Anyone who was absent from the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts in Queens, N.Y., yesterday is probably feeling like a grade-A jerk this morning.

Why, you ask? Oh, no big deal ... just Paul McCartney showed up to perform an unannounced concert -- including songs from his upcoming 'New' album -- and field questions from the 400 students in attendance. As McCartney quipped to the auditorium at one point, "This beats going to class."

Rolling Stone reports that McCartney played a full 13-song set in front of a crowd that included fellow legend, school founder and Astoria native Tony Bennett, taking the stage at 2 P.M. and sticking around for 90 minutes of music and dialogue. "I could be home watching the TV now," he grinned. "I'd rather be here."

Asked by a student to name his most important early career lesson, McCartney responded, "When we first started out, I was terrified of doing anything wrong onstage. But then I learned that people don't mind. They actually kind of like it!" When DJ Jim Kerr, who hosted the event, asked him how one person could "create so many memorable melodies," he answered with typical humility. "I don't know. Thank you for the compliment, but I don't really think about what I do. I just love what I do."

Paul McCartney Oct. 9, 2013, Set List:
'Eight Days a Week'
'Save Us'
'Jet'
(Q&A)
'New'
'Lady Madonna'
(Q&A)
'We Can Work It Out'
'Everybody Out There'
'Blackbird'
(Q&A)
'Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!'
'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da'
(Q&A)
'Band on the Run'
'Back in the U.S.S.R.'
'Hey Jude'