McCartney, part 2, in which I relate a brief personal history

My response to the life and work of Paul McCartney is complex and contridictory. Where to begin?

Perhaps the thing to do is to find an orientation point. Where did I begin?

In the summer of 1973 my brother and I were in our bedroom in the suburbs of Chicago playing Battleship and listening to Top-40 radio on WLS. Just imagine what kind of songs might have been playing on Top-40 radio in the summer of 1973. I suggest you imagine them because I can’t remember a single one. “Benny and the Jets?” I’m out.

Anyway, in the midst of all this, a song came on. It was a weird, haunting lament with a keening vocal that sounded like nothing else on the radio. The opening was odd enough, but about two minutes into the song this weird thing happened. There was this sound, like a jet engine revving up, but still musical, a big rushing, orgasmic whoosh. It got more and more intense and my brother and I stopped playing Battleship and stared at the radio. What the hell was this sound coming out of it?

Just when it seemed that our little transistor radio could no longer contain the sound coming out of it, the big whooshing sound stopped and suddenly a different song was playing. This song was completely different from the song before the whooshing, sung by a different singer, with a different tempo to it. Then, just as soon as you got used to this new song, it suddenly got weird and colorful again, the orchestra coming back in with a big apocalyptic pronouncement. Then, just when you thought the song was going to freak out again, suddenly that first song was back again, now with a little faster tempo. I had no idea what the guy was singing about but I knew I wanted to know what would happen next.

After one more verse, that whooshing orchestra came back, whooshing and whooshing, surging and climaxing again, until the whole thing ended on a triumphal shout of trumpet. Then, silence, heart-stopping silence. Then, a massive, perfect, world-ending piano chord that went on for about six seconds before the radio announcer came in and started talking about whatever bullshit he had to talk about at that moment, while that monolithic piano chord slowly decayed in the background.

And my brother and I just sat there staring at the radio. I was twelve years old.

My brother and I listened to WLS for days afterward, waiting, hoping, wading through the Jacksons and the Osmonds and Jethro Tull and whoever else was popular at the time, waiting for them to play that weird, heart-stopping thing again. What the hell was it?

Then, finally, days or weeks later, it came on again. My brother heard it first and ran and got me and we sat there on his bed listening, transfixed, again, trying to take it all in, failing to do so.

This time, as the final piano chord decayed, the DJ came on and said, and I remember so clearly, “W…L…S. A Day in the Life. The Beatles!” then went on to describe some contest they were having that weekend.

“A Day in the Life.” The Beatles. At that moment I knew what I wanted for my birthday. I had no idea who the Beatles were, really, where they came from or what they stood for, but I knew that I had to own that recording.

And so, for my thirteenth birthday, my brother got me The Beatles 1967-1970. It was the first album I ever owned and I still have that copy. I unwrapped it, took it to the stereo, sought out “A Day in the Life,” and dropped the needle. And there it was again. Now I owned it. This weird, inexplicable slice of heart-stopping, life-giving psychedelia was now mine to keep, an experience that I could relive any time I pleased.

After listening to “A Day in the Life” a few more times, I decided to take a chance on hearing what else was on the record. I picked up the needle and started at the beginning. Here are the songs that came on, one right after the other: “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “With a Little Help From My Friends,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “A Day in the Life” and “All You Need is Love.”

Now then. I was not a hermit, I was a thirteen-year-old boy growing up in the Midwest, driving in cars and shopping in stores. Of course I had heard all those songs a million times on the radio. But get this: I had no idea they were all recorded by the same people. I wasn’t even sure at that point what music was, who created it or why it existed, it was just something that came out of the radio, I had no idea how it got there.  And yet here were all these great songs, each one of those recordings is its own 3-minute world of sounds and sensations and references. And that was just one side of a two-record set! It took me weeks to get through that album, listening to sides over and over again, trying to soak it all up, all the melody, all the weirdness, all the joy, all the deep messages, (well, deep for a 13-year-old Midwestern boy) all the invention and wit and innovation. It didn’t seem possible — four men in their twenties made all this music?

Like everyone who encounters the Beatles, I soon chose one as my favorite. And my favorite was immediately Paul. I knew that it was John who sang most of “A Day in the Life,” but the John parts of “A Day in the Life” weren’t what sold me on the song, it was that the song changed in the middle into a different song, this one sung by Paul, and the resulting drama, and the bookending orchestral flourishes, were what made the song such and experience.

