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McCartney marks 80th birthday with Springsteen, 60,000 pals

  •  Hard to think of a better way for Paul McCartney to celebrate his 80th birthday than by singing “Glory Days” onstage with Bruce Springsteen or being serenaded by some 60,000 well-wishers.
    That’s right, the “cute Beatle” turns 80 on Saturday. Hard to think of a better way for Paul McCartney to celebrate his 80th birthday than by singing “Glory Days” onstage with Bruce Springsteen or being serenaded by some 60,000 well-wishers.
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That’s right, the “cute Beatle” turns 80 on Saturday. It’s one of those cultural milestones that bring a sharp intake of breath — has it been THAT long? — along with an appreciation of what he still has to offer.

 

Hard to think of a better way for Paul McCartney to celebrate his 80th birthday than by singing “Glory Days” onstage with Bruce Springsteen or being serenaded by some 60,000 well-wishers.

That’s right, the “cute Beatle” turns 80 on Saturday. It’s one of those cultural milestones that bring a sharp intake of breath — has it been THAT long? — along with an appreciation of what he still has to offer.

For it has been more than a half-century now since the Beatles broke up, a realization that hits you like that 1970s-era joke about young people saying, “Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?”

Like several other members of the “hope I die before I get old” generation, including Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and former Beatles mate Ringo Starr, McCartney keeps working, keeps sharing his music from the stage. Another 1960s icon, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, is scheduled to play at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City on his 80th birthday Monday.

“He has a youthful exuberance that is ageless,” said Bob Spitz, a Beatles biographer. “There’s still some of that 21-year-old boy that shines through in all of his performances.”

It would be a cliché — and wrong — to suggest time hasn’t taken a toll. The fragility in his voice was evident while singing “Blackbird” on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium, the final night of a brief U.S. tour. He struggled for the high notes in “Here Today,” his love letter to John Lennon, who was robbed of a long life by an assassin’s bullet.