Reports: Beatles Legend Performed Songs Old And New, Answered Questions

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Students at the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts in Queens were treated Wednesday to a performance by none other than Sir Paul McCartney.

McCartney is in town to promote his new album, “New, which is set for release next Tuesday. Fellow music legend Tony Bennett, who founded the high school, tweeted a photo of McCartney sitting at his piano painted in psychedelic colors, before an auditorium full of students clapping along and raising their hands.

Bennett was present for the performance at the school, at 35-12 35th Ave. in Queens, along with McCartney’s wife, Nancy Shevell, and about 400 students, according to published reports. The event was hosted by radio disc jockey Jim Kerr.

McCartney played a handful of songs from his new album, but started with the Beatles classic “Eight Days a Week,” according to a Rolling Stone account of the performance. Other Beatles and Wings numbers were also on the set list, including “Lady Madonna,” “Blackbird,” “Jet,” “Band on the Run,” “We Can Work it Out,” “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!,” “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” and “Hey Jude,” the magazine reported.

In between songs, he also answered questions from the students.

Many asked questions about McCartney’s earliest days performing, the magazine reported. When one girl asked the greatest lesson he learned, McCartney said he learned that “people don’t mind” mistakes onstage, and in fact, “actually kind of like it,” according to the magazine.

McCartney said the first time he felt like he’d truly made it was when he heard “Love Me Do” on the radio during a drive for Liverpool to London and it set in that he was listening to himself, according to a New York Times account.

After McCartney ended the show with “Hey Jude” and left the stage, the students continued the song’s “na-na-na” refrain even after filing out of the auditorium, Rolling Stone reported.

McCartney’s performance coincidentally came on what would have been the 73rd birthday of his Beatles colleague and songwriting partner John Lennon. Miles away in SoHo Tuesday, Yoko Ono opened an exhibition of Lennon’s drawings to help raise money for Citymeals-on-Wheels.

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