Sunday 28 June 2020

Let It Be Liverpool: 30 Years Later

Kings Dock

Kings Dock, Thursday June 28 1990

LIVERPOOL, England —

Paul McCartney came home Thursday, thrilling a capacity crowd of 50,000 fans with a waterfront concert that included a fireworks display and a medley of John Lennon tunes.

Jeff Kaye, Los Angeles Times, 30 June 1990

I was too young to go and see Wings perform at the Royal Court theatre in 1979 – I was only eight and I’m not sure I even knew who Paul McCartney was then.

That would change quickly over the next three or four years. By the time he released the album ‘Flowers In The Dirt’ in 1989 and announced a world tour starting at the end of that year I was chomping at the bit to see him live.

I actually got to meet him in June 1989. I’d joined the Wings Fun Club in late 1988 when I’d discovered that membership entitled you to a copy of Choba B CCCP , Paul’s album of rock ‘n’ roll covers initially released only in Russia. I joined just at the right time as it coincided with Paul’s return to the spotlight, making numerous promotional appearances in the lead up to the release of ‘Flowers In The Dirt’. One day in April or May 1989 I received a letter from the Fun Club inviting me to apply for tickets to be in the audience at Twickenham Film Studios in London watching Paul and his new band perform in a live satellite link up with Japanese TV.

Amazingly I got two tickets. I was thinking this is the best ‘fan club’ ever!

On Wednesday 7 June 1989 me and my mate Chris set off from Lime Street to Euston Station and then made the journey across London to Twickenham Film studios (where the Beatles made all those films!). We joined in an audience of about 150, mainly Fun Club members. It surprised me that everyone we spoke to there seemed to be from Liverpool. Perhaps that was one of the unspoken rules about eligibility for a ticket?

Anyway, in between takes of ‘My Brave Face’ and ‘This One’ he remained on stage and chatted with the audience. He mentioned he was going out on tour. ‘Anyone here from Liverpool?’ he asked ‘Yes’ many of us boomed in reply. ‘What about Manchester Paul?’ somebody asked hopefully. ‘Never mind’, replied Paul, ‘as long you’ve got your health’ which brought more approving cheers from certain parts of the crowd.  At the end of filming he sat on the edge of the stage and signed everything we passed him, including my Choba B LP. 

An 18 years old me on the left snapping Paul, 7 June 1989

That whole 1989-93 period was a great time to be a Paul McCartney fan.

With the passing of time I can’t remember how I got tickets for the tour in those pre-internet days. Did I apply by post through the Fun Club or, in the case of the Liverpool gig, simply queue up somewhere? However I got them, I ended up with tickets for Birmingham NEC Arena and Wembley Arena in January 1990 and Liverpool that June. Just like that. How difficult is it to get tickets these days?  

Having seen him in the January and grabbed the inevitable bootlegs that appeared regularly after each leg of the tour I was very familiar with the set list by the time the Liverpool show came around that summer.

That didn’t put me off or detract from my excitement about the night. Back then I still looked forward to him singing ‘Hey Jude’ and all the other Beatles’ songs that have since become over familiar in Paul’s concerts. For me and many other second generation fans this was the first opportunity to see one of the Beatles perform in Liverpool, my home city and for this reason it remains my favourite Paul gig.

I thought I’d ask the members of my Facebook group who attended the show to share their memories of that special night thirty years on. Thanks to all who contributed.

I think at the start in 1989 I was, possibly like a lot of McCartney/Beatles fans, patiently waiting for him to make the album I knew he had in him. So when 'Flowers In The Dirt' arrived I was thrilled and then some. I remember getting it home from the record shop and the album living on my turntable for days! I was 24 years old in 1989, so already a veteran of trips to both Liverpool and London on the Beatles trail. I think I visited Beatle City more than any of my friends, in fact so often that myself and my girlfriend were invited there one year on my birthday (1985) for a free visit with champagne. (AGP)

My first connection to Paul in the flesh, if you like, via the excellent 'Flowers In The Dirt' came from the news that a mate of mine had won a competition through 'The Club Sandwich' to attend a Japanese TV recording at Twickenham Film Studios. The prize came with a plus 1 and given that we were long term Beatle-buddies I was the obvious choice, we went to London, joined the audience of less than 100, and watched Paul and the band play a couple of numbers, and get interviewed. Afterwards he signed a few records, I was lucky enough to get an autograph on my Beatles 'Yesterday and Today' album. We met the band members in the pub afterwards, so everyone also signed our 'Flowers In The Dirt' albums, apart from Paul and Linda, who didn't attend the pub.

