“This beats going to class,” said McCartney, who played the surprise show and answered questions from the high school students.
Marco, a junior at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts said, “It’s a pleasure and an honor for me,” before asking McCartney about developing musicality throughout his career.
McCartney’s lessons for students ranged from not being afraid to make a mistake on stage, that fame makes you free to write what you want, and to use family, love and memories as inspiration.
He also told students that they are “an advantage” because they are receiving training at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, which was founded by Tony Bennett.
Bennett was in the audience for the show and the students gave him a standing ovation.
McCartney performed songs off his latest album, New, that will be released on October 15. In addition to the new material, he played classic Beatles hits like “Lady Madonna,” “Blackbird” and “Hey Jude.”
“On the stage today you will not only experience someone who changed the world of music, but you will be in the presence of a man who changed the world,” said Jim Kerr, D.J. for Q104.3, who moderated the event. “It is only right that we welcome a knight to the realm to Queens County.”
This is not the legendary rock star’s first trip to Queens. During the performance he mentioned his last tour, which including a show at Citi Field, but noted that this show was different.
“I like the intimacy, I like to see the people,” he said, explaining it reminded him of the early days when the “big places” wouldn’t book his “band.”
“You were a great audience,” said McCartney at the end of the surprise concert. “Thank you for having us at your school.”