What is it like to be a Paul McCartney fan 50 years after he shot to fame with The Beatles? It’s an interesting question because there are people who remember Beatlemania firsthand, there are people who are diehard Wings fans, and there are people who weren’t aware of Paul and his works until very recently. Macca’s fan base is like one huge extended family and nowhere is this more evident than on the Paul McCartney forum. There are fights, there are make-ups, there’s laugher, there’s excitement, there’s an ongoing petition to hear Silly Love Songs live…and there is an overriding mutual respect and admiration for the man himself.
The forum was a hive of activity during the second half of 2011. Firstly there was the launch of the brand new Paul McCartney website. He teamed up with technology giant HP in order to digitalise and catalogue everything. And considering that the McCartney archives contain over 40 years worth of music, videos, photos and memorabilia it is no mean feat. It’s all very cutting edge and innovative stuff!
And to top it off fans are able to subscribe in order to have access to some of the never before seen archive of material as well as being able to be the first to purchase concert tickets – a real treat that many fans would seemingly die for!
A couple of months after the website was successfully launched the winter leg of the On the Run tour hit the road. People from around the world flocking to the forum to take a sneaky peek at what was either in store for them or what they were missing out on. There was even a ‘setlist watch’ held during every show, where people would be scouring Facebook and Twitter in order to get the very latest news as to what was being played.
Paul’s latest album Kisses on the Bottom was released last month to critical acclaim, although the unusual title caused a lot of debate amongst fans on the forum and social networking sites. Some people loved it, others hated it, some people thought it was genius, others thought it was the worst choice possible. But the fact is it got people talking about the album, and this free publicity (combined with a smooth performance at Capitol Studios in LA) only added to the success of Pauls venture into the music standards of his childhood.
And while Paul was over in LA he managed to do all the usual touristy stuff like see the sights, receive a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, be honoured at MusiCares person of the year concert and headline the Grammys where some of music’s biggest stars including Katy Perry, Adele, Coldplay and Lady Gaga were in attendance. You know, the usual.
It’s only March and already the fans have been treated to so much this year! But that’s not it, oh no! The forum is awash with rumours about Paul’s next album. Who is he working with? What producer is he using? When will it be released? These are but some of the questions that fans are dying to know the answer to. But until the fans hear something concrete they’re more than happy to chase the red herrings and investigate the dead-end leads themselves!
And right now people are buzzing about Paul’s upcoming concerts. He’s just played to packed out arenas in Rotterdam, Zurich and Antwerp, and then took a short flight over to London to play the Teenage Cancer Trust gig at the Royal Albert Hall. And up next are a series of South America and Mexico shows. There are folks from across the globe borrowing, scrimping and saving in order to secure themselves tickets. And every millisecond of frantically vying to get tickets is all made worth it as soon as Paul and the band step out onto the stage and that first chord rings out.
So this is what it’s like to be a Paul McCartney fan. Exciting, exhilarating, and there is always the constant anticipation of the next trick Paul’s going to pull out of his hat. Beatlemania may be long gone, but Maccamania is still as strong as ever.