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Paul McCartney Concert - 14th December 1999

By Debbie Johnson:  Liverpool Echo December 15 1999
LIVERPOOL was basking in worldwide glory today after Sir Paul McCartney’s return to the Cavern.  Tourist chiefs reckon the concert earned the city £25m worth of publicity and put us at the centre of world attention.  The former Beatle’s appeal meant:
• The live Internet broadcast of the concert broke world records for a music event, with three million people watching globally at anytime. The lines were jammed.
• Despite the cold weather, 12,000 fans watched a live video relay of the event in Chavasse Park.
• Mathew Street was packed with fans.
• Fans were offering thousands for a ticket - one offered a £10,000 holiday to California.
• Sir Paul - and Liverpool - are on the front pages of newspapers all over the world.

Cavern owner Bill Heckle said today: “It was a great event I was just numb, seeing Paul McCartney up there on stage. I was in a state of shock. ‘I’ve been up all night, and just started to get copies of the papers in. I’ve just read one from Venezuela - a front page headline about El Cavern Club.
“The publicity for the city has been estimated at being worth about £25m.”
Tourism chiefs were recently at the world travel market show in London to promote Liverpool as music city of the UK.
Sir Paul told the world: “I love Liverpool, and there is no more fantastic place to rock out the century.”
Steve Burns, Liverpool council’s tourism development manager, said: “Other cities would have given anything to that amount of positive worldwide attention.”

PAUL McCARTNEY rocked out the Millennium at the Cavern last night — with a little help from his friends.
Sir Paul’s presence in Liverpool caused chaos in the Mathew Street area, with hundreds of people waiting outside the club for a glimpse of their hero.  Buskers performed their own versions of Fab Four hits, and many fans stayed outside the Cavern all night as Beatlemania once more reigned, despite the fact that Sir Paul last played there 36 years ago.
Thousands more partied the night away at Chavasse Park, where McCartney had funded a giant video screen to show his historic return to the Cavern.
Those lucky enough to get into the gig included 75 winners of the international ticket ballot, plus guests, and media from all over the world.
The Cavern itself was packed to the rafters, and the atmosphere was electric as the announcement was made: “And now, with his band, Paul McCartney.”
Striding on to the stage under the purple and green neon lights,~ McCartney and his all-star band were given a rapturous reception.


They played a 50-minute set ~ of Rock’n’Roll classics — plus the Beatles’ I Saw Her Standing There.
One song - Twenty Flight Rock - was dedicated to the day Macca first met John Lennon. He said: “When I met John, I knew all the words to this song and I think that's why I got to join the band."

Paul seemed as overwhelmed as his fans at appearing on the tiny club stage once, more. He said: 
"Hey, we're playing the Cavern! It  just came to me - wow! "
Later he joked: It s good here, isn’t it? And The Cavern is up there  somewhere, In the rubble.  Another brilliant city council decision  - let's  demolish the Cavern.”
John Lennon, the 18 year old who changed his name in honour of his hero, said: “It was absolutely fantastic I never thought I would see Paul McCartney on that stage.  It was worth all the queueing”
Paul Leckie, 37, from Aigburth, added: “I couldn’t believe it when I got a ticket. It was electrifying seeing him there at the Cavern.”
Louise Chapman and her dad Kenny won the last two gig tickets through an ECHO competition in aid of Alder Hey Hospital.


Kenny said  later: “It was unbelievable. It’s spoiled me for every other gig now, I will never see anything else like it again."  
A triumphant Paul joined revellers at an after-show celebration at  nearby De Coubertins sports bar.
He was given a round of applause as he entered, and stayed for over an hour with his children and family, including children Stella, Mary & James and his brother Mike, John Eastman and Neil Aspinall.

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