Paul McCartney has accomplished just about everything an entertainer could hope for in his five-decade career. As a member of the Beatles and Wings and as a solo artist, he has written 32 Billboard Hot 100 hits, earned 60 gold records, sold hundreds of millions of units, been named by Guinness World Records as the most successful composer and recording artist in history, and earned widespread critical acclaim as one of the greatest musicians in history. It's hard to imagine anything that has eluded his grasp, and it figures that he could purchase any such thing immediately as soon as he thought of it. It's good to be Sir Paul.
However, as an attending fan at Monday night's game between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers at Barclays Center, McCartney failed to obtain one prized possession: a free t-shirt. Let's go to the videotape:
It is tempting to think that McCartney was simply joking in screaming for this t-shirt, but the evidence suggests that he really, really wanted it. For one thing, the man behind the beloved anthem "Hey Jude" motions for the shirt well before it's thrown, which suggests that he jumped at the chance to snag the item from the air. Once the shirt nears McCartney, his eyes light up with joy that simply can't be faked, just as American fans screamed for the Beatles upon their arrival to these shores. When the shirt falls short of Macca, he looks quite crestfallen, even shouting "That was mine!" before feigning detachment from his failure to procure a shirt that he presumably would never wear in public. In this moment, we see one of the most famous men in the world as an everyman, except for the fact that most 71-year-olds do not covet the cheap t-shirts thrown out at NBA games.
The pain here is felt by McCartney, clearly, but it is really everyone's loss. If McCartney had caught the shirt, we all would have seen if he decided to keep it or give it away to a small child — a true test of character. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but I think it's likely that he would have pocketed the prize. Apart from the fact that he obviously wanted it, McCartney's performance in the video for the 1986 single "Press" indicates that he lost the ability to understand the common man long ago.
Whenever he goes out in public, he will be Paul McCartney, international superstar. As we've come to learn from the biggest names in basketball, that means he's out to get his piece of the pie, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
- - - - - - -