apolla: (George and Arthur)
I just saw A Hard Day's Night in my favourite cinema. I haven't seen it in a long while.

When I was fifteen, I watched A Hard Day's Night almost every night upon returning from the misery of school. Some nights, I watched it twice. I fast-forwarded through bits I didn't dig so much - never got along with the "Can't Buy Me Love" scene because I never rated that song very highly.

I loved it, though. The humour: sometimes wry, sometimes broad, sometimes rather naughty for the times, the in-jokes. It became a new language for me to talk in - my friend Louise also knew the movie and we would pepper our conversation with "that's an in-joke you know" and the likes. I was a Lennon Person then, and I think he gets a lot of the best lines in the movie, so maybe that's why I was a Lennon person (constantly re-reading Coleman's Lennon biography helped).

I watched the damn film so many times that I could still recite most of the script along with them when I saw it earlier. And yet it felt fresh and new in some ways to see it on a big screen: I hadn't noticed that Wilfred Brambell's character is actually reading a nudie magazine at the start. I'd forgotten how much of a shock that first chord in "A Hard Day's Night" is when it opens the movie. I found new appreciation for the "Can't Buy Me Love" segment on the big screen, and through not being able to FF through it.

To this day, I still think of the supporting cast as being "...who was in A Hard Day's Night" with few exceptions. Anna Quayle will always be Mrs Monroe from Grange Hill first; and Wilfred Brambell is and ever will be Steptoe first and foremost. It doesn't matter that Norman Rossington had a lengthy and successful career, when I saw him in his Sharpe appearance, my reaction was "You're a swine!"

It even influenced how I speak: there are some lines I use in every day speech that I'd basically forgotten I'd nicked from them! Today my work colleague Phil and I will occasionally (OK, regularly) break into a quote-the-movie game if so much as a word or theme comes up in the everyday. "A drag, a well known drag." You can imagine what we were like during the fuss about Swine Flu.

As a lover of movies as much as of music, I find it a fascinating film. Shot in black and white, it captures that moment just before the 1960s became "The Sixties" both in terms of how London and her people are depicted, and in cinema terms. Hand-held cameras, quick cuts, a realistic chaos, editing in time with the songs and even some Altman-like talking over each other... these are not things one saw in movies much if at all before. Mostly though, they're already taking the piss out of Beatlemania while it's still going on! It is, I think, really quite scornful, not even gentle satire at times. It's the weary scorn George displayed in his Anthology interviews where he talked about the fans giving their screams but the Beatles giving their nervous systems. The scene with George and the marketing guy still works perfectly today because hell, that's all it is now!

I think the Beatles often get credited with doing things "first" when maybe it's not fully accurate or fair. But A Hard Day's Night was something new and fresh and game-changing. Not just because of those four, but thanks to Alun Owen's script and Richard Lester's direction. I must've seen it more than 100 times and today was like meeting an old pal one hasn't seen for a long time and discovering that they're still delightful.

So today's Awesome thing is "I'm Happy Just To Dance WIth You" because it was one of my favourite songs in the film, because although I thought then that the sun shone out of Lennon's arse, I was beginning to realise that Harrison was just as interesting a character... "bonus" Lionel Blair at the beginning, too...


Last thing: the icon accompanying this post is one I made years ago when I still cared to do such things. It's a reference to a line in A Hard Day's Night.
apolla: (Default)
I first became aware of the Traveling Wilburys when I first fell into the black hole I like to call Life, After The Beatles. It was a dimly-understood idea - bunch of very famous people (and Jeff Lynne) have a laugh, sell scads of records. Of course, I knew very little beyond that because the records were long-deleted by the time I went to find them.

I tracked Handle With Care and End of the Line down thanks to the wonders of the internet - a decent argument for filesharing, I thought. I remember I saw the video for End of the Line so late one night it was actually 5.55am, and it was the last song Vh1 Classic played before switching from late-nite rock to all-day-slightly-crap-old-pop. I seem to remember shedding a tear when the Big O's bit came up and the train upon which the video was set went 'into a tunnel'. No, I'm positive I cried - and this was in the days before George went and died himself.

Then, I let them fade a little from my consciousness. I listened to Handle With Care, End of the Line and even Tweeter & The Monkey Man a fair bit after George died, but because I knew I couldn't get the records, it was a bit 'whatever'... and I got to a point where listening to George just made me want to stab myself in the head.

Then last year, I finally got over the grief of losing a hero (mostly) and spent the next few months listening to little but George. I thought of the Wilburys also, wondering if I could get anything more - Wilbury Twist was the last song I took off the internet that I didn't pay for, but the quality was shite, so I barely listened to it. Besides, I got 'Wig Wam Bam' by the Sweet the same day and I have an affection for that record it doesn't deserve.

Then the last few months I've had myself a bit of a Dylan revival thanks to Modern Times, which is an excellent record and I like his catarrhal death rattle voice that he has now more than the old nasal whine. More Wilbury build up, you might say.

Anyway, some bright spark finally thought "Hey! Let's repackage the Wilburys!" and did it last month. I saw none of the promotional stuff - even the Olivia Harrison bit on BBC Breakfast had to be missed because I had to go to work. I didn't buy it the day it came out, or the week it came out. In fact, it only arrived last week after I bought it off Amazon.

This is not because I don't care. It's because I haven't had anything in the way of time for so long... and a little because I was concerned I might not like the records as a whole.

My overdramatic 'If This Sucks I'll Kill Myself' attitude was of course, entirely pointless. The mere idea of such a collection of people putting themselves in a room with some guitars and managing to suck is barely conceivable, and it doesn't.

In fact, The Traveling Wilburys are so magnificent in their excellence that I have been in a good mood since last Monday. Nay, a friendly, love-the-world-and-all-its-people-except-cyclists manner. In a bouncing up and down, euphoric way.

The trivial stuff: The first record (Vol. 1) is better than the second (amusing titled Vol. 3), but Vol 3 only suffers because Roy isn't on it.

I listened to it when I was in Dublin over the weekend, and found myself even missing them when I was in a room with the Dubliners.

I have found myself contemplating the possibility that actually, Tom Petty is a pretty cool man.

I have found myself realising more and more that not only is Bob Dylan a genuine, full-bodied, wonderful genius of a man, truly a poet... but that he's also got a really cool sense of humour. Sure, he's a dour-faced Chaplin-alike these days, but I tell thee, the man knows how to laugh.

I have found myself realising that George skirted the line between absolutely-no-ego-at-all and raging-egomaniac as delicately as I do... but on a much larger scale, because he's a Beatle and I'm... not.

I have remembered how much I like Roy Orbison.

I mean, the Wilburys are, like, life-affirming. More than that... it's somehow the final, great death cry of rock and roll, before the corporate shite really took over, before concert tickets required mortgages, before every celebrity spoke only in soundbites, meedja-ese and the Heat magazine-induced ritual humiliation and idolisation of celebrities.

You would not get the Wilburys today. You get 'supergroups' and things like Live 8 and Live Earth ,but you would not get the Wilburys today... because I believe George when he said it all happened "just by magic, just by circumstance." I believe that he was such good friends with each of these people that four legends (and Jeff Lynne) were willing to sit down, record some music for a bit of a laugh and sound better than every single other group doing it straight.

