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Ex-S.F. mayor frowns on 49ers football team for trying to snag McCartney concert

Paul McCartney
Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

In a column in the San Francisco Chronicle April 19, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown was critical of the San Francisco 49ers' efforts to get Paul McCartney to perform an opening concert at their brand new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara instead of a closing show at Candlestick Park, where the Beatles played in 1966. He called the idea “a tactical error.”

“The 49ers brass claim McCartney’s people came to the team with the offer,” he wrote. “That may be so. But going for it has everyone thinking the Niners are out for the bucks and are not loyal to anyone."

According to a Phil Matier and Andrew Ross column in the S.F. Chronicle last year, the idea of McCartney playing Candlestick first took hold when the former Beatle proposed the idea to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee when he was playing the Outside Lands Festival in 2013. In December, the San Jose Mercury News reported the idea was actively being discussed by city officials. Matier and Ross reported April 12 that the 49ers had made a pitch to McCartney to perform there and possibly snatch the idea of McCartney performing the closing show at Candlestick.

Harold Montgomery, who has conducted a campaign to get McCartney to play that show, told Beatles Examiner the 49ers were wrong to try and interfere. “I think the 49ers offer is pale next to the real need for McCartney to play at Candlestick Park before it is torn down,” he said. “That was McCartney's request and I think it should be honored.

"There are three pinnacle Beatles concert venues in America: Washington Coliseum, site of the first American concert; Shea Stadium, with the largest attendance of its time; and Candlestick Park, the last ever Beatles concert to a paying audience. If the 49ers want McCartney to open at their new venue that's fine, but that wasn't McCartney's request,” he said. “It's not even in San Francisco! This is history in the making. Let's get this done for San Francisco history, not for a football team that has moved away!"