Rock Flashback: Arise, Sir Paul

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paul and friends Rock Flashback: Arise, Sir Paul

Paul McCartney and friends at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions, 1999 (Getty Images/Dave Hogan)

This week in 1997, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Paul McCartney[/lastfm] was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of Britain. In modern times, knighthoods are awarded for excellence in a particular field; it’s not like Paul would have to raise a corps of soldiers and lead them into battle during wartime or anything.

Other top rock stars who have received knighthoods include [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Elton John[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Mick Jagger[/lastfm]. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]David Bowie[/lastfm] turned down the honor.

I should probably differentiate between full-blown knighthood — the kind of honor that would have required the raising of soldiers in defense of the realm back in the day — and the lesser honors that are handed out at the end of every year. (The pastry sous-chef of the royal household got one last December.) And I would, if I were British and had the attention span to figure out the different classifications.  But I’m one of those noisy Americans, and we fought the Revolution so as not to have to mess with all that. So here’s vintage video of Paul performing “Maybe I’m Amazed” in 1970.

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