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Old Jul 03, 2002, 10:17 AM   #1
shyGirl
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Default Please Macca, just stop it

http://www.thisislondon.com/dynamic/...view_id=605850

Respect and admiration: these we had always felt. But the one emotion none of us had experienced for a very long time towards this tireless, smiling and truly great British institution was love. Then came that glorious pop concert in the grounds of Buckingham Palace and ... nothing changed. Well, not if it's Sir Paul McCartney we're talking about.

Maybe it was cosmic payback for that time he and the lads smoked pot in the Palace loos while picking up their MBEs; maybe it goes to show that a continual diet of nut roasts and tofu can seriously damage your charisma; maybe God is a huntsman; maybe we've still never got over the Frog Chorus.

Whatever the reason, the sad fact is that not even a headline appearance at the most goodwill-laden pop concert since Live Aid could salvage McCartney's reputation as the Beatle we have all grown to not love very much. In fact, if anything, it probably helped it plummet still further.

All right, so Macca had some pretty stiff competition from Ozzy Osbourne looking every one of his 1,001 years as a member of the undead, from Ben Elton rehashing his tired old routine and from Brian May looking, as he always does, like an especially poncy Crufts show poodle called something like Beelzebub Fandango III.

But still, when it came to inducing sheer toe-curling embarrassment in his audience of millions, poor double-thumbs-up, wobbly jowled, your-ridiculous-dad-when-he's- trying-to-be-cool-and-failing-really-badly, Macca was in a league of his own. Especially when you consider the inappropriate amount of dye he appeared to drown his hair in before waltzing on stage. At least none of his ageing contemporaries resorted to such vanity.

Of course, the flamboyant billing by his old producer George Martin didn't help. By introducing McCartney as "the most singular talent in the history of all mankind, creator of the universe, divine being etc etc" (I forget the exact wording but it was something pretty similar), Martin not only seemed to forget that it was the Queen's big day, not Macca's, but also raised expectations for the ensuing performance that McCartney couldn't possibly fulfil.

Sure enough, McCartney didn't. No doubt when you've a back catalogue as compendious as his, it's not easy deciding which ones to cram into your 15-minute slot. I was delighted that among the songs he chose were that sweetly elegiac bit from the end of Abbey Road and the simple, charming Blackbird, and that among the ones he didn't choose was that mawkish dirge Yesterday. But I'm not sure many of his audience felt quite so enthusiastic.

He said he couldn't resist that joky couplet from Her Majesty ("Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl/But she doesn't have a lot to say") but it was, like most of his act, a misjudgment of the public mood. Because the musical reference went over most people's heads, all that remained was a vague sense of mild discourtesy, which is probably why no one clapped or cheered.

Blackbird was a better choice, except that he didn't sing it particularly well, his voice presumably exhausted by his recent gigs in America (where, unlike here, he is still adored). On While My Guitar Gently Weeps, he was eclipsed by Eric Clapton; on Hey Jude, he was drowned by the audience.

Perhaps, given the state of his vocals, this last was a mercy except, unfortunately it gave Macca the opportunity to go into Butlins compere mode (inviting first all the girls to sing; then the boys), a horrible trick which never fails to curdle an audience's blood and which surely managed to kill in an instant what little of Macca's credibility remained from his days as a Beatle.

Am I being terribly unfair? Well, yes, probably, but since at least the time of Wings, when studio engineers made those famously cruel tapes in which they isolated Linda's out-of-tune vocals, unfairness and Paul McCartney have gone hand in hand. Almost everything you read and hear indicates that here is a genuinely nice guy, a man of integrity, a lover of nature, and a truly sublime talent. Yet all we can do is mock his naff matiness, scoff at his eco earnestness and blame him for not being John Lennon.

