08 April, 2006

Prescience and Bad Taste

It's back to the retrospective reviews of my own postings on mailing lists, and this one from Friday 23 July, 1999, on the subject of Paul McCartney, who my mate Jim was insisting 'is a bloody genius'.

... and therefore invalidated every one of [Jim]'s previous opinions on everything. When my dictatorship comes to fruition, Jim, that man will be tried for his crimes against nature.

I *hate* it when he says in interviews "So I said to John..." when it's just painfully obvious that he didn't. You can hear it on one of the Anthology session recordings when he tries to have a go at John by saying "I'll try to remember, but if I don't it's too bad", and then wusses out by doing a funny voice to mask his petulence. And then he knocks over a glass and John
immediately jumps in with "Paul's broken a glass, broken a glass he's broken today" revealing his calm, wonderous talent and showing Macca up.

On the subject of Peace and Goodwill to All Men:
JL - "War is Over"
PMc - "Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time"

On the subject of their wives:
JL - "Woman"
PMc - The Frog Chorus*

Still, they both married complete dogs who should have stuck to art instead of "having a go" at music.

Oh, and then years later, Macca collaborated with Elvis Costello and in the interviews all we got was "so then I said to Elvis..."

I bet he's waited YEARS to use that phrase - even if it was the wrong Elvis (and yet the right one - in SO many ways).

* Okay, technically speaking, The Frog Chorus was inspired by Linda's dad advising Paul to buy the rights to Rupert Bear and making him rich, but it was a joke just sitting there, pining to be picked up, despite its useless back legs.

Okay, so that last line about useless legs made me wince. How was I to know that Macca would be married to Heather Mills within seven years of writing that, eh?

I'm still not overly fond of Macca, though I work with people who claim he's their favourite Beatle. he'll never be mine, even if he outlives Ringo Starr. Why would I pick him when I can still have 'Scarab' and 'Dung'?

Later on that same day, apparently after a horrible meeting (the weekly status meeting I bet; by this time I was struggling to create enough time for the teams to do a decent job, because all of the 'fat' in the schedules had been slashed down), I backtracked a little and had something nice to say about Paul McCartney. It's a view I'd still stand by today:

McCartney made the Beatles popular. He had an ear for a good tune, a skill for upbeat popular styles and a way of reinventing other people's songs (in the early days) and adapting them to his own methods.

But Lennon made then unique. The moment he lost interest (around the time of the White Album) is when, for me, they stop being interesting and start laying down the template that Paul Wellar would stick to for his entire career (and Oasis, The Verve...)

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