As many fans hoped, a Paul and Ringo reunion happened on the Grammy stage tonight. After being introduced by Julia Roberts, McCartney sat down on a psychedelic-painted piano with Starr on drums and the pair of onetime Beatles performed “Queenie Eye” from Macca’s latest album, New. The tempo was upbeat, McCartney commanded the vocals like a legend and in the crowd Yoko Ono danced along.
Earlier in the broadcast, Starr performed solo and played “Photograph” from his 1973 album, Ringo. Backed by a massive full band, he bounced around the stage while old black-and-white photographs showed on a big screen behind him.
Tonight’s reunion is one of only a handful of times McCartney and Starr have performed together. On the red carpet earlier, Starr mentioned that the two had played together just last week. Before then, known performances include Starr’s 70th birthday bash in 2010 and at a David Lynch benefit in New York City back in 2009. Rumors have persisted since the Grammy performances were leaking out that they’d reunite for a performance, but nothing was confirmed until tonight.
McCartney has won 16 Grammys: 10 with the Beatles (including Best New Artist in 1965 and this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which he shares with Starr), four as a solo act and two with Wings. Earlier in the evening, he won the Grammy for Best Rock Song for “Cut Me Some Slack,” his song with Dave Grohl, Pat Smear and Krist Novoselic.
The two will continue celebrating the Beatles’ 50th anniversary of their U.S. debut when they tape The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles, set to air on February 9th on CBS. Rolling Stone recently profiled how their performance on the Ed Sullivan Show was a landmark moment in America’s pop culture history.