(And you could say “Well, but it’s still John’s song, he could have had all those ideas,” and yet when we look at the work of both men in the ensuing years, who is the one who, time after time, found ways to take little bits of nonsense and fluff and weld them together in startling and dramatic ways, resulting in pop suites where the whole was immeasurably more than the sum of their parts?)

And I loved “I Am the Walrus” and “Revolution” and “Come Together,” but none of them could hold a candle to “Hey Jude.” Here was a song that somehow struck at one’s heart before the first piano chord had finished playing. How did McCartney do that? He sings “Hey” a cappella, and as the answering piano chord comes in under him singing “Jude,” you’re already hooked, you’ll listen to that song for seven minutes, three and a half of it repeated coda, and wish it went on longer. How did he do that? His songs were always these volcanic outpourings of generosity. Even a trifle like “Hello Goodbye” builds with an amazing sense of drama, then resolves, then tosses in a joyous coda. The sound of the piano on “Lady Madonna,” the fat sound of the brass on that recording, the propulsive beat, the speaking-directly-to-the-vain, misunderstood-13-year-old-boy “Fool on the Hill,” the hilarious “Back in the USSR,” a Chuck Berry/Beach Boys parody that managed to blow both of them out of the water, The Beatles 1967-1970 was a watershed in my life, a lodestar, a portal to a world I could live in and never tire of.

Over the next five years I slowly acquired all the Beatles albums (my family didn’t have much money at the time) and listened to nothing else. In 1978 my mother died after a long illness and I bought my first Rolling Stones album — I was ready to see what other music there might be out there.

In due time I became an authentic disenfranchised angry young man. I repudiated Paul and his uncanny sense of craft and polish and became a die-hard John fan. Still later, I would come to admire McCartney’s sense of craft and become skeptical of John’s reliance on shock and experimentation for its own sake. Now I don’t know what the hell to think. John was bound to lose this contest, since he’s been incapable of creating music for the past twenty-seven years, but that’s a subject for another day.

hit counter html code


39 Responses to “McCartney, part 2, in which I relate a brief personal history”
  1. craigjclark says:

    My first exposure to the Beatles was when I was 12. I was in concert band at school and one of the pieces we started rehearsing for the spring concert was a Beatles medley. I liked the music that we were performing, so I asked my parents about the songs they happily brought out their vinyl copies of Abbey Road, Let It Be and Love Songs. I was an instant convert. Then I discovered the “Breakfast with the Beatles” radio show that was on every Sunday morning and never looked back. (In fact, at that time both of the classic rock stations in town had competing Beatles shows. Oh, it was heaven.)

  2. teamwak says:


    A Day in the Life is my personal favourite Beatles tune. I am a half decent pianist and I have the song book for this very album. ADITL is a beautiful song to play on the piano, and Hey Jude is the ultimate drunk sing-a-long. Lady Madonna is my party piece. If I ever come across an unattended piano, it is always Lady M that I bang out at full speed and maximum tempo. 🙂

    From the intricate yet simple chords of Here Comes The Sun to the heartfelt Something to the rabble rousing All You Need Is Love, Beatles 1967 – 1970 is arguably the greatest compilation album ever.

  3. greyaenigma says:

    Cranberry Sauce

    I keep getting the sense from this retrospective that McCartney is dead (again).

    I actually had to go to Wikipedia to assuage this fear.

    On the upside this might inspire me to listen to the Beatles today.

    • Todd says:

      Re: Cranberry Sauce

      He’s not dead, but he is 64, which counts for something, at least in McCartneyland.

      • greyaenigma says:

        Re: Cranberry Sauce

        You can’t fool me. We had a whole session in Music class about his demise, his cloned replacement, and all the hints that proved it.

        Next thing you’ll tell me is that Columbus wasn’t the first to discover North America, Watergate wasn’t the worst presidential scandal ever, there is no Soviet Union, and Pluto isn’t really a planet.

        • Todd says:

          Re: Cranberry Sauce

          At the age of 15 I actually began a novel about a guy investigating the death of Paul McCartney. His analysis of clues on Beatles albums leads him into a strange netherworld of alternate universes. Or something.

          • greyaenigma says:

            Re: Cranberry Sauce

            Clues? Is that what they called that stuff in those days?

            Maybe it was an alterworld of netherverses.

