July 16, 2017 (Steven O’Reilly) – To friends and family who know me, I am the biggest Beatles fan there might have ever been. At family gatherings, my brothers and sister roll their eyes when I blare the Beatles on my speakers. I am asked if my cell phone, via Blue Tooth “Jam” speakers, can play something other than Beatles. When asked if I have Pandora, I reply: “I deleted Pandora so I can put more Beatles on my cell phone.” Get this straight. . .I am a Beatles fan. I raised my four sons on the Beatles. They play guitar and piano. . .and it is all Beatles. Yes, I am even listening to Beatles as I write this article.
It was with great surprise and happiness I learned that my wife (Margaret) of twenty five years bought us tickets to a Sir Paul McCartney concert. This was her Father’s Day present to me. She paid $500 plus of our hard earned money for these two tickets. Sir Paul….are you reading this????? The concert was July 13, 2017 in the “Infinite Energy Arena” in Gwinnett County (Duluth) Georgia. Did I say we paid $500?
As a life-long Beatles, Wings and McCartney fan, this was my first experience at a McCartney concert – – ever. My first experience of Sir Paul live. . .and he was fantastic! It was a great concert. McCartney is a great showman and I mean this is the best sense of the term. He played many of the Beatles hits (opening with “Hard Day’s Night“) and those of Wings. He played great tunes like “Hey Jude” and “Golden Slumbers.” He and his band were fantastic. They know how to entertain an audience. He played for about 3 hours straight without a break. I can find no fault in their performances. Fantastic.
Yet, having said all the above. . .I came away from the evening greatly disappointed. Supremely disappointed, I must say. It happened at the encore (though there were hints before). Before their encore performance, Sir Paul and his band mates came running out on stage carrying the American flag, the Georgia state flag, the British Union Jack and the rainbow flag. The rainbow flag??? Really??? What the heck?? I thought it rude and presumptuous. Come on, Sir Paul. . .you cannot believe all Americans accept the homosexual lifestyle or same-sex marriage. Certainly, you must know a good many of your crowd disagree with you.
Sir Paul. . .Sir Dude. . .my wife paid $500 to take me to see you. I have paid that much for a plumber to come into my house. Yet, it would be exceedingly rude for a plumber to run around my house with a rainbow flag when I am paying such an exorbitant sum to fix a stopped up toilet. It would be rude of my plumber, Sir Paul – – it was rude of you. I would kick the plumber out of my house! I paid $500 a few weeks ago for a guy to remove tree stumps from my back yard. Even though he CUT my phone and cable lines in the process, he never thought – having done so – to run around my yard with a rainbow flag. Sir Paul: “Your mother should know.”
Granted, I recognize you are supremely liberal, Sir Paul. . .I get that. I always have. I could have guessed your opinion on gay issues – even without the rainbow flag incident. I didn’t need you to demonstrate it. You didn’t need to. I loved you for your music – – not at all for your politics or your position on the natural law. I thought that was one of the things that ticked you off about John Lennon – remember: “too many people preaching practices”? God rest John’s soul. . .but Paul. . .please don’t tell me you have become as insufferable as he was. You are free to believe what you want. But, heck, when we pay $500 for two tickets to sit in an arena for three hours – – we are your “hostages.” It is wrong to take advantage of that. Do not foist your world view down our throats! My wife and I paid to hear you SING. . .not to see you run around the stage with a rainbow flag. Brutta figura, Paul. . .as the Italians say.
Yet, even this was not all. There was a young teenage girl in the audience who displayed a “help me tell my family I am gay” sign. How do I and her poor family know this? We know it because Sir Paul called the audience’s attention to this sign between songs over his microphone. That is how. Again, I would not pay $500 for a plumber to come into my home to broadcast in my home his daughter is gay – – why, Sir Paul, do you think I would pay you $500 to do so? The sad thing is, I really think Sir Paul believes he was courageous for “helping” her. I do not think he really was. Paul. . .we can discuss that over a beer if you like.
Paul, you are a great songwriter, but you are politically correct. There is no bravery in that. You are a conformist. Would you have called some young girl on stage if her sign read: “Paul, help me tell my family I am Roman Catholic?” or “Sir Paul, help me tell my family I believe in the Ten Commandments”? Sir Paul, I doubt it. Frankly, you are full of ob-bla-di ob-bla-da. You showed zero courage and zero respect for your audience in this incident, expecting and presuming we must agree. So much for “too many people preaching practices.”
It may be heresy to Beatles fans – – and if so, I am a Beatles heretic. But, Paul – – I don’t know if you heard it, but I want you to know where it came from. It came from section 118, row R, seat 15. It was a “boo.” Something, I suspect, a Beatle has never heard. It was a “boo.” I never expected to “boo” a Beatle. I booed when you ran out with the rainbow flag. I booed when you had that poor young girl on stage to tell her father she was gay. I booed as loudly as I could. Sir Paul, if you read this. . .I am your greatest fan. . .but, I am God’s first.
(Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He lives near Atlanta with his wife Margaret. He has four children. He has written apologetic articles and is working on a historical adventure trilogy, set during the time of the Arian crisis. Book one of the trilogy will be completed in 2017. Due out this fall. He can be contacted at StevenOReilly@AOL.com.)