Paul McCartney ‘meets’ John Lennon for a ‘virtual duet’ at Glastonbury, before Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen hit the stage

It’s been about five decades since The Beatles broke up, but it seems the band is back together (well, sort of).

Paul McCartney is making headlines for his performance at the UK’s Glastonbury Festival, where he took the stage for a “virtual duet” with former frontman John Lennon, who was fatally shot in 1980.

Surprise appearances by Foo Fighters star Dave Grohl and “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen capped an evening described by some as “something to tell your grandchildren.”

This is what happened.

McCartney was inspired by Peter Jackson

McCartney, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, making him the oldest musician to headline the four-day festival, paid tribute to his former bandmates at the nearly 3-hour show.

Opening with Can’t Buy Me Love, he entertained a crowd with songs that spanned more than half a century, including Something by George Harrison.

But it was his rendition of I’ve Got a Feeling that turned heads, when he was joined by a surprise guest: John Lennon.

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The vision of Lennon singing along with the track was shown on stage, while his voice was isolated from the original song, making it appear as if the pair were playing together.

Addressing the crowd, McCartney revealed the idea was inspired by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jacksonwho recently oversaw Get Back, a documentary series about the band.

“One day Peter Jackson calls me and says he can take John’s voice and isolate it so you can play live with [him] on tour,” he said.

Dave Grohl and ‘The Boss’ make surprise appearances

It was not the only performance that sparked rumours.

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Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl joined McCartney for I Saw Her Standing There and Band on the Run, receiving an enthusiastic welcome from the audience.

Following his “friend from America’s West Coast”, McCartney introduced another surprise “from America’s East Coast”: Bruce Springsteen.

The two played Glory Days and I Wanna Be Your Man.

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Grohl and Springsteen returned for the final encore of The End of Abbey Road.

“Thank you Dave, thank you Bruce, thank you Glasto,” McCartney said before leaving the stage.

There was some controversy about Johnny Depp

While McCartney’s set has received rave reviews, his decision to include footage of Hollywood actor Johnny Depp received criticism from some quarters.

During his performance of My Valentine, McCartney streamed clips from the original video, in which Depp and actress Natalie Portman use sign language to recite the lyrics.

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“Deeply disappointed in both @PaulMcCartney and @glastonbury over the Johnny Depp video. Seems to go against everything Glastonbury stands for,” one social media user wrote.

Depp won a libel case against his ex-wife Amber Heard earlier this month after a jury found that a statement Heard made about domestic abuse in a 2018 op-ed clearly referred to the actor.

McCartney was supposed to play the festival in 2020

Some 200,000 people attend the four-day festival at Worthy Farm in south-west England, which celebrates its 50th anniversary.

McCartney was due to play Glastonbury in 2020, but that year’s festival and the 2021 edition were thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Grohl and Springsteen returned for the final encore of The End of Abbey Road.(AP: Joel C Ryan)

This year’s 3000 performers included Billie Eilish, Ziggy Marley, Megan Thee Stallion, Foals, Olivia Rodrigo, Diana Ross, Herbie Hancock and the Pet Shop Boys.

Guests also included environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who delivered an impassioned speech on climate change, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who addressed the festival via video on Friday.

ABC/wires

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