It Was 20 Years Ago Today: Paul McCartney Played Atlantic City, NJ
They say that your life goes by in the blink of an eye. I don’t know about you … But, I believe this statement.
I simply can’t fathom that today marks exactly 20 years since Paul McCartney’s epic performance at The Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall. It doesn’t feel like half of that amount of time.
It was Saturday, September 28, 2002 and Sir Paul put on the greatest concert that I have ever witnessed. And, I also believe that it is the greatest concert ever staged in Atlantic City history.
That’s saying a lot, considering the fact that all four Beatles performed in Atlantic City 58 years ago.
George Hamid booked The Beatles on Sunday, August 30, 1964. It was a Steel Pier booking, but, the concert was held in then Atlantic City Convention Hall to hold a bigger crowd.
Here is a photo of an original ticket, $ 3.90, including all
taxes for a seat on the main floor from 1964:
This epic event took place during what was known as “The British Invasion,” a time period that changed music in America forever.
Fast forward 38 years and McCartney’s 2002 Atlantic City performance was sheer masterclass. He sang for more than 2 hours. He didn’t take a single break and he never even took a sip of water.
I’ve never witnessed anything like it before or since. McCartney performed 30 songs and followed this up with two encores, each consisting of three more songs each.
Beyond the concert itself, which was truly breathtaking … I had the opportunity to spend about 40 minutes with Sir Paul (before the concert), in his dressing room until the moment he walked out on to the stage to perform.
A big, grateful thank you to former Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford.
Mayor Langford was allowed to bring exactly one person with him to present “The Key To Atlantic City” to McCartney and he picked me.
McCartney was engaging and very kind during our private meet and greet. He spoke about his Mother and Father and shared many other personal stories.
In case you’re wondering, I wasn’t star struck at all, because McCartney was so down-to-earth during our extended time together. There was not a pretentious thing about him.
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most humble mega superstars that you could ever meet.
During this once-in-a-lifetime moment, there was only one other person in Sir Paul’s dressing room … his photographer, who took this photo.
It took many months for this photo to arrive to me by email. It was a bit agonizing, as I thought that perhaps this precious moment was “lost” forever.
I had such a profound, wide-ranging conversation with McCartney. I asked him if he remembered playing Atlantic City in 1964. He did not have any recollection of it whatsoever.
Something that he couldn’t remember is something that we will never forget.
I also shared some of the well known stories of The Beatles Atlantic City appearance from 1964, such as “The Fab 4” being moved around in a local Barbera Fish company truck because the fans were going wild over The Beatles.
To provide documentation about how wonderful this concert was, here is a complete rundown of this amazing night of elite entertainment by one of the absolute musical giant’s of all-time:
Sir Paul McCartney complete setlist, including his two extended encores from September 28, 2002 at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.
It’s been an absolute joy to relive this memorable experience with you, exactly 20 years later.
McCartney has been touring this year … I’d love to see him one more time.
I also want my friend for life, Tom Cantone to have the opportunity to book McCartney. Sir Paul is about the only performer that Cantone has not booked over the past 40 years … but, make no mistake about it … it’s not for a lack of trying on Cantone’s part.
Cantone literally wrote the book … “Book ‘em.” If anyone can book McCartney going forward, it will be Cantone.
SOURCE: Regarding Sir Paul McCartney setlist - “The Paul McCartney Project.”