Band on the Road
With Bride-to-Be Heather Mills on Board, Paul McCartney Launches a U.S. Tour—and Suddenly All His Troubles Seem So Far Away
Won any money yet?" Paul McCartney shouts from the stage of the MGM Grand Hotel's Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas April 6. The crowd roars. Maybe money can't buy them love, but $350 has scored them the hottest tickets in town: Seats for McCartney's 19-city Driving USA tour, his first in the U.S. since 1993. He's now a Sir, a billionaire and nearing 60. But neither time nor the recent deaths of wife Linda (in 1998) and former bandmate George Harrison (last November) has dimmed his passion to play, says guitarist Brian Ray. "He's so lit up. I've never met a guy more alive." Onstage McCartney offers tributes to John Lennon ("Here Today") and Harrison ("Something"), not to mention 21 Beatles gems. Offstage, meals are prepared by a gourmet vegetarian chef whose creations one bandmate rates "amazing," and McCartney regales pals—and fiancée Heather Mills, 34—with Fab Four tales as they travel by bus or private plane. "There's a lot of joy in Paul's heart," says drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. "He knows how he has touched the world, and he's grateful to be in that position."