Sir Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono stunned the audience with their affectionate interaction at the first night of a Beatles-inspired stage show in Las Vegas at the weekend. The ex-Beatle planted a kiss on the cheek of his former band-mate's widow before taking to the stage to pay tribute to his two late friends, saying: "This is for John and George."
Despite their three-decade feud over the Beatles' legacy, the pair seemed to have put their rocky relationship behind them as they reunited for the £55million Love show, featuring acrobatic circus troupe Cirque du Soleil. Dressed in a flamboyant white hat, 73-year-old Yoko smiled broadly as she posed for photos alongside an equally beaming Paul. Enthusiastically praising the show based on the Fab Four's music, John Lennon's widow exclaimed: "I think the show is beautiful, amazing. And John would have thought the same."
Her step-son Julian also attended the Vegas extravaganza, along with a VIP crowd including actresses Helen Mirren and Mena Suvari. "It's really beautiful to have all the families here – it's like a big reunion," he said. "I saw Paul and we gave each other a big hug." George Harrison's widow Olivia confirmed that old rivalries had now died down: "There's so much shared history now that we do also have a shared respect."
It was Sir Paul's first public appearance since announcing his painful split with wife Heather. The 64-year-old, who still wears his wedding ring, was greeted by huge applause and screams, proving Beatlemania is still very much alive. His former band-mate Ringo Starr, who attended the performance at the Mirage hotel with his wife Barbara, revealed his sadness, however, that John and George couldn't be there: "It was really emotional because two of us aren't here. That really came home watching this."
The 90-minute show was the brainchild of George Harrison and has been developed over many years. It takes audiences on a journey through Beatles history, incorporating excerpts from 130 of their songs and key events that shaped their world. It was George's wish to do more with the legendary band's legacy and his personal friendship with Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberte prompted the spectacular project.