Paul plays a request
At the opening concert of the 2014 leg of Paul McCartney’s “Out There” tour, many fans had their dreams come true. This is the story of one of them, Flavio Pastre.
Standing at the front, Flavio was shouting out for “One after 9!”, meaning “One after 909”, a song that McCartney didn’t have on his play list.
McCartney has been known to some times grant his audience’s requests for “Ram On”, a song featuring just Paul singing, accompanying himself on the ukulele. The die hard fans know when to shout for this song, because Paul usually brings out the ukulele for the first part of “Something”, his tribute to his late band mate George Harrison.
But “One After 909” is a different kind of song, it involves the whole band. An early Lennon/McCartney original, “One after 909” was initially recorded by the Beatles in 1963, but went unreleased. The band then resurrected the song during the filming and recording of the “Let It Be” movie in January 1969, and performed it at their last ever concert, on top of their Apple office building in 3 Savile Row on January 30th, 1969. That version of the song was released on the final Beatles album, “Let It Be” in 1970.
Paul McCartney started playing the song live with his band in 2010, and the song was played on a number of concerts in 2010 and 2011. So, the band obviously knew the song. Relentlessly, Flavio kept on requesting the song until McCartney finally gave in and the band performed the song, exclusively for Flavio.
“Esta canción es para usted, solamente”, Paul quipped, meaning “This song is just for you!”
You can hear Paul recount the story in this telephone interview, at around 7:50.
Flavio’s story reminded me of my own magical McCartney moment way back in 1989. Paul hadn’t toured for ten years, now he was opening his comeback tour in my native Norway, and I was standing near the front. When he sang in Band On The Run, “all I need is a pint a day”, I raised my hand, and mimed that I was drinking a pint of beer. And I could see that Paul was looking at me.
I was also at the next concert, which was in Gothenburg, Sweden. At the time, no one knew if he was going back on the road for good or if it was a one off tour, and Gothenburg was just a few hours drive for me. And when he sang that same line at the Gothenburg concert, I was amazed to see that he used the same “drinking a pint” hand gesture that I had taught him a few days before!