Monday, July 20, 2009

Why I Don't Go To Concerts Anymore

I was reading a review of Paul's weekend New York concert, and ran across this line:

He was sometimes drowned out by people heartily singing along to each word of every oldie.

This is exactly why I have pretty much stopped going to concerts anymore. This never used to happen 'back in the day'. I remember seeing all the big acts, Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Wings, The Rolling Stones...pretty much every major show in Portland throughout the 70's and early 80's. Nobody ever sang along.

Why do people insist on doing this? I think it's for a couple of reasons. One is that people no longer have any manners when it comes to imposing their idea of 'fun' on everyone around them.

Another is that the price of tickets is so astronomical, that fans feel they have to somehow convince themselves that every concert is a major event and that they are having a really good time. So they have to stand through the whole show, wave their arms and sing along to all of the songs.

It's idiotic. Sure, it's fine to cheer at the beginning and end of one of your favorites and dance around during a great rendition of a fast number. But nowadays, they do it for every song. It becomes meaningless. It cheapens the performance. Let's face it, even Paul has 'off' nights. But I'm sure the crowd reaction is exactly the same for his worst show and his best one.

Real fans want to watch and listen. To check out Paul's bass playing, or the way he interacts with the band. A real fan doesn't spend hundreds of dollars to be part of an orgy of phony exuberance.

Isn't this why the Beatles stopped touring back in 1966? Because you couldn't hear the music? Isn't it the same thing when the audience drowns out the vocals by singing along to everything?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Paul McCartney on David Letterman

Our Paul was on David Letterman the other night. The interview was so-so, and Dave wanted to emphasize the fact that they were in 'Ed Sullivan Theater', the same stage where the Beatles made their American debut in 1964. Paul didn't seem too excited which is understandable considering that he already did a MTV special there ages ago, and that I personally doubt that the 2009 interior very much resembles the 1964 version. It probably could've been anywhere as far as he was concerned.

He did two songs outside on the marquee (sort of like the Let it be rooftop gig) with thousands of people watching from the street. He played 'Get Back' and a new one from the Fireman album.

But here's the good part. Check out Letterman's website and you can see him doing more songs: 'Coming Up', 'Band on the Run', 'Let Me Roll It', 'Helter Skelter' and 'Back in the USSR'. And the band, and Paul's voice, sound really great. This website clip is much better than the Letterman appearance.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Allen Klein Dead

I always hated this guy. With his 'New York Talk' he somehow hoodwinked John, George and Ringo into letting him manage the band. Paul objected, 'And in the end', our Paul was right. Klein was a crook and a creep.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Michael Jackson's Beatles Catalog

They should really call it Jackson's 'Lennon-McCartney' catalog. He had them all except for 'Love Me Do', P.S. I Love You', 'Please Please Me' and 'Ask Me Why'.

But Ringo and George songs are a different story. In 1968, unlike J&P, they broke from Northern Songs, the company who eventually sold the rights to Jackson.

The only two songs Ringo wrote as a Beatle, 'Don't Pass Me By' and 'Octopuses Garden' are owned by Ringo's company, Startling Music Ltd.

As for George, he wrote, according to my calculations, 23 Beatles songs (I'm not counting stuff like 'Dig it' or 'Flying' where all four got credit). And while Jackson/Sony owns 13 or them, George's company, Harrisongs Ltd. owns the other ten. Luckily for George's heirs, those ten include his biggest hits. George's golden age. The jackpot: 'Something', 'Here Comes the Sun' and 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'.

In a nutshell, Harrisongs Ltd. owns everything George did on The White Album, Let it be, and Abbey Road (as well as his catchy B-side 'Old Brown Shoe').

So while there's one gem in the Jackson/Sony bunch (the famous Revolver opener, 'Taxman') most of their other George numbers are a bit obscure unless you're a serious fan. Nice tunes, but I don't think 'Don't Bother Me' and 'If I Needed Someone' are the same cash cows as his later work. Hell, I heard 'Piggies' (from The White Album) on the radio just the other day! It probably gets more play than 'You Like Me Too Much'.

So Olivia and Dhani can be thankful that the quiet one got out of the Northern Songs outfit just as he was hitting his peak.

And that was 'can you dig it', by Georgie Wood.