Tag Archives: Paul McCartney

BP Katz commemorates Beatles anniversary

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Borough President Melinda Katz appeared on the “Jim Kerr Rock ‘n Roll Morning Show” on Q104.3 Friday to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first visit to America.

It was 50 years ago today when the flight carrying the “Fab  Four”  to the U.S. arrived at John F.  Kennedy Airport, where they were greeted by thousands of screaming fans and a huge throng of reporters who came to the airport for the Beatles’ first U.S. press conference.

Since that day the borough of Queens has played host to several other major Beatles events, including their August 1964 concerts at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills and their 1965 and 1966 shows at Shea Stadium (with the sold out 1965 show being the first concert ever to be performed in a major sports stadium).

In recent years Sir Paul McCartney has made several trips to Queens for performances at Shea Stadium and Citi Field, and visited the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts in Astoria this fall, where he performed for and took questions from students.

During her radio appearance, the Borough President presented host Jim Kerr with a proclamation that notes all those important Beatles events. and pays tribute to the band for the great joy and excitement it has brought to people throughout the world.

“Beginning with their arrival in the U.S. during the dark days after the assassination John F. Kennedy, The Beatles have had a profound positive impact on our nation and have brightened the lives of countless millions of people,” Katz said. “As Borough President and as a lifelong Queens resident, I am proud that our borough has played such an important role in Beatles history. Thank you to Jim Kerr and everyone at Q104.3 for inviting me to their station to help mark today’s anniversary.”




Paul McCartney plays surprise concert at Astoria school

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photos: MJ Kim/MPL Communications

Paul McCartney proved once more he is an artist for all generations.

McCartney played a surprise concert on Wednesday for over 400 high school students and guests at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria.

The former Beatle jammed through old and new hits like “Black Bird,” “Eight Days a Week” and “Save Us” – the opening track on his album to be released on October 15 – in the Tony Bennett Concert Hall.

Bennett himself enjoyed the show, seated in the audience stage right.

The surprise event was hosted by on-air talent Jim Kerr and was streamed live on iHeartRadio channels and Yahoo. Students additionally got the chance to ask the rocker questions in between songs.

Addison Manion, a senior at the performing arts school, asked McCartney how his fame has affected the evolution of his music.

“It gives you freedom,” he said, and admitted in the beginning of his career, he produced music he thought people wanted to hear. But as he settled into his fame, he realized, “I could give them something they don’t know they want to hear.”

Similarly, McCartney said the greatest lesson he has learned throughout his decades-long career is that he shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes, especially on stage.

“If I do something wrong, people don’t mind. People kind of like it,” he said, laughing. “They can say, ‘Hey, I was at that show he made the mistake at.’”

Sophomore Gabrielle Mendez asked McCartney where he gets his inspiration for songs, to which the singer responded “love, family and memories.”

He also said his life in music has transcended for over half a century simply because he loves to do it.

“I could be home watching TV, but I’d rather be here,” he said. “It’s just so warm, it’s a great feeling.”



Crooner, guitarist and Astoria resident Aaron Lavigne ‘keeps it simple’

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

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Mid-West transplant Aaron Lavigne is more than happy to contribute to Queens’ flourishing music scene.

“I’ve been fortunate to have been involved in [the Queens music scene]” said Lavigne. “It’s always been a welcoming sense of community — anytime and anywhere I play, I’ve only met the most positive people and artists looking to help each other.”

Crooner, guitarist and current Astoria resident, Lavigne began his musical dabbling back in high school.

“I was into everything from alternative to punk rock,” said Lavigne. “I didn’t really start to ‘seriously’ play until about five years ago when I started writing songs.”

Lavigne draws inspiration from the artists he grew up listening to: The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and even newer musicians including the Avett Brothers, NOFX and Band of Horses.

“Anything that attracted me with any kind of soul or substance to it,” said Lavigne of his influences.

Lavigne catalogs his pop, rock and soul sound as an amalgamation of Paul McCartney, Marvin Gaye, Jason Mraz and Jeff Buckley. He prefers his songs’ subjects lean towards the simpler side, centering on themes of girls, animals and nature.

When Lavigne sets down his guitar, he moonlights as an actor, currently participating in the Off-Broadway revival of “Rent” at New World Stages in Midtown Manhattan. Between one stage and another, Lavigne can be spotted cruising the streets of Astoria on his bicycle or catching a Cincinnati Bengals game.

Coming off a six-month-long tour of the southeastern United States with his backing band, the DownTown Crowd, Lavigne is in the early stages of planning his next release, an EP of six or seven songs.

“I’ll be full time with ‘Rent’ for a while, which will allow me to stay in New York and record my next EP,” said Lavigne. “We’ll begin recording in late January with a summer release. I’m really looking forward to this next EP!”

Lavigne believes his song writing style has evolved since past projects, benefiting in part from his new mantra: “keep it simple — simple and open.”