Monday 1 August 2016


Paul’s long and winding career has led him down many roads. Changing the world as a member of the Beatles will do that.

Yet, Paul,who plays at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Sunday, Aug, 7, has never traveled a road to Asbury Park, even though he has several professional and personal connections to the city.
It started in 1963. That’s the year the Beatles recorded Lenny Welch’s version of “A Taste of Honey.” Welch, of course, is known as Mr. Asbury Park in these parts and his 1962 version of “A Taste of Honey” was the first to have lyrics. 
The song’s structure and guitar riff is similar to the Beatles’ 1963 version, which featured McCartney on lead vocals. It was released on the Beatles debut album, “Please, Please Me.”

“I later went to England and one of my piano players was teaching Paul’s wife (Linda McCartney) how to play, and Paul asked him what he was doing. And he said, ‘I’m working with American singer Lenny Welch,’ ” said Welch previously to the Asbury Park Press. “Paul said, ‘We know him. We recorded his ‘Taste of Honey.’ ”
Paul’s played Jersey several times over the years, most famously in 1964 at Atlantic City’s Convention Hall with the Beatles. His first solo shows in Jersey were in July of 1990 at the former Giants Stadium in East Rutherford.
In 2007, Jersey Shore rocker Bob Burger, a member of the Beatles-inspired Asbury Park group the Weeklings, rocked with Paul and his son James at a party at Jon Bon Jovi’s home in the Hamptons. Bill Clinton, Bill Murray John Mellencamp, Jimmy Buffett and Bruce Willis also were there.
“He came out of the audience (at the party) and we did ‘Long Tally Sally,’ ” Burger said. “It was in the original key and he screamed his head off. He’s a performance giant — nobody does it like he does it.”
Burger didn’t initially recognize James McCartney.
“I noticed him playing with us and I noticed that he had a half-grown beard like Paul McCartney’s on the White Album,” Burger said.
James McCartney has played in Asbury Park three times, including a 2012 Bamboozle performance in the Paramount Theatre that was visited by a raccoon in the audience. James played at the city’s Saint nightclub in June.
“He definitely killed it,” said Saint owner Scott Stamper of the performance. “He put on an amazing show.”

Paul’s Jersey connection went into high gear when he started dating Nancy Shevell, a graduate of J.P. Stevens High School in Edison, in 2007. Shevell’s family operates the Elizabeth-based New England Motor Freight company, whose trucks one often sees on Jersey highways, and she was a board member of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
In 2010, the couple went to annual Rutgers Chabad National Founders Dinner at the Hyatt in New Brunswick in December 2010. Shevell’s father, Myron “Mike” Shevell of Long Branch, vice chairman of the board of directors for NJ Transit, was one of the night’s honorees, along with Gov. Chris Christie.
“It just shows you no matter who you are, if your girlfriend tells you you’re going to be someplace, right? You’re going,” said Christie at the time. “Paul McCartney at the Chabad House fundraiser – only in New Jersey.”
Shevell’s cousin, talk show host and journalist Barbara Walters, helped bring the pair together, according to reports. “Barbara was her emotional confidante and played matchmaker,” a friend of the couple told The Observer of New York. “She gave numerous dinner parties for them and always made sure to invite people she knew that Paul would want to meet.”
Both Shevell and Walters have a deep Asbury Park connection: the former Harry and Mina Walters of Asbury Park are Barbara Walters’ aunt and uncle and Shevell’s grandparants.
Harry Walters, a native of England, started a dry goods store on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park, which grew into the Walters Department Store. He also owned stores in Long Branch and Freehold.
A daughter, Arlene Walters, married Shevell, formerly of Edison. Nancy Shevell is their daughter.
“My uncle Harry Walters was a leading citizen in Asbury Park,” wrote Walters in her autobiography, “Audition.” “They seemed to have a very good marriage. Everyone in the Walters family came to them for advice, comfort, and, oh yes, money.”
In recent years, Paul has jammed with Asbury Park’s Bruce Springsteen, starting with the infamous 2012 London Hyde Park show where the plug was pulled on the duo due to the lateness of the show.
Now, Paul returns to Jersey, not that far from Asbury Park. Who knows if he’ll make it to town finally. If he does, and you see him, give him a message from Welch.
“Someday I’d like to meet him and thank him and say hello,” Welch said.

WHAT: One on One Tour
WHEN: 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7
WHERE: MetLife Stadium, Route 120,
East Rutherford
TICKETS: $19.50 to $275

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