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Macca proves he’s no sellout

Almost 45 years ago Sir Paul McCartney helped usher in the era of the stadium concert when he and the three other Beatles played to 55,000 hysterical fans at New York’s Shea Stadium, and proved there was big money to be made at such huge events.


But the music legend is now left facing up to new realities as the ‘sold out’ notices are still to go up on his long-awaited show at Glasgow’s Hampden Park in June -- 10 weeks after it was first announced.

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The concert will mark the former Beatle’s first Scottish gig in nearly 20 years and tickets, priced between £55 and £85, are understood to have sold steadily, with front row briefs still selling on eBay for £110 a pair.

McCartney’s sales compare with that of reformed boy band Take That, who put on a third show at the national stadium after their original two dates sold out quickly last year.

Dozens of fans also camped out overnight in order to obtain tickets for Bruce Springsteen’s first gig in Glasgow for 13 years in July 2009, which went on to be a sellout, as did U2’s concert at the same venue last year.

Ken McNab, a Glasgow-based expert and author of The Beatles in Scotland, said: “I think the fact that the Hampden show is not sold out yet is simply down to the state of the economy.

“People are having to be very careful with their money, and the tickets are quite expensive.

“I bought four tickets at £80 each. I have seen him several times before, but I did hesitate on the grounds of cost and also McCartney’s age -- he is now 67.

“But his shows in America last year were such a fantastic success that I reconsidered and thought that this opportunity might not come again. If his Hampden show is as good as the US ones and I hadn’t gone, I would have kicked myself. He is playing at the top of his game, despite his age.”

McNab added: “I think McCartney’s a realist and that if between 80 and 85% of the Hampden tickets are sold, he will be quite happy with that. In any event I think there will be a last-minute rush for tickets by his hardcore fans. The chance to see a legend like Paul in Scotland might never come again.”

The Hampden Park setlist is expected to include a number of Fab Four songs that the Beatles never performed live.

Yesterday in an interview to coincide with the run-up to the gig, on Sunday, June 20, McCartney said: “It’s always good to get back to Scotland because I’ve got a special affection for the wee place. I’ve never done Hampden before and it’s legendary.

“The country is a very special part of the isles we live in. It’s had a kind of romantic thing for me since I first went there with the Beatles.”

McCartney added that he has “loads of Scottish mates, and the crowds are always great.”

The singer-songwriter’s last gig in Glasgow was on June 23, 1990, when he played the SECC as part of Glasgow’s European City of Culture celebrations.

  My desire is always to be here ...

  Sir Paul McCartney has several long-standing links with Scotland, chiefly on the Mull of Kintyre. He bought High Park, his farmhouse on Kintyre, in 1966 as a tax-loophole project but didn’t actually see it for another 18 months. He finally visited it in the company of actress Jane Asher, his then-girlfriend. His late wife Linda turned it into a family home, and it became a bolthole after The Beatles split up in 1970 He has credited his rustic lifestyle there as saving him from a nervous breakdown. McCartney most famously wrote Mull of Kintyre from the home -- the first single to sell over two million copies in the UK, beating the previous record set by The Beatles’ She Loves You. The main road into Campbeltown is supposed to have been the inspiration for The Long and Winding Road, the Beatles’ last chart-topping single in the US. A statue to Linda, who died of cancer, is in Campbeltown’s main street.

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