Monday, October 14, 2013

Paul McCartney's "New"

Fifty years of making music, eight of which were with a band called The Beatles, and Paul McCartney can still evoke some unpleasant chills out of the most loyal fan with his lyrics. This problem is one of two things that jumped out at me after spending a week with "New," Sir Paul's latest. The other is how "New" is the first record where the "cute" Beatle sounds fragile. Paul McCartney's voice has finally started to break with age.

I can deal with clumsy couplets like "Hey everybody out there, you know what it's like, if you haven't got a life, when you haven't get a life." I've been dealing with his silly love songs for years and believe me, there are worse things out there. But hearing this legend sound only a bit like Paul McCartney on a half-dozen or so songs, was a bit harder to handle.

This isn't necessarily bad news.

Paul McCartney's post-Band On The Run solo career is not unlike the Rolling Stones' post-Exile career in that many ridicule it based the strength of one weak hit song or worse, nothing. I am not about to defend all of Paul's solo work. I've been there and done that. But I will say this again. Our listening habits have changed for the worse. If it can't be dialed up, swiped, streamed or listened to while on a Nordic track, or if the first 30 seconds of each of the ten samples posted on some site didn't quite cut it, the record is toast. Some artists deserve more than that. Paul McCartney is one of those artists.

"New" has more than a few fantastic moments.

The first single is pure pop magic, sounding like what the follow-up single to "Penny Lane" might have sounded like. "On My Way To Work" is one of those songs where McCartney sounds like he's struggling vocally, but he creates a wonderful scene and the charm of his cracking voice turns what might have been an awkward lyric into something emotional.

"Early Days" finds Paul reminiscing about his first band and trying to set the record straight. In the hands of a singer-songwriter like John Hiatt, this song would possibly find strength in its simplicity and become a classic like Hiatt's "Have A Little Faith In Me." But I'm predicting universal eyerolls and groans because that's what everyone loves to do to Paul McCartney. "Early Days" leaves nothing to the imagination. It's heart on your sleeve, but for my money, it works.

The rockers like "Save Us' and Everybody Out There" have their moments, and songs like "Alligator" and "Appreciate" do not. This is where the luxury (?) of having four producers instead of one gets in the way.

Along with the title track, the two highlights for me are "Queenie Eye" and "Looking At Her," the former with its nod to "Strawberry Fields Forever" is just a killer, full of hooks and twists and melody and music, the latter a ballad that shows why Paul McCartney still warrants the respect of all the naysayers.

I don't know what people want or expect from Paul McCartney. It's been a long ride. He's 71 years old and in the last fifteen years has released a record as good as any in "Flaming Pie," a kick-ass rock and roll record featuring some of England's finest (Dave Gilmour & Ian Paice) in "Run Devil Run," a mature pop record in "Chaos & Creation In The Backyard" and a gorgeously executed standards record that puts all other "rockers doing standards" albums to shame in "Kisses On The Bottom." Now we have "New," maybe not the best of Paul's solo work, but I doubt very much that you will hear anything even remotely as coherent from any of his peers.

Give the Beatle a break and spend more time than a casual pass with "New." There won't be too many more records from Paul McCartney.


A walk in the woods said...

Interesting review. I am looking forward to hearing the record itself - yeah, I can't resist a new Macca record.

I agree the last 15 years have had lots of high points - 3 others you didn't mention that I really, really like are:

- Driving Rain
- Memory Almost Full
- Fireman, Electric Arguments
and, I like the live souveneir he released.

In terms of psychological profiles, of the four Beatles, I will always be "a Paul dude." Looking forward to "NEW."

William Repsher said...

I can tell you what I expect from McCartney these days: nothing. He’s done it all. Did it all by the early 80s. Tug of War was the last album I considered on a level where he was still capable of hitting the same highs. When I expect nothing from him, it makes it all the more pleasant when he comes up with the occasional gem. “Little Willow” and “Jennie Wren” come to mind. I can recall when the “expect nothing” vibe set in, too: hearing the theme to “Spies Like Us” … although “Ebony and Ivory” came pretty close. This was roughly 30 years ago?

