UPDATED: June 9 was shaping up to be just another Liverpool Beatles tour workday for tour guide Jackie Spencer, who takes fans to sites in the Fab Four’s hometown. But when the small group stopped at the statue of the four Beatles on the Liverpool waterfront, two very unexpected guests joined them, she said.
“We’d had a lovely morning. I had four people with me, from Washington State and California, and we were finishing the tour by the new statues,” said Spencer in a phone interview Sunday. “There was a couple of paparazzi around and we said to one of them, ‘Who’s the celebrity in town?’ We’d heard rumors but nobody would tell us. And then this guy said, ‘Well, I’ll tell you one of them: It’s James Corden. He’s with somebody else and they’re in that car over there.’”
That’s when things got interesting. “And the next minute,” she said, “this black car pulls up and both Paul McCartney and James Corden get out of it!” A rep for McCartney confirmed to Variety that the two were filming an episode of “Carpool Karaoke”; a rep for the UK’s Sky Network confirmed on Wednesday that the segment will be part of next week’s London episodes of “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” airing from June 19-22.
Spencer said McCartney usually visits the city for the graduation of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), of which he is a co-founder, and those visits are usually known in advance. “This visit was a shock because we didn’t know he was here. And he just walked to us as we were taking the pictures. About 30-40 people were around, maybe. And he just stood and got pictures with everybody at the statue. He stood by himself.”
She said she believed it was his first visit to the statues, which were sculpted by Andrew Edwards and unveiled in 2015 for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ final concert in the city.
“He was being really nice to everybody. He was backing people in so they could get pictures with him. He and James Corden were taking selfies. And they just walked back, got in the car and disappeared off and went ’round Liverpool. It was fabulous.”
Besides the visit to the statues, he and Corden dropped by Penny Lane, where he put his autograph on one of the street signs and visited his birth home at 20 Forthlin Road. Spencer said someone at the house told her that he went into the house and played ‘When I’m 64’ on the piano.
McCartney also did a short show at a pub called Philharmonic Hall that included a song he said he’d never played before. He didn’t reveal the title, but videos of the song, a rocker, have popped up on various social media sites and the words include a chorus that sounded like “If you come home to me.” The Sun reported that the song will be featured on McCartney’s next album — the first of his third stint on Capitol Records, which is expected to be announced soon.
In addition, McCartney has provoked some social media talk when, after replacing his Twitter profile picture with a white box Saturday, he changed it Sunday to a drawing that appears to show, depending on your interpretation, a train into a tunnel or a pyramid. The guessing game also appears to be the prelude to the album announcement. The playing of the new song would certainly figure in that.