by Alisha Jackson
If you’re on your way to a Paul McCartney concert, and you didn’t bring a sign, get back, because your paper and ink could get you on stage!
If you’ve been to a McCartney concert, then you already know about the Beatle‘s tendency to read his fans’ signs during the show. At Paul’s One On One Fenway Park show back in July, he said that he blames the signs for any mistakes he makes, because he always feels the need to read them. On Sunday night, Long Island music teacher James Liverani learned that Paul reads signs during his pre-shows, too.
Liverani is a lifelong McCartney fan, and thanks to his dad, he has been attending Macca’s shows literally since he could walk. “My dad, Tom, has been at every American tour since ’76 and me since ’90,” he told Billboard. Before McCartney’s concert at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday night, James told his dad that he wanted to play a song on stage with his idol that night. His dad knew about Paul’s awareness of fan signs, and came up with an idea to get his son on stage. “My dad wrote a sign that said, ‘My son would be the coolest music teacher if he could play with his idol,'” James explained. “Mine just said ‘Music Teacher’ with a piece of sheet music on it.”
When the father and son attended Paul’s pre-show, they held up their signs. “So he finished up with ‘Lady Madonna,'” Liverani said, “and [McCartney] said, ‘We’re pretty much done with soundcheck, but I’m reading this sign here,'” looking at the signs they were holding. “I remember looking over at my dad. Our jaws dropped.”
“Well what do you play?” McCartney asked James. “Bass,” he answered. “Well I play bass,’” McCartney retorted. After asking if James could play guitar, and learning that he could play right handed, Paul had his guitarist’s technician bring out a guitar for him. “Do you know ‘Get Back’?” McCartney asked. “And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And he said, ‘In A.'” James’ father joined the duo on vocals at the end and McCartney said “You did good, James. You did good.”
“I don’t know how I got through it, and it felt incredible living that dream,” Liverani says. “I just remember holding my face a lot in amazement looking at [McCartney] and looking back at my dad who’s been by my side at every show. [It] was incredible.”