Back in the 1980s, McCartney had tried to get into Russia but was told a concert was out of the question. This time, he got the red-carpet treatment, including a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, who confessed that in Soviet times the Beatles were considered “propaganda of an alien ideology.”
Putin, an ex-KGB agent, had no such hang-ups Saturday, giving McCartney and his wife, Heather Mills, a personally guided tour of the Kremlin. In return, McCartney serenaded Putin with “Let it Be.”
“Good evening, Moskvichi,” McCartney yelled to the fans, some who arrived in chauffeur-driven Mercedes and others wearing old Beatles concert T-shirts.
Tickets ranged from about $30 to $300. With average monthly wages around $140, the concert was a splurge for many.