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Glastonbury 2022: Paul McCartney creates emotional John Lennon duet

Paul McCartney’s remarkable headline performance at the 2022 Glastonbury Festival took an emotional turn as the 80-year-old icon created an emotional duet with his former bandmate John Lennon.

After bringing out Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen earlier in the show, Macca used the video screen to introduce Lennon for a rendition of the Beatles song ‘I’ve Got a Feeling’.

The last time Paul McCartney sang with John Lennon in the studio was during a protracted jam session in 1974, and the last time McCartney released a vocal next to Lennon’s was in 1996, with the release of ‘Real Love’. But as part of his new Got Back tour, McCartney, performed a version of ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ next to a clip of Lennon singing in 1969.

Although McCartney has performed a number of compositions he wrote with Lennon before, this is unique as it is one of the few times he has used archived footage during a concert. He isn’t the first rock star to do so, as surviving Queen bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor played ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to footage of Freddie Mercury in 2005, but this is unique for McCartney, and it is likely to be enjoyed by fans of The Beatles.

McCartney also honoured and commemorated George Harrison by virtue of a ukulele-flavoured rendition of ‘Something’ earlier in the show. McCartney has intermittently performed this rendition of ‘Something’ in concert in the years since. McCartney penned a tribute to Lennon in 1982 entitled ‘Here Today’, which detailed their efforts in writing a number of towering compositions, and in humble and intimate settings.

“I wrote ‘Here Today’ about John,” McCartney recalled. “It’s just a song saying, you know, ‘If you were here today you’d probably say what I’m doing is a load of crap. But you wouldn’t mean it, cos you like me really, I know.’ It’s one of those ‘Come out from behind your glasses, look at me,’ things. It was a love song, really, not to John but a love song about John, about my relationship with him. I was trying to exorcise the demons in my own head.”

McCartney’s new tour highlights the tracks he recorded for McCartney III, which were recorded during the Covid-19 lockdown. In promotional materials, McCartney described it as “rockdown”, and the album completed a trilogy that started in 1970, making it a work that was 50 years in the completion.

For the duet at Glasto, the vocals were isolated during the making of the Get Back documentary and add a really lovely moment to the show. “That’s so special for me man,” McCartney says. “I know it’s virtual but come on – it’s John. We’re back together.”