            • Todd says:

              Re: Cranberry Sauce

              It’s worth noting that the clue-searching aspect of Beatles albums predates the “Paul is dead” event. People were searching for the meaning of the universe and the Beatles seemed to know something that no one else did.

              What’s more, the Beatles knew this, and were amused by it, even before Paul died, which is why John sings “Here’s another clue for you all, the walrus was Paul” in “Glass Onion.”

              • greyaenigma says:

                Re: Cranberry Sauce

                A specific instance of the human tendency to assume that popularity creates wisdom or just special gnostic awareness of the world. This is the only reason I can think of why people feel compelled to quote famous people and songs even when what they say isn’t particularly insightful or poetic.

                I do have trouble with the chronology of the Beatles, which isn’t helped by the fact that I’ve been listening to them on shuffle all day.

                • Todd says:

                  Re: Cranberry Sauce

                  Well, but you have to remember that the Beatles weren’t merely popular — they were HUGELY popular, and the weirdest thing on the planet, at the same time. They were complex, sophisticated artists working in a populist arena and created a phenomenon that I doubt will be repeated in our lifetimes, one that becomes more and more mysterious and peculiar in reflection as time goes on. And the idea that the Beatles and Bob Dylan were both at their peaks at the same time seems like more genius than one decade could likely handle.

                  • greyaenigma says:

                    Re: Cranberry Sauce

                    Right, I actually meant to mention that their greater than Jesus status probably accentuated the fascination — a sort of fame critical mass. And their absurd humor made them so inscrutable, no one could quite figure out what the wisdom was. And, as we know, if you can’t figure out what someone is saying, you can make them say whatever you want. Hey presto, they’re confirming everyone’s dreams (or worst fears)! Nice trick for ersatz spiritual leaders.

                    If Urbaniak and Emery ever get their old band back together, we might see something close to the perfect storm. of talent. Coulton can be the latter day Dylan. No one wants politics in their songs these days anyway.

                  • dougo says:

                    Re: Cranberry Sauce

                    I’m pretty sure there were a lot of weirder things in 1966-67: Velvet Underground, Mothers of Invention, The Monks, Thirteenth Floor Elevators, Pretty Things, The Misunderstood, all that stuff on the Nuggets, Rubble, etc comps. But certainly if you multiply weirdness times popularity, The Beatles were off the charts.

      • vertamae says:

        Re: Cranberry Sauce

        Actually, he just turned 65, yesterday in fact. 🙂

  4. kusoyaro says:

    And there’s also the oft-ignored fact of what a genius bass player Paul was (oft-ignored by himself, in fact, if you believe John’s Playboy interview). Bass is pop/rock is usually accompaniment, just repeating whatever key the melody requires. Listen to a Beatles bassline, and you hear the Paul is telling his own story, giving the song a shape it wouldn’t have with a traditional bassline.

    • Todd says:

      That’s because Paul thought of himself as a guitarist. He took bass because somebody had to when Stu Sutcliffe quit the band. McCartney is simply a gifted musician, adept at just about every instrument. And cannot read music.

  5. j0yr1de says:

    I was twelve in 1965. Had tickets to see the Beatles in 1966, but I gave them away (my mother persuaded me they’d be back). I saw Ravi Shankar in concert, and lost my virginity to a girl named Linda, in 1967.
    The Beatles are inextricable from my carefree youth, and I imagined, I assumed, as the Age of Aquarius dawned, that they would lead us out of darkness and into the light. I still think they could have, if they wanted to, cast out the Blue Meanies and restored Pepperland.
    I suspect McCartney made some kind of bargain with the Devil; I cannot share your respect and admiration for the man. John and George are dead. The Blue Meanies won.

    • Todd says:

      McCartney upset me for the reasons you cite for a long time. Then I grew up and had to make my way in the world, and found that no one would give me money just for being brilliantly clever — I also had to know how to build something, in my case stories. As the years went on, I came to admire McCartney’s professionalism more and more, even while I couldn’t listen to any of his music and was incensed every time he did something mean, stupid or insensitive in the media.

      It may also be worth noting that Yellow Submarine, the repository of your idealistic metaphor, was created without the Beatles participation as a result of a contractual obligation. McCartney’s most time-consuming connection to the project was the 90 minutes he spent watching it at the premiere. The fact that the movie was actually enjoyable took everyone by surprise, especially the Beatles, who wanted nothing to do with it.

