There are many people in the world who have seen more Paul McCartney's concerts than I have. And yet everyone's list of Macca's rockshows is equally personal and important just like a track of a lifetime which is unique in each separate life. Let's recall my modest list: 1. The PAUL McCARTNEY WORLD TOUR, London, Wembley Arena. January 11th. 1990 You know this story for it has been presented here. 2. PAUL'S SURPRISE XMAS SHOW, Limehouse Studios, 128 Wembley Park Drive, London, December 13th, 1990 I and the then greatest Paul's fan Marian Rushby (sorry Mr Hamilton but "in spite of all the danger" I had to mention her in the end) among 50 selected fans who have been ivited there to watch Paul singing and recording "Let It Be", "The Long And Winding Road" and "All My Trials" for a satellite TV show bound for Italy. I was standing in front of the stage and holding a big board that read "PAUL-LAND '91". So no you know who invented this "Pauland" - later copied by a number of copycats. For a couple of minutes - it was a short break I think - Linda gave an unusual performance playing drums!! Really once in a lifetime experience it was to see the Lady in Action. When I asked Paul if he would ever come to Poland he said: "Maybe Poland". He wasn't sure. 3. PAUL McCARTNEY. THE NEW WORLD TOUR, London, Earl's Court, September 15th, 1993 I was there with my brother-in-law John Aumord. We were standing in the first raw and again I was holding a board whic this time read: "Paul I wrote your first Polish biography. I want to give it to you". Boys from security didn't like my idea and politely asked me to drop it. And the time has come for historic answer to the historic question - "Did you give your book to Paul mcCartney". yes. After the show a nice bloke with a beard came up to me. His name was John McGraw. He handled the engineering side of the stage design. "May I help you" - he asked. "O yes. this is my book about Paul McCartney, could you give it to him?". "Yes I promise to give it to him when I see him after the show". The book had my handwritten dedication to Paul. So far no British engineer has ever let me down. In Earl's Court it was the only time I ever saw any of Paul's children - Mary McCartney, the then personal assistant to Linda McCartney, passed me by near the stage. The distance between me and her must have been less than 15 metres. I am sure she looked into my eyes. She looked gorgeous! 4. THE WORLD PREMIERE OF PAUL McCARTNEY'S STANDING STONE", London , Royal Albert Hall, October 14th, 1997 The last time I saw Paul and Linda trogether. I also recognized Sir George Martin in the audience. After the premiere, sitting in the arm-chair in my sister's London flat I had a long professional conversation about "Standing Stone" with the Polish radio journalist the late Andrzej Jaroszewski. It was broadcast live to Poland with fragments of McCartney's amazing symphonic poem. 5. PAUL McCARTNEY. SUMMER TOUR 2004, Praha 9 - Kolbenova, T-Mobile Park, June 6th, 2004 Rain and storm in Warsaw before I departed. Night train journey to Prague. A famous Canadian singer Garou - who also wanted to see Paul in Prague - was not allowed to get on my train in Katowice due to lack of Czech currency. Before the concert the men from the Czech security asked me to leave my umbrella outside T-Mobile Park because they classified it as a dangerous thing. Definitely I didn't need it during Paul's concert when the Sun dominated over a screaming crowd. Paul' s joking drummer Abe Laboriel Jr welcomed everybody referring to the audience as to "CZECHOSLOVAKIA", a non-existent country which I remember from my childhood. To my surprise reaction was enthusiastic. 6. PAUL McCARTNEY, THE UP AND COMING TOUR, HARD ROCK CALLING, London, Hyde Park, June 27th, 2010 I spent some 6 hours standing motionless in the open air, exposed to the boiling hot Sun before Paul McCartney appeared in the end. Even in such conditions I was a lucky man for I could hear Elvis Costello singing John Lennon's "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" and Crosby, Stills and Nash performing legendary "Ruby Tuesday". And then the Master turned up.
