For over five decades, Paul McCartney has epitomized a pop music maestro. Although initially unfamiliar with reading music during The Beatles’ early years, his exceptional melodic intuition has captivated stadium audiences with timeless hits like ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Let It Be’. McCartney is intimately familiar with much of The Beatles’ repertoire, yet some tracks present onstage challenges.
Discussing his creative process, McCartney’s studio innovations are noteworthy, especially during The Beatles era, where Abbey Road Studios was almost an extension of the band. Techniques like tape loops, notably in ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, were avant-garde for live performances.
In his solo ventures, McCartney continued to explore complex soundscapes, as evident in albums like RAM. Tracks like ‘Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’, with its intricate medley, exemplify pieces not easily adapted to live shows.
McCartney identifies ‘Here Today’ from the 1982 album Tug of War as particularly challenging for live performance. This poignant tribute to John Lennon, written after Lennon’s tragic death, is an intimate reflection of their relationship.
McCartney recalls being emotionally overwhelmed during the song’s creation, as mentioned in his book ‘The Lyrics’. The song’s explicit expression of love towards Lennon initially made McCartney uneasy, yet he recognized its significance.
‘Here Today’ often features in McCartney’s acoustic set, alongside Beatles classics like ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Blackbird’. Performing it remains a deeply emotional experience for McCartney, often moving audiences to tears. Despite the emotional weight, ‘Here Today’ is a vital part of McCartney’s legacy, capturing the essence of his journey with Lennon from their youthful ambitions to becoming icons of rock music.