Moody’s Magical Mystery
Paul McCartney seems to have a fondness for Truckee’s music scene.
Known in the area for serving up some of the best jazz music in the Sierra, Moody’s Bistro and Lounge again played host to the ex-Beatle and international rock star on Monday evening.
According to Moody’s co-owner J.J. Morgan, McCartney said he was just coming for his annual residency at Moody’s again this year.
McCartney, who was on a ski vacation in the area, has seemingly made Moody’s one of his favorite stops while in town. He made an impromptu visit to the restaurant in March 2003 and improvised a song he called the “Truckee Blues” during that session.
This time, McCartney played a couple of songs with Moody’s regulars George Souza and Joe and Caleb Dolister.
“Unfortunately, you have an unscheduled guest,” McCartney said as he took the stage with the jazz trio. Approximately 70 patrons as McCartney altered the lyrics to the blues rocker “Kansas City” into a tribute to Tahoe City. “I’m going to Tahoe City, going to get me some skiing,” he sang.
According to Morgan, McCartney also played the classic jazz standard “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.”
McCartney and the boys played in front of a suspiciously expectant audience.
“It was awesome,” David LaPlante, 34, Reno told the Associated Press. He took in the scene with his wife, Jessica.
“I’m a little young to be a die-hard fan, but he’s Paul McCartney, a living legend. … and he’s sitting 15 feet away from you in a restaurant in Truckee,” he said.
Adam Comey of Salt Lake City was in town for a ski competition his sports production company is producing at the nearby Kirkwood Ski Resort.
“There was sort of a buzz in the whole room but I was clueless until he got up on stage,” Comey told the Associated Press.
“It’s something you could never expect in your lifetime, to go to a small restaurant in Truckee, California and see Paul McCartney sing a couple of creative tunes. It was a blast,” he said.
“It was a little busier than an average Monday night,” Morgan said, speculating that rumors of McCartney’s plans had been circulating around town.
Although certain people seemed to be in the know about McCartney’s appearance, drummer Caleb Dolister was not one of them.
“It was pretty hushed,” Dolister said. “I only got the call a couple of days before the gig, which is pretty rare when Gorge is leading the gig. So I kind of assumed that it was somebody’s birthday party and they requested that George be the guy. And then halfway through the set he kind of leaned over to me and asked ‘You know who we’re playing for right?'”
According to Dolister, playing with McCartney was “surprisingly easy.”
“What I mean by that,” Dolister said, “is some people that are famous for doing a certain thing oftentimes aren’t that comfortable outside of their element. But he was really able to adapt and it was kind of like just having another guy in the band, except it was Paul McCartney, which was incredible.”
Even though the staff at Moody’s did their best to downplay the evening, word of McCartney’s appearance quickly spread through town. However, according to Mark Estee, co-owner and executive chef at Moody’s, the crowd inside was well behaved throughout the evening.
“It was such a killer atmosphere here last night,” Estee said. “It was unbelievable at Moody’s and the people who were here were very respectful. The people here did a great job of being cool.”
The couple ate dinner at a corner table next to the band before McCartney joined the trio on stage shortly after 9:30 p.m. for about 15 minutes.
“It was definitely a feel-good time by everybody. I think he seemed like he had fun,” Souza told the Associated Press. He played a jazz rendition of “Yesterday” for the couple. “They were probably there two hours. He was very gracious,” Souza said.
“I think the guy has a future in show business.”
-The Associated Press contributed to this story.