      • j0yr1de says:

        And the world is grateful to you for growing up and getting a job, Mr. Alcott.
        I’m just saying that the Beatles had millions of adoring fans who would have done anything for them, had they asked–but they let the opportunity pass.
        They COULD HAVE BEEN more popular than Jesus . . .

        • Todd says:

          the Beatles had millions of adoring fans who would have done anything for them, had they asked

          I’m not sure I get your meaning. Had they asked what? To start the revolution? Why was that their job? Lennon quite specifically stated the opposite (although he was always conflicted about his stance as a radical). Dylan similarly. Everyone was always telling these musicians to lead them — why weren’t they leading themselves? Why is it the Beatles fault that the sixties generation didn’t achieve a world-changing revolution?

          • j0yr1de says:

            After the Russian Revolution the United States was on high alert for seditious activity here at home, American citizens were investigated, harassed, incarcerated, and assassinated, books were banned, artists and writers were blacklisted for talking smack about Capitalism. World War Two was a clash of charismatic leaders, people lined up behind Hitler, Stalin, Churchill, Mussolini, Truman, etc because without leadership there was a pervasive feeling of powerlessness, like cattle in a stockyard. Even Eisenhower observed the threat to our liberty the military-industrial complex represented, and by the ‘Sixties few people were surprised when Martin Luther King was silenced–not for his civil rights activities but because he started talking about class warfare.
            Hundreds of thousands of people marching in the streets in protest against the Vietnam war in cities across the country had zero impact on US policy, except for the increased funding that went to “Un-American Activities” thugs, Pinkerton Men, FBI, CIA, NSA, etc etc, and four students shot to death by police at Kent State University was, apparently, enough to send all the middle-class white kids home. Home to their Beatles records. To incense and peppermints.
            Elvis Presley went to Washington and told Nixon to watch out for them Beatles; I’m sure someone had a talk with the four moptops, telling them what would happen to them if they said or did anything even remotely seditious. But just “Imagine” . . .

            I’m not defending my generation, making excuses for our failures. Dude I know it’s weak to pin blame on a pop group. But if there ever was a window of opportunity to derail this runaway train, it was when millions of young people hung on every word the Beatles said.

            What does it matter to ya
            When ya got a job to do
            Ya gotta do it well
            Ya gotta give the other fella HELLL!!!

            • worker11811 says:

              Joyride is right. The Beatles had a responsibility to do something with their celebrity and they jerked off and took drugs instead. Celebrity is a currency and the Beatles refused to spend theirs. Lennon tried to stop the Vietnam war in 1969 with his honeymoon bed-in, but it was too little too late and his message was weak and confusing. Where was McCartney’s vaunted “professionalism” when Lennon needed it to craft his anti-war message?

              On the other hand, if the revolution had succeeded, McCartney probably would have been shot as a collaborator and we never would have heard “Ebony and Ivory.”

  6. mcbrennan says:

    Being just a tiny bit younger than you (and it’s an irrelevant amount in all other contexts), my first musical awareness of any Beatle was Paul (and Ringo, of course–“Photograph” and “You’re 16” were huge in ’73/74)–but Paul, definitely, because I was a child of radio. At 4-5 I couldn’t distinguish Paul’s solo hits from his Beatles hits (I was probably 16 before I realized that “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” wasn’t a Beatles song) but it was his Wings material that kind of led me to the Beatles. I definitely had no ideal all those songs were recorded by the same people, either.

    I also inherited a box of records from my mom, which included the 45 of “Please Please Me” (still my favorite Beatles “rock” song) and the “Rubber Soul” album.

    Two things happened when I turned 13. One, I discovered the bozo I thought was my father was not, and I met my “real” father, who was a rock musician and a Beatles lover. And two, his sister/my aunt was about to get married…to one of the country’s biggest Beatles authotities/collectors. Suddenly I had access to all this music and mythology I’d never really heard before, not properly, and it changed my life in every way. The Beatles influenced my music, my writing, my acting, my artwork, my choices as a person. In fact, I daresay they were the reason it even occurred to me that a person could do more than one thing. Their irreverence was a tool that enabled me to survive situations I would have never made it through otherwise, and yet it’s their reverence–the transcendent, holy thing I hear in “A Day In The Life” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be” and so many others–is the thing I try to cultivate now, to blend with my natural smartassery.

