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Hey Dullblog article: Plea to Paul: Let it be when it comes to claiming credit
30 July 2013
1.45am
parlance
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New Hey Dullblog article in response to the new Rolling Stone interview with Paul. I won't quote the whole thing, but I thought this would be an interesting topic for discussion here.

Last Thursday Rolling Stone online published an interview with Paul McCartney about his current tour. It sounds like a stellar show—I’m sorry I haven’t been able to see it this year—but I groaned when I got to the part of the interview in which McCartney says, of adding “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” to the setlist, that he was “happy to kind of reclaim it as partially mine.” I just want to say to him: please don’t keep pouring kerosene on those embers. Please step back and let that frustration go, because you’re fueling the dynamic that seems to keep you feeling insecure.

Personally I don't agree, as I think Paul's always been in an unfortunate defensive position and I think he has every right to set the record straight. But I'm getting ready for a concert (Fab Four, to be exact) so I can't expand on that now.

Do read the rest. The blog and comments are always thoughtful, whether you agree or not.

parlance

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...ontherun

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

30 July 2013
2.27am
WhereArtEsteban
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I enjoyed the RS interview but cut out early on the Hey Bulldog article and only read a couple comments (which were good), seems like an off assertion to me: when he says that Paul is covering Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" to dig at fans who claim Lennon is the "sole-genius of The Beatles" or whatever the article said. He seems to be assuming A LOT. I think Paul really respected John, whom really respected Paul -(musically for the both). I believe him covering it is mostly because he wants to  appeal to that audience now again (he played it at Bonnaroo etc...), to show off his bass skillz which he's clearly still got and most of all to reverently resurrect one of John Lennon's crazier tunes where he didn't get to sing lead. 

it's not like John ever wanted to sing a song of Paul's (oh! wait- Imean "Oh! Darling")...

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30 July 2013
4.54am
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WhereArtEsteban said

it's not like John ever wanted to sing a song of Paul's (oh! wait- Imean "Oh! Darling")...

Right?  No offence to John, because I love his voice, it's very unique...  he would not have done "Oh! Darling" the justice that Paul did.  heart

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

30 July 2013
1.45pm
meanmistermustard
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I always thought Paul performing Mr Kite was a new, different kind of tribute to a very close and much missed friend in his concerts and nothing to do with claiming credit or dealing with the illusion of John being the Beatles. As for his claims regarding who wrote each song, personally I dont think it does himself any good as its not going to change those who think John was the genius in the band and the others were bystanders as they will either argue that John isn't alive to address Pauls claim or never mentioned Pauls participation when he was.

Wouldn't this also change the assertion that Baby's In Black was the last true Lennon and McCartney song written together eyeball to eyeball?

 

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
30 July 2013
2.55pm
DrBeatle
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Part of the reason Paul is always having to defend himself in terms of writing credits is because the media and the masses who swallow everything that's written as gospel have peddled the myth for DECADES that John wrote everything and Paul was a soppy wanker who was along for the ride. I'm not just saying this as a Paul fan, but I'll defend him 200% for doing this. Not only for the reason I stated above, but because John's memory was shit when recalling who did what, whereas Paul is nearly always correct (and corroborated by Ringo, George, George Martin, etc).

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

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30 July 2013
3.09pm
meanmistermustard
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The problem is those who do think Paul was a talentless hack who hung onto Johns Multi-coloured coat of amazingness and brilliance wont be changed in their stance so whilst I get why Paul does it it wont change anything in their heads. And to be balanced there are those who think that Paul was the greatest Beatle and the others wouldn't know what to do with a tambourine if Paul didn't tell them or what end of the mic to sing into. Both sides are beyond stupid and not worth the time trying to point out their fallacies. The John v The Others and Paul v The Others debates continually bore the living daylights out of me.

 

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
30 July 2013
3.10pm
parlance
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^^ And it was John himself who originally put him in that position.

I haven't read Philip Norman's Shout! but isn't that the book that relegated Paul's importance to booking studio time?

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

30 July 2013
3.37pm
DrBeatle
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parlance said
^^ And it was John himself who originally put him in that position.

I haven't read Philip Norman's Shout! but isn't that the book that relegated Paul's importance to booking studio time?

parlance

Yep...according to Norman, John was the genius, Paul was his doe-eyed lapdog, and George and Ringo were drooling mouthbreathers who were just lucky to be along for the ride. And this is the assclown who is writing Paul's bio (due out in 2015)...

 

And you're both right...MMM for saying that anyone who can't appreciate what ALL FOUR brought to the table are clueless...they all had strengths and weaknesses and the melding of them all together is what made the magic...truly the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

And parlance, you're right, John painted Paul (and himself) into that corner, most notably with his 1970 Rolling Stone interview, but also a ton of the stuff he said until he and Paul reconciled in '73/'74. The damage was done by that point, however.

