Christopher Polk

Why There's No Harry, Zayn Or Justin Without Paul McCartney

Your boy band fandom really never dies, I discovered during Paul McCartney's Lollapalooza set.

CHICAGO -- If you happened to be a One Direction fan at Lollapalooza's kickoff, maybe catching Paul McCartney's set didn't top your list of acts to see. But the 73-year-old former boy-bander taught me a valuable lesson about fandom on this balmy Friday night (July 31) in the Windy City.

While I watched the silver-haired fangirls-turned-grandmothers singing all of the words to Paul's wailing rendition of the Beatles' "Got to Get You Into My Life," it occurred to me that boy-band devotion is as old as, well, the Beatles. That track from the group's 1966 album, Revolver, sounded just as fresh as I imagine it must have sounded to the teens listening to it on vinyl 50 years ago.

Regardless of what decade you were born in -- whether you were an 'NSYNC or Backstreet Girl -- the debates about about who "the cute one" is or who'll be the one to tragically break up the group never change -- only the lineups do. And if last night was proof, you never get over your first (boy band) love. We can all bond over that.

  • Paul Was 'The Cute One' In His Boy Band

    McCartney headlined day one of Lollapalooza in front of a multigenerational crowd that stretched seemingly for miles in Chicago's Grant Park. He peppered his set with favorites from his Fab Four heyday with the Beatles.

  • Will Harry Be Rocking Stages -- And A Grey-Streaked Man Bun -- In 50 Years?

    In a reflective mood watching McCartney onstage, I couldn't help but picture say, Harry, in his 70s and rocking a grey-streaked man-bun performing "Diana" or "One Thing" one day. Directioners might find themselves nostalgic for all those midnight memories in 2065...

  • The Beatles In All Their 'Mop Top' Glory In 1965

    "Beatlemania" ignited in the early 1960s with the arrival Stateside of four guys from England, (from left), Ringo, Paul, George and John. Girls collectively lost their chill.

  • One Direction In Their Original Lineup In 2013

    Niall, Harry, Liam, Zayn and Louis came together across the pond in 2010 before breaking in the States. Girls (again) collectively lost their chill. And though they're a foursome now, 1D are still stealing hearts.