Here’s an angle I don’t see covered often. McCartney and artists his age and slightly younger are Baby Boomers, the generation of the 60s, who settled down in the 70s, many of whom become “yuppies” in the 80s and appeared to have completely reneged on their 60s ideals. (In reality, most of them always were middle- to upper-middle-class kids who simply went through a period of rebellion before the chickens came home to roost.) The over-riding character trait of this generation has always been hubris: overbearing pride. Proud of itself. First to tell you what they’ve done. Look at us … we’re 70 years-old and we don’t even have gray hair. And still put out albums like it was 1974.

It’s this character trait that I find mildly offensive about McCartney, Rod Stewart, Neil Young (although, credit due, he let himself age), Mick Jagger, etc., even 70s folk like Springsteen, Bowie, etc., who started out in the 60s but didn’t hit until the 70s.

These people are incapable of taking a back seat – of becoming producers, or starting their own labels, or nurturing younger artists with their talent and knowledge. Despite the fact that nearly all of them are putting out music nowhere near the quality of their best days (but not bad either). Seventy fucking years old! Picture the people in your life who are now 70 … then picture McCartney with his dye job and tastefully hip wardrobe … I don’t know … trying to come off like a guy in his 40s still chasing the limelight?

This inability to take on a lesser creative role that would not openly acknowledge their greatness, is what most people are unwittingly criticizing, when it comes out as a groan or “the new McCartney album is a joke, man, come on.” It’s been going on for decades, and is now ludicrous. They … just … can’t … let … go.

That’s one thing. But with the hubris this generation nurtured over the course of decades comes the more awful realization that following generations, and their children, have come of age with that same overbearing pride in themselves, and with following generations, nowhere near the level of creativity to back-up the hubris. That sickly sense of self importance and an inability to see life clearly outside of one’s perceptions. I can see it in myself, having come of age in the 70s and 80s … but the kids of boomers and people my age? They’re fucking insufferable, have this quality in spades … and most of them haven’t done anything yet. That sense of hubris and self satisfaction now comes pre-installed; our culture is structured so kids are born and raised with that sense despite doing nothing to earn this. Which is why you write pieces about not understand the Alabama Shakes being so hyped … look at who’s hyping and do the math!

THAT’S my real issue with McCartney and folks of his age and talent level still putting out mediocre albums, instead of taking on a more advisory role. Not so much the music – I’m sure I’ll pull a handful of tracks from this album to keep and listen to. Much as I did with that last “return to form” Rod Stewart album. But I’m not kidding myself about the general quality of music, or why these guys are still around when they shouldn’t be. Their inability to rest on their laurels, not just because of their age but more importantly because of their diminished creative talent, is indicative of a culture that just doesn’t see itself clearly and respond accordingly. This will be their legacy just as much as the great music they left us, and I don't thank them for it!

steves said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I had the exact reaction after listening to the album a couple of times: This was the first post-Beatles Macca album where Paul nearly sounds his age, and it made me sad. (And his lyrics here are, for the most part, even lamer than usual.) I still love "New," but I don't share your enthusiasm for any of the others. Past experience has shown me that the harder Sir Paul plugs an upcoming release, the more disappointing it's likely to be, so I really didn't have high hopes for New.

But then, you're right on the main point: As long as he's making music, it's a good thing.

Sal Nunziato said...

William, is it that you expect nothing from Paul or prefer nothing? I'm the first to admit that the overhype of mediocre music sways my thinking most of the time. But I do come around and allow myself to just focus on the music and usually find that most of the time, my feeling is the same.

But here you sound as if you'd just prefer these guys to stop altogether and focus on something else. In the case of Rod Stewart, he's phoned it in for 30 years. But Neil, the Stones and McCartney, and especially Bruce and Bowie have not. It hasn't all been good, but too much of it is better than anyone cares to admit or be bothered with. That's more irritating to me than a dye job.

