Paul McCartney at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL on 5/28/22 By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

I’ve witnessed greatness on stage many times in the nearly three decades since I first started going to concerts. I’ve seen many early rock and heavy metal bands from “back in the day,” including pioneering acts such as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, Aerosmith, and even The Rolling Stones. But never before have I managed to catch one of The Beatles, the ones who started it all, and undeniably my earliest memory of rock music going back to when my parents had first introduced me to them so many years ago.

But that finally happened this past Saturday, May 28, when legendary former Beatle himself Paul McCartney took the stage at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL. I was there to witness this much anticipated event with my wife, son, mother-in-law, and extended family and friends of the Rewind It Magazine family. I don’t think a single one of us could issue a word of complaint if we tried.

Opening with the classic Beatles track “Can’t Buy Me Love,” I was instantly transported back to childhood memories of seeing old black and white footage of the fab four bobbing around on stage together. For the next two and a half hours, I found myself so transfixed on that stage, possibly the most lost in music I’ve ever been in my lifetime prior.

The next few songs, “Junior’s Farm,” “Letting Go,” “Got to Get You Into My Life,” and “Come On To Me” all served as decent enough warm ups that were paving the way to better things, the blues-ly Wings staple “Let Me Roll It” and the Sgt. Peppers-era “Getting Better” being a couple of said things. “Let ‘Em In” followed before McCartney dedicated “My Valentine” to his wife (who was in attendance for the show) and oddly enough featured actors Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman “signing” the lyrics on the video screens.

“Nineteen Hundred Eighty-Five” was up next with some retro lazer light work, while more classics like “Maybe I’m Amazed” and The Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen a Face” followed. Paul then dug deep with a track from his pre-Beatles Quarrymen days, “In Spite of All the Danger,” as well as “Love Me Do,” each featuring a little history of their original recordings from McCartney.

The semi-newer track “Dance Tonight” was next before McCartney took the stage solo with an acoustic guitar to perform “Blackbird,” another chill-inducing moment. “Here Today” was next up, before McCartney joked about the lack of interest usually reserved for newer music, before appropriately going into a newer track in the form of “New,” featuring the refrain “We can do what we want.”

Another Beatles number, “Lady Madonna,” proceeded before the interesting “Fuh You,” and although the Sgt. Pepper track “Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite” attempted to bring the psychedelic vibe with it, it was definitely one of the weaker moments of the night. A little backstory on late Beatle George Harrison preceded a ukulele-driven version of “Something” before picking things up again with the goofy but harmless “Obla Di, Obla Da.”

From then on it was nothing but the best, including some Abbey Road (my favorite Beatles album) era classics like “You Never Give Me Your Money” (which McCartney explained he and his current band had never performed live before) and “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window,” before launching into “Get Back.”

Another Wings track, “Band on the Run,” followed before McCartney took the piano again to serenade the crowd with “Let it Be,” blow everyone away (literally with various pyros and explosions) with the James Bond theme “Live and Let Die,” and invoke the entire stadium to sing along with “Hey Jude,” the unforgettable, massive Beatles anthem from 1968, and close out the first set.

It didn’t take long for McCartney and company to take the stage again for an encore, beginning with “I’ve Got a Feeling,” which he explained Get Back director Peter Jackson had isolated John Lennon’s vocals for specifically for the tour, and fans were therefore given a rare treat. “Birthday” and “Helter Skelter” got the crowd on their feet again, while the epic climax of “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End” (hands down one of my favorite Beatles medlies) was finally enough to choke up an old dog like myself, as I became overwhelmed with emotion, knowing just what greatness I had just experienced.

As if this wasn’t all enough in itself, a chance encounter on the way out of the stadium found us actually crossing paths with Alter Bridge and Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti (see photo below), who was more than happy to briefly chat with us about the concert we had all just witnessed (among other things). I couldn’t possible write a better ending to an already epic story if I tried.

