Sir Paul McCartney was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at an unveiling watched by hundreds of fans.
The ceremony took place outside the Capitol Records building at 1750 North Vine Street, Hollywood. McCartney’s star sits alongside those for his former bandmates John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
Also present were fellow musicians Joe Walsh, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Herbie Hancock, Don Was, Jeff Lynne and Neil Young, who gave McCartney an introduction. McCartney’s wife Nancy and son James were also in attendance.
Opening words were spoken by Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, before Neil Young paid tribute to McCartney.
Let me tell you a little bit about our friend Paul here just as a musician. When I was in high school and The Beatles came out, I loved The Beatles and I tried to learn how to play like them, and no one could figure out what Paul was doing on the bass. Not only was he playing differently because he plays left-handed, he played notes that no one had put together before, in a way that made us stand in awe of this great musician.
I’m so proud to be doing this. As a musician, as a songwriter, Paul’s craft and his art are truly at the top of his game, the way Charlie Chaplin was an actor. He has an ability to put melodies and feelings and chords together, but it’s the soul that he puts into everything he does that makes me feel so good and so happy to be here.
McCartney then gave a speech, opening with an acknowledgement of his debt to “three other guys – so thanks, John, George and Ringo.”
Way back in history, in Liverpool when we were kids and we were listening to Buddy Holly and all the rock ‘n’ roll greats, I would have never thought that the day would come when I’d be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That was like an impossible thing to happen.
But here we are today, and it’s happening. I couldn’t have done it without, certainly, three boys – so I want to say thanks to those guys, John, George and Ringo.
I couldn’t have done it without them. Ringo’s a little under the weather, so he’s not here, but we send our love. So I want to thank those guys and bless them for being in my life.
McCartney’s star is the 2,460th on the Walk of Fame, an 18-block stretch running along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Los Angeles.
The star had first been approved by members of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in 1993, but the nomination lapsed in 1998 after McCartney failed to set a date to accept. He was since renominated by the committee.
The Beatles already have a star as a band, and McCartney attended the ceremonies for Harrison in 2009 and Starr in 2010.
The ceremony coincided with the 48th anniversay of The Beatles’ historic first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on 9 February 1964.
It is also the week in which McCartney’s album Kisses On The Bottom was released. Following the star’s unveiling he returned to the Capitol Records building, where he later gave a live performance with Diana Krall and her band, to be streamed on iTunes and Apple TV.
On Friday he is the guest of honor at the Recording Academy’s annual MusiCares Person of the Year tribute gala and fundraiser, and on Sunday he will perform at the Grammys awards show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
As McCartney left the Walk of Fame ceremony, he spotted an 18-year-old fan, Paul Madariaga, holding up a Hofner bass guitar to be signed. McCartney nodded and the instrument was handed to him to be signed and passed back.
Also on this day...
- 1993: US album release: Off The Ground by Paul McCartney
- 1972: Wings live: Nottingham University
- 1970: Recording: Whispering Grass, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You by Ringo Starr
- 1967: Recording: Fixing A Hole
- 1964: The Beatles’ first Ed Sullivan Show
- 1963: Live: Empire Theatre, Sunderland
- 1962: Live: Technical College Hall, Birkenhead
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: Live: The Beatles’ first Cavern Club show
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
I attended this event in Hollywood, and my eyes filled with tears as I realized I was standing a mere ten feet away from my hero while he received a star on the walk of fame. I was 15 at the time and my mom let me skip school to see this. It was purely incredible, and is one of my most treasured memories.