The whole group, apart from Paul and Linda went to the St Margarets pub across the road after, and hung out for about an hour or so.... We spoke to Wix for ages, and Hamish for a bit. Years later I worked out of Twickenham Studios for roughly 3 years on two of my own productions, that's when I came to realise that the St. Margarets is pretty much the studio pub.... I also learnt a lot about the area, and filming for 'A Hard Days Night' and 'Help!'..... It's almost all in and around.

When the tour was announced I thought what the hell, I'm going to go for it, big time! I attended multiple nights at UK gigs in Birmingham, Glasgow and London. Travelled to both Paris and Hamburg (both incredible shows) and then waited with baited breath like everyone else for news of Liverpool. I remember an early fan rumour that it might possibly be Anfield, which of course came to nothing. When 'Let It Be Liverpool' Kings Dock was announced I bought my ticket ASAP. We also booked three nights in Liverpool, deciding to do the whole Beatles thing, including the Magical Mystery Tour over the course of the days around the gig. We'd also decided we'd get there early and try to make the barrier. (AGP)

In the late 1980s Liverpool didn’t have a concert venue of sufficient size which meant many big acts didn’t perform in the city. The Liverpool date was originally planned for 10 January 1990, at the start of the UK leg of the tour. Paul admitted that he’d initially considered playing a pared-down version of his lasers and fireworks-laden show in the 2,350 seat Liverpool Empire, but the theatre was too small to handle the show’s elaborate staging so he decided to wait until the summer when a larger outdoor venue could be found.

“I didn’t like the idea of scaling down the show, showing everyone else in the world the big show and then doing a little piddly show for Liverpool,” he said. “So we had to look around and find a site like this.” (Paul McCartney, press conference 28 June 1990)

The huge stage was specially constructed next to the River Mersey on the empty site of the former Kings Dock which had been filled in and was being used as a car park in 1990.

I went with my my sister Andrea and her mate Sarah, my mate Chris and a lad from work called Phil. We started queuing outside the Kings Dock from about 2pm (I think). One of my clearest memories of the wait outside was the now disgraced Fred “the Weatherman” Talbot broadcasting live from the queue and the light hearted abuse he received....

Local photographer Mark McNulty took some shots of Paul and the band at the press call.   

Paul arrived on site at 2.30pm, posing with the band on the dock for the benefit of the press photographers before sound checking. Paul and the band ran through Birthday, C Moon, Sally, Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying (the Ray Charles song), Hit The Road Jack, Imagine, and the Lennon medley, all of which was audible to the crowd queuing outside on Wapping.

I remember hearing Birthday from outside which I knew he hadn’t performed previously on the tour and assumed we (the Liverpool audience) were going to get it as a special treat. We didn’t, the audience at Knebworth got to hear it for the first time two days later. Imagine was the other big ‘wow’ though I must admit, on the day I initially thought he was playing A Day In The Life. It makes no difference. We didn’t get either of those songs that evening!  

I remember this very day, I was working at the Penny Lane Wine Bar in Liverpool and the girls in the kitchen managed to get contracted to help with the catering of the Macca concert , well I only went and managed to get a job also, numbering the seats for the concert.

So there I am sticking numbers on seats and Macca and the gang walk on the stage to start sound checking. I remember them doing C moon and thinking ‘of all the songs you had to do that one ahaha! ’(not my favourite )

As if that wasn’t enough I started to get to walk around a little thinking my security pass entitled me to practically to go anywhere so I got closer and closer to the stage ! I just looked on at Paul and thinking my God I can almost have a chat with him and then from nowhere I was approached by someone who reminded me I was out of my permit allowance and asked to leave the front of stage area and get back to my job (PT)

 I was there. I was 15 and at school on the Wirral. I was on work experience in June 1990 at Elsam Mann & Cooper commercial photographers on Fenwick St. I loved the Beatles and got my ticket for the gig nice and early - wasn't taking any risks. On the day of the show, a few of us from work went up onto the roof of the office building and listened to the sounds of the soundcheck drifting up Water Street from King's Dock. (RS) 

In summer 1990 I was in the UK for a trip: Knebworth, Liverpool, Henley....  While in Liverpool I stayed in a private Bed and Breakfast with a friend and we got a short tour visiting Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane while in the afternoon we queued outside Kings Dock. I remember hearing the soundcheck and the Lennon Medley. There were a lot of foreign fans there. (TK)

Fans had travelled from all over the world to see a Beatle perform on his home turf.