I love, truly love, love knowing that George Harrison was mates with Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison and Tom Petty and the far-famed Dylan... and that it was genuine friendship that created the Wilburys. So, there's a fraction of promotion and such, but... you could not put this together if you actually tried.

And if you did, it would sound as sterile and mediocre as the most recent Band Aid. And the second one, come to that. Possibly also the first...

The Wilburys are organic and therefore real. Believe me when I say that it shows in the music. It's all there, if you'll only listen- the way George actually auditioned them all for each line... can you imagine auditioning for something after Roy Orbison? Why BOTHER? Except that George didn't just get Roy to do everything, he gave bits to everyone, and it works because of it. It works because there's something of their personalities (as I understand them, anyway), sewn into the fabric of the music.

There's always the beautiful image of these guys sitting around playing guitars and ukuleles late into the night as all the civilians around them fall away... surely they must've looked round and thought "fucking hell, that's *insert name here*!". Even George, you know, must've sat there and thought "bloody hell, we're fucking excellent!"

To have been a fly on that wall I'd sell a kidney. To be good enough to be a Wilbury, I'd sell more or less anything. I might just about stop before flogging my soul, but I wouldn't bet the house on that.

The Traveling Wilburys is like a dream I had... except that somehow, it actually happened. With the Wilburys, who needs to be sad or depressed? The Wilburys prove that sometimes, magical things happen. The Wilburys remind me why it is that it's music which gets me out of bed in the morning, why it's music that's kept me alive these long and often cold, dark years.

*

Notes on The Big O:

I remember Roy Orbison from before I remember George or Bob, and there's a good reason for that: my dad doesn't hate him. When I was a child, a lot of the music I heard that was any good was stuff he listened to, so I knew Roy. I remember when he died, just as that wonderful career resurgence (part-Wilbury induced, I'm sure) was really kicking in. I remember being sad, even then. I also remember my dad always telling me to watch him, and see how little he opened his mouth and moved his lips... and yet out came that sound.

Roy Orbison has one of the very few voices that makes me think of giving up. He cannot be equalled, and it feels fruitless to sing myself at all. I do it anyway, in the hope that one day, I might come close... and so I sing along and I do OK... then comes a note or a phrase that I probably couldn't match even if I cheated on the computer... just to remind me that he's The Big O, and I'm just a silly little girl.

Isn't it funny how some of the saddest songs written in the English language sound, in his capable hands can make you feel better? We really lost a great guy too early (don't we usually?), but you should all get down on your knees and pray to whoever/whatever you believe in that, for a few years at the end, he got the upswing, adulation and plaudits he deserved. For it, I also thank George. God mostly, but George quite a lot too. Mind you, while you're down there on your knees, say a 'ta very much' for your man George too. I shall do so myself, as I do every day.

*

Quirky note I found on Wikipedia: some of the overdubbing on the previously unreleased tracks is credited to someone called Ayrton Wilbury. The civilian name of this fellow? Dhani Harrison. If you know why this is cool, I don't need to explain. If you don't, you don't care.
apolla: (Default)
I first became aware of the Traveling Wilburys when I first fell into the black hole I like to call Life, After The Beatles. It was a dimly-understood idea - bunch of very famous people (and Jeff Lynne) have a laugh, sell scads of records. Of course, I knew very little beyond that because the records were long-deleted by the time I went to find them.

I tracked Handle With Care and End of the Line down thanks to the wonders of the internet - a decent argument for filesharing, I thought. I remember I saw the video for End of the Line so late one night it was actually 5.55am, and it was the last song Vh1 Classic played before switching from late-nite rock to all-day-slightly-crap-old-pop. I seem to remember shedding a tear when the Big O's bit came up and the train upon which the video was set went 'into a tunnel'. No, I'm positive I cried - and this was in the days before George went and died himself.

Then, I let them fade a little from my consciousness. I listened to Handle With Care, End of the Line and even Tweeter & The Monkey Man a fair bit after George died, but because I knew I couldn't get the records, it was a bit 'whatever'... and I got to a point where listening to George just made me want to stab myself in the head.

Then last year, I finally got over the grief of losing a hero (mostly) and spent the next few months listening to little but George. I thought of the Wilburys also, wondering if I could get anything more - Wilbury Twist was the last song I took off the internet that I didn't pay for, but the quality was shite, so I barely listened to it. Besides, I got 'Wig Wam Bam' by the Sweet the same day and I have an affection for that record it doesn't deserve.

Then the last few months I've had myself a bit of a Dylan revival thanks to Modern Times, which is an excellent record and I like his catarrhal death rattle voice that he has now more than the old nasal whine. More Wilbury build up, you might say.

Anyway, some bright spark finally thought "Hey! Let's repackage the Wilburys!" and did it last month. I saw none of the promotional stuff - even the Olivia Harrison bit on BBC Breakfast had to be missed because I had to go to work. I didn't buy it the day it came out, or the week it came out. In fact, it only arrived last week after I bought it off Amazon.

This is not because I don't care. It's because I haven't had anything in the way of time for so long... and a little because I was concerned I might not like the records as a whole.

My overdramatic 'If This Sucks I'll Kill Myself' attitude was of course, entirely pointless. The mere idea of such a collection of people putting themselves in a room with some guitars and managing to suck is barely conceivable, and it doesn't.

In fact, The Traveling Wilburys are so magnificent in their excellence that I have been in a good mood since last Monday. Nay, a friendly, love-the-world-and-all-its-people-except-cyclists manner. In a bouncing up and down, euphoric way.

The trivial stuff: The first record (Vol. 1) is better than the second (amusing titled Vol. 3), but Vol 3 only suffers because Roy isn't on it.

I listened to it when I was in Dublin over the weekend, and found myself even missing them when I was in a room with the Dubliners.

I have found myself contemplating the possibility that actually, Tom Petty is a pretty cool man.

I have found myself realising more and more that not only is Bob Dylan a genuine, full-bodied, wonderful genius of a man, truly a poet... but that he's also got a really cool sense of humour. Sure, he's a dour-faced Chaplin-alike these days, but I tell thee, the man knows how to laugh.

I have found myself realising that George skirted the line between absolutely-no-ego-at-all and raging-egomaniac as delicately as I do... but on a much larger scale, because he's a Beatle and I'm... not.

I have remembered how much I like Roy Orbison.

I mean, the Wilburys are, like, life-affirming. More than that... it's somehow the final, great death cry of rock and roll, before the corporate shite really took over, before concert tickets required mortgages, before every celebrity spoke only in soundbites, meedja-ese and the Heat magazine-induced ritual humiliation and idolisation of celebrities.

You would not get the Wilburys today. You get 'supergroups' and things like Live 8 and Live Earth ,but you would not get the Wilburys today... because I believe George when he said it all happened "just by magic, just by circumstance." I believe that he was such good friends with each of these people that four legends (and Jeff Lynne) were willing to sit down, record some music for a bit of a laugh and sound better than every single other group doing it straight.

I love, truly love, love knowing that George Harrison was mates with Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison and Tom Petty and the far-famed Dylan... and that it was genuine friendship that created the Wilburys. So, there's a fraction of promotion and such, but... you could not put this together if you actually tried.

