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FIT FOR A PRINCE
Prince Charles set up the Prince's Trust in 1976 "to help young individuals aged 14-25 who are disadvantaged socially, economically or physically" and since then the fund-raising events it has organized have given plenty of pleasure as well as doing good.
Few events can have given more pleasure than the Trust's tenth birthday party, held at Wembley Arena on Friday 20th June. The first half featured Big Country, Joan Armatrading and Suzanne Vega, Level 42 and Dire Straits-no complaints there. However, the second half was distinctly exotic, thanks to a startling ensemble under the name of The Prince's All Stars. The lineup? Phil Collins (drums), Ray Cooper (percussion), Mark King of Level 42 or John Illsley of Dire Straits (bass), Elton John (piano), Howard Jones (keyboards), Eric Clapton, Midge Ure, Bryan Adams and Mark Knopfler (guitars).
This was the backing band for everyone from then on, including—yes —your very own PMcC. Paul was approached by Chris Poole of the Prince's Trust to do a rock 'n roll finale with Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi of Status Quo, plus the All Stars. Originally this was to consist of "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Long Tall Sally", but in the end there was more to it than that...
First, who should arrive in Paul's dressing room to chat about old times but David Bowie and Mick Jagger. In no time at all, Paul found himself agreeing to strum along on their unscheduled rendition of "Dancing In The Street". Earlier, at that afternoon's rehearsal, Elton and Tina Turner had persuaded him to add "Get Back": this has long been a feature of Tina's act, so they ended up duetting on it.
"A friend and inspiration to us all," announced Elton John when the time came. Dressed in baggy trousers and a snazzy flecked jacket, Paul let rip on his favourite rockers and closed the show in great style, hugging Eric Clapton as he walked off.
Let's hear the McCartney view: "The audience were great, it was an incredible back-up band and I enjoyed every minute." I'll bet there were goosebumps for Elton John, who once backed John Lennon singing "I Saw Her Standing There", at Madison Square Gardens in 1974.