Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr Share Memories of the Ed Sullivan Theater With David Letterman
via press release:
PAUL McCARTNEY AND RINGO STARR SHARE THEIR MEMORIES
OF THE ED SULLIVAN THEATER AND THE BEATLES’ ICONIC “ED SULLIVAN SHOW” APPEARANCES IN A RARE JOINT INTERVIEW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, ON “THE BEATLES: THE NIGHT THAT CHANGED AMERICA –
A GRAMMY® SALUTE,” SUNDAY, FEB. 9 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
“It’s Like Going Back to Your Old School, Isn’t It?” McCartney Muses
Upon Revisiting the Ed Sullivan Theater Stage with Starr
In a rare joint interview, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr share with David Letterman their memories of The Beatles’ historic “Ed Sullivan Show” appearances, the excitement of their 1964 U.S. debut and their impressions of the Ed Sullivan Theater, on THE BEATLES: THE NIGHT THAT CHANGED AMERICA – A GRAMMY® SALUTE, Sunday, Feb. 9 (8:00-10:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Letterman, host of CBS’s LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN, conducted the interview with McCartney and Starr without a studio audience Tuesday, Feb. 4 at the iconic Ed Sullivan Theater, home to Letterman’s “Late Show” and the site of the Fab Four’s groundbreaking “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance on Feb. 9, 1964.
As Letterman, McCartney and Starr walked onto the stage of the theater where they made their historic first appearance, Starr recalled the excitement he felt then, which he is feeling again with the upcoming anniversary. “No, I was just so excited,” Starr said. “I mean, even coming back yesterday… I’ve been back a hundred times, I’ve done the show with you, but it’s like, oh, I’m getting involved in all the excitement of it all then. You know, it’s not like we go around saying, ‘Oh, that day.’ Now, I’m here, I’m looking out the window, I’m in the plaza and all the kids were down there. And now we’re back on the stage again…” Starr’s memory of the Ed Sullivan Theater was that it was “four times bigger than this,” and Letterman pointed out that “there was another balcony. There was a third level of about 150 more seats. So it wasn’t that many more, but enough to make a difference.” “It’s like going back to your old school, isn’t it?” McCartney said. “Yeah, well, that’s right, yeah,” Letterman said. “It looks little now,” McCartney commented. “You thought it was huge…”
Also during the interview, McCartney recounted a story to Letterman about the band’s 1965 “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance, their fourth and final live appearance on the broadcast, featuring his solo performance of the classic, “Yesterday.” “So, it was decided that I would do ‘Yesterday,’” McCartney said. “But I’d never worked without the band, so now I’m now going to be working solo on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.’ So I agreed to do it, so I’m standing there ready to go on, never having worked without the band, a little bit nervous, and there were curtains, and there’s a Teamster on the inside of the curtain so they won’t catch. So I’m standing there all prepared with my guitar ready to go on, and he says, ‘Are you nervous?’ I said, ‘No, not really,’ lying. He says, ‘You should be, there’s 73 million people watching!’”
Letterman’s full interview with McCartney and Starr can be seen on THE BEATLES: THE NIGHT THAT CHANGED AMERICA – A GRAMMY® SALUTE, presented by The Recording Academy®, AEG Ehrlich Ventures and CBS, celebrates the remarkable legacy of the seven-time GRAMMY Award-winning Beatles and will be broadcast exactly 50 years to the day, date and time of their U.S television debut on the “Ed Sullivan Show.” That historic appearance is one of the most-watched television events ever, with 74 million people tuning in to watch the group perform five songs during the variety hour. It is considered by many historians and critics to be one of the most important moments in music and television.
The all-star primetime special features McCartney and Starr performing together as well as today’s top artists covering songs performed by the Fab Four that momentous evening in 1964 and other Beatles classics through the years. The show will also include footage from that landmark Sunday night, as well as other archival material. In addition, various presenters will help highlight and contextualize the musical, cultural and historical impact of the group and this legendary performance.
THE BEATLES: THE NIGHT THAT CHANGED AMERICA – A GRAMMY® SALUTE is produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures, LLC. Ken Ehrlich is the executive producer, Rac Clark is co-executive producer, Gregg Gelfand is director and David Wild and Ken Ehrlich are the writers.
About The Recording Academy
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards® — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit http://www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYs on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thegrammys, like “The GRAMMYs” on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thegrammys and join The GRAMMYs’ social communities on YouTube, Tumblr, Foursquare, GetGlue and Instagram.