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Monday, November 24, 1986

Royal Variety Performance

Concert • By Paul McCartney

Last updated on April 27, 2020

From Wikipedia:

The Royal Variety Performance is a televised variety show held annually in the United Kingdom to raise money for the Royal Variety Charity (of which Queen Elizabeth II is life-patron). It is attended by senior members of the British Royal Family. The evening’s performance is presented as a live variety show, usually from a theatre in London and consists of family entertainment that includes comedy, music, dance, magic and other speciality acts.

This was the first appearance of Paul McCartney at the Royal Variety Performance, since November 1963 with the Beatles and the famous quote from John Lennon: “For our last number, I’d like to ask your help. Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewellery“. Paul made a reference by announcing:

If you don’t mind, this time you could just keep the noise of the jewellery down, it was a bit distracting last time…

Paul McCartney

From The Beatles Monthly Book, N°129, January 1987:

[…] ‘Only Love Remains’ was the only number that Paul performed at the Royal Variety Show. He had planned to do two songs, but he was told that it was very likely that only one would be shown on the television transmission, so one song it was. […]

Paul played and sang seated at a grand piano, while on backing vocals were Linda McCartney and Tessa Niles. eric Stewart played acoustic guitar, Jamie Talbot was on saxophone, Graham Ward on drums, Preston Heymen percussion and Nick Glennie-Smith the synthesiser. Except for Paul, Linda and Eric Stewart, none of the other musicians are ‘known names’ outside of session musician circles. Ward and Glennie-Smith did play on the “Press To Play” album, however.

Paul was given a glowing introduction on stage by David Frost, who quoted the vastly impressive achievements that have secured Paul a place in the Guinness Hall Of Fame (of which Frost is an organiser). Paul proceeded to give a fine rendition of “Only Love Remains”, with only a couple of slightly strained notes showing that even he was nervous about appearing at the Royal Command Performance! To round the evening off in the customary tradition, Paul and his band stood in line to meet the royal guests after the show.

Mark Lewishohn
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alan Davidson/Shutterstock (9789852a) Paul Mccartner and Linda Mccartney Royal Variety Performance at London Theatre Royal, London, UK – 24 Nov 1986

Theatre Royal

This was the 1st and only concert played at Theatre Royal.

Setlist for the concert

Paul McCartney writing

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