Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney left one of his personalized guitar picks on Elvis Presley’s grave over the Memorial Day weekend during the former Beatle’s first visit to Graceland. Sir Paul said that is was, “So Elvis can play guitar in heaven.”
McCartney is on the North American leg of his Out There tour and the singer stopped off at Graceland Sunday as the tour went through Memphis. Sir Paul posted a picture of himself with the personalised guitar pick leaning over the wrought iron fence that stands in front of Presley’s gravestone on Twitter.
The former Beatle also posted another picture on the social network of him holding an acoustic guitar that had Elvis Presley’s name inlaid on the fretboard.
The Beatles and Paul McCartney met Presley in Los Angeles back in 1965, and the Beatles played a pair of shows in Memphis in 1966.
The Beatles and Elvis Presley and the legendary crooner Dean Martin have a history together. Way back in the day, 1964 in fact, the Beatles held the number one spot on the American charts for seven weeks. Presley was getting a little frustrated by their I Wanna Hold Your Hand taking the top spot for so long.
Enter Dean Martin, who Presley hero worshipped; Elvis actually liked Dean over the Rat Pack leader Frank Sinatra and Presley told anyone who cared to listen that it was Martin who had inspired him to become a singer.
Dean could not stand the British rock group, to be fair, he did not like rock and roll period. After the seventh week that the Beatles held the top spot, Martin knocked them off their perch with the song Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes. After first telling his son, who was a fan that he was, “Going to knock your little pallies off their spot.” He did.
He followed this up with a telegram to Presley saying, “If you can’t take care of these Beatles, I’ll do it for you pallie.”
It is fitting for Paul McCartney to pay homage to Elvis who, “back in the day” was competition, and by leaving the momento on Presley’s grave he showed how much he respected Elvis for what he had done for the world of music.
Both Presley and the Beatles changed the face of rock and roll. Presley with his gyrating performances that drove the teenage girls wild and the Beatles with their English accents and long hair who had an equal affect on young women.
McCartney played at the FedExForum with his first performance in Tennessee for over 20 years on Sunday night. McCartney arrived on stage gripping his signature Hofner bass, wearing a black Nehru-style jacket, Cuban heels, and he definitely did not look like a senior citizen. Kicking off with “Eight Days a Week,” he seamlessly segued between songs from his decade’s long career.
He had the capacity crowd buzzing while he delivered a nearly 40-song, three-hour set of Beatles classics, rarities, tributes and favorites from his Wings and solo catalog. It was a truly epic performance from a man just a few weeks short of his 71st birthday.
For a man, more than elegible for his bus pass and retirement, he is a spectacular and amusing showman, giving the crowd what they want to see and hear. He was in constant motion winking, pointing, dancing and giving his familiar “thumbs up.”
All during the three hour performance McCartney kept up a constant exchange with the audience, telling corny jokes and relating nostalgic stories.
As an old age pensioner, Sir Paul McCartney can still entertain the crowds and despite the honours and the awards and the money, he hasn’t forgotten his roots. Leaving the momento on Elvis Presley’s grave was an act of a deep personal sort; one that he wanted to share with his fans and to let them know that he was a fan of “The King” as well.
By Michael Smith