Wednesday, June 18, 2014

18 Days of McCartney Day 18- Macca Memories

Since Paul McCartney had received his first guitar at age fourteen he has gone on to create some of the greatest pieces of art through music from "Yesterday" to "Maybe I'm Amazed", "Band On The Run" to his new style with "New". Today marks Sir James Paul McCartney Seventy-second birthday but his personality and music career is as strong as ever.

If you haven't been following 18 Days of McCartney, here's a list of what's been posted;
  1. Jim and Mary McCartney
  2. Early Childhood
  3. Early Music
  4. Paul Is Dead
  5. Jane Asher
  6. Linda Eastman
  7. Wings History
  8. Wings Tours
  9. Heather Mills
  10. Nancy Shevell
  11. Hofner History
  12. Martha McCartney
  13. Albums (1970-Present)
  14. Meat-Free Monday
  15. High Park Farm
  16. Children
  17. Awards, Honors, Orders
  18. Paul on Paul
As with 9 Days of Lennon and 25 Days of Harrison, 18 Days of McCartney is going to be different. With Lennon and Harrison the last day was filled with tributes and other's stories and love for the artist, since McCartney is still thriving today's post won't be about tributes and other's thoughts about "The Most Successful Composer and Recording Artist of All-Time", as called by Guinness Book of World Records, it'll be about Paul McCartney's reflection of The Beatles, on Wings, and on himself.

 "I don't work at being ordinary."- Paul McCartney

In 2013 Q Magazine released an issue with the title Beatles 50th Anniversary Special! with a special interview with Macca himself with interviewer Jude Rogers.  Rogers asked Paul a variety of question about his influences and days as a Beatle. One question Roger asked was, "Do you think The Beatles' massive influence has stifled music in some ways? During Britpop, for instance, when everyone was coping you?" Paul replied,
"I know this happens, like you do, like anyone does. But I'm actually kind of honoured - they could be copying anyone. Even when things happen like Oasis saying, 'We are the next Beatles.' But I also think, 'Listen, lads, you can't say that. And don't say that, because it's probably the kiss of death!' In Oasis' s case, I think it was coming from them. IN others it's the record label or management and that's never a good idea. The poor band! 'Now go and do better than The Beatles did.' Not an easy task."
 Another question was, "What's you Favorite time with The Beatles?"
"The great thing is, I genuinely like all the periods. But when I hear some interviews of us in the really early days, with our thick Liverpool accents, the absolute innocence of it, I think that's very intriguing."
 "And what's the point of changing when I'm happy as I am?"- Paul McCartney
 It's been around fifty-eight years since Paul has been playing music, from his career he has released thirty-two number one singles!  This include twenty with The Beatles; "Love Me Do"/ "P.S I Love You" (1963), "From Me To You"/ "Thank You Girl" (1963), "She Loves You"/ "I'll Get You"(1963/64), "I Want to Hold Your Hand" / "This Boy" (1964), "Can't Buy Me Love"/ "You Can't Do That" (1964),  "Eight Days A Week"/ "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" (1965), "Yesterday"/"Act Naturally" (1965), "Day Tripper"/"We Can Work It Out" (1965/66), "We Can Work It Out"/"Day Tripper"(1965/66), "Paperback Writer"/"Rain" (1966), "Yellow Submarine"/"Eleanor Rigby" (1966), "Eleanor Rigby" (1966), "Penny Lane"/"Strawberry Fields Forever" (1967), "All You Need Is Love"/"Baby You're A Rich Man" (1967), "Hello, Goodbye"/ "I Am The Walrus" (1967/68), "Lady Madonna"/"The Inner Light" (1968), "Hey Jude"/"Revolution" (1968), "Get Back"/"Don't Let Me Down" (1969), "Let It Be"/"You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)" (1970), "The Long and Winding Road"/"For You Blue" (1970). One single written by McCartney for the Peter and Gordon duo, "A World Without Love"/ "If I Were You".  One single with his wife Linda, "Uncle Albert/Admiral Hasley"/ "Too Many People". In 1971 when Paul and Linda formed Wings they released seven singles that peaked number one, "My Love"/ "The Mess" (1973), "Band On The Run"/"Zoo Gang" (1974), "Listen to What the Man Said"/ "Love in Song" (1975), "Silly Love Songs"/"Cook of the House" (1976), "Mull of Kintyre"/"Girls' School" (1977), "With A Little Luck"/"Backwards Traveller " (1978), "Coming Up/Comping up (Live at Glassgow)"/ "Lunch Box/ Odd Sox" (1980). Working with Stevie Wonder he released the number one single "Ebony and Ivory"/"Rainclouds" (1982). The following year he released a number one single with Michael Jackson, "Say Say Say"/ "Ode to a Koala Bear" (1983/84). By himself he released "Pipes of Peace"/"So Bad" in 1983-84.