You can put forth the argument that Bruce's "Magic" or "Wrecking Ball" are pale comparisons to "BTR" or "Darkness," but to dimiss either of those record purely on musical merit seems wrong.

As for Macca, he's tried his hand at classical. No one gave a shit. He experimented, successfully I mighht add, just as AWITW pointed out, with his releases as The Fireman. He's quite capable of putting out great music, and honestly, if anyone calls themselves a fan of Macca and cannot hear some truly wonderful music on any of the records I mention, then the grudge must be deeper than I thought.

Jim H. said...

some great thoughts here...all in all, it's gotta be a tough and weird thing to be a singer/songwriter/legendary type with the history Paul has, and still WANT to make music, knowing that the general public, and larger consumers, aren't really's obviously still fun for him, and he doesn't need the money, but it's clear THIS IS WHAT HE DOES!!! And you figure he's no dope, he knows what kind of disaster the music biz is these days, he's been doing this a long time, and his recent interview on Howard Stern showed he is still passionate and digs it, but, like Bruce and Elton and others, what else can these guys DO and WANT to do, y' know? I haven't bought a McCartney album since maybe "Venus and Mars" came out, but hey, he's still at it, doing what he likes, and loves, which i guess is OK, and really IS OK!...tho i wish he'd collaborate with others that might really stimulate his creativity in new ways-some of the Fireman stuff is quite different for him.......i thought the stuff he did in Dave Grohl's "Sound City' dvd and cd were pretty cool and he CAN break his own mold when he wants to AND be comfortable with it.........

William Repsher said...

No grudges against McCartney or any of these fogeys ... I just wish they all had someone around them who could suggest, "Er, um, Paul, you know, you have enough good songs here for an EP instead of an album, maybe we should go that route?"

But much like Ray Davies in his concept album phase, there is no one around them with guts enough to make that call ... and I'm not even sure any artists of that stature would even listen to someone talking sense like that to them.

Honestly, I do wish they'd stop trying to position themselves as rock stars and cultural forces: it's been over for a long time in that sense. Put out albums? Eh ... I wish I could get excited about this stuff, but I just can't.

Stop making music? I understand why they won't, as it's al they understand. But it does seem fairly odd that all these artists, NOT ONE of them seems to have it in him to offer their guidance to younger artists, as producers, or songwriters, or unofficial manager, or small label heads. They have the money to do it, the position, the knowledge and the influence.

But again, that generational pride I wrote about ... it just won't allow that sort of graceful transition of roles. I wouldn't be writing any of this if McCartney was still putting out albums as good as Band on the Run, or even Speed of Sound. Nothing against him, he just isn't. I don't expect to him ... once again, no expectations, and I'm sure having none will offer me some pleasant surprises on this album!

We've been doing this crazy dance with these guys for at least two decades now.

Jeff in Denton TX said...

I disagree with Mr. Repsher that the reason that older rockers can't give it up has something to do with the characteristics of their g-g-g-generation. Instead, I see it more as the result of being in a profession that doesn't have a real tradition of retirement. Those of us in "regular" jobs are expected to stop working at some point and (hopefully) relax and enjoy the fruits of our prior labor. There's really no expectation of this in music or other forms of art and entertainment. Tony Bennett and Ray Price are both octogenerarian members of the "Greatest Generation" who still record, tour and perform. Jim H. is right when he says in reference to Macca "THIS IS WHAT HE DOES." Sure, ego plays into it, but it's mostly about the desire to keep doing it. Even if the results are spottier, there's often something of value to find in an older artist's newer work.

jeff k said...