And if you did, it would sound as sterile and mediocre as the most recent Band Aid. And the second one, come to that. Possibly also the first...

The Wilburys are organic and therefore real. Believe me when I say that it shows in the music. It's all there, if you'll only listen- the way George actually auditioned them all for each line... can you imagine auditioning for something after Roy Orbison? Why BOTHER? Except that George didn't just get Roy to do everything, he gave bits to everyone, and it works because of it. It works because there's something of their personalities (as I understand them, anyway), sewn into the fabric of the music.

There's always the beautiful image of these guys sitting around playing guitars and ukuleles late into the night as all the civilians around them fall away... surely they must've looked round and thought "fucking hell, that's *insert name here*!". Even George, you know, must've sat there and thought "bloody hell, we're fucking excellent!"

To have been a fly on that wall I'd sell a kidney. To be good enough to be a Wilbury, I'd sell more or less anything. I might just about stop before flogging my soul, but I wouldn't bet the house on that.

The Traveling Wilburys is like a dream I had... except that somehow, it actually happened. With the Wilburys, who needs to be sad or depressed? The Wilburys prove that sometimes, magical things happen. The Wilburys remind me why it is that it's music which gets me out of bed in the morning, why it's music that's kept me alive these long and often cold, dark years.

*

Notes on The Big O:

I remember Roy Orbison from before I remember George or Bob, and there's a good reason for that: my dad doesn't hate him. When I was a child, a lot of the music I heard that was any good was stuff he listened to, so I knew Roy. I remember when he died, just as that wonderful career resurgence (part-Wilbury induced, I'm sure) was really kicking in. I remember being sad, even then. I also remember my dad always telling me to watch him, and see how little he opened his mouth and moved his lips... and yet out came that sound.

Roy Orbison has one of the very few voices that makes me think of giving up. He cannot be equalled, and it feels fruitless to sing myself at all. I do it anyway, in the hope that one day, I might come close... and so I sing along and I do OK... then comes a note or a phrase that I probably couldn't match even if I cheated on the computer... just to remind me that he's The Big O, and I'm just a silly little girl.

Isn't it funny how some of the saddest songs written in the English language sound, in his capable hands can make you feel better? We really lost a great guy too early (don't we usually?), but you should all get down on your knees and pray to whoever/whatever you believe in that, for a few years at the end, he got the upswing, adulation and plaudits he deserved. For it, I also thank George. God mostly, but George quite a lot too. Mind you, while you're down there on your knees, say a 'ta very much' for your man George too. I shall do so myself, as I do every day.

*

Quirky note I found on Wikipedia: some of the overdubbing on the previously unreleased tracks is credited to someone called Ayrton Wilbury. The civilian name of this fellow? Dhani Harrison. If you know why this is cool, I don't need to explain. If you don't, you don't care.
apolla: (George and Arthur)
I noticed a funny thing recently. Within days of each other, it will be the fifteenth anniversary of Freddie Mercury (24th Nov) and the fifth anniversary of George Harrison (29 Nov). Barely ten years separate these two events, and I find that a strange quirk of the universe. This post is less about them than it is about me.

apolla: (George and Arthur)
I noticed a funny thing recently. Within days of each other, it will be the fifteenth anniversary of Freddie Mercury (24th Nov) and the fifth anniversary of George Harrison (29 Nov). Barely ten years separate these two events, and I find that a strange quirk of the universe. This post is less about them than it is about me.

apolla: (George)
The night before I went to Detroit, I shoved all of George Harrison's Dark Horse period records onto my iPod, except Gone Troppo, because that really is a fucking awful record.

That night, I also watched the DVD that came with the Dark Horse Years set. On it was a litle doc about Dark Horse and some music videos. I watched them. Then I watched them again. Then, I watched them continuously until 3am when I was finished packing and thought it might be to my advantage to get at least three hours sleep before scuffing off across the Atlantic.

Those of you even faintly acquainted with me know that music is to me a way of life and also sometimes obsessive. I have those times when I'm unable to listen to anything but whoever it is I'm obsessed with- there was a point where I couldn't be away from Led Zeppelin for more than a half hour, and my iPod still shows the signs of the Thin Lizzy daze I'm coming out of now: 20 of the 'top 25 most played' are by them. it's the same pattern as it was once with the Beatles, with the Doors, Dean Martin and then the Zep and Lizzy. These are the people I love, without whom I would hollow, empty and lifeless. These are the people who get me up in the morning. They all had that time when they were all I could think of. Then it evens out to something approaching sanity.

I found each of them differently, the obsession may have developed differently and at different speeds and times, but the effect was the same. What has never happened before is to go through it a second time. Not the obsessive level of attention. I imagine that it may well happen with Lizzy again, for they're like no other band in some ways.

With George Harrison, you could argue that I'm going through my third obsessive period, if you count the Beatles. The second was just before he died, and that killed the obsession too because it was just too painful to sustain then. Besides, it's hard to maintain an obsession when only two or three records are even available- the Dark Horse recordings weren't re-released until after he died, when I bought them but couldn't bear to listen to them properly.

So it's third time lucky, I suppose. I remember well how the Beatle-obsessive period went- my dad bought me a book about them (The Beatles: A Celebration by the horrendous Geoffrey Giuliano) at an outlet mall in Doncaster on our way back from a holiday in Yorkshire. I'd seen the last episode of the Anthology that New Years' Eve and had nicked the one cassette of the Beatles that my dad possessed (he'd taped the Red and Blue greatest hits comps off a pal's records back in the 70s)... but the book, reading about them and seeing them properly, if not the hook, was the line and the sinker. I remember sitting there in the back of that car all the way from bloody Doncaster... I remember staring, staring at a picture of George c. 1968, thinking that if not for the moustache he'd made a pretty girl! I was a Lennon fan for a very long time, and his obsession by me came side by side with the Beatles one (took some doing, I can tell you. No I didn't have a life, why do you ask?)... but I can tell you the moment the switch flicked in my brain to decide that yes, George was my most favourite Beatle. It wasn't the reason why, but it was the moment it happened. I was in Camden with my mum and friend Louise and I was shopping for a hat like the one John wore a lot around 1964/5. I ended up getting one that was a little too Gay Biker for my tastes so it didn't last long... but we were at the old Stables, which is now a market for 20th Century antiques. This one place had tons of copies of The Beatles Book magazine. This was a mag from the original time that stopped when the boys did but resumed 20 years later- and I have all my copies of that stashed away- it ended maybe five six years ago. I always got frustrated that it seemed only to put John or Paul on the cover alone.... and I saw in this stall a copy of an old one with a picture of George on the cover: "GORGEOUS GEORGE!" and I thought "Yeah, he is."

It wasn't about him being gorgeous. I mean, I think he was, but I get if you don't. Errol Flynn he weren't, right? But the point was that for the first time I saw that other people thought George was great, that he was as worthy of praise as anyone else. That was the moment the switch flicked. It was helped of course by the Anthology videos in which Paul comes across as a twat (because he is), Ringo comes across as affably charming (because he is) and George came across as a sharp-tongued voice of sanity. At some point I read a pretty bad biography of him (possibly by the aforementioned shitmonger Giuliano) and remember being so disappointed to discover he spent the first years of the 80s in a coke haze that I wished it wasn't true and decided I wouldn't believe it until I read it from a second source (I have since. I also learned about George and the once Mrs Starkey. Still, he's not even close to Clapton in the bastard stakes). I listened to his songs more closely than the others, and chalked it up in part to my special affection for guitarists and their music.