music, history, women, work in my garden
Latest posts made by Piotr Chrósciel
RE: Paul's Past Tours— Reflections
“McCARTNEY’S DAY”, LEGIONOWO, POLAND, JANUARY 1998
In the last decade of the 20th century I was popularizing Paul McCartney's music in Poland mainly through press articles and radio/TV interviews. My mission only partly turned out to be successful. Poland is the cultural ghetto where a certain minority has priority. For many years McCartney's music has been discriminated by the Polish radio, TV and press journalists. Nevertheless my action influenced a small group of sensitive, musically gifted people in Poland - fans, journalists and my friends. Somehow I can feel a winner. When I learnt that Linda McCartney was seriously ill I decided to do something unique, something which in Poland had never been done before. The most popular Polish pop/rock musicians and singers never organized a concert of Paul McCartney's songs. I understood it was the right time for me to do it. From 1997 to 2000 I was the Member of the Board of the Friends of Legionowo Society. Legionowo is my native town, located 25 kilometres from Warsaw. The Friends of Legionowo Society was established by my grandfather the late Piotr Chrusciel (1904-1990) in May 1979 in order to popularize past and present achievements of this local community. This organization has a wise motto: "Think globally, act locally" which sort of inspired me. To me it was a fantastic idea - to connect global thinking about Paul McCartney with local act for the benefit of my native town. In this way "McCartney's Day" was born. It was to be the first ever concert of Paul's songs performed solely by the Polish musicians. in contrast with the Polish premiere of Liverpool Oratorio (St. Catherine's Church, Cracow, June 1993) which was an international action rather with Carl Davis conducting the Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio in Cracow. "McCartney's Day" was held at the Town Centre of Culture in Legionowo on the 17th of January 1998. Both professionals and amateurs appeared on the same stage. They were united by one element - all of them lived in Legionowo. Of all the artists who accepted my invitation one certainly didn't require additional publicity. A famous bass guitarist Krzysztof Scieranski would remain a legend of Polish jazz music even if he hadn't participated in "McCartney's Day". But he agreed to be there with us. A few days before the concert Krzysztof invited me to his house in Legionowo where I witnessed a kind of rehearsal. We were listening to the album "Flaming Pie" when suddenly the Master joined Paul McCartney on the second acoustic guitar in "Little Willow". I had no choice - I started singing. I wish someone had recorded that original combination of two acoustic guitars and two lead vocalists. I wanted Krzysztof to play an instrumental theme "Hey Hey" composed by Paul McCartney and Stanley Clarke. Unfortunately I had it only on the vinyl record "Pipes of Peace" and the Polish musician didn't have...a record player. Finally during "McCartney's Day" Krzysztof Scieranski played his own composition "Botswana" and a handful of McCartney standards - "Yesterday", "For No-One", "Here There and Everywhere" and "When I'm Sixty-Four". In all four Beatles songs Scieranski was musically supported by a young talented bass player Adam Lusawa whom the Master was teaching to play this instrument. At the Town Centre of Culture the most popular rock band from Legionowo - Sexbomba performed "Please Please Me". Later they learnt from my article about the concert published in the monthly magazine "Tylko Rock" that they had chosen John Lennon's song. To hush up this mistake Sexbomba soon recorded a studio version of "Please Please Me" with the Polish words dedicated to John Lennon. On the 23rd of December 1998 I left CD with their Polish version of "Please Please me" - together with a short letter to Mark Lewisohn - at the MPL Office in Soho Square in London. The remaining participants of "McCartney's Day" performed "Rockestra Theme" (Midnight Blues), "Baby's Request" (two versions - one by the instrumental group "1+3" and one by the four singing girls -"Fortet"), "Drinking Song" from Liverpool Oratorio (the opera singer Marek Pawlowicz; it was a recorded video performance because the artist was unable to come to the Town Centre of Culture) and "Little Willow" (the then managing director of the Town Centre of Culture in Legionowo - Zenek Durka). I faxed a newsletter regarding "McCartney's Day" to Paul McCartney's personal assistant Geoff Baker. I also gave it to President of Legionowo Andrzej Kicman. Neither of them replied. The Warsaw Local TV made a short film about "McCartney's Day" which was presented to Warsaw viewers on the 27th of January 1998 ("Five minutes about music" by Malgorzata K. Piekarska, Joanna Wartalowicz and Waldemar Karwowski). A short film about this concert was also presented by Legionowo Local TV in February 1998. I gave an interview to the weekly "To i Owo" published in Legionowo ("Peter's Idol", January 22nd 199. Besides I personally wrote two articles about "McCartney's Day". They were published in "Zycie Warszawy" daily newspaper ("An Evening Dedicated To Paul McCartney's Music", January 19th 199 and in the monthly magazine "Tylko Rock" ("McCartney and Botswana", April 199.