Charles F. Rosenay, who published the fanzine Good Day Sunshine in New Haven, Connecticut, and organised Beatle tours, brought over 37 Americans for the show. In Liverpool they hooked up with a group of 40 Japanese counterparts.

I went down in the afternoon and was lucky to catch the sound check. You could see the big screen over the barriers. While he was doing the sound check a coach load of Japanese tourists pulled up outside the Beatles Story museum in the (adjacent) Albert Dock. I couldn't believe that they all poured into the Beatles Story ignoring the fact that there was a real live Beatle playing about 100 yards away! (RR) 

The day before we left for Liverpool a package arrived from my Beatles pen-pal in New York, it was a Ringo Starr tour shirt, a huge out-sized USA one, the front of which was all Ringo's face and a logo, on a white T-shirt. At the time it was like two sizes bigger than I took, but once I put it on it looked great, and given that it was white it would be perfect for the hot weather. I decided I'd wear it for the gig. On the day we made it to the queue early in order to make the barrier, my everlasting memory is of a pub across from Kings Dock with an homemade banner outside which read 'MACCA IS BACCA - THANKS WHACK!'. We queued forever in the sun, with large bottles of water. And, as my girlfriend had suspected, my T-shirt was a real talking point, I don't think Ringo had played much in the UK at the time. I certainly didn't see him live until 2014 at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles (AGP)

My mother was given several tickets for my sisters and I ...I got asked if I want to go to the concert or have £5..........I chose the £5 (EF)

I travelled down from Sheffield with a mate and the coach driver got the times wrong so as a result we were dropped off at the dock about three in the afternoon on a gorgeous day (IW)

I went. My first ever McCartney gig. Drove up from Northampton and met my Liverpool pen-pal there (remember them?). I stayed over at her house. Added bonus was that her Mum was a Cavern goer and saw the Beatles back in the day many times!  (MRCJ)

My other big memory from the waiting time was meeting various pen-pals or people I'd traded tapes with via Beatles Monthly. Getting a tap on the shoulder from someone who remembered me from the coach trip to Paris. Plus a Japanese girl who was in tear because she had got George Martin's autograph. I'm pretty sure it was reported later in Beatles Monthly and Beatles Now that George Martin had attended the show. (AGP)

Queued all day then they opened the gates and it was a free for all! (ES)

It was! The gates opened and it was virtually a stampede as the first few hundred fans through the gates charged for the barrier at the front of the stage. I remember my sister’s mate Sarah falling during the rush and cutting both her knees open.

Still we made it to a position of about 10-15 or so people from the barrier...

When the gates finally opened we were off, and we made the barrier with ease, as my partly bruised chest proved the next morning! (AGP)

Everyone who attended a date on the Paul McCartney World Tour received, free of charge, an excellent 9x12-inch 98-page book, containing the tour itinerary, lengthy profiles of the band members, descriptions of the tour's stage and logistics, and an extended description of Friends of the Earth's mission. Two-thirds of the booklet consisted of McCartney's reflections upon his life and career, illustrated by many rare photographs.

In Liverpool everyone was handed a Let It Be: Liverpool plastic carrier bag containing the book, a flyer, and a blank TDK cassette. I grabbed a couple going in and used the cassettes to record the concert on my Walkman. (Taping gigs on cassettes, those were the days!) 

There was a press conference held on site at 5.30pm

My friend and another friend went to the press conference - they were let inside - with a German membership card for a bank - seems no one cared to read. George Martin was there too. The press photo call was near the river - in their private clothes. One friend taped the press conference and the other was allowed to go in front of the stage to take photos for the first 2 (?) songs. He took a photo of me down from the stage and a similar photo was in the Liverpool Echo extra - a nice memento.(TK) (see below)

During the press conference Paul was asked about Liverpool and the changes that had occurred since the Beatles’ era. He mentioned his last performance in the city (1979), his plans to convert his old school, the Liverpool Institute into a  performing arts school similar to the one in the movie Fame, the Get Back film of the current tour and his support for Friends of the Earth. Paul explained that part of the proceeds from the concert would be used as seed money for the fame school while the rest was going to local charities and organisations.  

