Beatles members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunite to film historic concert
'The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute to the Beatles' got an assist from a star-studded roster including Katy Perry, John Mayer, Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, Maroon 5's Adam Levine and Annie Lennox.
BY BONNIE ROBINSON IN LOS ANGELES AND GERSH KUNTZMAN IN NEW YORK / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014
KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES
It’s Been a Long Time, But Now They’re Coming Back Home: Surviving Beatles members Paul McCartney (L) and Ringo Starr reunite on stage onstage during ‘The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles’ at the Los Angeles Convention Center Monday night.
They got by with a little help from their friends.
The two surviving Beatles — Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr — rocked out Monday night to mark the 50th anniversary of their British Invasion in a tribute concert featuring the two lads from Liverpool, plus newer legends such as Stevie Wonder, John Legend Pharrell Williams, Joe Walsh, John Mayer, Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart, Katy Perry and Alicia Keys.
KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES
Just Like Old Times: McCartney (l.) and Ringo Starr performed as part of a celebration honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles’ historic trip to the United States and Feb. 7 performance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The four-hour concert will be aired on CBS on Feb. 9 — the actual day of the Beatles historic performance on the Ed Sullivan Show a half-century ago. The event and concert are dubbed "the night that changed America" — and it was, yesterday and today.
"When I was asked to do this show, I was wondering if it was the right thing to do," Sir Paul said from the stage. "Was it seemly to tribute yourself? Then I saw a couple of American guys and they said, 'You don't understand the enormous impact that show (the Ed Sullivan performance) had on America.' So then I understood and I decided to show up."
KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES FOR NARAS
Katy Perry, who once sang backing vocals for Mick Jagger, completes her collection by performin on stage for the surviving Beatles members.
And he kicked into the late Beatles classic, "Get Back."
"Are we going straight through"? Paul asked the audience, which responded with a thunderous round of applause, as he broke into "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club's Band."
Joe Walsh, Dave Stewart, Adam Levine, Dave Grohl, John Legend and Paul McCartney give McCartney some support.
McCartney then moved on to "I Saw Her Standing There."
After that, Starr joined McCartney on stage, marking the first time the pair has performed together in five years. Naturally, they broke into, "With A Little Help from My Friends"
The all-star audience included aActors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, musicians Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Barbara Bach, Yoko Ono, musician Sean Lennon, and model Charlotte Kemp Muhl.
"So now we have to mention that we were in a band of four people called The Beatles," said McCartney, paying tribute to his fallen bandmates, John Lennon and George Harrison. "And whenever we play, John and George are always with us, So tonight we're remembering our beautiful friends, John and George."
Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, Peter Frampton and Annie Lennox lend their pipes to the festivities.
Starr's wife, Barbara Bach, and McCartney's spouse Nancy Shevell were on hand, as were widows Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison.
Sitting nearby, were a universe of film and music stars, including Tom Hanks, Jared Leto, Adam Levine, Amy Adams, Jane Fonda and record producer.
ZACH CORDNER/ZACH CORDNER/INVISION/AP
John Mayer, left, and Keith Urban perform at The Night That Changed America: a Grammy salute to the Beatles Monday night.
The crowd sang along lustily when Starr turned "Yellow Submarine" into a singalong. "This is for a special young girl in England," he said before inviting everyone to all join in.
In other highlights:
* Mayer and Keith Urban sang “Don’t Let me Down.”
* Ed Sherran sang the Lennon classic, “In My Life.”
* Imagine Dragons sang “Revolution.
* Keys and John Legend sang, “Let it Be” — with Peter Frampton on guitar.
* Perry sang “Yesterday.”
* Lennox and Stewart reunited to sing “The Fool on the Hill.”
* Dave Grohl sang “Hey Bulldog.” “This is for my Mom’s favorite band, for my favorite band and now my daughter’s favorite band,” he said.
* Walsh and Jeff Lynne sang Harrison’s biggest hit, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Johnny Depp had introduced the duo.
Alicia Keys poses for a picture with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
Academy Award winner, Sean Penn, put the Beatles in their proper context at the outset.
"A hundred years from now, these songs will comfort the broken hearted and amplify the joy of them," he said.
The show concluded with "Hey Jude," with McCartney on the piano and Starr, obviously, on the drums. At the end, McCartney hugged and kissed all of his musical mates.
"What can I say about this evening?" he said. "It's just amazing.