Paul McCartney surprised more than 400 students in New York City Wednesday to play music and answer questions at a special iHeartRadio performance and Q&A in what was probably the best lesson taught at the school all year.
Sir Paul took the stage at the Tony Bennett Concert Hall at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, a New York City public arts high school in Astoria, Queens Wednesday afternoon, and treated the audience to a mix of Beatles and Wings classics, including "Eight Days A Week," "Jet," "Blackbird" and "Hey Jude" as well as music from his new album, NEW, due out October 15th (see full setlist below).
Students were called from their classrooms to the auditorium to attend a special assembly, and their principal assured them it was not the type of assembly they should get used to. When Paul McCartney took the stage to uproarious applause, he told the crowd of teenagers, "This beats going to class!" An understatement, indeed.
Sir Paul performed three new songs during the hour-and-fifteen-minute-long event, including the new album's lead song, "Save Us, "Everybody Out There," and the title track, "New," which he dedicated to his wife, Nancy, who was in the audience.
The special event was hosted by iHeartRadio's on air talent Jim Kerr of New York's Classic Rock station Q104.3 and included a question and answer portion with audience participation. Students asked the Beatle a range of questions, from how fame affected his music to why he refuses to retire. To the former, he responded, "The thing that fame does is it gives you freedom," and to the latter, "I'm very lucky. I love what I do, I love making music, and that's all there is to it."
Sir Paul also recounted the story of the moment he first realized his success - the first time he heard his music on the radio - while he was in the car traveling from London to Liverpool. "'Love Me Do' came on the radio, and then I knew I'd made it," he said. Inspiring words directed at an impressionable, aspiring young audience.
Sir Paul McCartney performed at my high school!! Holy hell was that amazing and asdfjjllabskalsbdjdla! I'm on cloud nine right now #sirpaul— shaps :/ (@shaplaay_9996) October 9, 2013
The iHeartRadio Album Release Party with Paul McCartney: A Q&A and Performance, which celebrates the release of his new album NEW that is scheduled to be released October 15, will be aired across Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Classic Rock, Classic Hits, Oldies and AC stations across the country and will stream on Yahoo! Monday October 14, at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT. Macca fans can also listen to the event online on iHeartRadio's Classic Rock Channel on the iHeartRadio web or mobile app and at iHeartRadio.com/pm.
It wasn't Sir Paul's first time teaming up with iHeartRadio to make musical magic. Last month, Sir Paul kicked off night 2 of the 3rd annual iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas with a set that included old favorites as well as music from his upcoming album.
NEW is due out October 15th.
PHOTOS: MJ Kim/MPL Communications for iHeartRadio