The Rewind It Magazine crew (from l to r; Jacob Striewski, Shawn McKee, Jesse Striewski, and Brooke Striewski) with Alter Bridge/Creed guitarist Mark Temonti after Paul McCartney’s show last Saturday, May 28 (Photo by Jhennifer McKee).

Interview with Sex Pistols Bassist Glen Matlock By Jesse Striewski

I’ve said it many times before in the past, how when I was a kid learning to play the bass guitar, there were two bands I specifically cut my teeth to more than any others; punk outfits the Misfits, and the Sex Pistols (to the best of my knowledge, “Anarchy in the U.K.” was actually the first song I had ever learned on the instrument from front to back). So to get a chance to pick the brain of original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock (who was in the band from 1975-77 before being replaced by the infamous Sid Vicious) from his London home last week via a Zoom meeting was as surreal as it gets for me.

Matlock is so much more than simply a bass player though; he’s an accomplished songwriter (Glen had a hand in co-writing the majority of tracks from the one and only official Sex Pistols album, 1977’s Nevermind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols) and an all-around talented musician whose first love before he ever picked up a bass was the guitar (Matlock even mentioned in our conversation how playing the bass was more or less a ‘skill,’ but not his ‘art’). And one thing I had not anticipated was how much of a sense of humor Matlock has as well, causing for one of the most painfully hilarious interviews I have ever done.

Case in point, his latest work. Matlock recently released a limited edition, two-song single with longtime friend and collaborator, Earl Slick (best known for his guitar work with the likes of John Lennon and David Bowie) on Stay Free Recordings. Glen informed me that said new single, “Consequences Coming” (which also features a cover of KD Lang’s “Constant Craving”) was recorded last year in his home when he and Slick suddenly found themselves ‘stuck’ together after the lockdown first took effect. He explained; “We were in the middle of the tour in the U.K. at the start of last year, and then all of this started happening. and he got stuck with me, a bit like The Odd Couple. We did a couple of live streams and people started to like it, but you can’t do the same thing every week, so we had to learn four separate, hour-long sets.”

He continued; “So we had all of this stuff, and I figured, ‘well, we’ve got the computer out, let’s just hit record.’ And we did, in a very basement-tapes sort of way. And it’s just me and him, playing, shooting the breeze – I mean there’s some really funny stuff in between songs! We’ve actually got a full album in the can, but it’s not out yet, just the single. And that’s it really!” I also asked Matlock what made the pair decide to cover said KD Lang ’90s hit “Constant Craving,” and he replied; “Because I told him that we were going to do it (laughs)! But no, I’ve always liked that song. You know, it’s kind of about yearning and love lost, and I thought it kind of fit the mood for what’s going on for a lot of people right now.”

Of course I had to ask Matlock some questions about his former band the Sex Pistols – even if he has heard them all before. And his initial reaction to my forewarning of this was, appropriately, “Oh here we go!” (Which of course was proceeded by more laughter!). Still, I inquired what it was like watching the Pistols from the sidelines with Sid Vicious in his place, and he told me; “There’s a good expression in England that goes, ‘If that’s what you want, that’s what’s going to happen.’ I saw the train coming, but I wasn’t that concerned about it. It had all gone a bit, ‘tits up’ to me anyway, and I didn’t like the way it was going. But I was really busy, I had the band Rich Kids quite soon afterwards, and we were off writing and recording a record, so I wasn’t too concerned at that point. They (the Sex Pistols) were out plugging the songs I had co-written, and I was still earning money off of them doing their thing.”

I also wanted to know what he thought of some of the work that came in the aftermath of the Pistols, such as the 1980 film The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, and the 1986 hit, Sid & Nancy. He revealed to me; “I thought the Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle was a load of rubbish, and Sid & Nancy I didn’t think was too far off from that. But I did a little work on that one when I became friends with Alex Cox. He always maintained he should be paid by the government for making an anti-drug advertisement, which seemed reasonable to me (laughs). The funny thing with bio pics though, is everybody can pick holes in it. In a way, the whole Sid & Nancy thing was very Shakespearean, in a Romeo & Juliet sort of way.

