Paul McCartney kicks off his 2022 “Got Back” tour dates tonight (April 28th) at Spokane, Washington’s Spokane Arena. The 17-date trek marks the former-Beatle‘s first since he wrapped his “Freshen Up” tour on July 13th, 2019 with Ringo Starr sitting in with the band for “Sgt. Pepper’s (Reprise)” and “Helter Skelter.”
The current tour marks McCartney’s 20th year playing with his current band — the longest lineup of musicians he’s ever performed with. The group was initially assembled to tour in 2002 in support of his 2001 Driving Rain album.
We recently checked in with Macca’s guitarist Brian Ray, who painted a picture of what it’s like to gear up for a tour backing the rock legend: “The first (laughs) day of any rehearsal for any new project with us, is about 40 minutes of us just jamming. Y’know, Paul will just start in, playing, like ‘Twenty Flight Rock’ or he’ll play ‘Matchbox,’ y’know, and we’ll jam out on that and he’ll play some guitar solos. And then we’ll do another song — it’s just a jam. He’ll just start a riff and it’ll be mostly instrumental. He might start singing, like he does in some soundchecks — he’ll start singing about the town we’re in. And then we’ll go on to a couple of other casual songs, and then, we’ll go into work.”
Paul McCartney was asked if carrying the legacy of the Beatles as a performing artist today is too heavy a load: “No, it’s, it’s a great thing, ’cause I was in ’em, and there were only four people in ’em. You’re growing up, you’re a kid, you’re going to school and all this stuff and you’re aiming to get, y’know, a great job and do well and everything. You finally get there, it’s kind of, y’know, it’s amazing, ’cause you’re still that kid aiming to get there, but now you’re there. And, y’know in some ways I’m still the same kid I was when I was five looking at it, so that is — I’m amazed! It’s like, ‘What? You got in the Beatles??? Alright man! Yeah!’”