"You know, I"m not one of these people that just because I've done all that I now become Superman. You can't touch me. You know, you can touch me. I'm very, unfortunately, very reachable."- Paul McCartney
On 1 March, 2012 Brain Hiatt of Rolling Stone magazine did a beautiful job capturing an interview with Sir Paul McCartney at the iconic Abbey Road Studios room 2. Hiatt wrote;
"In one corner, McCartney yelped, 'One, two, three, faw!' to start 'I Saw Her Standing There'; in another, he slammed an E-major choard on one of the many pianos heard at the end of 'A Day in the Life.'
Right now, for no particular reason, he's playing drums. Within moments of his arrival, McCartney dashes over to his kit, grabs a pair of sticks and crashes through a few bars of a fast beat, heavy on the high-hat. It sounds distinctly Beatle-ish, or at least Wings-y."
During the time of the interview, McCartney was sixty-nine years old, and vibrant as ever. It just goes to show that William Barber was correct in the 1976 when he said,
"We weren't sure before but now we're convinced - Paul McCartney isn't human after all. Any man who can do what Paul does with his music has got to be an exalted Wizard."
Studio 2, Abbey Road had become like a second home through Paul's career with The Beatles. Why else would Paul describe his entrance into the room as,
"Ancient and modern. Every time I come in here, I unravel the whole story again. This is where it all happened." 
In the same interview with Rolling Stone he talks about some struggles he has when it comes to song writing saying his songs, he points out "Eleanor Rigby" as an example, is always hanging over his head. When he begins to compose a new song artist have the fear  and think 'How am I going to top that?';
"I think you go, 'I'm not.' You just realize you're not going to top it, but you write 'Blackbird.' You go in another direction or whatever. If you're lucky. I've always been aware of that phenomenon, but I've never let it block me."- Paul McCartney

 "Be cool and you'll be alright. That's Rock and Roll religion."- Paul McCartney, Rolling Stone Magazine

In 1971 Paul, along with his wife Linda, formed one of the most iconic bands of the 1970s, Wings. Wings went on to produce seven studio and one live album. Their biggest achievement was the release of the third album, Band on the Run, which became 1974's top selling album in both the United Kingdom and Australia.
"You could develop the most incredible Beatle or McCartney act and blow it by not keeping up with the times. Then it's going to be 'Oh, they're a very nice nostalgic group' and I don't want that."- Paul McCartney on  the formation of Wings
Wings  went on to preform five tours, the most successful one being their World Tour, where they played across Europe, North America, and Australia.
"I don't mind if audiences come to see me as a Beatle. I Don't know for sure, but I've got a feeling that they go away thinking. 'Oh, well, it's a band.' That's the whole idea behind Wings - to get a touring band, instead of the whole Beatles myth."- Paul McCartney
 That's exactly what Wing's did. Paul was a born performer, even when he was with The Beatles and the screaming chaos of being pelted with Jelly Babies in the screech filled arenas of frantic girls, and guys, there was something Paul missed about the live performances after The Beatles played their last show in 1966.  Wings became the group Paul looked forward to being with after the hectic Beatle break-up on 10 April, 1970. Through Wings came a family experiences as his children traveled with the various band members starting with Paul, Linda, Denny Laine, Henry McCullough, and Denny Seiwell. To later finding Jimmy McCulloch and Joe English to replace McCullough and Seiwell. A few years down the road adding Steve Holley and Laurence Juber after McCulloch and English left the band.

