The Beatles were banned in the Soviet Union. In 1968’s “White Album”, the first track is “Back In The USSR”, which is a rock song composed by Paul McCartney. He was inspired by Chuck Berry’s “Back In The USA”. Many years later, McCartney would record an album to be released exclusively in the Soviet Union, “Choba B CCCP”.
While the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, it wasn’t until the 2000s that Paul McCartney would reach Russia. He held a big concert in the Red Square, with Vladimir Putin in the audience. He performed “Back In The USSR” which has been a staple in their setlist.
This week, Paul McCartney began his 2022 tour “Got Back” at the Spokane Arena. The mainstay song “Back In The USSR” was not part of the setlist, however. McCartney didn’t play the song because he is against Russia’s government, which invaded Ukraine. McCartney has skipped the mandatory number from his repertoire due to the war, banning it from the setlist. He even waved the Ukrainian flag on stage.
McCartney and John Lennon reunited at the show, through a video of the late Lennon, with a duet of “I’ve Got A Feeling”. While McCartney and his late Beatles songwriting and singing partner Lennon haven’t sung together in over 50 years, the duet was made possible by assistance from director Peter Jackson, who made a three-part documentary series “Get Back”, from access to 60 hours of unseen footage. This footage is of the band’s final moments together. “I’ve Got A Partner” was recorded originally in 1970 for the “Let It Be Album”.
Jackson separated Lennon’s vocal track from the footage of their performance, leaving only Lennon’s lines. This made it possible for McCartney to sing to it live, with a montage of Lennon’s performance playing on the screens behind McCartney.