Please, Paul . . . talk about this instead . . .
First thing’s first: I wouldn’t keep writing about this if the Beatles didn’t mean more to me than any other musical figures—maybe all of them combined. But . . . jeez.
Friend Gossamer (find him here) sent along this article, in which Paul McCartney claims he was the “political Beatle” all along—not, of course, John Lennon. Now: it was only a handful of weeks ago that I bemoaned McCartney’s continuing efforts to alter the course of perceived history. My point being, I find it sad and unworthy of a great artist to be spending his twilight years trying to reverse the verdict achieved by his martyred rival.
But I’m not here today to pile on about that. Something else struck me about this article. It’s not that Sir Paul wants to be known as the “political Beatle” . . . it’s that he still wants to be known primarily as a “Beatle.”
I understand that his historical legacy will rest almost entirely on his career as a Beatle, but . . . come on, Paul. You haven’t been an anything Beatle in almost 40 years.
It calls to mind the ex-military man who insists on being referred to as “Colonel” even as he putters around the golf course.
Or the ex-athlete who, 20 years later, can’t talk about anything that has occurred in his life since his playing career ended.
Sir Paul just released an experimental album under his “Fireman” alter ego. But this is the article making the rounds in the international media.
He’s still making music, still experimenting. Truth is, he never stopped. But you wouldn’t know it from his most public pronouncements. And by dropping the word “Beatles” into seemingly every interview, he’s assuring that his current work will always be overshadowed.
Look, I know it would be anyway. I just find it odd that the creator himself isn’t saying, “You know what, I don’t want to talk about what happened in the 60s. Haven’t we said everything we need to say? It was a great time, but I’m still making music that excites me, and I’m privileged that my previous career put me in a position to do that.”
I’m not going to end this with some corny sign-off one-liner like “Please, Sir Paul—let it be.”
Screw it. Maybe I am.