LINDA McCARTNEY'S EXHIBITION - WARSAW, OCTOBER 1984
In the eighties nobody from my family was concerned with the Solidarity underground movement and nobody was in the communist party either. No wonder the years 1982-1984 in Poland were politically completely uninteresting to me. Everyday life in Warsaw was grey and boring. People suffered from lack of basic foodstuff. A depressing symbol of those years were the shop shelves full of identical bottles of cheap vinegar. For a young, sensitive man who lived in Warsaw there was a place where I could go, when I felt low, when I felt blue. And it was my mind. My mind set on art. An unforgettable experience for me was the concert of a young jazz vocalist Stanislaw Sojka who - in my presence - sang a set of religious songs at the Stodola Students' Club in Warsaw on the 23rd of August 1982 (martial law!) to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the Jasna Góra Monastery (the most famous shrine to the Virgin Mary in Poland) In 1984 the two artistic events lit up post martial law period in the greatest city of Poland. On the 10th of January I went to the concert of a legendary English band Madness at the Victoria Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw. On the 4th of October the first East European Exhibition of Linda McCartney's photographs was opened at the Gallery of the Association of Polish Artists Photographers in 8 Plac Zamkowy (8 Castle Square) in the Old Town in Warsaw. It was the third step in discreet promoting Paul and Linda McCartney in Poland after releasing their records "With A Little Luck" and "Wings Greatest" before John Lennon's death. Between the 4th of October and the 28th of October about ten thousand people admired 52 photographs. 10 of them were coloured. The rest was black and white. Most of Linda McCartney's works presented at the Warsaw Gallery were earlier published in her album "Photographs" (Pavilion Books 1982) including the portraits of famous rock stars - e.g. John Lennon, Janis Joplin, Ginger Baker, Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger. Paul McCartney and Ray Davis. Hence a simple title of Her Warsaw exhibition: "Photographs. Linda McCartney". Some people were expecting Paul and Linda to come to Warsaw on the 4th of October 1984 to officially open the exhibition. Many fans were gathered at the Warsaw Airport only to find out that neither Linda nor Paul landed there on that day although a headline of the newspaper "Kurier Polski" read "The Hotel Is Reserved For One of The Beatles!". In this way the Polish communists did not get support from the McCartneys. And neither did Solidarity. No wonder Henryk Urbanowski criticized Linda's Exhibition in the regime paper "Walka Mlodych" ("The Fight of the Young") stating that Mrs McCartney's photographs had no artistic value. But generally the reaction of the Polish people and of journalists was enthusiastic. So Urbanowski's efforts to humiliate Linda McCartney were in vain. We - the inhabitants of Warsaw - knew very well where the truth lies. Linda' s Exhibition in Warsaw in October 1984 was a great artistic experience for all of us who were lucky enough to see it. For nearly one month Warsaw did not belong to General Jaruzelski. Thanks to to Lady Linda McCartney it belonged to the West. And I was there for I visited Her Warsaw Exhibition twice (the second time was with my friend Michael).
