Red Square, Moscow - 2003

As Paul performs in Russia, the story of the Beatles' revolutionary impact on the Soviet Union is told. Between songs, the story of the pop Cultural Revolution is told that he was inadvertently part of that the Soviet authority could not stop.

Though the Beatles were banned from Russia in the 1960s, their music offered hope and inspiration to an entire nation for years. Finally, on May 24, 2003, Paul McCartney satisfied decades of anticipation with his first-ever concert in Russia--wowing a crowd of over 100,000 people in Moscow s Red Square.


For the Russian audience, McCartney's appearance in Moscow is little short of a miracle. The Beatles were banned for decades by the Soviet government, which regarded their music as the epitome of Western decadence and propaganda, and the fans' only access to the group was through the occasional photo or black market album. Their reaction to his 2003 visit is a mixture of frenzy and rapture; in interview after interview, what one fan calls the Beatles' "gentle intervention" is credited with helping to bring down the whole Soviet system, simply because they represented a creativity and freedom that had been almost totally silenced. And that's all before McCartney plays "Back in the U.S.S.R.," which inspires a response that simply must be seen and heard to be believed.

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