When I heard Paul McCartney was coming to Bankers Life Fieldhouse this month on his “Out There” tour, I had to try for seats. The Beatles were my favorite band growing up. So original, I know. But my parents came of age during Beatlemania, and Dad’s well-played collection of original LPs were a bridge between us during my teen years, when I was tempted to believe that he and Mom had never been cool, that they couldn’t ever understand my life. Instead, Dad and I wailed together in the car to “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and harmonized on our old plaid couch to “Two of Us,” the first (and one of the last) songs I learned to play on the guitar.
Then I looked at ticket prices. Ouch. Even the nosebleeds were around $100 a pop. Sir Paul can’t still be paying off that $50 million divorce settlement with Heather Mills, I thought. I checked Forbes. He made $57 million last year alone! C’mon, McCartney.
I brought out my debit card, figuring we’d eat out fewer times to justify the purchase. I had seen “the cute Beatle” once already, on a sticky August night a few years ago, at a big outdoor concert in a park. The then-67-year-old danced around and did the Twist, and his buoyant lilt, though a little hoarser than in his mop-top days, carried easily over the 50,000-strong lawn. I thought then that it might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but here was another chance. Wouldn’t it be worth the stretch? Only he knows how much longer he will be able to tour, and he’s never mentioned it to me. I’m not on his Christmas-card list.
Thankfully, Bankers Life won’t be so crowded as that August concert. It might be easier to spot me on July 14 in my upper-deck perch, bouncing in anticipation. Five days later, my dad will turn 60. He looks younger, still ruddy-cheeked like Paul. We won’t be able to be together on his birthday. All the same, I’ll call him from my stadium seat 500-plus miles away if Sir Paul plays “In My Life,” Dad’s favorite, and hold up the phone so he can listen. Another chance to bond over a long-broken-up band, while we can. The two of us.
Amanda Heckert is the editor of Indianapolis Monthly.
This article appeared in the July 2013 issue.