You know, having recently acquire a pair of tickets so stardances and I could go see Paul McCartney on his latest tour of the US got me to thinking about how long, exactly, I have been influenced by the Beatles, as a Musician, as a person. When I was 6 or 7, my cousin (who at four years older was a complete Beatle freak, and owned EVERYTHING they ever produced, be it singles, EPs, lunch boxes, etc.) made two eight track tapes for me for Christmas of the Beatle albums Love Songs, Live at the Hollywood Bowl, Rock and Roll Music and most of the 45s. For a period of about five years, these were the only records I listened to, other than the occasional Elvis and Johnny Cash. I learned how to play guitar, bass, piano and organ from Beatles songbooks and records. Moreso than any other Musician, Paul McCartney influenced the bass player I am today. The funny thing is, up until about two days ago (perhaps when I bought the tickets), I typically would answer John when asked which was my “favorite” Beatle. You know, it always was Paul. It was always the melody that drew me in, that and the fact that I could actually sing like Paul – John was another matter altogether.
BTW, Paul McCartney was the FIRST person under the age of 30 EVER quoted in Life magazine. Of course, he said some inane things, like “if we gave all the world leaders LSD, this would be better planet” but THINK ABOUT IT. Before Paul McCartney, no one under 30 was considered to have an opinion worth circulating in mainstream print media. He also was one of the producers of the Monterey Pop Festival, co-introduced Indian religion to the west, has been a strong advocate of vegetarianism, and so on. He was also one of the first pop stars to get busted for drugs and have it enhance his reputation (LOL).
I know Paul has done some smarmy things (like suggesting to Michael Jackson that he go into the Music publishing business, and then letting himself get outbid for his own song collection – oh, why didn’t he and Yoko bid together on that one?), but consider this: without Paul, the Beatles probably never would have advanced beyond a teen audience, and would never have received as much mainstream airplay.
Yesterday is one of the most covered songs of all time, and was voted by VH1 viewers last year as the “greatest rock song of all time” (of course, they are VH1 viewers … their opinion should be considered in whatever light you view that sort of folk).
Some of the Paul songs that changed my life?
Let It Be
Got to Get You Into My Life
All Together Now
Maybe I’m Amazed
Why Don’t We Do It In the Road? …