William, wow. I'm not sure where to start. Having come of age in the '60s and gotten to know a lot of '60s activists over the years, it has been my experience that most of the people who were genuinely motivated to bring about change in whatever field they were in back then, if they are still alive, are still working in one way or another toward that goal. They're out there in their towns and communities still doing the work. I've always thought the notion that they all turned into mini-van driving yuppies to be a bad cliche, spread by those who were unsympathetic to what so much of that decade was about. And a journalist who has traveled the country visiting many of these activists, I can tell you how untrue it is. If you think it's hubris to say, fuck it, I'm not going to support this war and I'm going to fight racism and sexism, then I'm all for hubris and thank goodness for hubristic people like Bob Moses, John Lewis, Dan Berrigan (all of whom are still active, by the way)

As far as the musicians go, if they still love doing what they do, what are they supposed to do upon reaching 65, just stop because someone decrees they have reached the age limit? McCartney doesn't need the money, although like the others I bet he likes the attention. If his music is no good, people won't listen or buy it or come to his shows. What's wrong with that? I don't think Paul is as good a composer as he was forty years. I don't know anyone who was. Hell, back in those days I could easily run a mile in under five minutes. Can't do that anymore, but I still enjoy getting out there. If they're still motivated to write and perform, more power to 'em, I say. If their work sucks, don't buy it.

Bruce is over 60, and while he probably won't write another Born to Run, I'll take "You're Missing" any time. He still has a lot to say and puts on a great show. He's also tremendously supportive of other talent. But he's not primarily a producer, nor should he be expected to be. Nor does that have something to do with 60s hubris.Sinatra performed well past his prime, so did Elvis, and hell, so did Babe Ruth and Groucho Marx. I wouldn't identify any of them with the 60s. It's just human nature to keep going. To me it's something to celebrate even if none of us are what we once were. that's what kids were invented for.

William Repsher said...

Jeff K, I've spent all of my adult life working with and for Baby Boomers, roughly 30 years now, and I feel comfortable noting that a vast majority of that generation left behind the ideals they were espousing in the 60s, for better and worse. (I left behind a great deal of those I held, too, in college. Difference being the country wasn't on the verge of a revolution in the 80's the way it was on the cusp of the 70's.) I don't doubt you've come across many older activists who still bear the torch, but I'd also put forth that they're a minority in terms of the entire generation.

I'm not decrying that these artists have reached an age limit -- I'm decrying that they reached a quality limit, decades ago in many cases, and age is a secondary factor that simply draws more attention to this. "Limit" is the wrong word -- they're just nowhere near as good as they were, and age only makes this more obvious.

I'd put forth that most fans of these musicians don't really care about the quality of the music they're putting out. Album sales bear this out. Mainly aging fans like us who still have some level of faith in them (and also in still listening to music) keep buying the albums. The reason they're such good live draws is because we all sense that this may be the last time we get to see genuinely great artists like them play live.

When does all this end? When Springsteen rolls out onstage in a jazzy? Will it have to go that far?

Sal Nunziato said...

I'd like to approach this from a different, somewhat simplistic angle.

I want to keep it about the music for a moment.

I couldn't disagree more that the quality of the music peaked decades ago. Every one of the artists mentioned here (except maybe the Stones & Rod) has released strong, solid and earnest recordings in the last 15 years, in some cases in the last 10. Are any of these releases as good as the recordings that put them on the map in the first place? Probably not, but then again, isn't that a matter of taste?

I'd put Paul's "Chaos & Creation" and "Flowers In The Dirt" and "Flaming Pie" up there with some of my fave records. Same with Bruce's "Magic." I'm still feeling Bowie's "The Next Day" could be one of his best records ever.

Leon Russell comes to mind as an example that is more like what you're talking about William. This guy, who I love dearly, was horrible 20 years ago, barely banging out chords and croaking his songs to 100 people at tiny clubs. The Elton shot in the arm was mediocre at best and most likely got kudos out of either sympathy or plain old fan support.

I put the music first. Macca's "New," even since yesterday with two more spins under my belt, has gotten better. This record is not a throwaway. And as a fan, I will continue to look forward to new music by all of these artists (except maybe the Stones and Rod.) It will take more than "not as good as Band On The Run" or "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" for me to stop.