    In my teens and twenties I would have told you that John was my favorite Beatle. But really, I have no favorite. I love them all. Paul was everything you say, a genius, an innovator, a canny craftsman who could coax magic out of any two snippets of throwaway-song. I love so much of his work, which probably makes me that much more contemptuous of the parts of his catalog that I see as lazy or uninspired or even cynically bland. That’s probably shortsighted and uncharitable. John’s work is still hugely important to me, and George will always remind me of my father. And Ringo’s pop hits are among my first memories. But I think you’re right–I think Paul’s relentless ambition and competitiveness (and the response it provoked in John and in George Martin, etc) is the engine that drove the Beatles.

    • Todd says:

      But really, I have no favorite. I love them all.

      The Beatles do have a strange alchemy between the four of them unshared by any other band in history. Each one brings something to the group and it’s unthinkable to imagine the group without one of them. When I was 13 I would say that each Beatle represented an element: John fire, Paul air, George water and Ringo earth, and that the four of them formed a complete universe. Now that I’m (a little more) grown up, I simply can’t explain it. The Rolling Stones flourished after Brian Jones died, Pink Floyd flourished after Syd Barrett died, R.E.M. — well, maybe there’s a good point of comparison, because they really haven’t been the same for the past 10 years.

      • greyaenigma says:

        Pink Floyd flourished when Syd went to live with his mother — have they done much since he died?

      • mcbrennan says:

        Yeah. You know, when Bill Berry left REM Michael Stipe said something (responding to critics) like “well, a three legged dog is still a dog”. That always struck me as really wrong, a real misunderstanding of what makes a band. And I’m sure he knew that when he said it. Sad to say REM without Berry feels more like the various two and three-person versions of the Monkees that started trotting around in the early 70s (and continuing to this day)–the Monkees’ one return to their original lineup in 1996, with a new album and TV special, was as brilliant as the three-man lounge-act version was pathetic. REM desperately needs Berry in the creative process. But I digress, again.

        Yeah, see, when I was very young and melody-obsessed it was all about Paul. Then when I became a sullen teen obsessed with wordplay it became all about John. But these days–I can’t pick a favorite, because I can’t imagine it working without all their contributions. John said something to the effect of, if you miss the Beatles then just make a tape with one song from his solo work, one from Paul’s, one from George, etc…and again, so wrong. They needed each others’ creative dynamic/competition/collaboration/editing (and the sort of rock music “arms race” of the 60s, where the Beatles, Stones, Beach Boys, etc, were all intentionally trying to outdo each other). It was a great time to love music.

      • greyaenigma says:

        It occurred to me that the Beatles were sort of the ur-boy band. Well, the ur-(boy band), really. They may not have been elements, but they were essential balancing archetypes — the cute one, the smart one, the goofy one… and George. Hmm. Maybe George is the key to the whole thing.

      • dougo says:

        Led Zeppelin did the right thing by quitting after Bonham died. The Who is an edge case– there’s some good stuff post-Moon, but nowhere near their previous heights. Fleetwood Mac, not my favorites, but that 5-piece line-up had some crazy chemistry that worked amazingly well. U2, on the other hand, has kept the same foursome for nearly 30 years, but I still feel like the rhythm section is pretty replaceable.

  7. dougo says:

    When you were describing “A Day in the Life” I thought you were going to say it was “Band on the Run”. Dancing about architecture and all that.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’ll tell you 1 seminal tune came out Summer 1973: Let’s Get It On, Marvin Gaye. Oh, and Money, Pink Floyd. There are several hits that haven’t left the collective consciousness just yet. Space oddity, David Bowie, Papa was a Rolling Stone, Temptations. I could go on. I really don’t understand the Beatle attraction. It’s sorta like religion, I suppose. Either you get it or you just don’t.
    Blow Chuck Berry out of the water? Do you just mean his version of “Back In The USA”?
    I know you’re not joking but… COME ON!
    It is well documented that McCartney “adapted” lines from Berry tunes (like You Can’t Catch Me for Come Together).
    Berry is 1 of the greatest, most imitated guitarists ever.
    McCartney is a talented performer; the Beatles served a certain purpose (an nonviolent, simple transition corporate radio & record distributors et al allowed between ideological/generational paradigms) for a potentially explosive generation.

