Paul McCartney: Costa Rica’s other national hero!

I think it has taken many of us these several days to digest the experience. After all, whether you’ve seen him in concert before or not, and regardless of your age and sense of what is cool or hip, if you grew up here in the 1960s and ’70s, this was no ordinary event.This was Paul McCartney in Costa Rica.

Before the performance began, before a lyric was uttered, Sir Paul came out and stared down tens of thousands of people, and in remarkably clear Spanish, said he was happy to be here, “FINALMENTE!” The man sitting next to us let out an agonizing scream of joy. I was personally overcome for the next half hour. About time, Paul. You have no idea.

Beatlemania was different on this side of the world. We weren’t protesting wars – we had already abolished them. But we were struggling to get out of the backwoods, tiny, banana republic world we inhabited. Unlike most of our neighbors, we actually believed in peace and love, and music was a big part of our lives. We had cumbia and merengue and salsa, and we had an incredible symphony of which I was a part. But when “Please Please Me” hit the radio waves, we were stunned.

COSTA RICA-MUSIC-MACCARTNEY

Former Beatle Paul McCartney performs May 1, 2014 at the National Stadium in the capital of Costa Rica. Ezequiel Becerra/AFP

It wasn’t just the fact that these guys were very good – that goes without saying. For reasons I doubt anyone can really explain, they captured this country. I traveled throughout the United States and Europe during and after this period, and was amazed that the rest of the world didn’t seem to have been affected in the way we were here.

But time went on, and for most of the world, The Beatles and McCartney’s solo music were relegated to covers you heard in elevators and in dentist chairs. Not here. Everyone I know did their best to catch the “Hora de los Beatles” on Radio Juvenil every Sunday morning. And sing along. And maybe weep a little. But most importantly, go out into the world and believe.

 

Thanks to the TICO TIMES !