It is Lennon who lies at the root of McCartney's ills. By having had the brilliant career sense to get shot while his musical reputation was intact, and before anyone realised what a sour, nasty hypocrite he was (funding the IRA while calling for world peace; preaching no possessions from his many mansions), Lennon will always be thought of by us as the clever, cool, talented one, leaving McCartney to linger on as the nice, boring and increasingly wrinkly one.

McCartney knows this. Indeed, the chippiness, insecurity and desperation we can all too easily glimpse beneath that carefree veneer may well explain why we feel the way we do. Being a great pop star requires a tremendous amount of self-belief. If McCartney doesn't think he makes the grade, why should we?

Yes, it may be that we have an awful lot of evidence to the contrary, from She's Leaving Home to Eleanor Rigby and beyond. But all that does is to make our relationship with Macca more uneasy still. We'd like to love him; we know, deep down, that he deserves it. Unfortunately, though, he hasn't been shot and it's not his Golden Jubilee.



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Old Jul 03, 2002, 10:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

Ah, lovely. Another bozo with an axe to grind.

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Old Jul 03, 2002, 10:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

Yeah, the voice of bitterness rings sour.

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Old Jul 03, 2002, 11:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By shyGirl:

By having had the brilliant career sense to get shot while his musical reputation was intact,

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I know this person is just incredibly bitter as you all have said, but by god when people say things like this it really cheeses me off. And it isn't just because it's about John Lennon, though it adds to my anger. When anyone says that about someone they ought to be beaten mercilessly with an instrument ten times the weight of the instrument they said it through.


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Old Jul 03, 2002, 11:05 PM   #6
Amalthea
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

It has good points. Most of all, the fact that he is adored in US, but here less... or better, in USA you adore nowdays Paul, here we adore Paul until Flaming Pie.

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Old Jul 04, 2002, 01:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

Well, I didn't hate it, neither found it written in some kind of rush/hate/anger... as I say, it describes well our Europeans feelings.

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Old Jul 04, 2002, 04:01 AM   #8
Harb83
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

Is it just me or can anyone else hear the word 'Jealousy' screaming out at this article. The writer is obviously thinking that why should McCartney be treated this way? All he does it write music and get married to models 30 years younger than him.

Well look at it this way Mr. reporter. You've both chosen pathways in life that made you end up with your current career. Paul has continually pushed the boundries of music whilst still managing to entertain a huge percentage of the population of the world while you are writing nonsensical dribble about someone you've never even met!

Grow up!

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Old Jul 04, 2002, 05:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

This article does point to some truths ( eg. like Paul's out of tune singing on My Guitar..and the girls and now the boys singing on Hey Jude was a bit too much in my opinion) But the overall tone of tone of this article was EXTREMELY bitter. It seems like the author is attempting some black humour, but it's really going WAY too far to make a joke about John's "brilliant career sense in getting shot" or regarding Paul "unfortunately he hasn't been shot" I find those comments ABSOLUTELY SICK!

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Old Jul 04, 2002, 06:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By 4thGenFan:
I bet I'm the only person at beatlelinks that likes this article.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

In a way, I can see your point. the boys sing and then the girls in Hey Jude did trivialize the moment, but one thing the article must realize is that Paul is not the Beatles anymore. That was 30 some years ago. Now he's just Paul. He must be given a break about that. I saw his show last tour and it was simply fantastic.

this is why the Beatles in their ultimate wisdom chose not to reunite. It could never be the same. this article seemed to have an agenda and was way harsh but also had a wring of reality to it.


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Old Jul 04, 2002, 07:05 AM   #11
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

The sick references about being shot turned my stomach and don't reflect on this reporter at all.

The boys were a bit much, I agree. And the Beatles were wise not to reunite because as the saying goes, you can't go home again. I enjoyed the music, the slightly off key sound and all. Paul is 60 now, and that should not be surprising. His voice would have changed at this point in his life.

I just felt overall tone of the article was sniping and mean spirited. Some points were valid as others have pointed out, but those sick comments about being shot spoiled it for me.

