Hamil­ton loves Paul — yeah, yeah, yeah!

Visit by Bea­tle stirs up nostalgia about the band that changed the face of mu­sic

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - JOEL OPHARDT

The Hammer was smit­ten by McCart­ney­ma­nia.

Amid the noisy buildup of scalpers, T-shirt sales­peo­ple, buskers, beep­ing horns, and ges­tic­u­lat­ing park­ing direc­tors Thurs­day night, a long lineup of buzzing fans slung around the front of the FirstOn­tario Cen­tre, all the way to the cor­ner of King Wil­liam Street and James Street North.

The old and new fans — but mostly older — were tick­led with ex­cite­ment to have the first chance to see Paul McCart­ney in Hamil­ton.

“I wanted to see him be­fore I die,” said 58-year-old Bob Van­denberg, whose 18-year-old son David Van­denberg had gifted him his chance to see McCart­ney for the first time on Father’s Day, de­spite his mod­est col­lege bud­get.

The Bea­tles have been Bob’s Num­ber 1 band since the ’60s, a time when he says the world “was ready for some­thing new.”

Bob’s love of the Bea­tles has been passed onto his son, spend­ing time lis­ten­ing to McCart­ney’s 2002 “Back in the U.S.” DVD ev­ery Sun­day, said David.

They showed up hours early to get a close glimpse of the star, as he hopped off one of the three big black tour buses parked out­side of FirstOn­tario Cen­tre.

“I tried to give him a high five, I was like two feet away, but I was afraid of se­cu­rity,” said David.

By 7:30 p.m. park­ing lots sur­round­ing FirstOn­tario were al­ready full, with cars cir­cling like hawks for a spot closer to the ever in­creas­ing lineup. Lots nor­mally charg­ing $10 were charg­ing $40, and hav­ing no prob­lem filling up.

While there were no throngs of teenaged girls scream­ing like in the ’60s, there were a few in the crowd that re­mem­ber Beatle­ma­nia.

“I was one of those teeny bop­pers that wanted to marry Paul McCart­ney,” said 65-year-old Joanne Grysak. She saw the Bea­tles live at Maple Leaf Gar­dens in 1964 and 1965.

“When my girl­friend I went into Maple Leaf Gar­dens, be­fore they came out, ev­ery­one started scream­ing at the top of their lungs. This hys­te­ria, you were just drawn in. It was al­most like you couldn’t con­trol your­self.”

She re­mem­bers the Bea­tles be­ing ev­ery­where — in the news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines, on the “Ed Sul­li­van Show,” and ev­ery­one be­ing glued to “their lit­tle tran­sis­tor ra­dios.”

“Un­like Elvis they were just more open and free with their mu­sic,” said Grysak.

Hamil­ton na­tive and pro­fes­sional mu­si­cian, Christo­pher Clause, says he owes his love of mu­sic to the Bea­tles, and has even per­formed Bea­tle trib­utes for lo­cal char­ity Gra­cenotes. Though he’s been to ev­ery McCart­ney per­for­mance in On­tario since 1989, he couldn’t pass up the chance to let his 17-year-old daugh­ter and 12year-old son see the man who in­spired him to be­come a mu­si­cian.

Clause said he ex­pected 74-yearold McCart­ney would per­form as well as he did when he was younger.

“He doesn’t even take a sip of wa­ter. He just has that en­ergy.”

I was one of those teeny bop­pers that wanted to marry Paul McCart­ney. JOANNE GRYSAK

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.