When I returned to London, my first radio gig was midday host at Greatest Hits 1039fm. You think greatest hits, you think Beatles, of course. I can’t remember the reason why I was live on location at a bank in Woodstock. But the highlight was a lanky man with a guitar named Yuri Pool. As customers went about their day, he played and sang Beatles songs beautifully. When things got slow, we chatted. He had a newborn son and a band called The McCartney Years.
Fast-forward and The McCartney Years have toured the world and drawn accolades from the likes of Beatles promoter Sid Bernstein. It’s not a cover band. It’s a recreation of a Wings tour and spans twenty years of Sir Paul’s musical career. I came of age when McCartney led Wings, post-Beatles, and those songs are part of the core of who I am: Jet, Live and Let Die, Band on the Run, Listen to What the Man Said.
The McCartney Years marked a decade as a band by playing two nights at London’s Aeolian Hall on the weekend and Yuri invited us to see the show. Like the remaining Beatles themselves, Yuri’s band draws fans of all ages. This teenage girl and her friends sat in the row ahead of us.
I thought the T-shirt was vintage but it’s not. It’s a recreation of the ’77 shirt from a recent McCartney show. We talked to them as we waited for the crowd to disperse. With a grin, her boyfriend told us she had gone to Detroit to see Paul McCartney “on a school night”! With her big smile and obvious love for Paul McCartney, she reminded me of Lauren Davis. They pronounced The McCartney Years show “awesome”.
Not everyone can see the real deal and they certainly can’t go back in time to see McCartney in his prime. Maybe The McCartney Years will come to your city. Or perhaps they’ll make a return engagement to Las Vegas. Congratulations Yuri on building on your amazing talent and creating something that’s all your own, yet belongs to everybody.
Here’s a taste.