Of course, someone had to ask him about the controversial Lennon tribute concert, organised by Yoko and held at Liverpool’s Pier Head the previous month. The three surviving Beatles were conspicuous by not making a personal appearance. Ringo and Paul sent videos instead while George wanted nothing to do with it.

Paul was asked if he would have appeared in Liverpool on this tour if Yoko hadn’t come to the city first.

“Yeah, in fact we were planning to do it quite a bit before she was planning to do it,” he said. “You have to take my word for that.”

McCartney wouldn’t state exactly what he thought of the Lennon concert, but made it fairly clear anyway.

“As to whether it was in poor taste or whether it had come off or not, it’s over, it’s done,” he said. “I didn’t like. . . .” He paused half a beat. “I think John might not have liked it. That was the funny bit about it. There were a few artists on there I don’t think he would have been proud of.”
Jeff Kaye, Los Angeles Times, 30 June 1990

Paul confirmed that his own show would contain a special tribute to John, to mark what would have been his 50th year. He said the songs he had chosen to perform were "very John".

I reckon we must have got onto the Kings Dock about 3.30pm. We achieved our goal of getting close to the barriers in front of the stage and then we just waited....and waited. We didn’t move until Paul came on stage about five hours later. No drinks, no toilet breaks, and it was really warm.  

The doors didn’t open until five but security just let us in so we were at the front at the stage, I think Paul was late on as well about 8.30/9:00 if I remember correctly so we had to wait hours and we dare n’t leave the spot so couldn’t drink in case we needed the toilet (IW)

Later that evening I got the ultimate golden ticket as they say as I got to sit and watch the concert next to George Martin. Frustratingly I was stuck for words to be honest and in the end I asked the same question he’d probably been asked over over and that was “ what was it like George working with The Beatles?’ “I was very,very lucky and blessed to have worked with four such very talented but also four very charming people” (PT)

A few people have said the view in the VIP bleachers wasn’t particularly great.... 

I was there, absolute rubbish seat but great to be there. (DD)

I wasn't gonna go (not being a fan of outdoor enormo-gigs) but relented and bought a ticket ON THE DAY OF THE SHOW! The fact that there was still some available last minute is surprising given the God-like status he has today.

Anyway, I had bought an expensive sit down ticket and when I arrived I found myself sat opposite the McCartney's plus other family and friends including George Martin. However, the view wasn't great as I was almost in line with the stage offering only a limited view. About a quarter of the way through, I'd had enough of 'rattling my jewellery' and went into the 'cheaper seats' (i.e standing) with the throng for a better view and enjoyed the show much more from there. First time I had seen a Beatle live and it was fab AND gear (although I think there was some filler in the set from his then current material) Was great to see him back home though (TOK)

I was there , VIP, 50 yards away from the stage in the stand. Kenny Dalglish and his wife sat two rows behind, bought us all chips during the interval. Great day, he was brilliant (MC)

I was standing quite near the stage - I would guess row 20. The show began quite late because it was too light to show the pre-show film which was quite annoying (TK)

To date I have never met Thorsten in person but have spoke quite often over the last few years through emails and my Facebook page. 30 years too late we found out we had been standing within feet of each other and had appeared in the Liverpool Echo!

I was there that night, I seem to remember a jolly little tune playing in the lead up to Macca coming on stage, it went on for a few minutes, and then he and his band walked into the stage. Love to know what the tune was. This is your mission. This message will self destruct in one minute (GB)

(Gerry a part of it is heard at 5m4s on the Youtube compilation video)

I sat on the front of the stage! (TB)

In those days my hair was also totally bleached, so I was easy enough to spot from an Aeroplane!! A factor which led to the next big moment of that day for me, when the band walked out Paul saw my Ringo shirt (it was hard to miss) grinned and gave me a wink, the guy next to me shouted; "It's you, he grinned at you! He acknowledged you!" - Cool.... On it went, an incredible gig, one of my favourites ever, and that's taking a lot of gigs into account in all corners of the globe. (AGP)

When they realised they couldn’t keep the crowd waiting for it to go dark any longer the signal was given to run the pre-show film. It was still too light to be honest. As the film reached it’s climax hundreds of red white and blue balloons were released and then Paul and the band walked on stage.