I think I bought the All Things Must Pass anniversary special edition in California, very early in the year. I say this not because it matters but because the timescale is important to me. I arrived in mid-Sept (10th, actually). By November, I had all the words to all the songs seared into my brain, so I must've had it awhile. I loved, still love, that record so much. I even like the jams that most people think are a bunch of self-indulgent nonsense to fill up the record.

When he died, I felt like I'd never be happy again. I bought All Things Must Pass on vinyl in England from far away in America... but when I got home for Crimbo, I couldn't bear to listen to it all the way through, lest I weep like a baby again. I couldn't bear to watch the Anthology either... nor read the books. I allowed the Doors to overwhelm me, for Jimmy was already dead, already a total cunt and nothing I could learn about him could ever shatter my illusions of him, because I never had any.

John Lennon was the one most like me, Jimmy was the one I adored, Philip the one I sought most desperately. George, on the other hand was the kind of person I almost aspired to be like. I still do. I mean, the guy was a mass of contradictions- an environmentalist with a love of Formula 1 racing, a devoutly religious guy who cheated on his first wife quite a lot, a curmudgeonly old git with a brilliant sense of humour, an open mind with, apparently, a worrying affection for Nazi memorabilia (ooh, Lemmy!), a guy who hated fame but was one of the most famous people on the planet, a guy who gave up material possessions but lived in a fucking big mansion and had nice cars and clothes and stuff... In other words, a fully rounded human being with greatness, weakness, faults and reality.

More than that, George had the dedication to his craft that I have never possessed- stories of playing guitar in the early days until his fingers bled... when I could never practice even weekly when I had lessons. He had talent and skill that I'll never come close to. I even stole a riff of his once for music class- GCSE music in 97/98 and we're doing a bit on ostinatos, right (an ostinato is if I recall, a musical theme that repeats over and over in the piece) and I couldn't compose one for the life of me, couldn't do it. Still couldn't, probably. I stole the opening riff from 'The Inner Light' which I think was a B-Side to a Beatle hit of some sort. The rest of the class called it catchy, and I felt guilty, but glad they liked his music! If my teacher knew, he didn't say.

But back to the present day. I had forgotten how funny he was. Forgotten how handsome he was. Forgotten the way that the smile of Harrison is at once charming and cheeky, knowing and arch. Forgotten the eyebrow quirk. Almost forgotten how good the music was. I mean don't get me wrong, not all of George's solo output is great- I don't have Gone Troppo on my iPod for a reason, and the stuff between All Things Must Pass and the launch of Dark Horse isn't exactly world beating... but on a good day, that man could write songs that will last forever, stuff that not only equals McCartney's silly love songs but surpasses them, not only equals Lennon's rage but outdoes it.

George's solo career, when taken as a whole, has this amazing thread of consistency running through it- no matter when it was made, it's so obviously by the same person and yet at the same time entirely of its own time- Somewhere in England was clearly made in the very early 80s, just as Cloud Nine is clearly from the late 80s. Yet they both sound as much George as Thirty Three and 1/3 or Brainwashed... George's ability to avoid musical fashion while not actually ignoring the sounds of the time allowed him that privilege. George's career, from that first Beatle Harrisong, 'Don't Bother Me', to the very end of Brainwashed is so obviously his music. These are not records that could've been made by anyone else, even if they could master all the diminished ninth chords.

Most of all I think I love how utterly he wasn't taken in by everything given to him. Everything he ever said or did has an element somewhere of "You know you're all fucking crazy, right?" to it, be it interviews or concerts or what the hell ever. This is someone who wanted to be successful, not famous, and knew the difference. George Harrison never asked or begged to be loved, unlike others who will remain nameless but popularised the Hofner violin-shaped bass, and so I loved him all the more for it.

John called us on our collective bullshit with a manner akin to a bullhorn and got called a genius for it... but George was no less cynical, no less contemptuous... I'm sure in the fullness of time we'll discover that George was angrier and more cynical than even John... but went about voicing it in a different way. John was louder, that's all.

No, I take it back: the thing I love most of all about George is this: He was a guitar legend who loved to play the ukulele. That's all you need to know.

Amusing George videos I found:

This Song. Some people bitch and moan about being taken to court for plagiarism. Some get their SNL mates together and take the piss. I wish I could pull off hair like that
Crackerbox Palace Yes, that is Rutle Neil Innes as his nanny, and that is his house.
Blow Away 
and lastly, a clip from a comedy tv show in Britain from the 70s called Rutland Weekend Television. It's also a piss ripper of the plagiarism thing: The Pirate Song.

Good night to you all.
apolla: (George)
The night before I went to Detroit, I shoved all of George Harrison's Dark Horse period records onto my iPod, except Gone Troppo, because that really is a fucking awful record.

That night, I also watched the DVD that came with the Dark Horse Years set. On it was a litle doc about Dark Horse and some music videos. I watched them. Then I watched them again. Then, I watched them continuously until 3am when I was finished packing and thought it might be to my advantage to get at least three hours sleep before scuffing off across the Atlantic.

Those of you even faintly acquainted with me know that music is to me a way of life and also sometimes obsessive. I have those times when I'm unable to listen to anything but whoever it is I'm obsessed with- there was a point where I couldn't be away from Led Zeppelin for more than a half hour, and my iPod still shows the signs of the Thin Lizzy daze I'm coming out of now: 20 of the 'top 25 most played' are by them. it's the same pattern as it was once with the Beatles, with the Doors, Dean Martin and then the Zep and Lizzy. These are the people I love, without whom I would hollow, empty and lifeless. These are the people who get me up in the morning. They all had that time when they were all I could think of. Then it evens out to something approaching sanity.

I found each of them differently, the obsession may have developed differently and at different speeds and times, but the effect was the same. What has never happened before is to go through it a second time. Not the obsessive level of attention. I imagine that it may well happen with Lizzy again, for they're like no other band in some ways.

With George Harrison, you could argue that I'm going through my third obsessive period, if you count the Beatles. The second was just before he died, and that killed the obsession too because it was just too painful to sustain then. Besides, it's hard to maintain an obsession when only two or three records are even available- the Dark Horse recordings weren't re-released until after he died, when I bought them but couldn't bear to listen to them properly.

