Paul McCartney knows how to deliver a showstopper. For the final night of his “Freshen Up” tour, which took place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on July 13, he brought his old bandmate Ringo Starr up on stage for a surprise performance.
After the first song of the encore, McCartney announced to roaring applause, “a surprise for us, a surprise for you, a surprise for everyone — ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Ringo Starr!”
Out walked Starr, who said he was ready to rock. Starr’s Ludwig drum kit came out and McCartney said, “Alright, brother. I love you man!” before the two ex-Beatles launched into playing the band’s classic songs, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)” and “Helter Skelter.”
Afterward, the pair took a bow and McCartney thanked Starr. “No, thank you, Paul, “Starr said. “It’s been a thrill for me, and I’ve had a lovely night, and it’s a great show, and I love you, man.”
“I love you — peace and love, Ringo, forever,” McCartney replied.
Post-performance, the pair shared their delight in the reunion online. “Reunited with my favorite Starr,” McCartney posted on Instagram about the surprise appearance.
He later added another photo of him and Starr playing, captioning it, “The joy of playing with my Peace and Love brother!”
Starr, in turn, posted the same photo on his Instagram account, writing, “I had a great night last night love you man peace and love.”
On-stage reunions between Starr and McCartney aren’t frequent, though Starr did join McCartney and Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood for a surprise performance of “Get Back” on the last night of McCartney’s 2018 “Freshen Up” shows.
Before that, the two last surviving Beatles hadn’t performed live together since they entertained at Starr’s 2015 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
They did, however, reunite in 2017 off-stage for an in-studio recording session for Starr’s album.
You can see one fan’s capture of their Dodger Stadium reunion, which included lots of energy and huge grins on the faces of the old pals, below. It was posted to YouTube user banfibill’s account.
Lennon was killed in 1980 and George Harrison died in 2001 of lung cancer. With Starr and McCartney, they made up one of the most influential musical groups in history. Not only did they herald the coming of a new type of music, they created the music video and re-defined how live performances are done.
After Starr’s cameo, McCartney brought out Eagles band member Joe Walsh (who also happens to be Starr’s brother-in-law) for another unannounced number that ended the evening with a grand guitar battle.
YouTube user Cal Vid posted the finale on YouTube:
The 77-year-old McCartney played a 38-song set over three hours to 58,000 fans, which also included tributes to his deceased band members, John Lennon and George Harrison. He performed Lennon’s song “Here Today” and Harrison’s “Something.”
Sounds like quite the concert. Wish we’d been there!
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