I went from front row to fifth when there was a crowd surge however my bag and jacket were still in the front row never to be seen again (ES)

The set list:

·       Figure of Eight
·       Jet

Paul: ‘People of Liverpool! Welcome to the banks of the Mersey. How you doing? Ok, before we go any further I wanna hear everybody go ‘Wooooo’.

·       Got to Get You Into My Life

Paul: ‘Ok we’re gonna have a good time tonight...I want you to let your hair down...or put it up, I don’t care’

·       Rough Ride

The tour blazers had a Liverbird coat of arms embroidered on the breast pocket for this show only.

Paul: ‘Oh yes! We’re gonna have a party. Right! Ok, I tell you what, before we go any further let me introduce who’s up here with me. Starting over here, on guitar, young Robbie McIntosh. (Paul walked towards Robbie comically waving at him. Robbie waved at the crowd)

At the back here on keyboards, Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens, (becoming increasingly more scouse) look der ‘e is! On drums in the middle ‘ere, Chris Whitten, and over here on these keyboards, my wife – Gertrude Higgins!

And from the fair city of Glasgow, the lad himself, Hamish Stuart.

And not forgetting, last but not least, a local lad (inaudible)... Paul McCartney.   

·       Band on the Run

Paul: Thank you. Ah, you’re a great crowd. Ok. How many people here are from Liverpool?


Alright, how many here from Speke?
Well.. that’s four of us.

Suddenly he’s Beatle Paul: Ok, we’re gonna carry on, with a song off our latest LP, and this song is called ‘We Got Married’

·       We Got Married

Paul moves over to his magic piano...

·       Let 'Em In

Three out of the first six songs performed were from ‘Flowers InThe Dirt’. I didn’t mind Figure of Eight at the time, I always thought it sounded better live than the on the album but looking back now it was a brave choice for a concert opener. Rough Ride would probably have been contender for ‘toilet break’ song if it had been performed later in the set. We Got Married sounded superb.      

The show was good – ‘Let 'Em In’ was the only low point even if it was the only change to the 1989 tour - I might be wrong (TK).

Paul had added ‘Let ‘Em’ to the set list which I personally enjoyed, realising that some of the McCartney members referenced in the song were probably there in the audience.

Paul had dropped ‘Ebony and Ivory’ (no great loss) and his cover of Fats Domino’s ‘Ain’t That A Shame’ from the set, which was a shame.

Paul: Thank you. Ok, we’re gonna go back through the mists of a place they call the Sixties. 

·       The Long and Winding Road

Paul stand up and applauds the crowd and punches the air saying ‘Thank you Scousers everywhere’

OK, we’re gonna stay in the same timezone with the next song, and this one I wanna dedicate, as we have been doing on this tour, specially to three mates of mine – John, George and Ringo. Without whom....

Big crowd cheers and he’s up off his piano stool again applauding the crowd.

·       The Fool on the Hill

Paul straps on his Les Paul guitar as the band go straight into:

·       Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/Reprise
·       Good Day Sunshine

Paul: Oh yeah. I tell you what, everybody say after me, ‘Oh yeah’
Say ‘Alright!’
Say ‘OK!’
Ok, say [Japanese sounding gobbledygook]
(picture John Lennon at Shea Stadium) 

Listen if there’s anyone out there who wants to bop a bit, this next song is a good one to do it to

·       Can't Buy Me Love

Paul: You havin’ a good time?

·       Put It There (with "Hello, Goodbye" coda)

Paul: Thank you. What can I say?

·       Things We Said Today
·       Robbie’s bit
·       Eleanor Rigby
·       This One

Paul: Ah, thank you. Ok, thank you very much good ole Liverpudlians, ok listen we’re gonna carry on with a song which is off the same album that one was, the album is called (puts on thick scouse accent) ‘Flowers in the Deeert’

·       My Brave Face
·       Back in the U.S.S.R.

·       I Saw Her Standing There

Paul: Are you getting warmed up now? I’ll tell you what, if there’s anyone out there who’s got any more energy left....ok, I’ll tell you what, if you want to keep boppin’ we’ve got a song here, which features our drummer (Cornish accent) young Master Christopher up there... and he’s gonna thrash about, in a meaningful way, to the tune of a song called ‘Coming Up’    

·       Coming Up
·       Let It Be

The Kings Dock concert was the first opportunity Paul had had to pay a proper tribute to John Lennon in their birthplace since his assassination ten years earlier. 

