McCartney Surprises, Stirs Crowd At Harrison Tribute

Beatles bandmate delivers 'Yesterday' with poignant lyrical switch.

In commemoration of his longtime friend and former bandmate George Harrison, Paul McCartney made a surprise appearance at a tribute concert to the late guitarist in Liverpool, England, on Sunday.

McCartney sang an a cappella version of “Yesterday,” changing a lyric from “Why’d she have to go?” to “Why’d he have to go?” in reference to Harrison, who died last November of cancer at the age of 58 (see “Former Beatle George Harrison Dead At 58″ ).

“I thought I should just come on and say how much George would have loved this,” he told the cheering crowd, according to Reuters.

The concert was scheduled for Harrison’s birthday to pay respects and to raise money for cancer research. The event was announced February 4 and tickets sold out within 24 hours, even though none of the performers were announced at that time.

Aside from McCartney, the evening’s bill included Beatles tribute band the Blue Meanies, the Ivy League, Pete Waterman, Ralph McTell and Steve Harley. The Merseybeats, who shared many a bill with the Beatles, also performed.

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