Paul McCartney Returns to Los Angeles: Looking Back on The Beatles’ Local History

As Paul McCartney hits the stage in Inglewood on Friday, Los Angeles magazine reflects on the most memorable local Beatles performances with the authors of ”The Beatles in Los Angeles”
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Fans are already planning their journey to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on May 13 as Paul McCartney takes his Got Back tour to the home of the Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams.

Nearly 60 years after The Beatles first album, Please Please Me, was released, McCartney, who turns 80 on June 18, is still going strong and filling packed stadiums and arenas. More than 70,000 people will crowd SoFi for the sold out concert on Friday. McCartney has been spotted twice recently in L.A., once on a double date with Ringo Starr and their wives and once hiking in the Hollywood Hills.

Paul McCartney performs at Dodger Stadium on August 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)

As McCartney performs in Los Angeles for the first time since his Dodger Stadium concert on July 13, 2019, Los Angeles magazine speaks with the authors of The Beatles in Los Angeles: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, Jeremy Louwerse, and Tom Weitzel, about some of the most important local moments in Beatles history and some little known Beatles facts.

Both authors are longtime TV producers: Louwerse is currently Coordinating Producer at NFL Network after having spent years at ESPN, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, Access Hollywood and Inside Edition. Weitzel spent decades as a DGA director for Entertainment Tonight and The Insider and contributed to CBS This Morning, and he is currently a sought after voice over artist.

Top 3 Beatles In Los Angeles Trivia Facts

1. When McCartney is in L.A. he stays in his home off of Coldwater Canyon. He purchased it from Courtney Love and it was the one time residence of Ellen DeGeneres. George Harrison passed from the material world there in 2001.

2. Most of McCartney’s bandmates for the tour, who he has worked with for 20 plus years (10 more years than The Beatles), live in L.A. Rusty Anderson, his guitarist, was born in La Habra. His drummer “Abe” Laboriel Jr. was born in L.A. and lives in the Hollywood Hills. Brian Ray, his bassist, was also born in Southern California.

3. McCartney enjoys driving around town in his signature Blue Corvette.

In this exclusive photo, Paul McCartney performs a secret show at Amoeba Records in Hollywood in 2007. (Amoeba Records)

McCartney’s Top 5 Greatest Performances in L.A.

As told in The Beatles in Los Angeles, there are many iconic Beatles performances throughout Los Angeles, and for authors Louwerse and Weitzel, these five stand out.

1. The Beatles hit Los Angeles for the first time in 1964 at the Hollywood Bowl. Did you know famed game show and KTLA Rose Parade host Bob Eubanks mortgaged his Woodland Hills home to make it happen? Eubanks recounts the story to the authors in the book.

2. McCartney returns to L.A. to perform for the first time after The Beatles broke up in 1976, with his band Wings at The Forum. The show was the hottest ticket in town, with attendees including Jack Nicholson, Elton John and Cher. The Beatles in Los Angeles tells the story about the lavish party the night after in a Beverly Hills mansion where McCartney hangs with the concert attendees and Michael Jackson.

3. McCartney performed a secret concert in 2007 at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, where less than 1000 lucky fans packed the store to see him. Ringo, Woody Harrelson and Jennifer Love Hewitt were among those filling the room. Chapter 19 goes behind the scenes sharing how McCartney ended up on stage at a record store.

4. McCartney performs at Dodger Stadium in 2019, the last stop on his Freshen Up tour, which included an appearance from Ringo Starr where the two performed an intense version of Helter Skelter in the same city the Manson murders took place.

5. January 27, 2014: McCartney and Starr tape a television special for CBS titled The Night that Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles in the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center. The special commemorated the 50th anniversary of The Beatles performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The evening included performances from Stevie Wonder, Dave Grohl, The Eurythmics, and Alicia Keys, with the highlight being McCartney and Starr singing “With A Little Help From My Friends” as if no time had passed since the original Ed Sullivan performance in the 1960s.

Longtime TV producers, Jeremy Louwerse (left), and Tom Weitzel (right) are the authors of The Beatles in Los Angeles: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. (Rich Schmitt)

How The Beatles in Los Angeles Book Came to Be

Why did you decide to write this book?

Louwerse: To bring together two massive icons, The Beatles and Los Angeles, and to get the stories of what happened to John, Paul, George and Ringo in this city by those who were THERE to witness it.

Weitzel: As a kid, The Beatles were my heroes. Jack Paar actually had film of the lads performing before their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. I saw that and it literally changed what I thought a rock band could be. As I grew up, my respect for them as innovators grew. Living in L.A., we are surrounded by such powerful reminders of the pull the group has on our imagination.

What was the most surprising thing you learned about The Beatles while researching this book?

Weitzel: That Pat Boone thought they were cool and he wanted to record “Love Me Do” and his record company nixed it!

Louwerse: Many things: We learned about the time John, who rarely drove, got behind the wheel, had a wild ride down PCH and almost crashed. We learned about Paul’s incredible 1970s parties in lavish Beverly Hills Mansions where he first met Michael Jackson, and we discovered the ONLY photos ever of Elvis and The Beatles together in Bel Air, for 30 years nobody knew they existed.

What is your favorite Beatles memory?

Louwerse: Seeing George Harrison perform at Madison Square Garden during a Bob Dylan Tribute Concert.

Weitzel: Listening on a tiny AM radio the summer “Sgt. Pepper’s” was released. I was on a family vacation in New Jersey and a NYC radio station was playing it from start to finish. It, in the phrase of that day, “blew my mind.”

What is your favorite Paul McCartney concert memory?

Weitzel: His performance at the Super Bowl half time show in 2005. He ended the set with “Hey Jude.” I had never seen a crowd that large so united and so happy to be singing along.

Louwerse: Attending No. 3 on our list, the Amoeba Records secret show in 2007.

Have you had the chance to interview/produce an interview with Paul McCartney? Any memories of that, what was he like?

Weitzel: I have only had a few arrival line interviews with Paul. What impressed me in person and when I have watched interviews with him, is that he is never blasé about his success. He has worked hard and he deserves every bit of success. He enjoys it and I think he enjoys the enjoyment his music brings to people.

Louwerse: I saw Paul up close at the Golden Globe Awards one year, I had the chance to say hello but was so starstruck that I froze up, I really wish I had the moment back to thank him for making music that makes me happy every day.

What will readers get out of The Beatles in Los Angeles that they wouldn’t get out of any other book?

Louwerse: Those who are familiar with Los Angeles will be blown away by the places The Beatles spent time in this city. They will realize they pass places John, Paul, George, and Ringo lived and loved during their commute every day. They will also read how L.A. influenced some of the greatest music ever created.

Weitzel: They will get to see four wide eyed young men living in an Eden they’d only seen in film and television shows. They thought going to The Whisky A-Go-Go was a great idea. They loved hanging out by pools. Liverpool and London are cold, dank places by comparison. Readers will see pictures of that fabled meeting between Elvis and the lads; the stuff of legends.

The Beatles in Los Angeles book is available now. Get it here.

The cover of The Beatles in Los Angeles: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, by authors Jeremy Louwerse and Tom Weitzel. (FriesenPress)

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