After Paul finished Let It Be (the 21st song of the evening!) he informed the audience:

Thank you, thanks a lot. You still enjoying yourselves? Ok, I’ll tell you what, we’ve learned up a little special thing especially for Liverpool here, and maybe you’ll help us out with it by singing along if you know the words. This is just a little tribute to someone we loved dearly.”

The John Lennon Tribute Medley:

·       Strawberry Fields Forever
·       Help!
·       Give Peace a Chance

This was the first time that Paul had ever performed a solo John Lennon composition on stage. I think nerves and emotions got the better of him.

The Lennon medley was great even if he made a mistake (with the lyrics) and the sound was very nineties and not genuine mellotron (TK)

He messes up the words to Strawberry Fields:

‘It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out, that is I think it’s much to me’ which caused him to yelp and give a half embarrassed shrug to the rest of the band....

The bit I remember the most is obvious. Once Paul had finished singing Give Peace a Chance we all carried on singing it then Paul started it up again. For a few minutes everyone there was remembering John and it was very moving but brilliant. One of my gig going highlights. (MRCJ)

The Lennon medley had me in floods of tears, but in a good way. Could you imagine him introducing John that day, a special guest, his mate, two lads back in da pool... (AGP)

What an amazing concert! The memory of Give peace a chance when the crowd wouldn’t stop singing will stay with me forever. Wish we could get this on DVD (IW)

I will never forget Paul doing his tribute to John.

Paul finishes the medley with Give Peace A Chance and at the end of the song he stands up at the piano, to take the applause, when all of a sudden the crowd start singing the chorus of Give Peace A Chance back at him and he sits back at the piano and plays it again for another 2 minutes. Magical memories and very moving being there and every time I think about it. I am so privileged and lucky to have been there. Thank you Paul and Thank you to John x (AH)

I was there! Went straight from school, I couldn't concentrate on any lessons! Best gig of my life. Hey Jude, and Give Peace A Chance, when the crowd went on singing, just amazing, and still gives me goose bumps when I think about it! (MH)

When it was over the audience started to sing Give Peace A Chance and the band joined in. My memory is that the audience started very early and that only the latter part was caught on the official recording. (Great that the footage and the audio was released on film and CD) (TK)

Thorsten is spot on here. The band were a lot slower starting the song back up than the videos circulating on YouTube would have you believe. In my memory we were singing it for a couple of minutes before Paul sat down and began playing again. What you can see on the video is that the moment has really touched him.  

We played pretty good and the high-spot was when we played the medley tribute to John, finishing off with Give Peace A Chance. We finished — and the crowd didn’t. They just kept the ‘All we are saying’ chant going. That brought a lump to the throat. They sang it over and over. It just came looming up to us from the back until we had to kick back into it — that was one of the greatest moments of my career. It’s moments like that that make you go, God, this is it! This is why I like it!"
Paul McCartney (‘New World Tour’ book)

Of all the gigs I’ve played that was the greatest because of the audience. I’ve never been in a concert like it. I could feel every single human being there was totally focused and it lifted all of our lives up. Hearing Paul sing those John songs, it was magic. I love it when people are there for the thrill, the experience, the memory, nothing cynical in their attitude at all.
Linda McCartney (‘New World Tour’ book)

·       Live and Let Die

Eventually Paul returned to the piano to perform Live and Let Die, with the instrumental breaks featuring lasers, pyrotechnics and fireworks, not that I could see much of the latter. I was too close to the stage and the canopy over it obscured my view.

I was there right at the front... near lost an eye brow during Live and Let die... brilliant night.. I was only a pup then where has the last 30 years gone?!? X (DB)

·       Hey Jude

And then it was time for ‘Jude’, my favourite Beatles song, in fact my favourite song full stop, when I was 19 years old. Its constant presence in Paul’s set list in the 30 years since Let It Be: Liverpool has made the song over familiar but back then I felt privileged to hear it and was perfectly happy to sing my na-na-nas on request whilst being part of ‘just the people in the middle’ or one of ‘the boys’ in the 50,000 strong crowd. 

"You were great, aaand YOU were great, and you were great, you were great and you and you, and you were GREAT!



·       Yesterday
·       Get Back
·       Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End

“Hey, this was great for us,” McCartney shouted finally, after the last note was played.
‘See you next time’.

