Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Billy Joel, Paul McCartney send off Shea in style

Sports stadiums are part of my vast jurisdiction around here, so I went to Shea Friday night to make sure Billy Joel sent off the old barn in style as a concert venue.

No problems there. Hicksville High's own was in fine form, and his guest list included Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks, Steven Tyler, Roger Daltrey and, yup, Paul McCartney.

Here is Glenn Gamboa's account in Newsday. What can I say? It was a privilege to be there as McCartney closed the place he helped open for music with a milestone concert in 1965.

One thing that struck me about the crowd was how demographically diverse it was. Alas, not racially or economically. But certainly gender-wise and age-wise, with a range from 10 to around McCartney's 66, and even beyond.

Compare that to the screaming teenagers by the tens of thousands in '65.

Really, Friday and Wednesday were a tribute to the staying power of rock and roll, and its ability to cross generations.

Look at it this way: McCartney showed up 43 years after his first Shea appearance and was greeted with a stirring ovation. Forty-three years!

Now imagine how it would have gone over with that Shea crowd in '65 if a musical star of the early 1920s, say Rudy Vallee, had shown up for a set.

Or if people had started dancing the Charleston on stage.

I rest my case.

Or, to put it another way:

Everybody's talkin' 'bout the new sound

Funny, but it's still rock and roll to me

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