"We didn't get into music for a job! We got into music to avoid a job, in the truth - and get lots of girls."- Paul McCartney
 When mentioning Paul McCartney it's hard to dismiss that he was part of what he calls, a four headed monster, called The Beatles.  I'd like to end this post on quotes from Paul McCartney about his three brothers and the band themselves. The Beatles provided hope through their music, their stories, and their love that went inspired and shook the world in just short eight years together.
Four boys (John, Paul, George, and Ringo), Three main instruments (Rhythm guitar, bass, lead guitar, and drums), Two times two (yes, that's four), One dream.
"I'm proud of The Beatle thing. It was great, and I can go along with all the people you meet on the street who say you gave so much happiness to many people. I don't think that's corny."- Paul McCartney
The Beatles became official in 1962 when Ringo Starr joined the group after the band fired their previous drummer, Pete Best. It was from that moment on that the foursome would become the worlds greatest band providing songs like "Love Me Do" to "Across The Universe".  Paul had always thought that The Beatles were a great little band, nothing more nothing less. That the great thing about The Beatles were the love and the chemistry found between all four of them, along with other Beatles figures like George Martin, Brian Epstein, Mal Evans, and the many more who brought The Beatles to the top. McCartney loved how The Beatles could be spontaneous, unlike other bands who can put on a phony act in front of the camera, The Beatles were real, it was them. Also, The Beatles albums which contained tracks like "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" then have another track like "Blackbird", a band that could do thousands of different sounds.
"I'm really proud that our songs were about love, peace, and understanding."- Paul McCartney
But what does Paul think about his ex-band mates?
Ringo Starr joined the scene on the 18 August, 1962. Prior to Ringo's arrival, he had already played with The Beatles while their drummer was absent. Paul, George, and John were in awe with the rough, teddy boy looking drummer from the start. During Paul's Out There Tour during the summer of 2013 an interview with Nesta Matthews took place over the phone where Paul said the following;
 "I think Ringo gets that reputation because he wasn’t one of the songwriters, and he was only an occasional singer in the group. It was mainly me and John, and then later George. He got a sort of secondary role. But I say to people: Every single member of the Beatles was just as important as the other. I liken it to four side of a square. Without one of them, it falls apart.”
Paul continued to talk about his dear friend,
“He was very sort of vocal. He would tell us what he wanted, what he liked, And we always had this rule: If one of us didn’t like a song we were doing, it got chucked out. So we always had a very equal vote. And the whole spirit of Ringo was very important to the Beatles — and let’s not forget his drumming. He’s one of the best drummers in the world, you know? His drummer on the Beatles is very original. It made the group’s sound what it was.”
 "Without his drumming, Forget it! It wouldn't be The Beatles"- Paul McCartney
 It's hard to put into words Paul's relationship with George Harrison. In fact George and Paul were friends and playing together before Paul had even met John in 1957, Paul would be the one to introduce George into the band. Even with an interview of Eric Clapton by Rolling Stone, Clapton states that George and Paul were never the kind to tell each other how much they loved and cared for each other but after Harrison's unfortunate passing in 2001 Paul was the one who Eric said missed him probably more than anyone.

You can see the love Paul had for who he calls, his baby brother, in the documentary, Living In The Material World. Paul talks about his best times with George and watching him grow up. In the same documentary when Paul is asked what he misses most about George he replies, his love. The following video is Paul describing his and George's hitch hiking trip as teenagers;

 The following is from a previous post of mine from 9 October, 2013;

To fans John Lennon is an inspiration and an idol, he's someone we all want to be and means a lot to us even though we don't know him. Sir Paul McCartney falls under that category, saying he's the biggest John Lennon fan. John and Paul had a friendship like no other and really define the word music. Paul still misses The Beatles days;
 "Are you kidding? Of course I bloody miss it. I'm sitting in the room with John, him with me. Believe me, we're both pretty good editors. We were young turks. We were smartasses. And we did some amazing things. I would love him to be here now, saying, 'Don't bloody do that!' – or, more wonderfully, 'That's great!' So yeah, I really had the greatest writing partner."
Paul shows his respect to his great friend in a tribute song, "Here Today". The lyrics consists of Paul telling John how much he loves him and at concerts, for example at this past Out There tour when Paul played Boston he started the song by saying something on the lines of, "Sometimes you don't have the opportunity to say you love someone and how much they mean to you and next thing you know they're gone. Here's to you John". Paul even tears up when singing his song.  One line in the song is "What about the night we cried, because there wasn't any reason left to keep it all inside" is from a story of The Beatles being in Key West due to a hurricane and they were stuck there. The two, Lennon and McCartney, had nothing better to do but get drunk and then eventually talking in depths and connecting on some deep personal feelings and just cried.
"I seem to remember we had some time off in Key West, Florida, and it was because there was a hurricane, and we'd been diverted, I think, from Jacksonville.
So we had to spend a night or two in Key West, is where we ended up, anyway. And at that age, with that much time on our hands, we really didn't know what to do with it except get drunk.
And so that was what we did. And we stayed up all night talking, talking, talking like it was going out of style. And at some point early in the morning, I think we must have touched on some points that were really emotional, and we ended up crying, which was very unusual for us, because we - members of a band and young guys, we didn't do that kind of thing. So I always remembered it as a sort of important emotional landmark."- Paul McCartney, 2001 interview with Terry Gross (Read more of the interview here).
The following video is "Here Today" by Paul McCartney;

"I can't tell you how much it hurts to lose him. His death is a bitter cruel blow. I really loved the guy."- Paul McCartney
Some articles that might interest you;
In the words of Paul McCartney,
"We were a fucking great band"- Paul McCartney
It's hard to say where Paul will go now, what he will go on to achieve, but all that doesn't matter. What matter's is today the world comes together to remember and celebrate the great legacy that continues to inspire and wow the world as We All Stand Together to wish Sir James Paul McCartney a Happy Birthday!

"...the only thing would be when it's not pleasant anymore, then it would be 'That's a good time to stop' But it's way too pleasant at the moment. And it pays. Good gig,man."- Paul McCartney on the thought of retirement, Rolling Stone
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