Sir Paul McCartney has played his first concert in Israel in front of an estimated 40,000 fans.
He performed a mixture of Beatles hits, Wings numbers and solo songs at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv. The historic concert, dubbed Friendship First, came 43 years after The Beatles were banned from performing in Israel.
Prior to the concert, which took place on Thursday 25 September, McCartney brushed off Palestinian pleas to boycott Israel in protest over its military and settlement activity.
I was aware of the criticism, but I thought it was best to go with a message of peace and find out myself what the situation was.
Tickets to the concert cost up to 5,000 shekels (£800), with the least expensive tickets priced at 500 shekels. The full setlist was as follows:
- ‘Hello, Goodbye’
- ‘Drive My Car’
- ‘Only Mama Knows’
- ‘All My Loving’
- ‘Flaming Pie’
- Let Me Roll It
- ‘My Love’
- Let Em In
- The Long and Winding Road
- ‘Dance Tonight’
- ‘Calico Skies’
- ‘I’ll Follow The Sun’
- Mrs Vanderbilt
- ‘Here, There And Everywhere’
- ‘Eleanor Rigby’
- ‘A Day In The Life’/‘Give Peace A Chance’
- Band On The Run
- ‘Back In The USSR’
- ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’
- ‘Live And Let Die’
- ‘Let It Be’
- ‘Hey Jude’
- ‘Lady Madonna’
- ‘Get Back’
- ‘I Saw Her Standing There’
- ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)’
McCartney addressed fans mainly in English, but with a smattering of Hebrew. He wished them a happy new year ahead of next week’s Rosh Hashanah, and during Give Peace A Chance he stopped to let the audience sing the chorus.
The Beatles had been scheduled to perform in Israel in 1965. However, the event was cancelled, for reasons which have been hotly debated in the intervening years.
Also on this day...
- 1974: US album release: Walls And Bridges by John Lennon
- 1969: UK album release: Abbey Road
- 1968: Mixing: Happiness Is A Warm Gun, What’s The New Mary Jane, Glass Onion, I Will
- 1967: Recording: The Fool On The Hill
- 1966: Brian Epstein is hospitalised in London
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1960: Live: Indra Club, Hamburg
- 1959: Live: Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.