McCartney No Hit With Neighbors

British pop legend and former Beatle Paul McCartney performs with his Hoffner bass on the stage in front of the Colosseum during a free concert along the Fori Imperiali avenue, in Rome, Sunday, May 11, 2003. Paul McCartney performed in a charity concert Saturday night inside the Colosseum.
He's one of the world's most popular musicians, but Paul McCartney failed to impress residents in a corner of east London when he began rehearsing nearby.

The former Beatle's raucous sessions in the Millennium Dome drew complaints from people living on the other side of the River Thames. McCartney, 61, is preparing for an upcoming tour.

"I thought someone was listening to a ghetto blaster in one of the other flats," neighbor Eric Pemberton, 67, said of the noise. "I had the windows closed and the front door just open enough to let the cat in and out.

"It took me a while to realize that this bass was coming from the Dome on the other side of the river," said Pemberton.

"I rang up the environmental health officers at the council and they told me, 'It's Paul McCartney,'" he continued. "I said, 'So what? He doesn't pay my (taxes), and if it was me that was doing this I would have been prosecuted.'"

"I thought it was quite unacceptable and even my cat was disturbed," he added.

Geoff Baker, McCartney's spokesman, apologized and said Thursday that the Greenwich district council had ordered the band to lower its sound level during its remaining week of rehearsals.

"We're sorry to hear about his cat because we love animals, but we're confident that when we turn the music back up again for the European tour everyone else will love it, even the cat," Baker said in a telephone interview.