THE LIVERPOOL ORATORIO MEDLEY
It was a time when I was getting ready for the release of my book "Paul McCartney. Biography". One day I was invited to the concert of a young Polish jazz vocalist Kasia Karasek in the Royal Lazienki Park in Warsaw. Kasia gave a great performance but a person who attracted my attention even more than her was Ewa Jusewicz. In the Lazienki Park she accompanied Kasia on the piano . Later I learnt that Ewa collaborated with the Ateneum Theatre in Warsaw. One aspect of her musical ability was interesting to me in particular. Not only could she perfectly play classical themes but also she performed the best standards of pop and rock music - by heart and effortlessly. I asked Ewa if she liked Paul McCartney's music and when she said so I invited her to take part in promotion of my book. On the 28th of June 1991 the world premiere of Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio took place at Liverpool Cathedral. In 1992 I was a happy owner of the EMI Classics stereo VHS cassette with Paul's first major classical composition. It was my idea to create a piano medley which would consist of the most beautiful melodies from Liverpool Oratorio. Ewa's reaction was enthusiastic. I remember lending her the EMI Classics video cassette and mentioning the two arias which in my opinion ought to have been placed in her potpourri - "Drinking Song" and "Save The Child" (of course she accepted both of them). Having analysed a high quality performance of all eight oratorio movements Ewa Jusewicz made a final selection of themes and created the structure. The medley which she compiled lasts 13 minutes and perfectly reflects melodic beauty of Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio. I still have it on tape. Ewa Jusewicz played the Liverpool Oratorio Medley three times, in three different places - on the 27th of May 1992 at the Confetti Club in 1/5 Wybrzeze Helskie Street in Warsaw (on the right bank of the Vistula river) during the official promotional event for my book, on the 19th of June 1992 at the Stodola Students' Club in Warsaw (celebration of Paul McCartney's 50th birthday) and during the promotional event for my book at the Town Centre of Culture in Legionowo near Warsaw. A short part of the Liverpool Oratorio Medley was also presented on the Polish Radio in spring 1993. Today such experiments are widely known - e.g. Liverpool Oratorio Suite from the album "Sir Paul McCartney's Liverpool" (by Quatuor La Flute Enchantee Quartet) - but in 1992 my idea was pretty innovative. Both I and Ewa felt like pioneers. The full oratorio was performed in Budapest on the 5th of July and on the 7th of July 1992. The official Polish premiere of Liverpool Oratorio took place in Cracow on the 29th of June 1993. So owing to Ewa and me music from Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio was performed for the first time in Eastern Europe.
"TUG OF WAR" AND MARTIAL LAW IN POLAND
General Wojciech Jaruzelski imposed martial law in Poland on the 13th of December 1981. Four and a half months later Paul McCartney released his legendary album "Tug of War". I expressed this opinion in my book on McCartney in 1992 and I'm still deeply convinced that it's the best Paul's solo album and the best of all post-Beatles albums including those recorded by John, George and Ringo. Harrison's triple album "All Things Must Pass" has "My Sweet Lord" which is an example of plagiarism. The version of "Picasso's Last Words (Drink To Me)" from "Band On The Run" - as a sound equivalent of cubist paintings - is somehow incoherent and disintegrates cohesion of the album. I've always preferred an acoustic live and shorter version of "Drink To Me" from "Wings Over America". Unlike "Band On The Run" and "All Things Must Pass" "Tug of War" has no unnecessary fillers. It's exquisite and flawless. During the recording sessions for this album collaboration between Sir Paul McCartney and Sir George Martin reached its creative apogeum. On the 2nd of April 1982 the Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom began. So to me only two places in the world could the McCartney "Tug of War" metaphor really refer to at the moment Paul's album was released. No wonder I had very personal feelings listening to these songs as a 21-year-old boy in Warsaw in 1982. I was sure Paul's wise words about destructive conflicts were addressed more to me than to the people from the Free West even taking into consideration the British- Argentine War. In 1982 some people in Poland were sitting in prison, some were coming to work equipped with pistols. It was the real tug of war dividing Poland into two opposing groups. For me and for my friend Michael McCartney's music was escape from reality. We spent endless hours with "our" songs from "Tug of War" - impressed and amazed. McCartney's reflection from "Tug of War" was original and full of maturity. U2 releasing their famous album "War" (with references to Poland and the "Solidarity" movement) in February 1983 evidently copied Paul's idea. Coincidentally McCartney's optimistic response to "Tug of War" - the album "Pipes of Peace" was released at the end of October 1983 i.e. three months after martial law was lifted in Poland. I and Michael learnt about General Jaruzelski's positive decision on the 22nd of July 1983 sitting by a campfire near the bank of the Masurian lake Ros and entertaining our friends with our own performances of McCartney's songs. I never listened to the U2 album "War" in the eighties and I realized the song "New Year's Day" had been dedicated to Lech Walesa and to Solidarity many years after it was released. To me and to Mike the motto for the time of martial law in Poland were the words: "Well you can dress me up as a soldier But I wouldn't know what for (...) Don't wanna go to another war" On the 26th of April 1985 (exactly the third anniversary of releasing the album "Tug of War"!) I was forced to join the Polish Communist Armed Forces (the Navy). Due to my efforts and with a little help from my friends they set me free on the 10th of May 1985. Simply speaking I was effectively simulating a serious disease of my spinal column. In this way General Jaruzelski and his loyal communist officers did not manage to dress me up as a soldier. A great McCartney fan was saved!
