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In May 2014, Paul McCartney was supposed to tour in Japan / Korea.
From paulmccartney.com, April 20, 2015:
Paul arrived at Osaka Airport earlier today. He flew straight to Japan from the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland.
Paul was met by over 500 fans who came out in the pouring rain at 6am to meet him. He greeted the crowd in Japanese and stopped to sign autographs and chat with the fans.
From For Whom The Bell Tells, July 6, 2015:
OSAKA, JAPAN (April 20, 2015)
It’s 5am (yes, a bleary-eyed 5am – we have early starts in the music business too) and we’re on our way to Osaka Airport in the pouring rain. I’m with the media team, MJ and Charlie, heading to meet Paul who is due to land shortly after 7am. As we arrive, it’s clear the rain has done nothing to deter the fans or the Japanese press from showing up in full force, even at such an unearthly hour. Very impressive, and it says so much about their devotion – you could feel the contagious excitement in the arrival area. Some of the beaming faces in the crowd have become familiar to us too, as we’re now on our third trip in as many years. Many of the fans are holding signs – some of them looking very cool – and are keen to show off their handiwork to us.
TV cameras and photographers wait in a polite and orderly fashion that still feels slightly surprising, even though this is a repeat visit (of course, no one will be quite as calm in the hours that follow, of course). Now we are not the only ones putting in long hours – we take the lead from our boss. Just the evening before, Paul was in Cleveland, Ohio, to take part in the induction of Ringo Starr into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame before jumping on the plane to Japan. Right on time, Mark Hamilton (our security guy) tells us Paul has landed. This message has apparently been passed to the waiting media too, prompting a flurry of activity – photographers start to focus on the arrival doors, reporters busily chat to camera in anticipation of him passing though.
It’s all a bit overwhelming for some of his fans, who are in tears as they realise they will soon be in Paul’s presence. And then, it happens. The arrival doors open and – BOOM – Macca is back! Like the onstage pyrotechnics during a performance of ‘Live And Let Die’, the fans erupt and the press go into overdrive. It says a lot about the politeness of Japan that despite the tumult, the photographers respectfully call out “Sir” as they try to attract PM’s attention. Now, I’ve been to lots of media calls with Paul over the years and I can barely remember an occasion where the snappers address him so formally. Cries of “oi, Macca” or “over ‘ere mate” usually fill the air. Paul happily poses and charms them by greeting everyone – photographers, reporters and fans – in Japanese, which escalates the mania even further.
Paul proceeds through the heaving hall, shaking hands all the way. Each step he takes towards the fans is met by a surge forwards from the masses, but he takes it all in his stride, clearly moved by the astounding reception. At one stage he is handed a ukulele by a small child who wants him to sign it and Paul obligingly and happily does so. Eventually, he makes it to a lift, which whisks him clear of the arrivals area and the polite pandemonium. “Oh boy,” he says, as the lift doors close. “This is a nice way to come to work.”
Paul jumps into a car and is finally on his way to the hotel. What an entrance and what a welcome – one that will set the tone for the huge adventure awaiting us.
Twelve hours later, Paul is arriving at the mega baseball stadium, Osaka Dome, for rehearsals, but before he gets down to business there is time for a chat with the editor of British Esquire magazine, Alex Bilmes, who is with us on the road for a few days to work on McCartney cover story (due to hit newsstands in July). Paul’s shows are always evolving and there have been a few tweaks and changes that he and the band need to look at, so everyone gets their heads down to ensure everything sounds pristine.
We also take delivery of the local evening papers, which have gone to town on our man’s arrival. There is much excitement about how Paul took the trouble to address the crowd in Japanese. It appears many Western visitors make little to no effort with the language. If Paul can manage, then maybe everybody should. It’s been a fabulous start but the real work begins for Paul tomorrow with the first concert.Stuart Bell
Last updated on February 7, 2021