Anonymous said...

Hello, please remain seated,

On the matter of an aging artist...Duke Ellington released his Far East Suite in 1967. He was almost 68 years old. Had he retired before then, the world would never would have gotten to hear Isfahan:

Featuring Johnny Hodges (boy-o-boy I love "Jeep")

Thank goodness Duke kept at his art. The music world would be a little less bright without Isfahan. Ok..."New" may not be as transcendent as Isfahan, but if Paul is still motivated to compose, well, have at it, sir.



jeff k said...


There's a reason why Nixon called his supporters "the silent minority." They were. The 60s activists were never the majority, but they were effective. Many of them laid their lives on the line for what they believed and still are. There were plenty others who grew their hair long and wore torn jeans and smoked dope because they saw it in Life magazine or it was the thing to do. I have no doubt that many of them have given up the life but they weren't the people I was talking about.

Regarding the music, yeah, if Bruce wants to still reach for it while he is in a wheel chair, I hope he will. I still remember Louis Armstrong singing when his voice was shot a few months before he died. He sounded horrible, but he was having a blast. Good for him. I disagree with Sal about the new McCartney album. I think it kind of stinks (and I listened to it several times before coming to that conclusion), but if one of the greatest songwriters in the history of modern music wants to give it a shot, why not? Clearly, the process still excites him. I doubt he expects it's going to go to No. 1. If Bruce still has an audience in nursing homes in twenty years I hope he'll go and maybe even crowd surf. He may hurt himself on a few wheelchairs but it's lot better than shilling for Depends.

buzzbabyjesus said...

"There's a reason why Nixon called his supporters "the silent minority."

I'm hoping it was a typo, because it kind of undermines your point before you even get to it.

from wikipedia:

"The silent majority is an unspecified large majority of people in a country or group who do not express their opinions publicly. The term was popularized (though not first used) by U.S. President Richard Nixon in a November 3, 1969, speech in which he said, "And so tonight—to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans—I ask for your support."
In this usage it referred to those Americans who did not join in the large demonstrations against the Vietnam War at the time, who did not join in the counterculture, and who did not participate in public discourse. Nixon along with many others saw this group of Middle Americans as being overshadowed in the media by the more vocal minority.

buzzbabyjesus said...

First off, everyone has made many fine points, leaving me nothing new to add.
I've given "New" a once-through, and there are a couple songs I want to hear again, however, much of it is kind of painful in it's desperation to evoke earlier career highs.
"The Next Day" it ain't.
For fun compare and contrast "New" with Elton's latest.

jeff k said...

thanks, buzz. it was a dumb (probably freudian) typo.

Bombshelter Slim said...

I dunno, I groan & roll my eyes at "Have A Little Faith In Me", so I'll likely pass on this... Run Devil Run was a great album, however!!

William Repsher said...

Just gave the album a listen ... zzzz ... cough, er, uh, no, really, not that bad. It's a pretty standard McCartney release. I can see myself pulling in "Early Days," "New" and "Get Me Out of Here." The rest of it sounds just sort of there. Not bad. But not good enough that I'd want to hear it repeatedly.

This is a large part of my whole point. By anyone else's standards, it would be a good album. By McCartney's, most of it sounds pretty average. I'd rather judge McCartney by the standards he's set for himself, which are about as high as you can get in terms of pop music. Chances are, he'll never or rarely live up to them, but I would expect more. Realize that expectation goes back 30 years to the 80s when this feeling first started sinking in with each new release ... to the point where, as noted, I stopped expecting anything on that level again.

That sense of lowered standards permeates our culture, not just pop music. Only if you read the reviews, this sounds like a glowing new release from an old pro ... and it just isn't. It's the "Rolling Stone giving Mick Jagger solo albums five-star reviews" syndrome, maybe not as obvious or brazen, but roughly the same concept. We cut slack for people who have moved the world in the past.

