Paul McCartney joins Ringo Starr onstage at Radio City Music Hall, New York

Sir Paul McCartney made a surprise appearance at Ringo Starr's concert at Radio City Music Hall, as part of the drummer's 70th birthday celebration.

The evening concert followed a party held at midday in Times Square, in which Starr and his wife Barbara Bach were joined by thousands of fans. The former Beatle was born on 7 July 1940 in Liverpool, England.

The guests for the Radio City show included Yoko Ono, Olivia Harrison, Sid Bernstein, Peter Asher, Jeff Lynne, Nils Lofgren, Jim Keltner, David Stewart, Greg Lake, Spike Lee, Joe Walsh and Little Steven, as well as Starr's children Zak, Lee and Jason Starkey.

During the concert's final song, Give Peace A Chance/With A Little Help From My Friends, a birthday cake in the shape of a Ludwig drum kit was brought on stage. McCartney then took to the stage for a performance of the White Album song Birthday, to the delight of the audience.

McCartney's appearance came as a total surprise to Starr, although many in the audience suspected it would happen. He had arrived in the early afternoon for a rehearsal and soundcheck, but left the venue before Starr's arrival.

During the show, McCartney and his partner Nancy Shevell took their seats in the back row, unnoticed by many in the audience. An eyewitness report suggests McCartney was singing along to many of the songs, taking photographs on his BlackBerry, videoing the performance of Yellow Submarine, and dancing for much of the show.

During With A Little Help From My Friends, Starr was joined onstage by Yoko Ono, Zak Starkey, Eddie Vedder, Joe Walsh, Jeff Lynne and other guests. The birthday cake was wheeled out after Give Peace A Chance, and Starr used a pair of drumsticks instead of a knife.

After Starr left the stage the lights went down. McCartney walked up the auditorium to the stage, his guitar technician John Hamel handed him the famous Höfner bass, and the band began to play Birthday. At the end of the song McCartney hugged Starr, the pair bowed and left the stage.

The setlist:

Also on this day...

Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.

4 responses on “Paul McCartney joins Ringo Starr onstage at Radio City Music Hall, New York

  1. McLerristarr

    Yoko: My mike’s not working.
    Everyone else: We know…

    I’ve noticed that Ringo always sings the chorus to With A Little Help From My Friends a bit like Joe Cocker’s version.

Leave a reply