August 26, 2008
We’Ll Finally Get to Hold Paul’s Hand
By DAVID BRINN
The long and winding road that had Paul McCartney on the way to Israel, only to encounter a roadblock during negotiations, is apparently back on track. While an official announcement probably won't be made until Tuesday - the same day tickets are expected to go on sale - it's all but a done deal that the former Beatle will perform the biggest pop concert in Israel's history on September 25 at Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv.The show, produced by promoter Dudu Zerzevsky, is expected to cost upward of $4 million to produce and require a 100-person production team, an extra-large stage and expansive sound system, and additional touches such as two vegetarian kitchens at the show's location for the anti-carnivore musician.
The Tel Aviv show is expected to be part of a world tour by McCartney, listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's most successful musician. According to reports earlier this year, the tour would consist of more than 100 shows and McCartney would receive nearly $2m. for each. But as of Saturday night, McCartney's official Web site didn't list any upcoming shows, including the Tel Aviv concert.
According to British media reports, McCartney, 66, has invited his girlfriend, 47-year-old Long Islander Nancy Shevell, to accompany him on the tour. The couple just finished a monthlong road trip across the famed Route 66 in the US, where they were spotted by shocked fans at campsites, gas stations and motels.
"Paul is excited about going on tour," a source told the Daily Express. "Initially, he wanted to go it alone with just his band and road crew, with family flying out every now and again. But now he wants Nancy to be with him all the way."
Earlier this year, McCartney divorced Heather Mills, 41, following a stormy trial.
The concert comes 43 years after The Beatles were booked and then denied the proper permits to perform in Israel on the grounds that their music might corrupt the country's morals.
Ambassador to Britain Ron Prosor sent a letter to McCartney and the other surviving Beatle, Ringo Starr, earlier this year inviting them to perform in Israel for its 60th birthday.
"We should like to take this opportunity to correct the historic omission which to our great regret occurred in 1965 when you were invited to Israel," Prosor wrote.
McCartney performed in Montreal last month for the city's 400th anniversary, putting on a two-and-a-half hour show with his spunky backing band that included a generous offering of Beatles classics like "Eleanor Rigby,""Penny Lane,""Michelle," and hits from his former band Wings such as "Band on the Run" and "Jet."
Ticket prices have not been announced yet, but expect to pay top shekel to see this living legend. And expect it to be worth every agora.
Originally published by DAVID BRINN.
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