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Tuesday, 2 April, 2002, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Sir Paul's tribute to lost friends
Sir Paul McCartney
Sir Paul performed 36 songs
Sir Paul McCartney paid an emotional tribute to his late wife Linda and his Beatles bandmates, John Lennon and George Harrison, as he kicked off his US tour.

The star fought back tears as he performed Harrison's classic song Something on a ukulele.

Sir Paul sang to 15,000 fans at the Oakland Coliseum, near San Francisco, on the first stop of his Driving USA tour - his first US tour in 10 years.

He told the audience Harrison often used to entertain friends on a ukulele and was a great fan of George Formby.

Linda McCartney
Sir Paul played My Love to his late wife Linda
"George [Harrison] was a great ukulele player and whenever you went to his house, he'd play it at the end of the night. I showed him I could play the song on the ukulele and tonight I'd like to do it now as my tribute."

The 59-year-old also played My Love, which he wrote for Linda, who passed away in 1998, when they performed in Wings together.


The audience were moved to a standing ovation as Sir Paul completed his tribute to former Beatle John Lennon.

For the first time Sir Paul sang Here Today, the song he wrote following the murder of Lennon in New York in 1980.

San Francisco witnessed the final Beatles paying concert in 1966, a 30-minute show which saw just 12 songs played.

But Sir Paul kept the crowd entertained for much longer as he played a total of 36 songs from his back catalogue.

The multi-millionaire played a selection of Beatles and Wings numbers as well as his old and new solo material.

John Lennon
Sir Paul wrote a song after the death of his friend John Lennon
"When I was picking what songs to play, I imagined myself sitting in the audience and thinking 'Right, what would I want to hear him play?'" said Sir Paul.

The final selection included Back In The USSR, Can't Buy Me Love, All My Loving, Live And Let Die and Getting Better.

His fiancee Heather Mills could be seen dancing in the aisle.

Macca finished his set with Yesterday, Sgt Pepper and The End.

"Thanks, it's been great getting back here to rock you," he told the crowd.

The Driving USA tour takes in 19 venues across America.

See also:

17 Feb 02 | Music
Sir Paul 'set to play Vegas'
20 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Yoko and Sir Paul get visual
30 May 01 | Wales
McCartney at Hay Festival
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