Harb and LuvLennon summed this one up best.

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Then we will remember things we said today. Yeah.
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[This Message Has Been Edited By beatlebangs1964 On July 04, 2002 08:11 AM]
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Old Jul 04, 2002, 09:15 AM   #12
Amalthea
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

Well, it's better to burn out than to fade away...

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Old Jul 04, 2002, 09:47 AM   #13
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By Amalthea:
Well, it's better to burn out than to fade away...

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

With all respect, Amal, I totally disagree with THIS statement.

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Old Jul 04, 2002, 10:32 AM   #14
Amalthea
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

Yeah, I know... hard to agree. It's one of those lines agree/not, no middle positions, so guess there's no discussion possible

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Old Jul 04, 2002, 11:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

As I read the article, I got the impression of a person who wanted most of all to honour the Queen on her Big Day. He secondly wanted to cheer loudly for Paul - and simply couldn't. The overblown introduction by Martin seemed too disrespectful of the Queen - and the (in the writer's opinion) over-dyed hair of Paul was truly embarrassing to the reporter.

The reporter was, most of all, embarrassed. He was embarrassed by what he perceived to be a lack of respect for the Queen, by Paul's refusal to age gracefully (and this apparently means letting one's gray show to some extent), and finally by the less than stellar performance of Paul.

The reporter had no agenda that I can see. His deep disappointment shows through in every word. He doesn't idolize Lennon, but recognizes that John still, to this day, has more respect than Paul. He writes as one who truly wanted for Paul to demonstrate his greatness - and was severely hammered by Paul's utter humanity. And his other viewers in the audience, who withheld their applause from this great artist, seemed to share his disappointment and embarrassment.

Over all, the article points out to an author who has unbearably high expectations from those in the public eye, and was bitterly disappointed in Paul by not fulfilling them.

Just my take...

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Old Jul 05, 2002, 02:41 AM   #16
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

Oh, I definitely agree that the author's wording needed some mature editing there before being published. I just think the author was making the point that as far as John's career is concerned, this author feels it wouldn't have survived John's "real" self coming to light in the later years as Paul's seems to have done. His wording seems to imply that this was an option decided upon by John (like saying he committed suicide or something), and he obviously didn't intend any such thing. So, I re-read the article to find out why he made the statement at all.

Apparently, he has always (before, anyway) been a bigger fan of Paul's than he ever was John's, and his disappointment at Paul's performance and appearance was only made more bitter by the recent success of re-releasing John's solo works.

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Old Jul 05, 2002, 04:32 AM   #17
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By Amalthea:
Yeah, I know... hard to agree. It's one of those lines agree/not, no middle positions, so guess there's no discussion possible

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's also one of those things where one's opinion on it can change as one gets older. I'd hate to think that in another 15-20 years, I'm supposed to shut up and retire quietly into a corner because young people will think I'm irrelvant and embarassing just because I'm old.

It kind of bugs me that so many people think Paul should just go away because THEY aren't happy with his last CD or some of the choices he's made lately. It's not that I think he's perfect or anything (far from it), but it seems like people want to get rid of him because he's not like he was 40 years ago. I don't understand that.

Ah well, to each their own.

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Old Jul 05, 2002, 12:28 PM   #18
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

If John were alive, we would by now realize that he is also only human after all.

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Old Jul 06, 2002, 08:28 AM   #19
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

I realized that the first time I heard Some Time in New York City.

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Old Jul 09, 2002, 06:56 AM   #20
Danoota64
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Default Re: Please Macca, just stop it

I think the reporter was in quite the foul mood when he wrote this....maybe his seat wasn't as good as he would have liked, maybe he wasn't comfortable at the show, maybe he got stuck in a big traffic jam.....so by all means, take it out on Paul! i've noticed that British articles most always refer to Paul as 'Sir Paul,' but this guy didn't once!
Ah, fork him.




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