Tonight Paul McCartney, representing the Beatles, tries to checkmate the Rolling Stones in a very clever chess move in a debate that has lasted 50 years. While the Stones appear in their final show of their “50 and Counting” four episode tour with a massive Pay Per View guest-star laden concert, McCartney is the musical act on “Saturday Night Live.” The PPV costs $39.99.
I announced this Stones show back on October 5th, and it was officially confirmed on October 15th. http://www.showbiz411.com/2012/10/05/exclusive-rolling-stones-will-play-prudential-center-in-newark  The Stones are getting $25 million for the four shows–two in London, one in Brooklyn and this one. Tonight Bruce Springsteen with the E Street Band, Lady Gaga, the Black Keys and long time Stones guitarist (not bassist) Mick Taylor will join the band on stage. The show kicks off at 9pm Eastern, and should be ending as it overlaps with “SNL.”
McCartney was announced just on November 27th. He has nothing to promote and no particular reason to appear on “SNL” right now–except to try and draw fans away from the Stones show. His last album, “Kisses on the Bottom,” came out last winter. And his own mini-tour through Canada is over. It’s not like he’s doing it because he happens to be in New York. He lives here and is in New York regularly.
But old feuds die hard, even when you were told they never existed. In interviews after their heyday ended, both McCartney and Jagger said they timed their record releases so they never came out at the same time. But the Beatles vs. Stones debates are like the Yankees vs. the Red Sox, or Taylor Swift vs. Justin Bieber. It’s a timeless debate. And McCartney is extremely shrewd. He does very little by accident or coincidence. What would be extra hilarious: if he performed “I Wanna Be Your Man.” which he wrote with John Lennon and the Stones covered it in 1964 when they were starting out. The Stones have performed the song in the last three shows.
So who will you watch? McCartney/Beatles or the Stones? And think of the late night after parties–McCartney with the “SNL” cast, and the Stones and their celebrity guests. Apocalypse now.