So it's third time lucky, I suppose. I remember well how the Beatle-obsessive period went- my dad bought me a book about them (The Beatles: A Celebration by the horrendous Geoffrey Giuliano) at an outlet mall in Doncaster on our way back from a holiday in Yorkshire. I'd seen the last episode of the Anthology that New Years' Eve and had nicked the one cassette of the Beatles that my dad possessed (he'd taped the Red and Blue greatest hits comps off a pal's records back in the 70s)... but the book, reading about them and seeing them properly, if not the hook, was the line and the sinker. I remember sitting there in the back of that car all the way from bloody Doncaster... I remember staring, staring at a picture of George c. 1968, thinking that if not for the moustache he'd made a pretty girl! I was a Lennon fan for a very long time, and his obsession by me came side by side with the Beatles one (took some doing, I can tell you. No I didn't have a life, why do you ask?)... but I can tell you the moment the switch flicked in my brain to decide that yes, George was my most favourite Beatle. It wasn't the reason why, but it was the moment it happened. I was in Camden with my mum and friend Louise and I was shopping for a hat like the one John wore a lot around 1964/5. I ended up getting one that was a little too Gay Biker for my tastes so it didn't last long... but we were at the old Stables, which is now a market for 20th Century antiques. This one place had tons of copies of The Beatles Book magazine. This was a mag from the original time that stopped when the boys did but resumed 20 years later- and I have all my copies of that stashed away- it ended maybe five six years ago. I always got frustrated that it seemed only to put John or Paul on the cover alone.... and I saw in this stall a copy of an old one with a picture of George on the cover: "GORGEOUS GEORGE!" and I thought "Yeah, he is."

It wasn't about him being gorgeous. I mean, I think he was, but I get if you don't. Errol Flynn he weren't, right? But the point was that for the first time I saw that other people thought George was great, that he was as worthy of praise as anyone else. That was the moment the switch flicked. It was helped of course by the Anthology videos in which Paul comes across as a twat (because he is), Ringo comes across as affably charming (because he is) and George came across as a sharp-tongued voice of sanity. At some point I read a pretty bad biography of him (possibly by the aforementioned shitmonger Giuliano) and remember being so disappointed to discover he spent the first years of the 80s in a coke haze that I wished it wasn't true and decided I wouldn't believe it until I read it from a second source (I have since. I also learned about George and the once Mrs Starkey. Still, he's not even close to Clapton in the bastard stakes). I listened to his songs more closely than the others, and chalked it up in part to my special affection for guitarists and their music.

I think I bought the All Things Must Pass anniversary special edition in California, very early in the year. I say this not because it matters but because the timescale is important to me. I arrived in mid-Sept (10th, actually). By November, I had all the words to all the songs seared into my brain, so I must've had it awhile. I loved, still love, that record so much. I even like the jams that most people think are a bunch of self-indulgent nonsense to fill up the record.

When he died, I felt like I'd never be happy again. I bought All Things Must Pass on vinyl in England from far away in America... but when I got home for Crimbo, I couldn't bear to listen to it all the way through, lest I weep like a baby again. I couldn't bear to watch the Anthology either... nor read the books. I allowed the Doors to overwhelm me, for Jimmy was already dead, already a total cunt and nothing I could learn about him could ever shatter my illusions of him, because I never had any.

John Lennon was the one most like me, Jimmy was the one I adored, Philip the one I sought most desperately. George, on the other hand was the kind of person I almost aspired to be like. I still do. I mean, the guy was a mass of contradictions- an environmentalist with a love of Formula 1 racing, a devoutly religious guy who cheated on his first wife quite a lot, a curmudgeonly old git with a brilliant sense of humour, an open mind with, apparently, a worrying affection for Nazi memorabilia (ooh, Lemmy!), a guy who hated fame but was one of the most famous people on the planet, a guy who gave up material possessions but lived in a fucking big mansion and had nice cars and clothes and stuff... In other words, a fully rounded human being with greatness, weakness, faults and reality.

More than that, George had the dedication to his craft that I have never possessed- stories of playing guitar in the early days until his fingers bled... when I could never practice even weekly when I had lessons. He had talent and skill that I'll never come close to. I even stole a riff of his once for music class- GCSE music in 97/98 and we're doing a bit on ostinatos, right (an ostinato is if I recall, a musical theme that repeats over and over in the piece) and I couldn't compose one for the life of me, couldn't do it. Still couldn't, probably. I stole the opening riff from 'The Inner Light' which I think was a B-Side to a Beatle hit of some sort. The rest of the class called it catchy, and I felt guilty, but glad they liked his music! If my teacher knew, he didn't say.

But back to the present day. I had forgotten how funny he was. Forgotten how handsome he was. Forgotten the way that the smile of Harrison is at once charming and cheeky, knowing and arch. Forgotten the eyebrow quirk. Almost forgotten how good the music was. I mean don't get me wrong, not all of George's solo output is great- I don't have Gone Troppo on my iPod for a reason, and the stuff between All Things Must Pass and the launch of Dark Horse isn't exactly world beating... but on a good day, that man could write songs that will last forever, stuff that not only equals McCartney's silly love songs but surpasses them, not only equals Lennon's rage but outdoes it.

George's solo career, when taken as a whole, has this amazing thread of consistency running through it- no matter when it was made, it's so obviously by the same person and yet at the same time entirely of its own time- Somewhere in England was clearly made in the very early 80s, just as Cloud Nine is clearly from the late 80s. Yet they both sound as much George as Thirty Three and 1/3 or Brainwashed... George's ability to avoid musical fashion while not actually ignoring the sounds of the time allowed him that privilege. George's career, from that first Beatle Harrisong, 'Don't Bother Me', to the very end of Brainwashed is so obviously his music. These are not records that could've been made by anyone else, even if they could master all the diminished ninth chords.

Most of all I think I love how utterly he wasn't taken in by everything given to him. Everything he ever said or did has an element somewhere of "You know you're all fucking crazy, right?" to it, be it interviews or concerts or what the hell ever. This is someone who wanted to be successful, not famous, and knew the difference. George Harrison never asked or begged to be loved, unlike others who will remain nameless but popularised the Hofner violin-shaped bass, and so I loved him all the more for it.

John called us on our collective bullshit with a manner akin to a bullhorn and got called a genius for it... but George was no less cynical, no less contemptuous... I'm sure in the fullness of time we'll discover that George was angrier and more cynical than even John... but went about voicing it in a different way. John was louder, that's all.

No, I take it back: the thing I love most of all about George is this: He was a guitar legend who loved to play the ukulele. That's all you need to know.

Amusing George videos I found:

This Song. Some people bitch and moan about being taken to court for plagiarism. Some get their SNL mates together and take the piss. I wish I could pull off hair like that
Crackerbox Palace Yes, that is Rutle Neil Innes as his nanny, and that is his house.
Blow Away 
and lastly, a clip from a comedy tv show in Britain from the 70s called Rutland Weekend Television. It's also a piss ripper of the plagiarism thing: The Pirate Song.

Good night to you all.
apolla: (Default)
I'm watching the DVD that comes with the George Harrison box set, right... and they're great music videos he made for 'This Song' and 'Crackerbox Palace' and 'Faster' and the two different versions of 'Got My Mind Set On You' (one of which features a very young Alexis 'Wesley' Denisof) and such...

And I am reminded that while George was a very environmental sort of fellow, big on gardening and the planet and stuff... he also liked Formula One racing. I am reminded more, though, of the way people call it a 'contradiction', that he was a very contradictory sort of person- curmudgeonly and yet funny, F1 yet nature, anti-ego yet egotistical, etc etc.

Well, colour me fucking surprised, OK? That's what ALL humans are like, not just the famous ones. I mean, some people are more contradictory than others perhaps... some of us seem to be more coherently one person than others- I am here reminded of Marilyn Monroe's remark that she didn't just have voices in her head, she had "a whole committee".

