Beatles legend Paul McCartney, 76, was protected by armed soldiers, with one reported to be carrying “a big machine gun”, at his surprise concert at New York’s City’s Grand Central Station last Friday night. A photo posted to Twitter by a commuter that day shows armed soldiers protecting McCartney’s concert hall.
NPR reporter Andrew Flanagan opened his report on the show with a description of a heavily armed soldier protecting McCartney.
“Walking through the warm, vanilla hallway of Grand Central Station, I tried to enter a barricade when an army sentry — helmet, muted green-and-sand uniform, a pistol and a big machine gun — said it was the wrong entrance. “This is for the artist — go down, take a left and stick to the wall.”
Earlier in the year McCartney had participated in the nationwide anti-gun March for Our Lives which was organized by professional Democratic Party supporting anti-Second Amendment groups and fronted by several liberal student activists from the Parkland, Florida, high school that was the scene of a massacre by a former fellow student on Valentine’s Day.
McCartney said he marched in New York City to remember his friend fellow Beatle John Lennon who shot to death in the City on December 8, 1980.
A few years back, McCartney recalled how terrified he was to see soldiers armed with machine guns in the months following Lennon’s murder.
He recalled to Uncut magazine: “It was weird because in the days that followed it, I was sitting in the house. We had a little perimeter fence, mainly to keep foxes out, because we had some chickens.
“I’m aware of security threats, so I’m on high alert and I look out and I see someone with a f***ing gun, like a machine gun, an assault rifle – ‘Wha?!’ He’s in full military gear, and then I see there’s a whole patrol of them. I’m going, ‘Holy s**t, what’s going on?’.”
However, the 73-year-old musician admitted he had jumped to conclusions and had simply stumbled across military training.
He added: “I don’t know what I did. I think I rang the police. It turned out to be army manoeuvres. [They said] ‘Oh, sorry. Are these your woods?’ I’d put two and two together and made a thousand. God, I don’t know how I lived through it. You think you’d just faint dead on the ground. But they were all there, coming through these woods.”
McCartney’s concert was live streamed on YouTube. The concert was held to promote his new album, Egypt Station.