Entertainment

Paul McCartney crashes collegel graduation band in Winter Park

WINTER PARK -- A Tampa band called Phase5 was playing a graduation party Saturday in Winter Park when Paul McCartney asked if he could join them on stage for some songs, according to lead singer Josh Walther.

"We actually played with Paul McCartney from The Beatles," Walther said. "It was a bucket list moment that you would've never thought could even be."

Walther said the party at the Interlachen Country Club was for McCartney's stepson Arlen Shevell, who graduated from Rollins College. The Phase5 lead singer said when McCartney's wife, Nancy Shevell, booked the band about a year ago, he did not know about the connection to the legendary Beatle.

"I had no idea how she was connected to him or really who she was," Walther said. "About two or three weeks ago, she calls and we talk about details and she just sort of casually mentioned that he (McCartney) was her husband and he would be coming to the event."

Walther said when they started playing, McCartney was the first one on the dance floor.

"Within a minute of the first song he was on the dance floor ... joined by pretty much everyone else in the crowd," he said. "He danced for the entire set, which would've been about an hour and 15 minutes."

During the band's break, Walther said McCartney asked if he could join them on stage to sing a few songs.

"At that point, I was just like, 'wow ... sure, sure you can join us for a few,' " Walther said. "He really wanted to do "I Saw Her Standing There," which we hadn't played before, but we figured out how to play it."

McCartney also improvised a song about graduation.

"He said... 'let's do a blues progression and I'll just make up a song,'" Walther said. "'I'm just going to come up with some lyrics and I'll just sort of improv a song about the party and about my stepson."

Walther said singing with McCartney was the highlight of his career and The Beatle was a humble, nice guy.

"He's probably one of the first celebrities that I have met that was better than what I expected him to be," he said. "He's just full of energy, very unassuming. I mean, when he came up to us, he basically introduced himself to us like we didn't know who he was."

Walther said McCartney's wife told him they picked Phase5 by looking at videos online.

"She just said that they were given a list of bands in the area and they went through and watched everybody's videos and they just liked us," he said. "So, they chose us."

Phase5 plays at Eddie V's in Tampa every Thursday from 6:30-10:30 p.m.

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