I wonder if people really are contradictory. I always remember how sad I felt reading cultural criticism of some kind at Irvine. The gist was that we will never get more than fragments of our celebrities, of the famous. We don't get to see the whole picture, no matter how much we learn. For some, the fragments are hard to come by- the passage of time is a bitch, especially for those whose heroes existed before video and the like. Good luck trying to get a real picture of exactly who the hell Alexander really was, right?

Then again, do we ever really get anything but fragments of anyone? I don't believe it is necessarily possibly to truly know another person. Maybe it is and I just haven't bothered... but it's all just fragments. Perhaps the people who appear contradictory just have more varied fragents, and those that seem to be 'together' just happen to have their fragments better organised.
apolla: (Default)
I'm watching the DVD that comes with the George Harrison box set, right... and they're great music videos he made for 'This Song' and 'Crackerbox Palace' and 'Faster' and the two different versions of 'Got My Mind Set On You' (one of which features a very young Alexis 'Wesley' Denisof) and such...

And I am reminded that while George was a very environmental sort of fellow, big on gardening and the planet and stuff... he also liked Formula One racing. I am reminded more, though, of the way people call it a 'contradiction', that he was a very contradictory sort of person- curmudgeonly and yet funny, F1 yet nature, anti-ego yet egotistical, etc etc.

Well, colour me fucking surprised, OK? That's what ALL humans are like, not just the famous ones. I mean, some people are more contradictory than others perhaps... some of us seem to be more coherently one person than others- I am here reminded of Marilyn Monroe's remark that she didn't just have voices in her head, she had "a whole committee".

I wonder if people really are contradictory. I always remember how sad I felt reading cultural criticism of some kind at Irvine. The gist was that we will never get more than fragments of our celebrities, of the famous. We don't get to see the whole picture, no matter how much we learn. For some, the fragments are hard to come by- the passage of time is a bitch, especially for those whose heroes existed before video and the like. Good luck trying to get a real picture of exactly who the hell Alexander really was, right?

Then again, do we ever really get anything but fragments of anyone? I don't believe it is necessarily possibly to truly know another person. Maybe it is and I just haven't bothered... but it's all just fragments. Perhaps the people who appear contradictory just have more varied fragents, and those that seem to be 'together' just happen to have their fragments better organised.
apolla: (George)
I still haven't packed for going to Detroit, you know, tomorrow. I bought some stuff for everyone to convert them to Proper Chocolate... and [personal profile] eibbil_libbie, nearly a year after I promised them to you, I am bringing Flakes and will mail them to you from America- more chance of them not melting, I guess... If I don't get a chance over the weekend, I'll ask Eb or Sabs to do it for me. I promised them... I just didn't realise I meant months later.

*

I bought the Dark Horse Years George Harrison box set two years ago when it came out... and then promptly hardly bothered with it. Most of this was simply the knowledge that I could not hear him too much, could only listen a little bit on my own terms to certain songs. Last weekend, after reading something I once wrote about George, I brought the box from home to London so I could upload the albumings onto my computer and from there onto my iPod. So far, I've only put Thirty Three And 1/3 and George Harrison on, but...

It's the exact opposite feeling of what I expected back in 2004, or whenever it was released. It didn't make me sad to hear him at all. In fact, as I walked home from the bus a stop early in the sunshine, I laughed. I smiled as I so rarely smile. People stared at me. I waved my arms around. I laughed again. I felt as if all the troubles of the world disappeared for a minute or three as I played air bass to 'Woman Don't You Cry For Me' and air slide to 'Not Guilty'.

Some of it is terrifically seventies AOR in its production and style... but it's still George. George was so much his own man that a record made in 1976 really sounds as if it was made by the same man as Brainwashed, finished in 2002. The same guitar sound that flows like water over smooth rocks, the same biting, dark humour... the same sweet and scathing voice. Dearest, dearest George. I will mourn him in my way for the rest of my life, until the moment I scuff off to Heaven and see my boys... but somehow with George, it's not as sad as mourning the others. Does that make sense? They've all made me weep, literally or metaphorically... but only a couple have simultaneously dried the tears. George Harrison is one of those men. The feeling in my soul when George sings isn't bitterness or the many words I have for Jim... it is triumphant.

I hear Dhani has 'accepted his destiny' and taken up musically 'properly'. May he find his own way, his own sound and may it be great.

*

Off to watch House with Grandad.
apolla: (George)
I still haven't packed for going to Detroit, you know, tomorrow. I bought some stuff for everyone to convert them to Proper Chocolate... and [personal profile] eibbil_libbie, nearly a year after I promised them to you, I am bringing Flakes and will mail them to you from America- more chance of them not melting, I guess... If I don't get a chance over the weekend, I'll ask Eb or Sabs to do it for me. I promised them... I just didn't realise I meant months later.

*

I bought the Dark Horse Years George Harrison box set two years ago when it came out... and then promptly hardly bothered with it. Most of this was simply the knowledge that I could not hear him too much, could only listen a little bit on my own terms to certain songs. Last weekend, after reading something I once wrote about George, I brought the box from home to London so I could upload the albumings onto my computer and from there onto my iPod. So far, I've only put Thirty Three And 1/3 and George Harrison on, but...

It's the exact opposite feeling of what I expected back in 2004, or whenever it was released. It didn't make me sad to hear him at all. In fact, as I walked home from the bus a stop early in the sunshine, I laughed. I smiled as I so rarely smile. People stared at me. I waved my arms around. I laughed again. I felt as if all the troubles of the world disappeared for a minute or three as I played air bass to 'Woman Don't You Cry For Me' and air slide to 'Not Guilty'.

Some of it is terrifically seventies AOR in its production and style... but it's still George. George was so much his own man that a record made in 1976 really sounds as if it was made by the same man as Brainwashed, finished in 2002. The same guitar sound that flows like water over smooth rocks, the same biting, dark humour... the same sweet and scathing voice. Dearest, dearest George. I will mourn him in my way for the rest of my life, until the moment I scuff off to Heaven and see my boys... but somehow with George, it's not as sad as mourning the others. Does that make sense? They've all made me weep, literally or metaphorically... but only a couple have simultaneously dried the tears. George Harrison is one of those men. The feeling in my soul when George sings isn't bitterness or the many words I have for Jim... it is triumphant.

I hear Dhani has 'accepted his destiny' and taken up musically 'properly'. May he find his own way, his own sound and may it be great.

*

Off to watch House with Grandad.
apolla: (George)
The Queen at 80 is on BBC1 right now. It's pretty interesting although a bit heavy on the "ooh, it's been difficult for the Queen." Which I could have guessed, and the "ooh, she's very hard working and duty-bound" which I already knew.

Tony Blair, the "air guitarist of political rhetoric" (Will Self) said that on his first meeting as Prime Minister the Queen pointed out that the first prime minister she had to deal with was Winston Churchill. "Which put me into perspective," said Tony. Let me say this without resorting to swearing: Tony, you oatmeal-brained, greedy, grasping, insincere intellectually bankrupt mollusc of a human being, we didn't need that comparison pointing out to us. It would be quicker for us to list the things you have in common with Winston Churchill than the things you don't. I have it on decent authority that you and Winston are/were both members of the human race. And that is about it.

