Paulie’s Recent Splash

It’s been a fruitful season for Paul McCartney, who at 68 has been playing small newsmaking gigs on both sides of the ocean – at the Apollo and the 100 Club, been anointed one more time by the President in a Kennedy Center ceremony airing later this month, and making key TV appearances on Jimmy Fallon and “Saturday Night Live.”

Fallon increasingly seems the go-to stop for music legends who aren’t used to either the overt fawning or the short shrift they’d receive on other shows. It worked well with a show-long Springsteen last month and it worked in an nearly as long segment with Fallon.

A big fan and pretty good musician himself, Fallon went to the less asked questions and asking him to perform a couple of (obviously rehearsed) songs, went for the original version of “Yesterday,” as “Scrambled Eggs” (which led to some silly further listing of breakfast items, particularly waffle fries) or his serious and subtle salute to Lennon on the day after the 30th anniversary of his death, “Here Today.”

There was a Lennon tribute too on “SNL” as McCartney began his third song with “A Day in the Life” and segued into “Give Peace a Chance” – extending his friend and collaborator’s message 30 years after his passing.

The rest of “SNL” was dedicated to selling his “Band on the Run” reissue, from the title song to the sturdy “Jet.” Something about the sound made the vocals and even harmonies sound a little shaky though. Hey it’s been a few decades since those original recordings  as well.

Given a fourth (!) time to play with his band, he chose “Get Back.” And by then it was clear that the starring Paul of the show was not the host Paul Rudd but the ex-Beatle.

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