Monday, January 25, 2010

Things I Just Don't Understand: Sir Paul's Post-Beatle Career

We just made it through the holiday season. And I’m happy to say I only heard “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime” piece of dung only twice. And by piece of dung, I mean a steaming heaping pile following a Mexican lunch from a street vendor and corn on the cob thrown in for good measure.

I think I’ve made myself clear.

I’ve often joked that Paul McCartney’s name should be stripped off all his Beatles songwriting credits for writing, singing, and in any way being associated with “Simply Having a Wonderful Brain Aneurism.” And this weekend, in the car, I heard “Silly Love Songs” written by Sir Paul and his band Wings.

Then it dawned on me. This is another “Thing I Don’t Understand:” Paul McCartney’s post-Beatle career. Let me sum up this "career" - we would rather hear the screams of his ex-wife while he slowly nibbled the rest of her leg off, all the way up to her torso. (Don’t roll your eyes; this is not the easy cripple joke you think it is. Okay, maybe it is.)

I think I’ve made myself clear.

“Silly Love Songs,” according to Wikipedia (so I KNOW it’s true**) was his reply to critics who said he wrote too many lightweight songs.

Let me repeat that. He was criticized for being soft. And THIS was his answer:

You'd think that people

Would have had enough

Of silly love songs

I look around me and I see it isn't so

Some people wanna fill the world

With silly love songs

And what's wrong with that?

I'd like to know

'cause here I go again

I love you, I love you

What’s wrong with that? You’re kidding right?

That’s like being the guy who waterboards a terrorist and, after his practices are called into question, he introduces a fire hose to the proceedings.

That’s like OJ introducing a line of knives so sharp they can cut barbed wire outside his prison

That’s like Michael Jackson….oh sorry, I’m told I must wait a full year after his death to make new molestation jokes.

Let me put it this way, Sir Paul: even James Taylor thinks you are a pussy.

If your edgiest/most interesting songs are “Band on the Run” and “Live and Let Die,” both of which have long stretches of estrogen that make even Ellen DeGeneres uncomfortable, then you’ve got to come back to us.

Paul, you wrote Hey Jude for the love of Pete! And Yesterday. And Blackbird. And Helter Skelter. Charles Freakin Manson, a serial killer, was influenced by Helter Skelter. Some credit the creation and growth of heavy metal to that song – and the best you got is “Silly Love Songs.”

Why did you stop using LSD and start burning incense?

I clearly don’t understand you, Sir Paul. And Craig Ferguson is right: you DO look like Angela Lansbury.

(** Denotes that my brother, the biggest Beatles scholar that exists (at least until his wife beat him in Beatles Trivial Pursuit this weekend) will surely set the record straight and at the same time manage to voice his opinion on Wikipedia. Have at it, Sean.)


TS Hendrik said...

What? How can you deny the genius that is 'We're So Sorry Uncle Albert?'

Anonymous said...

What a hateful, unfunny, unoriginal post.

If you don't get the humor, the big F.U., in Paul McCartney answering critics of his "silly love songs" by writing a No. 1 Silly Love Song, I feel sorry for you.

By the way, Ram is brilliant, Band on the Run is excellent 70s rock, and his two recent CDs, Chaos and Creation and Electric Arguments are both terrific.

Sorry but I just hate this kind of kneejerk, thoughtless criticism.

Anonymous said...

One more thing, if you don't believe me about Ram, consider this quick excerpt from a May 2009 LA Times article:

"Justin Gage would have cringed at the critical catcalls that greeted Paul McCartney's second solo album, "Ram," when it was released in 1971 -- that is if he'd been alive. Gage, 33, discovered the album through his Beatles-obsessed father's record collection and was puzzled at the notion that it was labeled as "irrelevant" and "lightweight" when it was originally issued.

"It's beautiful. I think it was his last great moment before going off to do the Wings thing," said Gage, who helms the popular L.A. blog Aquarium Drunkard and its spinoff label, Autumn Tones Records. "In the past year or so, I kept hearing it turn up on turntables at house parties... People were talking about it, and a lot of artists I knew seemed to be fans of it."

There is no way in hell that you can blithely dismiss all of McCartney's solo career. That just means you haven't really listened.

Sean and Jami said...

Dear anonymous,

Kudos for not having the balls to leave your real name. You know when someone doesn't feel that they are on solid ground is when they won't sign their name.

That annoyance aside: Ram is one album. Paul rained suckieness upon us ever since.

And, let me state, that I actually LOVE his Christmas song and "Live & Let Die."

But that does not make up for the piles of crap that he gave us since his amazing work as a Beatle.

So, go listen anonymously to "Band on the Run" or "Flaming Pie" while I sit here and praty that Ringo out-lives him.

TommyMac71 said...

Sean: It's not like us to disagree, but in "Live and Let Die" that part where they meekly sign "you know you did, you know you did, you know you did?" That part even makes Elton John squeamish....

Anonymous said...

I don't have balls but even if I did, I wouldn't be dumb enough to leave my name on the blog of someone I don't know.

I don't feel the need to defend all of McCartney's solo work. He's produced some crap. So did Lennon. So has Dylan. So has Sting. And what is the point of saying that Paul will never produce as good a music as his Beatles' work. Well, duh. Even if Dylan has gotten some strong reviews for his recent CDs, NOTHING Dylan has done recently has had the cultural resonance of his earliest work.

I think Band on the Run holds up really well. And McCartney has also produced some really good stuff in his post-Wings career. Run Devil Run is a great CD. The Chaos and Creation CD he did with Nigel Godrich has some gorgeous stuff on it. And I think Electric Arguments is not only a beautiful piece of work but interesting and different from his usual.

It's like some of you Paul haters have a checklist: 1. Make nasty remark about Silly Love Songs. Check. 2. Make nasty remark about Paul and Angela Lansbury check. 3. Make nasty remark about Heather Mills. Oops you missed that one.

Anonymous said...

Ha. I guess you did make the Heather Mills remark. Congratulations: Your Paul post is not officially a cliche.

TommyMac71 said...

Thank you for reading thoroughly....

Irene said...

I think it all went south when he stopped eating red meat and went vegan.....

Suzy said...

Dear Anonymous,

There's this new thing now that maybe you haven't heard of.

It's called an opinion and everyone's entitled to one. Except you because you don't have the balls to sign your name.

You're in a time-out.

Sean and Jami said...

Dear Anonymous,

The best word to describe Paul's post-Beatle career: douchey.

If you want to be a big old Paul fan, that's fine. But you have to understand that most people disagree with you and not because they are "not listening."

If they're not listening, it's because their ears are bleeding.

Tom - Sorry, but for all of Paul's doucheyness, he really stepped up for "Live and Let Die." If he only pretended that every song he was writing was for a James Bond theme.