Sir Paul McCartney reportedly only agreed to perform at the Live 8 concert in London on Saturday (02JUL05) after organisers agreed to let him open and close the charity extravaganza.

The former BEATLE insisted on being top of the bill and told SIR BOB GELDOF he would "think seriously" about taking part, if not granted his requests, according to reports.

McCartney will open the gig with an adapted version of SERGEANT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND - reworded to praise Geldof's achievements - and end it with The Beatles ballad LONG AND WINDING ROAD.

Organisers were left with a tricky diplomatic job appeasing the top acts performing at London's Hyde Park - U2 star Bono was determined to get his fair share of the limelight, and will be allowed to share the stage with McCartney to duet on the opening track. Both stars will wear the military suits the Beatles wore on the Sergeant Pepper album cover.

A Live 8 source tells British newspaper the DAILY MAIL, "Some of the more fragile egos are upset. Bono, in particular, was quick to demand a share of the opening number and sees what he was done politically over the years as a bit more relevant to Live 8 than what Paul has to offer.

"These are the biggest rock stars around. Whatever order they sing in there is going to be friction."

A spokesperson for McCartney says, "Bob asked him if he would do it and he is delighted to be taking part in such an important event."

28/06/2005 02:04