After releasing one studio album with his post-Pistols group the Rich Kids, the band broke up, and Matlock briefly played with legendary frontman Iggy Pop. He enlightened me some on how that happened, and why it didn’t go past recording the one album with Pop; “Iggy’s agent was also the Rich Kids’ agent, and he knew they had just broken up, so he suggested me to Iggy and got me the gig. And when I started working with Iggy, he had a proper crew and road manager, and the equipment worked! We never had any of that stuff in the Pistols (laughs). It was fun, the way it should be. But it was great working with him, and I wish I had stayed working with him a bit longer. But he was in his ‘flashing’ stage at the time, and I definitely didn’t miss that at all after I had left…some things you can’t un-see (laughs).”

Fast-forwarding to when the Sex Pistols reunited in the mid-’90s, I asked if it was a sense of validation for him at the time to step back in to his original role as bass player. He said; “Yeah, I got the last laugh! (laughs). I think I actually caused it, because in ’95 I got to L.A. to do a project with a mate, and the guy I was staying with, Calvin Hays, gave me (Sex Pistols guitarist) Steve Jones’ phone number at the time – and I hadn’t spoken to Steve in fifteen years. We went back-and-forth for about a week, and when I finally reached him, he said, ‘I heard you were in town, come on over!’ And when I did, he said, let’s go see (Sex Pistols vocalist) John,’ and I said, ‘Oh, here we go!’ (laughs). And when all three of us were together, we decided to call (Sex Pistols drummer) Paul up in England. And the next thing, we got a world tour out of it, and if I hadn’t made that phone call in the first place, I don’t know if it would’ve ever happened.”

And lastly, I had to ask Matlock that question that will likely follow him for the rest of his days; with all four original members of the Pistols still walking the Earth, will there ever be another tour, or even just one huge ‘farewell’ show? His reply; “Well, I’m not holding my breath. But I liked the James Bond series, and when Sean Connery came back and made one more movie, it was called Never Say Never Again. We’ll see.”Matlock however did assure me, Sex Pistols or not, we will see him on stage again, someday; “We’ve got a festival gig over here (in England) in the summer, and I’m hoping for maybe a U.K. tour by fall, but I really don’t know if it’s going to happen or not yet.”

In Memoriam: John Lennon (1940-1980)

By: Jesse Striewski

December 8, 1980; former Beatle John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono, were returning to their New York City apartment at the Dakota after a long day at the recording studio, approximately 10:50 p.m. Obsessed fan Mark David Chapman, who had even met Lennon earlier that afternoon when he approached him for an autograph, pulled out a .38 special revolver, and struck Lennon at close range with four out of five of the shots he fired. After being rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at 11:00 p.m., and the world was never the same again.

These events transpired just three months before I ever even entered this world, but they still strike a nerve each and every time I think about them.

Lennon’s mark changed the face of music forever, first as a member of The Beatles in the 1960’s, where he and bassist Paul McCartney penned some of the greatest songs ever written. Then in the ’70s, where his fights and contributions to societal change were just as great as his solo work. By 1980, with the release of the Double Fantasy album, Lennon was on the verge of a comeback that we will never know just how far it could have taken him.

I grew up in a world that was both without John Lennon, while at the same time, completely influenced by him. Along with the likes of Elvis Presely and The Beach Boys, the music of The Beatles, like so many others, was one of my first introductions to music ever, and made the biggest impression on me more than any of the other previously mentioned acts. Even at a young age, I gravitated naturally to John, who was always the “rebel” of the group. And now, being nearly the same age as him at the time of his death, and a father, I relate to him now more than ever.

Forty years after his senseless death, John Lennon remains as influential and vital as ever. They say true legends never die, and Lennon was no exception to this. Every time an aspiring young musician picks up a guitar for the first time and plays that first chord, Lennon’s presence is still there. No matter how much time may pass, John will always be with us.