In their first live performance in over three years, ex-Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited to rock the Grammys. Performing McCartney’s ‘Queenie Eye,’ from his most recent album, NEW, the remaining half of the Fab Four made what will surely be a memorable show.
Their performance was one of many that captivated audiences over the course of the 56th Grammys, but it was particularly significant for a number of reasons. The reunite fell on the 50th anniversary of the start of The Beatles’ appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. It was there, 50 years and two weeks ago, that they started the British Invasion in a real way and forever changed the course of music history.
McCartney and Starr also received special recognition during the evening. They received lifetime achievement status from the Grammys for their work, and although the honor applies only post-humorously to George Harrison and John Lennon, it is nonetheless a title that few artists or groups can attest to possessing in either life or death. However, some have argued that the honor has been long overdue, and that The Beatles have deserved to be members of the Grammys’ most elite club for quite some time. Compared to acts such as the Grateful Dead and Frank Astaire, it seems quite strange to many that a band as influential and talented as the Fab Four would have been overlooked for so long. Regardless, the honor is now bestowed and Beatles enthusiasts can rest easy knowing that their band has got their just desserts.
As well, McCartney received some Grammy awards to add to his collection. Being honored for collaborative efforts, he received awards for Best Rock Song, Best Boxed or Limited Edition Special Package, Best Surround Sound Album, and Best Music Film.
The Grammys had even more love for The Beatles on Sunday evening as Starr’s night also consisted of more than the fanfare surrounding The Beatles reunite. Without Paul at his side, Ringo showed that he too can still rock by playing one of his own songs, “Photograph.”
Notable performers included Jay Z and Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Lorde, Daft Punk, and Metallica among others. In keeping with the tradition of other Grammys ceremonies, most of the 82 awards were handed out before the official ceremonies began, so performances came in fast and effectively without a torrent of interruptions from the actual proceeds of the evening. It is this seamless transitioning that made it possible for Julia Roberts to be talking about the historic appearance of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan one minute, and then to have the two living members performing directly after.
The Grammys are many things to many people. To some, they are all about the award winners and the losers who should have won. Others concern themselves with the celebrity aspect of the whole ordeal. Regardless of whatever ones tastes may be, one thing is clear: Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr know how to rock, and they demonstrated that this evening just as much as they did 50 years ago.
By Brett Byers-Lane