Monday, August 16, 2010

Now THAT was a Legend!

A couple of weeks ago, I happened on a magazine at the checkout counter at the CVS which caused me to do a double-take. Its title was, "Justin Bieber: The Making of a Music Legend".

Now, with all due respect to young Mr. Bieber, I took issue with the concept that anyone who's 16 years of age could possibly have been performing long enough to have earned the appellation "legend". In my book, an actual LEGEND is someone who's been performing, at an exceptionally high level, at least long enough for someone born at the start of their career to have grown to adulthood. So forgive me, but applying the term "legend" to someone who hasn't even been BREATHING long enough to reach adulthood himself is, to put it mildly, premature.

Which leads me into how Mark and I spent Saturday evening. The *truly* legendary Paul McCartney played at the newly-rechristened Wells Fargo Center (formerly known as the Wachovia, First Union, and Corestates Center). First of all, the man is BRILLIANT. Second of all, his staying power is such that the fans from the start of HIS career have got ADULT children of their own. Third, he's got a repertoire that dwarfs that of any non-legend. I'm pleased to report that his voice has held up admirably for all these decades. He's a phenomenal showman, his singing was excellent, and he not only sang but played an instrument on every single song of a VERY long concert. And when I say "instrument", I mean any one of several including bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, ukulele(!), grand piano, and upright piano. I remember reading once that Paul had an innate talent to master just about any instrument he laid hands on, but on Saturday I saw this talent put on display firsthand.

All in all, it was an absolutely outstanding concert, and even though it lasted over three hours, it only covered a fraction of his hits. I wished it could have just kept going and going.

I was especially pleased to see the wide age range of the concertgoers. Along with the people who were clearly old enough to have been fans since the 60s, there were people who were certainly too young to drink and possibly were too young to obtain a learner's permit. It doesn't surprise me that McCartney has such a broad appeal, however, as the mark of truly good music is how well it stands the test of time. Fads will fizzle out; excellence will sound just as wonderful regardless of how many years ago it was released.

And THAT, my friends, is the REAL definition of "Legend". Paul McCartney most definitely fits that bill.

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