He didn’t play Liverpool again until 2003 but I met him the following April, 1991 when he was watching rehearsals for his Liverpool Oratorio at the Anglican Cathedral. As I said at the start, this was a great period to be a Paul McCartney fan with the sort of access to him you don’t get much these days. 

Paul would later say: "It was the best moment of the tour for me. A homecoming which led to a lot of nerves particularly for the band, which I hadn’t even thought of till we got there. But they were all thinking, This guy was in The Beatles. We’re not The Beatles. Where does that leave us? Standing on the stage all day you could see this beautiful weather coming towards us, blue sky, a lovely sunset. Great balmy evening and a crowd of 50,000. ....
Paul McCartney (‘New World Tour’ book)

For me the show wasn't any different to the shows I had seen the year before in Germany. In my opinion there wasn't much of a "Coming home" aspect to it, apart from the Lennon medley. (TK)

I was so excited. I couldn't believe my actual eyes were looking at a Beatle. Unforgettable. (RS)

The next day in Liverpool it was like every Beatles/Paul fan that hadn't gone home, and there were many of us, all seemed to keep bumping into each other, there was a sing-a-long at Ye Cracke that I do remember, and cheers going up when various people walked into The Grapes and/or The Beatles Shop. It's a day that will live with me forever. I have seen Paul live a lot since, but I've never made as big a fuss as I did on that tour. It was like a rite of passage, because he hadn't toured for so long. And 'Let It Be Liverpool' was the highlight by a country mile (AGP)

I still have my plastic bag and the TDK tape cassette that was inside with tour book. As a souvenir I bought the yellow poster and the handbill years later on ebay and surely I tried to get as many recordings as possible. I still have the recording that the friend who was at the press conference made although it is mainly her singing accompanied by Paul and the band :) (TK)

Fantastic gig - I have an audio of it too (originally recorded on the TDK tape that came in the goody bag!) (CC)

I've still got the ticket - mounted on a piece of foamex at 'work' - and the tour brochure too. (RS)

Best McCartney concert. Pretty much in his post Beatles prime regarding touring (IW)

Quite a good gig! (TB)

I had two tickets but due to a family emergency could not attend so have the tickets to our daughter and her mate. Now 30 years later her daughter our granddaughter is a huge Beatles fan. (BM)

I bloody loved every second of it! (MH)

It was on my Dad’s 45th birthday. Scary to think that he was five years younger then than I am this year. Shit. (CT)

Following the show Paul and Linda hosted a reception for 150 guests back stage while I left the arena scooping up as many discarded carrier bags and cassettes as I could carry. I’ve no idea how I got home.

The King’s Dock was the venue for Liverpool’s summer pops concerts for many years until 2004. Paul McCartney played there again in 2003. A new purpose built stadium, the Echo Arena Liverpool, opened on the Kings Dock site in 2008.

Thanks to all the Contributors:

(AGP) Alan G Parker  (AH) Ade Hall (BM) Bill Molloy
(CC) Chris Campbell (CT)  Chris Turton
(DB) Debbie Brough   (DD) Dave Donnelly
(EF)  Eddie Fy  (ES) Elaine Sherwood
(GB) Gerard Brennan (IW)  Ian Watkinson
(MC) Michael Chantler  (MRCJ)  Mark R. Cobley-Jones
(MH) Mel Holt   (PT) Paul Tunnicliffe
(RR) Ralf Rimmer   (RS)   Rob Shaw  (TB) Tony Bramwell
(TOK)  Tony O'Keeffe  (TK)  Thorsten Knublauch

Here's a composite video from YouTube including the soundcheck, broadcast elements of the show and fan footage (in varying sound and picture quality): click

Here's the Lennon Medley: click

Here's an hour or so of broadcast audio: click  

Here's a review in stage magazine by Tony Barrow, the Beatles old press agent.

Letters regarding the concert in the Echo 11 July 1990:


  1. Although I saw Macca in Birmingham at the start of the tour in early January, I can recall debating whether to head to Liverpool that evening with my sister and her boyfriend. We decided against it - a big mistake!

  2. Hello, I am the French Beatles historian and I have for sale a huge billboard poster for Paul McCartney Let It Be Liverpool 20 June 1990. Would you be interested? If you do would you make me an offer ? If not can you spread the word, with my thanks