A small reminder of Beatlemania came to Hollywood Thursday when Paul McCartney was honored with a star on Tinseltown’s storied Walk of Fame, watched by hundreds of screaming and jostling fans.
Police blocked off Vine Street near the intersection with Hollywood Boulevard, as the crowds swelled across the broad boulevard in front of the iconic cylinder-shaped Capitol Records building.
McCartney, in Los Angeles ahead of the annual Grammy awards show this weekend, paid tribute to the “three boys” — John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr — who helped make him famous.
“Way back in history, in Liverpool when we were kids and we were listening to Buddy Holly and all the rock ‘n’ roll greats, I would have never thought… the day would come when I’d be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“That was like an impossible thing to happen. But here we are today, and it’s happening. But I couldn’t have done it without, certainly, three boys — so I want to say thanks to those guys, John, George and Ringo,” he said.
And he added: “I couldn’t have done it without them, so I want to thank those guys and bless them for being in my life.”
McCartney, who has just released his latest album “Kisses on the Bottom,” was joined by fellow ageing rocker Neil Young outside the Capitol Records building, where staff lined the balcony to watch the star-unveiling ceremony.
Young said McCartney, 69, was “at the top of his game, adding: “Like Charlie Chaplin was a great actor, that’s how I look at Paul.
“Yet even with all of that craft that he has and his ability to put melodies and chords and feelings together, it’s the soul that comes out of his music that makes me feel so good and so happy to be here with him ..today,” he said.
McCartney’s star, which joins those of his band mates, is the 2,460th on the Walk of Fame, a long stretch of Hollywood Boulevard and adjoining sidewalk which celebrates entertainment stars from over the decades.
The Beatles themselves already have a star as a band, and McCartney attended the ceremonies for Harrison in 2009 and Starr in 2010. He was initially nominated for a star in 1993, but the ceremony never occurred.
Fans had gathered for hours for good viewing spots at the ceremony, although many had to strain to see anything as the crowd swelled out across the street for the early-afternoon event.
“He’s part of history, man,” said one 32-year-old onlooker who only gave his first name Brad, while other McCartney fans hoisted their children and girlfriends onto their shoulders to give them a better view.
The ceremony happened on the anniversary of the Beatles’ first US TV appearance, on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964, as Beatlemania spread across the Atlantic.
McCartney will sing Sunday at the Grammys awards show at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, along with other veterans including the Beach Boys and Bruce Springsteen, as well as younger stars like British soul singer Adele.
McCartney, whose new wife Nancy was at Thursday’s ceremony, is also to be honored at a pre-Grammys tribute show also featuring legendary soft rocker James Taylor, as well as Canadian rocker Young with his band Crazy Horse.