Paul McCartney to Play Israel Gig
By Adam Nutburn, July 17 2008
Sir Paul McCartney is set to make history -- by playing his first gig in Israel.
The Beatles were banned from the country more than 40 years ago, after being turned away by its then education minister David Zarzevski, who believed a gig by the band would corrupt the country's morals.
However earlier this year, Israel's government sent apology letters the band's remaining members -- Sir Paul and drummer Ringo Starr -- as well as the relatives of deceased Beatles George Harrison and John Lennon -- inviting them to play as part of the country's 60th birthday celebrations.
The letters stated, "We should like to take this opportunity to correct the historic omission which to our great regret occurred in 1965 when you were invited to Israel. "We missed a chance to learn from the most influential musicians of the decade."
McCartney, 66, is now said to be on the verge of signing a deal to play to 250,000 in Tel Aviv this September. He will either play at the nation's football station Ramat Gan or put on an open air gig in Hayarkon Park.
A source reveals, "Paul is desperate to put Israel on the map of places he’s performed.He is pushing to make it happen, although the security issues are a real threat. Paul's very laid back so is not one to normally take such a keen interest in his personal wellbeing.But this show is very different given the tensions in the region. Paul wants to see how Europe goes before he hits the road worldwide. His biggest consideration remains seeing his daughter Bea while touring. He wants to take her on tour, but that means special arrangements with Heather Mills.He will see how well shared custody of Bea with her goes while he is in Europe, before planning anything bigger. He is desperate for them to amicably share Bea despite him being abroad."
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