PAUL McCARTNEY IN WARSAW - 1976, 1978
My interest in Paul McCartney's music has its roots in St Augustine's Secondary School which I was attending from 1976 to 1980. This school, founded in 1949 in Warsaw, was the first Catholic, non-monastic secondary school for boys in post-war Poland. It was called "the best secondary school behind the Iron Curtain". Indeed it represented the Western standards while the First Secretary of the Communist Party was ruling Poland. My secondary school had its own swimming pool, an astronomical observatory and extended course in English - seven hours per week! But first of all St. Augustine's School was a real enclave of intellectual and artistic freedom in the middle of Communist Poland. In April 1978 our school theatre staged fragments of a famous Webber & Rice rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar". Owing to attempts made by our school catechist Rev. Mieczyslaw Suwala the school rock band was created in 1970. I joined it in September 1976 introduced by my classmate Michal (Michael) Wojciechowski. He was taller than me and wearing glasses he resembled John Lennon a bit. Nevertheless from the very start both of us regarded Paul McCartney as the best rock musician in the world. Michael, who had joined the band a few weeks earlier, was impressed by the fact that I knew all words of Paul McCartney's "Yesterday" and I could sing it! That's why I was accepted. In Poland we celebrate the Teacher's Day on 14th of October and on that occasion in 1976 I sang "Yesterday" in front of the school audience, supported by our rock band. Later this title - "Yesterday" became my "artistic" nickname. Older schoolboys used to call: "Hello 'Yesterday' - please come to our class and sing something for us". Since it all happened in the Catholic school. to me it was never rock n roll against religion. We performed mainly religious repertoire at the school Holy Masses including so called steady parts of the mass. I was singing two of them - "Kyrie" and "Agnus Dei" recreating melody lines from the legendary (and pioneer and unique in Communist Poland) beat mass "The Lord Is My Ally" (196 by Katarzyna Gartner and the Red-Blacks ensemble. Our performances and rehearsals were taking place in a big hall on the first floor. The artistic adviser of our rock band was an eccentric jazz musician Ryszard Skrzypczak, later replaced by Adam Lojek. On 13th of October 1978 - again on the occasion of the Teacher's Day - I sang Paul McCartney's "Things We Said Today" and John Lennon's "It's Only Love" in front of the school audience. I remember learning the latter song never hearing the original Beatles version before - only on the grounds of how Michael played it to me. On 25th of November 1978 at the class discoteque (organized in the school reading-room!) I sang two memorable Paul and Linda McCartney tracks from the album "Band On The Run" - "Mrs Vandebilt" and "Let Me Roll It". I was supported by Michael and a young keyboardist Romuald Kunikowski who later became a respected Polish rock musician playing with Edyta Bartosiewicz. T. Love and Closterkeller. Since the world rock music was at its peak in 1978 young people in Poland were concentrated on hard rock/heavy metal Led Zeppelin/ Deep Purple/ Black Sabbath projects (and occasionally on Queen and King Crimson). Listening to Paul McCartney and Wings required particular kind of musicality and imagination which Michael and I had (sharing it with a few other friends). Hence I am almost sure I was the first person in Poland to sing Paul McCartney's solo songs in public.
RE: Your Favorite Paul McCartney Concert Experience
You must have noticed I used the expression "under the Iron Curtain" instead of common "behind the Iron Curtain". I changed it in consciousness, a bit in the Beatles manner because the word "under" reflects the state I was in more precisely. When you are behind the Curtain you can climb it and jump into a new world. When you are under it, you feel crushed and completely unable to arise, to stand up. So I was UNDER the Iron Curtan because I couldn't get a passport or visit my sister who lived in the West. No creative move was possible - this is what my eighties of the XX century were like. Paul McCartney's music symbolized better days to come but it also sort of frustrated me giving awarenesss of how unattainable the Other World was. With such psychological background I entered Wembley Arena in London on the 11th of January 1990.
