August 16, 2009

"Would you look at him? Sittin' there with his hooter scrapin' away at that book!"

Schoolboy Paul, with his head in a book... a comic book.

Closeup of a school photograph, from 1952, to be auctioned, along with other Beatles memorabilia.

Would you look at him? Sittin' there with his hooter scrapin' away at that book!

Well, what's the matter with that?

Have you no natural resources of your own? Have they even robbed you of that?

You can learn from books!

You can, can you? Pahh! Sheeps' heads! You could learn more by gettin' out there and living!

Out where?

Any old where! But not our little Richard. Oh, no. When you're not thumpin' them pagan skins you're tormenting your eyes with that rubbish.

Books are good.

*Parading's* better.


Parading the streets! Trailing your coat! Bowling along! LIVING!

Well, I am living.

You? Living? When was the last time you gave a girl a pink-edged daisy? When did you last embarrass a sheila with your cool, appraising stare?

You're a bit old for that sort of chat, aren't you?

Well at least I've got a backlog of memories! All you've got is - THAT BOOK!


Ron said...

How did you find Whole Foods? Turn left at Madison...

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Though we started out quite poor we got richie on a tour.

Bissage said...

I too, same as Sir Paul, exercised an ostentatious nonconformity at a tender age, and that has made all the difference.

T.K. Tortch said...

Buddy of mine & his wife just went to see this particular ex-Beatle in concert last night in Atlanta, and the took their 2&1/2 year old son along as well.

Kazi said...

GRANDFATHER: Lookit, I thought I was supposed to be getting a change of scenery and so far I've seen a train and a room, a car and a room and a room and a room. Well, that's maybe all right for a bunch of powdered gee-gaws like you lot but I'm feeling decidedly strait-jacketed. This is no life for a free-booting agent of my stamp. I'm a frustrated man and that class of McCartney is a dangerous McCartney.

GIRL: What a clean old man....

JOHN: You see. You know your trouble -- you should have gone West to America. You'd have wound up a Senior Citizen of Boston. As it is you took the wrong turning and what happened, you're a lonely old man from Liverpool.

Wince said...

If you noticed a lapse in my comments lately it was because I had the enormous pleasure of one again working with Paul McCartney and his people for a week. There are few celebrities that still leave me star struck; he's still one of them.

First thing I thought when he stepped out of his vehicle: "he looks great." At 67, later he went on to play 33 songs in two 2.5 hour concerts in as many nights (unprecedented for artists of any age these days). He never left the stage, even when the rest of the band did during solos, except for two short encore breaks. Some observed that they never saw him even take a drink of water even during sweltering the first night.

This was after he worked through his extensive catalogue for at least one hour during sound check well before each show. Comic books aside, this is a guy driven by his passion. It’s simply obvious that he is a true showman, absolutely full of song, who really loves what he does.

Chris Wallace of FOXNews captured the charisma of the man in this excellent blog entry here about his sound checks in DC.

So, we ended up in an almost empty stadium while Paul and his very tight band played. It was fascinating to watch Paul at work. He was thoroughly professional—playing at least one song with the band in every different configuration—Paul on various guitars, a mandolin, and piano. His keyboardist playing various instruments—and the same with his 2 sideman guitarists.
It was a typically hot, humid DC afternoon. But Paul approached each song as if he were playing for thousands, not 20. After he finished, we would applaud. At one point, a father and his young daughter started dancing. And everytime, Paul would thank us and seemed genuinely delighted by our response.

The other thing that struck me was how serene he was. Whenever there was a technical glitch, he would stand quietly—make a gentle comment—and wait for it to be fixed. The other thing that just shined through was how musical he is. In between every song—he would whistle—or tap his guitar—or just make sounds—as if the music, the beat were just pouring out. If you ever questioned why this multi-millionaire icon is still touring at age 67—the answer was right in front of you. He loves to sing and play music.

On the gossip front—at one point his girlfriend—Nancy Shevell—walked onto the wing of the stage. And he stopped the sound check to give her a long kiss. Up close, she is an exotic-looking beauty.

...And his voice is still warm and rich. But it was the Beatles songs that made my day. He sang Ringo’s “Honey, Don’t”—and George’s “Something.” And my favorite single moment was when he launched into “All My Loving”—setting his feet wide apart and rocking—just like back in the 60’s—while scenes from the movie “A Hard Day’s Night” played on the screen behind him.
For a few minutes—Paul was young again. And so were the rest of us.

Just about everyone talked about it being one of the best shows they’ve ever seen. Admittedly a Beatles fans since childhood, I’ve been at hundreds if not over a thousand shows, and I was so impressed by McCartney this time around. He just blew expectations away.

Wince said...

"Fan Boy" Continues....

I even got some face time to exchange pleasantries with McCartney when he unexpectedly turned to tie his shoe on these steps as he left the stage following his sound check. A living legend has to tie his own shoes – who would have thought!

Behind that brick wall (on the right) under the centerfield bleachers is a bar that has an window that people can watch games at Fenway through. During sound check, the fence was covered with scrim, but they didn’t lower the glass so the people in the bar could hear the sound check perfectly in close proximity to the back of the stage. The people in the bar went nuts cheering after each song, even though they couldn’t see. As Paul left the stage following sound check he’d pull the curtain back and pop his head in to say “hi” and “thanks.” Needless to say, the people in the bar freaked out seeing McCartney’s head pop-in out of nowhere.

Earlier I thought of inviting Althouse to visit for a show, knowing her feelings toward Sir Paul, but as it turned out she had plans to get married then anyway.

Here a set of some well done bootleg clips from the shows. In particular, I like Paul’s reaction to his guitar not working here, his reaction to the smoke after the fireworks here (notice the rest of the band is upfront near the flames, for insurance purposes I'm sure), and the audience interaction here.

Wince said...

I even enjoyed the all vegetatian production catering!