Saturday, April 21, 2012

Back in the USSR - Red Square


Paul McCartney Red Square paulmccartney.filminspector.com
Paul McCartney plays Red Square, 24 May 2003.



Paul McCartney performed in Red Square on 24 May 2003. Paul wrote "Back in the USSR" at the height of the Cold War as a sardonic play on the Beach Boys' "California Girls."

Paul McCartney Red Square paulmccartney.filminspector.com


The Beatles took a fair amount of heat for the seemingly pro-Soviet song, but it was a standout on the White Album and all done in fun.

Paul McCartney Red Square paulmccartney.filminspector.com


The Beatles were banned in the USSR for many years, but their music did seep across the border regardless. Often, this was at some risk to both the seller and the buyer.

Paul McCartney Red Square paulmccartney.filminspector.com


I bet that when he wrote "Back in the USSR," Paul never imagined he would get the chance to play it in Red Square.

Paul McCartney Red Square paulmccartney.filminspector.com


With the Soviet Union gone and some Russians a bit wistful about it, the meaning of "back" may have switched a bit for some listeners.

Paul McCartney Red Square paulmccartney.filminspector.com


"Back in the USSR," in fact, now may have a very different meaning for some listeners than it did in 1968. The contacts that Paul built up during this appearance in Moscow, during which he personally met with Vladimir Putin, came in handy years later when Paul helped to secure the release of some Greenpeace activists captured while interfering with whaling operations.



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