I find the royal family and the idea of monarchy absolutely fascinating. They are, as a political concept, something I actually have hardly an opinion on, but I find them fascinating. It must be quite marvellous to be able to look back and see where you're from for over a millennia... and yet quite terrible to know that your ancestors are who they are (inbred, corrupt, adulterous, murderous, terrible and the rest). I don't for a second think that every day of the lives of the royal family, Her Maj included, is a fairytale of a life... but sometimes it must be marvellous to wake up and think "bloody hell, I'm the Queen!".

Also, I read today that the Queen finds Cherie Blair's refusal to curtsey to her to not be offensive, but wildly funny. She's apparently quoted as saying something like "I can see her knees stiffening as I enter a room." Good on you, Auntie Betty.

Anyway, I know I haven't been around lately. It's not pique that nobody responded to my Massive Thin Lizzy Post, honestly. I started the origins of a cold sometime last week (possibly from standing waiting in the cold and rain for Scott Gorham) and it got worse and worse until I missed a day's work.

I saw San Francisco starring Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald when I was off. A great little film entirely ruined by the holier-than-thou ending.

I've been reading a new book about Ava Gardner. I won't say much until I've finished, but I will say this: I'm more convinced now than ever before that nothing you can tell me about her that would make me dislike her or diminish my respect for her.

Last week I had a dream about George Harrison. This is not the first time I've been blessed with such a moment... I still remember with vivid clarity the dream I had a few months after he died: me, him, a glorious cathedral and a moment stood hand in hand. Anyway, this was a curious dream. It was a strange dream this time... George, old and close to death, his grey hair very short, was about to embark on some strange possibly Hindi/Indian rite of passage which involved him trekking through a jungle. I saw him fighting through the trees and plants and seem to recall being told by someone in the know that when the message was received (or rather not received), we would know that he was dead. It was like he was to fight through the jungle to find some peace and quiet in which to die. And strangely, he grew younger as the dream went on and the last and most clear image burned into my head is of a soaking wet George struggling out of a river, looking as young and long-haired and beardy as he did in about 1968. In India, in fact. And I want to know what it means, because while I love to have my boys visit me in dreams and it doesn't happen enough, I wonder why and what it means.

I miss you, dear George. I hope, wish and pray that wherever you are that it's where you want to be and that you are happy.

Weirdly, one of the first things that one of the people at work said to me the next morning was "I had a dream about John Lennon last night..."

Also, what does it say about me or the state of current British architecture that as I passed one new build in North London, my immediate thought was "That looks exactly like one of the new uploads on Mod the Sims 2"?

Until next time, cats.
apolla: (George)
The Queen at 80 is on BBC1 right now. It's pretty interesting although a bit heavy on the "ooh, it's been difficult for the Queen." Which I could have guessed, and the "ooh, she's very hard working and duty-bound" which I already knew.

Tony Blair, the "air guitarist of political rhetoric" (Will Self) said that on his first meeting as Prime Minister the Queen pointed out that the first prime minister she had to deal with was Winston Churchill. "Which put me into perspective," said Tony. Let me say this without resorting to swearing: Tony, you oatmeal-brained, greedy, grasping, insincere intellectually bankrupt mollusc of a human being, we didn't need that comparison pointing out to us. It would be quicker for us to list the things you have in common with Winston Churchill than the things you don't. I have it on decent authority that you and Winston are/were both members of the human race. And that is about it.

I find the royal family and the idea of monarchy absolutely fascinating. They are, as a political concept, something I actually have hardly an opinion on, but I find them fascinating. It must be quite marvellous to be able to look back and see where you're from for over a millennia... and yet quite terrible to know that your ancestors are who they are (inbred, corrupt, adulterous, murderous, terrible and the rest). I don't for a second think that every day of the lives of the royal family, Her Maj included, is a fairytale of a life... but sometimes it must be marvellous to wake up and think "bloody hell, I'm the Queen!".

Also, I read today that the Queen finds Cherie Blair's refusal to curtsey to her to not be offensive, but wildly funny. She's apparently quoted as saying something like "I can see her knees stiffening as I enter a room." Good on you, Auntie Betty.

Anyway, I know I haven't been around lately. It's not pique that nobody responded to my Massive Thin Lizzy Post, honestly. I started the origins of a cold sometime last week (possibly from standing waiting in the cold and rain for Scott Gorham) and it got worse and worse until I missed a day's work.

I saw San Francisco starring Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald when I was off. A great little film entirely ruined by the holier-than-thou ending.

I've been reading a new book about Ava Gardner. I won't say much until I've finished, but I will say this: I'm more convinced now than ever before that nothing you can tell me about her that would make me dislike her or diminish my respect for her.

Last week I had a dream about George Harrison. This is not the first time I've been blessed with such a moment... I still remember with vivid clarity the dream I had a few months after he died: me, him, a glorious cathedral and a moment stood hand in hand. Anyway, this was a curious dream. It was a strange dream this time... George, old and close to death, his grey hair very short, was about to embark on some strange possibly Hindi/Indian rite of passage which involved him trekking through a jungle. I saw him fighting through the trees and plants and seem to recall being told by someone in the know that when the message was received (or rather not received), we would know that he was dead. It was like he was to fight through the jungle to find some peace and quiet in which to die. And strangely, he grew younger as the dream went on and the last and most clear image burned into my head is of a soaking wet George struggling out of a river, looking as young and long-haired and beardy as he did in about 1968. In India, in fact. And I want to know what it means, because while I love to have my boys visit me in dreams and it doesn't happen enough, I wonder why and what it means.

I miss you, dear George. I hope, wish and pray that wherever you are that it's where you want to be and that you are happy.

Weirdly, one of the first things that one of the people at work said to me the next morning was "I had a dream about John Lennon last night..."

Also, what does it say about me or the state of current British architecture that as I passed one new build in North London, my immediate thought was "That looks exactly like one of the new uploads on Mod the Sims 2"?

Until next time, cats.
apolla: (Rock Chick)

I've said it before and I know I'll say it again: I'd love to love Paul McCartney. I'd love to worship the very ground upon which he places his no-doubt gold-plated feet, but he makes it so hard.

I've said for many years now, being the sort that cares, that Paul is coolest when he's absolutely not trying to be cool. When he is trying (which is most of the time), he comes across as a desperate, middle-aged man with a terrible dye job who is intent on making us all think he's the coolest man who ever lived.

And we all know the coolest man who ever lived was Dean Martin.

Seriously, man! What is The Mac's problem? We've done so much for him. We tolerated Wings. Hell, some of us even LIKED Wings! We accepted Linda (only eventually, in some cases) because it was clear she was a Cool Chick who he adored. Couldn't play keyboards really, but she was cool nonetheless, and I liked the Linda McCartney's Ploughman's Pie before they changed to Definitely No GM Food Here recipies and it tasted foul.

