- Associated Press - Friday, July 11, 2014

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The proprietors of a Fargo pizza parlor named after a Beatles song written by Paul McCartney say they can’t afford to take time off to attend his concert but would love to cook for the rock star and his entourage.

McCartney’s first appearance in North Dakota is scheduled Saturday night at the Fargodome, where a crowd of about 17,000 people is expected for the show.

Blackbird Woodfire owners Patty and Casey Absey had planned to contact McCartney’s handlers about offering the group free pizza. They didn’t get around to it because business at the recently opened restaurant is booming.

“We want to go to the concert, but we’re kind of busy running a restaurant right now,” Patty Absey said. “That sounds kind of lame, but that’s just the truth of our situation.”

Patty Absey said they would be happy to deliver to the Fargodome and noted that the restaurant takes vegan requests, a reference to McCartney’s aversion to meat.

Absey said she and her husband are longtime Beatles fans who consider the music a family tradition. They selected the song “Blackbird” for their restaurant’s name because the song’s lyrics - etched into the back wall of the parlor - hit home.

“We wanted something sentimental that meant something to us, not something that was necessarily catchy to the public,” she said. “The blackbird has a negative connotation to some, but it also symbolizes luck and prosperity. I went back and listened to the song a couple of times again and thought, this is perfect.”

Rob Sobolik, general manager of the Fargodome, said many local fans place McCartney at the head of the class among performers to play the arena built primarily as the indoor football stadium for North Dakota State University football. There were still tickets available on Friday.

“It’s another one of those artists who we are able to cross off our list,” Sobolik said. “We’ve had the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, Elton John, Billy Joel, Justin Timberlake, Pink, Bob Seger and Kid Rock. We’re getting Katy Perry.

“People might be surprised to know that the list of people who have never been to Fargo is very, very small.”

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