RE: Your Favorite Paul McCartney Concert Experience
My best concert experience concerned with Paul is probably the very first time I saw him singing and playing on stage at Wembley Arena, in London on the 11th of January 1990. You can have many wonderful dates with your girlfriend and kiss her many times but the first date and the first kiss are always very special. The same thing is with concerts. After 20 years of listening to his music under the Iron Curtain, in the Communist Poland suddenly that experience - the Man Himself turned up right in front of my eyes singing "Got To Get You Into My Life" (it was one of the tracks beginning his set during the world tour 1989/1990). I went to this concert together with my sister Ewa and our British Italian friend Mary. Everything was so new so fresh also because I visited my sister in England for the first time after she got married in 1983. I couldn't attend her wedding ceremony in London because of the political situation in Poland - throoughout the eighties I was liable to communist military service with no chance of getting a passport. So to me it was a magic coincidence - meeting my sister, my nephew Alex (then 5-years old) and my brother-in-law John at their English home in the end (after a number of their visits to Poland) and seeing the live performance of my rock n roll hero! At the same time it was the beginning of my journalistic activity. I remember writing the review of this concert entitled "Znowu Beatlemania" ("Beatlemania Again"). It was published in the "Sztandar Mlodych" ("The Banner of the Young") newspaper in Warsaw, on the 15th of January 1990. From this article it all started for me. I mean my professional mission of popularizing Paul McCartney's music in Poland.
VOICE FROM POLAND
Hello the World! I am a new person here although I am not a newcomer as for the Beatles and Paul McCartney. My name is Piotr Chrósciel. I am a journalist living in Warsaw which is the capital of Poland. Since January 1990 I have been involved in a particular and unique mission of popularizing Paul McCartney's music in my country. Most Polish Macca/Beatles fans became active after the year 2000 when Paul's European tours with his new band started to approach Poland by concerts in Prague, Leipzig or Budapest and they could go there to see their idol. What I have been doing has the beginning during the Paul McCartney World Tour 1989/1990 when many fans from Poland where attending kindergarten or even it was before they were born. The basic question which you can ask the Polish fans is whether they have seen Linda McCartney playing with her husband on one stage. I have even seen her playing drums at the Limehouse Studios in London in December 1990. So now you know who in Poland is a newcomer and who is an experienced rock 'n' roll veteran. In May 1992 the PETRA Publishing House published my book "Paul McCartney. Biography" in Warsaw. They printed 10 thousand copies and that's why my book is still available on internet auctions after more than 20 years. To the best of my knowledge my book about Paul was the first ever East European biography of this artist i.e. the one written by the author who was born and permanently lived within the territory of East Europe. In Russia they published Paul Gambaccini's "Paul McCartney in His Own Words" in 1976 but the first ever originally Russian author was Anatoliy Maksimov who released his Russian biography of Paul McCartney in 2002 ("McCartney. Dyen za dnyom"). From January 1994 to December 2005 I was a regular contributor to the most professional Polish rock magazine "Tylko Rock" ("Only Rock") which changed its name to "Teraz Rock" ("Rock Now") in March 2003. In both versions of this monthly magazine I published 44 articles, mainly about Paul McCartney and the Beatles. In January 1998 I personally organized "McCartney's Day", the first historic Polish concert with Paul McCartney's music performed by the Polish artists including the best Polish jazz bass guitarist Krzysztof Scieranski. "McCartney's Day" took place at the Town Centre of Culture in Legionowo, 30 kilometres away from Warsaw. I gave many interviews on the Polish Radio and on the Polish TV becoming the leading Polish expert on Paul McCartney's and Beatles music. In November 1990 i was invited to the BBC Polish Section at the Bush House in London where I gave them my unique BBC interview on Paul McCartney. It was broadcast to Poland in March 1991. I am a bachelor who loves spending his free time in his garden 30 kilometres away from the city. My sister Ewa and my nephew Alex live in London which from time to time gives me opportunity of visiting Paul McCartney's native land. Unfortunately I haven't been to Liverpool so far. ALL THE BEST Piotr Chrósciel