ACL Tales: Paul McCartney’s performance brings together fans spanning across generations

Tiana Woodard

Each Friday night of Austin City Limits 2018, people of all ages, backgrounds and music inclinations gathered before the American Express stage for one thing only — to see musical icon Sir Paul McCartney perform live.

With a career spanning over five decades, the past Beatle has amassed a variety of fans from multiple generations. While some members of the artist’s fanbase witnessed his rise to fame firsthand, others have discovered McCartney’s musical relics in hindsight.

ACL festival attendee Richard Young represents the former. In fact, Young recalls watching The Beatles’ famous 1964 performance on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ as a high school senior. Young said that the band’s music helped distract the country from the decade’s turbulent social climate.

“When I was in college that following September, the new albums would come out, and my friend who lived across the hall from me in the dorm would always be the first one to buy the albums,” Young said. “We would get everybody together, listen to the albums, critique the songs and sing the songs.”

Other festival-goers such as Jackie Garcia became enamored with The Beatles and McCartney’s music decades after its release. Because her dad is a fan of their music, Garcia believes it was only natural for her to follow suit.

“It’s awesome that (McCartney) can bring people from multiple generations (together),” Garcia said. “You didn’t even have to grow up with them.”

Young said that in regards to the world’s current state of affairs, the group’s music has the ability to captivate and even unite future generations

“(The Beatles’) music brought us together once,” Young said. “Maybe, it can do it again.”