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.”