David Letterman spoke with two charter members of history's greatest band, and the full interview will air Sunday night on the CBS's absolutely-must-watch special, "The Beatles: The Night that Changed America - A Grammy Salute," from the Ed Sullivan Theater (8 p.m.).
Those wonderful and hard-working New York-based CBS public relations pros, Kim Izzo-Emmet, and Kate Fisher (oh, yes, and Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i on the west coast), have gone ahead and done all my work for me by transcribing some of the comments.
And those are here...followed by the clips
(Newsday app readers please head to Newsday.com/tvzone to watch...)
As Letterman, McCartney and Starr walked onto the stage of the theater where they made their historic first appearance, Starr recalled the excitement he felt then, which he is feeling again with the upcoming anniversary. “No, I was just so excited,” Starr said. “I mean, even coming back yesterday… I’ve been back a hundred times, I’ve done the show with you, but it’s like, oh, I’m getting involved in all the excitement of it all then. You know, it’s not like we go around saying, ‘Oh, that day.’ Now, I’m here, I’m looking out the window, I’m in the plaza and all the kids were down there. And now we’re back on the stage again…” Starr’s memory of the Ed Sullivan Theater was that it was “four times bigger than this,” and Letterman pointed out that “there was another balcony. There was a third level of about 150 more seats. So it wasn’t that many more, but enough to make a difference.” “
It’s like going back to your old school, isn’t it?” McCartney said. “Yeah, well, that’s right, yeah,” Letterman said. “It looks little now,” McCartney commented. “You thought it was huge…” Also during the interview, McCartney recounted a story to Letterman about the band’s 1965 “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance, their fourth and final live appearance on the broadcast, featuring his solo performance of the classic, “Yesterday.” “So, it was decided that I would do ‘Yesterday,’” McCartney said. “But I’d never worked without the band, so now I’m now going to be working solo on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.’ So I agreed to do it, so I’m standing there ready to go on, never having worked without the band, a little bit nervous, and there were curtains, and there’s a Teamster on the inside of the curtain so they won’t catch. So I’m standing there all prepared with my guitar ready to go on, and he says, ‘Are you nervous?’ I said, ‘No, not really,’ lying. He says, ‘You should be, there’s 73 million people watching!’”