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Paul McCartney joined by Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen during Glastonbury headline set

[L-R] Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen
(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Paul McCartney made history at the weekend by becoming the oldest solo artist ever to headline the UK's Glastonbury Festival at the age of 80 – and he invited a couple of famous friends onstage to help him mark the occasion.

In the latter half of his sprawling near-three-hour set, the Beatles legend recruited both Bruce Springsteen and Dave Grohl – for his first public performance since the death of his Foo Fighters bandmate Taylor Hawkins.

The musicians helped Macca play two songs each; Grohl assisted on I Saw Her Standing There and Wings Band on the Run – which Foo Fighters covered in 2007 – while the Boss appeared for Glory Days from his 1984 album Born in the USA, and The Beatles' I Wanna Be Your Man.

“This guy flew in specially to do this,” McCartney told the crowd gathered at the Pyramid Stage while introducing Grohl. “We love you.”

The Foo Fighters frontman explained to Macca that while his flight from the States was canceled twice, he “would never miss being on stage with [McCartney] right now”.

During Springsteen's time onstage, he referenced McCartney's recent 80th birthday, wishing him “another glorious 80 years”.

Both Springsteen and Grohl rejoined McCartney for the final song on the set, a rendition of The Beatles' The End.

Another highlight from the set arrived with start of the encore, in which Macca delivered a virtual duet of I've Got a Feeling with his late Beatles bandmate John Lennon, whose vocals had been isolated from The Beatles classic 1969 rooftop concert in London. 

“That is so special for me,” McCartney told the audience. “I know it's virtual, but there I am singing with John again. We're back together.”

Macca played 38 songs in total, spanning his illustrious six-decade career. Notable inclusions were Beatles classics like Let It Be, Lady Madonna, Get Back and Love Me Do, Wings tracks including Live and Let Die, Let 'Em In and Let Me Roll It, and a selection of his solo tracks, namely Come On to Me, My Valentine and Here Today.

“Oh, man it's so good to be here. We were supposed to be doing this three years ago,” the Beatles legend told the crowd early in the set, referencing the canceled 2020 edition of Glastonbury.

“But here we are. We've got some old songs for you, we've got some new songs and we've got some in-betweeners... and I've got a feeling we're going to have a great time.”

Dave Grohl's appearance during Paul McCartney's set comes just over two months before the Foo Fighters put on two tribute shows for Hawkins – one in London and one in LA.

The rock stalwarts will be joined by an all-star list of guest musicians, including Brian May, Wolfgang Van Halen, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Josh Homme, Stewart Copeland, Chris Chaney, Omar Hakim, Mark Ronson, and Hawkins' side band Chevy Metal.

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Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).