I'm getting off the subject again. Paul McCartney is not an overtly cool man. He has always been too much of An Entertainer. If he had Astaire feet, he would've been a Song and Dance Man. If he'd been born seventy years before he was, he'd have been one of Music Hall's greatest. If he'd have been born in the seventies, he'd either be Robbiefuckingwilliams or Will Young. Only good. Paul McCartney has always been too much of a "Love me, please love me!" kind of man, and that's not a bad thing really. We do love him. But he's not cool like He Who Shall Not Be Named But Got Gunned Down On His Own Doorstep Nearly Twenty Five Years Ago.

Paul McCartney is not cool, but we love him and I so wish he'd understand that and just relax. I wish he could accept the hand he's been dealt. I mean, let's think about this logically:

  1. He's a Beatle. OK, ex-Beatle.
  2. He's the closest thing pop music has to an actual saint (fuck off Bono. Try harder next time)
  3. He's actually a good guy. A hard-nosed businessman when it comes down to it, but a good guy.
  4. If he had any more money, he'd have to buy that big vault Scrooge McDuck had in Duck Tales just to hold it all.
  5. He's an ex-Beatle.
  6. He's an ex-Beatle that wasn't gunned down or stabbed.
  7. He got knighted before it became de rigeur to have a pop star in the list each time and Mick Jagger proved what a farcical concept giving these things to rock stars is.
  8. He is, let's face it, one of the greatest composers ever to have bothered spanking a piano or strumming a guitar.

So, you're Paul McCartney. You have these Eight Fabulous Things in your life. Are you happy? Are you buggery.

I've got so caught up in ranting about Paul (who, don't get me wrong, I do love) that I've forgotten to mention the inspiration for today's festival of Maccabashing. Maccachiding, really.

Paul says George helped him write his new song.

The album the song is on isn't even out until September. He likes to get his publicity machine in gear early, I guess.

Don't get me wrong, I have little doubt that Paul was devastated by George's death. These guys were friends. Friends. Only friends who care about each other snipe like they did back in the day so memorably during Let It Be. I don't know that we could go so far as to call them brothers, but they were comrades-in-arms, the only ones who knew what it was like to be the others. Beatles-in-arms, I guess. If George's death destroyed me, as it felt like it did, I can only imagine it did something far worse to Paul.

If George did help Paul write the song (and the lyrics mentioned in the article do sound very Harrisonian), then that's fucking fantastic. Whether it's really George, helping from On High, or the shadow of a memory of George in Paul's own mind, it doesn't matter. I can't wait to hear the song now personally- I was always more a George girl than a Paul one.

But does this have to be turned around and twisted into news? Does it have to be used to kick-start the publicity for Another McCartney Moneyspinner. Boy has enough money and enough gold discs. I know he wants to remain popular and thus, relevant, but please.

There are some things you can use to sell your product. Your divorce, your separation, your drug habit, your new, much younger girlfriend/fiancee, someone else's drug habit, your stint in rehab, how you feel now you're clean, etc etc etc...

But please don't use the death of someone you loved to do it. It smacks of desperation and nastiness. I have no doubt that George's death hurt Paul a great deal, but can he not use it to sell records? Can he do it quietly? Because George's death hurt us a great deal too, Paulie, and some of us find it disheartening and distasteful that you'd use it to sell records.

apolla: (Rock Chick)

I've said it before and I know I'll say it again: I'd love to love Paul McCartney. I'd love to worship the very ground upon which he places his no-doubt gold-plated feet, but he makes it so hard.

I've said for many years now, being the sort that cares, that Paul is coolest when he's absolutely not trying to be cool. When he is trying (which is most of the time), he comes across as a desperate, middle-aged man with a terrible dye job who is intent on making us all think he's the coolest man who ever lived.

And we all know the coolest man who ever lived was Dean Martin.

Seriously, man! What is The Mac's problem? We've done so much for him. We tolerated Wings. Hell, some of us even LIKED Wings! We accepted Linda (only eventually, in some cases) because it was clear she was a Cool Chick who he adored. Couldn't play keyboards really, but she was cool nonetheless, and I liked the Linda McCartney's Ploughman's Pie before they changed to Definitely No GM Food Here recipies and it tasted foul.

I'm getting off the subject again. Paul McCartney is not an overtly cool man. He has always been too much of An Entertainer. If he had Astaire feet, he would've been a Song and Dance Man. If he'd been born seventy years before he was, he'd have been one of Music Hall's greatest. If he'd have been born in the seventies, he'd either be Robbiefuckingwilliams or Will Young. Only good. Paul McCartney has always been too much of a "Love me, please love me!" kind of man, and that's not a bad thing really. We do love him. But he's not cool like He Who Shall Not Be Named But Got Gunned Down On His Own Doorstep Nearly Twenty Five Years Ago.

Paul McCartney is not cool, but we love him and I so wish he'd understand that and just relax. I wish he could accept the hand he's been dealt. I mean, let's think about this logically:

  1. He's a Beatle. OK, ex-Beatle.
  2. He's the closest thing pop music has to an actual saint (fuck off Bono. Try harder next time)
  3. He's actually a good guy. A hard-nosed businessman when it comes down to it, but a good guy.
  4. If he had any more money, he'd have to buy that big vault Scrooge McDuck had in Duck Tales just to hold it all.
  5. He's an ex-Beatle.
  6. He's an ex-Beatle that wasn't gunned down or stabbed.
  7. He got knighted before it became de rigeur to have a pop star in the list each time and Mick Jagger proved what a farcical concept giving these things to rock stars is.
  8. He is, let's face it, one of the greatest composers ever to have bothered spanking a piano or strumming a guitar.

So, you're Paul McCartney. You have these Eight Fabulous Things in your life. Are you happy? Are you buggery.

I've got so caught up in ranting about Paul (who, don't get me wrong, I do love) that I've forgotten to mention the inspiration for today's festival of Maccabashing. Maccachiding, really.

Paul says George helped him write his new song.

The album the song is on isn't even out until September. He likes to get his publicity machine in gear early, I guess.

Don't get me wrong, I have little doubt that Paul was devastated by George's death. These guys were friends. Friends. Only friends who care about each other snipe like they did back in the day so memorably during Let It Be. I don't know that we could go so far as to call them brothers, but they were comrades-in-arms, the only ones who knew what it was like to be the others. Beatles-in-arms, I guess. If George's death destroyed me, as it felt like it did, I can only imagine it did something far worse to Paul.

If George did help Paul write the song (and the lyrics mentioned in the article do sound very Harrisonian), then that's fucking fantastic. Whether it's really George, helping from On High, or the shadow of a memory of George in Paul's own mind, it doesn't matter. I can't wait to hear the song now personally- I was always more a George girl than a Paul one.

But does this have to be turned around and twisted into news? Does it have to be used to kick-start the publicity for Another McCartney Moneyspinner. Boy has enough money and enough gold discs. I know he wants to remain popular and thus, relevant, but please.

There are some things you can use to sell your product. Your divorce, your separation, your drug habit, your new, much younger girlfriend/fiancee, someone else's drug habit, your stint in rehab, how you feel now you're clean, etc etc etc...

But please don't use the death of someone you loved to do it. It smacks of desperation and nastiness. I have no doubt that George's death hurt Paul a great deal, but can he not use it to sell records? Can he do it quietly? Because George's death hurt us a great deal too, Paulie, and some of us find it disheartening and distasteful that you'd use it to sell records.

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