    • Todd says:

      It is well documented that McCartney “adapted” lines from Berry tunes (like You Can’t Catch Me for Come Together).

      Actually, it is well-documented that Lennon stole the lines from “You Can’t Catch Me,” and he paid dearly for it, in spite of the fact that he was following a tradition that dated back to before he was born. Lennon’s Rock & Roll album in 1975 was recorded solely as an settlement in a suit brought by Morris Levy, who owned the Berry tune and sued Lennon for appropriating the lines (of course, Chuck Berry didn’t own his own songs, and as far as I know had no comment on the matter).

  9. vertamae says:

    Parallel Lives, without the Battleship

    The first album I ever owned was The Beatles 1962-1966, also in 1973. Wow. I guess I got into the older stuff at that time, not sure why, but I liked singing along with the lyric album sleeves in hand. I also listened to a lot of soul music on the radio. Silly little white girl.

    Earlier by a few years, I was totally crazy about “Magical Mystery Tour”, and knew all the nonsensical lyrics by heart.

    I didn’t hear of “A Day in the Life” until I read Go Ask Alice. And then I had to know what it was, of course. But I never bought that compilation with the blue cover that you have. Part of me resisted The Beatles growing up, and apart. They had split by this time anyway.

    I got into McCartney’s first solo album instead, and wore it out. And in the mid ’70s, the Venus and Mars thing. Weird.

    But what you write about “A Day in the Life” being different songs in one, that’s McCartney’s trademark, isn’t it? More than verse, chorus, verse, it’s verse, changeup, verse, chorus, verse, changeup, or some variation thereof. Very unique and not quite imitated since.

    I’m also wondering how it is you didn’t know who The Beatles were before you were 13. We had “Yesterday” on a 45 back when I was about five years old. I knew it by heart even then, such a very simple song.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Beatles and particularly McCartney are interesting as to how the fandom was acknowledged over time. It was a dialog with their fans, certainly later, between Beatles as packaging and as “not-packaging”. They were the first TV cartoon that ran parallel to the actual musical group; they bridged – openly – fandom by making the special yearly records, and doing what: panto/vaudeville entertainment and the like. And when they went solo, the looked for something to recognize themselves within, more like “community”.

    This whole “packaging-identity” is complex because it was culture unfolding along with media as a new force in new as yet unproven ways. They were from the postwar England 60s, if vaudeville and skiffle was just nearby in one direction, in the other was feedback distortion and new modes of self-consciousness and so on.

    And as it’s quite a hell of a mix as a dynamic, the “group” rather than the solo artist was necessary, the band-identity was an important factor versus the “lead singer and backing musicians” as well as just looking for Lennon songs, McCartney songs, etc… Just the fact Ringo became a star because of atitude, not drumming per say, but atitude, THAT…happening to a DRUMMER of a band.. is not the norm. Things were different.

    So for example, I appreciated the scene from the Lester version of the Beatles in “Help” as they appear to enter four seperate doors, each to their own townhouse, but live together in one fantasy loft really. It spoke volumes as to a kind of safe projection that was mediated in terms of “The Lads”. Later on, “Magical Mystery Tour” was a failure on several levels – the package wasn’t followed rigorously enough, nor denied, just…lazy. But nearby in time, “Yellow Submarine”, which was all about returning to Beatles-as-Cartoon package ethos, and adding some pepper to it, worked along certain lines, to a degree. (McCartney by the way was not thrilled by the cliche about him as a vain peacock – the package had been simplified, a mistake silly marketing agents make.)

    I always felt that when I got to the Beatles you describe listening to in “A day in the life” that this was precisely one of those songs that initiated for us fans, an overt compositional unpacking of that package, opening up for inspection what we had grown with, the familiar parts within but making it uncanny. The “Paul is Dead” phenomena fits perfectly to that mood of the time.

    McCartney interests me as a solo artist as well, because he more or less understood the value of the moment this “packaging-identity” converted or transformed into something like a social contract which so many of us have with the legacy today. Of course, all the Beatles did understand that, and the solo work deals with how divided they were over how to deal with it.


  11. If you want to make the hairs stand up on the back, listen to George Martin playing and talking about A Day in the Life, the very first take when John in playing it to the others, and how he hits it first time – one of the really great moments – on The Beatles Anthology DVD.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The lunging dog also evokes the lunging dog in Raising Arizona. One is stopped by a bullet, the other by a chain.