and UMG ought to “put their money where their mouths are“.
Paul McCartney’s Independence Concert in Kyiv was released in full by bootleggers on CD and DVD back in 2008. Clips from the concert is freely floating about on YouTube, and one of these clips have been shared on social media lately, that is Paul singing a medley of A Day In The Life/Give Peace A Chance.
Henrik has written this email to UMG in Denmark and the U.K., plus Paul McCartney’s company, MPL:
Hi all You good people at UMG.
Thank you for your continuous promotion of peace and love through music.
I wish Paul McCartney would not only stand up for Ukraine in words but also stand up financially by rush-releasing his 2008 concert from Independence Square in Kiev and donate all profits to the Red Cross in Ukraine and the peaceful neighbouring countries receiving Ukrainian refugees.
Action speaks louder than words.
Henrik from Denmark
Meanwhile, the artist Andy Goff has created this image and posted it on his instagram:
What a brilliant idea from Henrik. Music unites the world in so many ways and Paul McCartney must be be the most famous artist still making music and touring. To offer the Ukrainian concert to the world and to give all proceeds to the Ukrainian Red Cross and other humanitarian causes would show a mark of solidarity amongst so many ordinary people who just want to help in any way they can. Even those people who are not passionate about music have heard of Paul and I am sure they would also buy a copy. If UMG could also agree to this then it should be done! Love and Peace, Martin from Devon in the UK
1. Drive My Car
3. All My Loving
4. Only Mama Knows
5. Flaming Pie
6. Got to Get You Into My Life
7. Let Me Roll It
8. C Moon
9. My Love
10. Let ‘Em In
11. The Long and Winding Road
12. Dance Tonight
14. Calico Skies
15. I’ll Follow the Sun
16. Mrs. Vandebilt
17. Eleanor Rigby
19. Good Day Sunshine
20. Penny Lane
21. Band on the Run
23. Back in the U.S.S.R.
24. I’ve Got a Feeling
25. Live and Let Die
26. Let It Be
27. Hey Jude
28. A Day in the Life / Give Peace A Chance
29. Lady Madonna
30. Get Back
31. I Saw Her Standing There
33. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
34. The End
I never understood Macca’s fondness for “C Moon.” Ditto for “Biker Like An Icon.”
They are simple melodies that play on words in a fun way – so much so that you can see it on his face: he doesn’t have to concentrate as much on making it so perfect every time.
If they release it, they should probably edit out “Back in the U.S.S.R”
Granted the original song was meant to be ironic, but the last thing the Ukrainian people want right now is to be forced to give up their freedom and dragged back into the totalitarian Russian regime. When the Russians are killing innocent civilians, including children, the irony can be lost.
“The Ukraine girls really knock me out (… Wooh, ooh, ooh)
They leave the West behind (Da, da, da)
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout (… Wooh, ooh, ooh)
That Georgia’s always on
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my, my mind”
Any word if he has agreed to do this?
No, nothing has been cornfirmed yet.
In light of the tragedies unfolding in Ukraine there is a moral responsibility for everyone to support those suffering in Ukraine, and the many Ukrainian refugees.
This is also true for artists and commercial companies associated with culture and the arts.
So far Sony Music and Warner Music have pulled out of Russia over Ukraine invasion. Spotify has closed its Moscow offices indefinitely. Last week, Pink Floyd and David Gilmour announced that the band was removing their post-1987 music from digital platforms in Russia and Belarus. Universal Music Group has also suspended its operations in Russia. This is all very well but does not generate funds for refugee relief.
Billy Joel’s Joel Foundation has made an initial donation of US$250,000 to provide direct and immediate aid to refugees at the Ukrainian/Polish border. And at Billy’s concert in Orlando march 12th he played “Great Gate of Kiev” from “Pictures at an Exhibition”composed by Mussorgsky.
Paul’s website has not mentioned Ukraine since February 28th. But hopefully MPL and UMG will announce something soon. Paul McCartney and his record label (Universal Music Group) is in a unique position to help the Ukrainians by immediately releasing the 2008 concert film and soundtrack on streaming services and physical formats (DVD/Blu-ray/CD/vinyl), and subsequently donate all profits to refugee relief.
By doing so McCartney would also send a clear political message that would inspire millions of people around the world.
To quote Sir Paul himself:
“If I ever get out of here
thought of giving it all away
to a registered charity
all I need is a pint a day
if I ever get out of here”
(“If I ever get out of here” from Band on the Run, 1973)
Sir Paul, it’s time to give.
What you say is true but the money you give to say the Red Cross not all of that money makes it to where it needs to go. Sad to say but true