And in doing so, lower the standards for everyone else who follows. Thus, a band like the Alabama Shakes is considered as raw and authentic as The Replacements or Pixies ever were ... when they're just sort of OK and not in that league. Everything is hyped, nothing is criticized. We've reached a point where values and standards have grown almost meaningless, which is both liberating and frightening.

I haven't come to bury Cesar ... just here to point out his album is sort of OK. This would have upset me in 1983. Now? It's happened so many times that I live with it. And there's the rub.

Gene Oberto said...

Today, coming up from the T-bana in Stockholm (subway) on one of those ad signs that rotate was an ad for "New." It struck me that artists of this age still think that their fans (old and new)react to a blitz campaign and then go get the record. I hate to tell them that the old paradigm doesn't work no mo'.

Why Paul thinks that, in this day and age, listeners want to wait a couple of years between releases? By that time even a Beatle is forgotten about.

I agree that artists like Paul, Neil and Bruce continue doing what they do because they have to. We have no trouble with Tony Bennett singing on. B.B. King has to sit in a chair, but he still is a popular performer.

IMHO, Paul should not wait years to put out his thoughts. If he gets an idea for a song, or wants to try another genre or direction, why wait? Put it out the way he and the Lads did at the beginning, as a single. This way he stays in front of his fan base and accomplishes his desire to still be considered viable.

Gene Oberto said...

Oh, BTW, William, your comment, "The over-riding character trait of this generation has always been hubris: overbearing pride. Proud of itself. First to tell you what they’ve done."

We may be viewed by younger generations as asshole. Stop and think it through though, the reason your music is the way it is, the only reason is what my gen-gen-generation did to music, radio, culture and movies and TV.

You might still be listening to show tunes, Sing-along with Mitch and comedy albums.

Think about that before you pass judgement

William Repsher said...

Thanks for validating my point, Gene. Far from considering your generation "assholes" I do recognize the artistic greatness the 60s brought in terms of music: have loved it all my life.

But it's a small piece of the puzzle and far from "the reason your music is the way it is, the only reason is what my gen-gen-generation did to music, radio, culture and movies and TV."

"My" music? You'd have to clue me in on what that implies when that entails 4,000 CDs, probably about 1,000 albums before I switched over, and about 28,000 tracks in iTunes library spanning a few dozen genres, probably about a third of those tracks pre-dating the 60s in terms of folk, country, blues, jazz and classical.

That's what I am listening to in lieu of "show tunes, Sing-along with Mitch and comedy albums." If that's how you perceive centuries of musical greatness that came before the 60s ... man, I don't know what to tell you.

jeff k said...

WR -

Except that was at all what he was saying, and it seemed pretty clear to me. I think what he was saying was that the likes of conservative record company executives with narrow tastes dominated the market, so that radio stations and record stores featured a pretty bland blend of music. If you wanted to hear something alternative, such as R & B, you had to find a black-oriented radio station or store or somehow get your antenna to pick up one of the huge radio stations that were mostly in the south or Mexico. The 60s changed that, as been reported hundreds of times. But the thing is William, I've seen your posts before, and you know all of this, so I'm not sure why you are clinging to such a narrow take on Gene's post or such a jaundiced view of the decade and its culture and politics. I'm sure it had more than its share of hypocrites, but it's silly to deny its positive impact.

William Repsher said...

"If you wanted to hear something alternative, such as R & B, you had to find a black-oriented radio station or store or somehow get your antenna to pick up one of the huge radio stations that were mostly in the south or Mexico."

Point well taken, and sort of like things are now in that you need to know where to look for good music as things have grown so splintered.

But you're totally discounting the 50s, which in my mind were just as if not more revolutionary than the 60s in terms of the birth of rock and roll, just as much a before/after time period in terms of music and culture. About the only way you could get more "in your face" than Elvis on TV was then the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. It's not lost on me that generation-shaping musical moments like that no longer seem possible.

