The eagle has landed

That summer [2008], Billy Joel planned a concert to close Shea Stadium, the site of the Beatles’ famous 1965 performance, before its demolition to make way for a new arena, City field. He invited McCartney. Joel recalls: “I’m driving to the Shea Stadium, and I  get a call on my cell phone.” It was McCartney. “He said, ‘Look, I’m leaving London; I don’t know if I’ll be able to land on time in New York, but I’d love to come and play the show.’ So I kind of forgot about it. But it turned out that the FAA cleared flight space for his plane to land earlier so he could get in. They got him from JFK airport to Shea Stadium in 11 minutes. Which is humanly impossible. I think we had just finished the song before ‘Piano Man’. I get a tap on my shoulder from my tour manager, Max. He goes, ‘The eagle has landed’. I said, ‘What?’ I turn around, and there’s Paul McCartney walking on to the side of the stage tuning his Hofner bass with a butter knife. He was in his airplane clothes; he’s got a tie on, very dapper. He just walks right onstage from flying all the way from England. It must have been 5 o’clock in the morning to him and he should have been exhausted. He said, ‘OK, Billy, how you doin’?”  (J. Kaplan – The Legend Rocks On)



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