Is my view of the decade all that jaundiced? I simply noted one negative character trait of a generation that, for the most part, I have no qualms with. (And I noted that negative character trait because I firmly believe it's had a profoundly negative influence on every generation that has followed, including my own, in terms of how we view ourselves. It's like trying to tell an old friend he has bad breath. I know it's not going to go over well, but sometimes you just got to say it.

jeff k said...

first that was another typo on my part (need to start working with my glasses on) and should read "wasn't" in the first sentence instead of was.

I don't think I'm discounting the '50s, which certainly had its advances, but we're really talking about sam phillips here in terms of widespread impact and that lasted such a short time: Elvis went into the army after three years and was never the same; chuck decided to date kids and jerry lee married one, finishing all three for the decade in terms of acceptance on the radio. if we're just talking about the music here, the 60s had a much more positive impact because the politics of the decade forced the record companies to give musicians much more leeway and allowed them to stretch in ways that even elvis never dreamed of. A lot of that was also due to the development of FM and the fact that no one really gave shit about the kind of personal excesses that the record companies were so concerned about in the 1950s. Who cared what Mick and Keith did with Mars bars as long as they kept writing and playing great songs.

Regarding the other aspects of the decade that seem to bother you, we wouldn't be having this conversation right now without the revolutionary way that people also thought in the 60s. No group had ever stopped a way before; civil rights for African-Americans would never exist, not to mention for gays; nor great strides in equality for women. And don't forget the most important thing to come out of the 60s: The Mets. All that makes me feel good, and if people look back on that period with great pride, I think they deserve to do so. This country has never seen a decade like it and ever since then we've seen the powers that be do their best to make sure we never have one like it again.

Anonymous said...


I was behind you all the way, until you had to go and say:

"No group had ever stopped a way [sic - assume you meant war] before; civil rights for African-Americans would never exist . . ."

I'm afraid that's almost patronizingly offensive. It seems you've never heard about the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Rosa Parks, or the untold numbers of African-Americans, decades before and after, who put their lives on the line fighting for their civil rights in more dangerous ways than by singing a few songs!

"The over-riding character trait of this generation has always been hubris: overbearing pride. Proud of itself. First to tell you what they’ve done."

Unfortunately, you just went a long way towards proving William's point.


jeff k said...

sorry you took it that way, Marie. There is limited space here to go into all this stuff and I was trying to address some of William's comments in large part because I read a lot of what William says here and generally have great respect for him. He certainly know more about music than I do, but I think he's got the 60s wrong.

But I have spent a great deal of time studying that period and writing about it. One of my favorite books about civil rights is "Speak Now Against the Day," which is all about that 50s period (a narrative with profiles of many people as or more courageous than Parks-- read the chapter about Robert Williams) but the era never really got going until the kids sat in at the diner in North Carolina in 1960 (and yes, a product of 50s organizing) and the Freedom Riders and SNCC went out into the communities and got the shit kicked out of themselves on and off national TV so the country might give a damn about their cause.

I just don't know what's patronizingly offensive about giving credit where it's due.

Anonymous said...


I apologize for my unnecessarily snarky tone. It was just the "civil rights for African-Americans would never exist" part that pushed my button.

There's more I could add that would be in agreement with some of your points (plus I think William might just have a wee chip on his shoulder too), but I'd better stop because I feel a rant coming on directed against the apathy that is out there now, in part, engendered by (blah, blah, blah) . . .


Richard Hippey said...

Sir Paul, WE WANT YOU! WRITTEN BY YOU, PLAYED BY YOU, ENGINEERED BY YOU, PRODUCED BY YOU! Fuck this "NEW" generation of Producers, for they just don't get it! Most of them (Musicians) are not! Without "Protools" and the like, they would be (are) nothing! BE YOURSELF FOR US, SIR PAUL! We remember "McCartney" (spilt cheeries), and we want more! PLEASE!