 

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

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30 July 2013
3.42pm
parlance
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DrBeatle said

Yep...according to Norman, John was the genius, Paul was his doe-eyed lapdog,

Getting off-topic, but I've heard the quote was "cow-eyed." Brought to you by the man who also wrote "Paul's immovable heterosexuality." Frightening he's writing a bio on Paul.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

30 July 2013
3.48pm
vonbontee
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(sigh) Paul will never stop doing this sort of thing - either he truly doesn't realize the cumulative effect of all these petty reclamations, or he cares but can't help himself nonetheless. Or maybe there's a small part of him that feels that any attention from anybody who has any level of knowledge of or interest in all-things-Beatles is welcomed, good or bad. Either way, the results are obvious: People who hate Paul for doing this kind of passive-aggressive credit hoarding will hate him even more. And the really defensive Paulsbass-sorts will say "Paul's just taking what's his, he's never gotten enough credit compared to Saint John! And the fact that we have to DEFEND him is proof of that!" etc. etc. Continue feedback-loop until world ends.

My take: I just don't understand why Paul seemingly won't be satisfied until EVERYBODY knows EVERYTHING he did - particularly when it comes to SPLHCB. It's like Paul was content that the message had gotten through regarding another quintesstial John performance, "Lucy In the etc." - that Paul had a huge part in its realization (writing/arranging/performance) - and having successfully established his credentials there, decided the time was right to tackle "Mr. Kite" next. Never mind that Paul's musical contributions to the song were obvious - that bass line! - he still has to try to take credit for some of the words. Maybe because Paul knows that lyrics have always been his weak spot?

And that brings me to the really disengenuous part of the whole thing, where Paul says that "John wrote most of it, because it was his poster." Really?! Paul is demanding his share of the credit for taking lyrics from a poster? So if Paul had the poster in his house, where he could stare at it all day instead of only when he was visiting John, then HE would've "written" the bulk of the lyrics himself? Maybe this whole songwriting issue is beside the point and Paul is really simply jealous because Paul wanted the poster for himself but John found it first? Who knows, really? Either way, that's a very strange remark. "It was his poster".

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
30 July 2013
4.04pm
parlance
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vonbontee said
(sigh) Paul will never stop doing this sort of thing - either he truly doesn't realize the cumulative effect of all these petty reclamations, or he cares but can't help himself nonetheless. Or maybe there's a small part of him that feels that any attention from anybody who has any level of knowledge of or interest in all-things-Beatles is welcomed, good or bad. Either way, the results are obvious: People who hate Paul for doing this kind of passive-aggressive credit hoarding will hate him even more. And the really defensive Paulsbass-sorts will say "Paul's just taking what's his, he's never gotten enough credit compared to Saint John! And the fact that we have to DEFEND him is proof of that!" etc. etc. Continue feedback-loop until world ends. 

Honestly - and this is what I didn't have time to expand upon last night - I think it's good that Paul does this for the sake of his legacy. I think the McCartney-Lennon credit thing was misguided and possibly petty, but I do think he has every right to assert himself with regards to his contributions. He has a mountain of misinformation to fight, and in the long run, it'll do him more good than harm to correct the misconceptions. Maybe it's too late for most of those who took sides while John was still alive, but I think decades from now, these kinds of interviews will be important for preserving Paul's place in history for future generations. And to the casual, or more open-minded fan, they might even be enlightening now.

I was never one to dismiss Paul's contributions, but Many Years from Now was a real eye-opener to me, as was Ian MacDonald's Revolution in the Head (particularly when he updated it to include insights from MYFN). I disagree that the only people Paul's reaching when he says these things are the ones on the extreme - the Paul haters or defenders. As I've said many times, I don't have a favorite Beatle, so I fall in the middle of the extremes, and I just find interviews like these edifying. I think it's important to be as truthful as possible (or at least as truthful as memory will serve). And where others have put you in an unfortunate position to be on the defensive, it's equally important to be proactive about setting the record straight, as opposed to letting others determine and tell your story.

Specifically, with regarding to Mr. Kite, I interpreted the interview to mean that Paul was taking partial credit for the melody, not the lyrics.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

30 July 2013
4.27pm
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Paul coming out and saying I helped write this, that or the other isn't going to help change anything tho aside from add in an extra line into the song history (see wiki) that he helped write it because John isn't here to reply so who do you believe. You cant just discredit Johns account just because he got some things wrong and now say well Paul said he helped so give it to him, John was there when it was written and never mentioned Paul (and im fully aware that John said a huge pile of crap about the Beatles and got quite a bit wrong or misremembered). So you have a stand-off resulting in an extra line in a sentence. Whoopee! So is it really worth it? Well obviously to Paul it is and he has the right to do so.

That does sound unfair to Paul due to how Johns image and legacy has been carved into a kind of rocksolid lop-sided holyman by Yoko and others since the early 80's but that's the mammoth task he finds himself up against - his effort to alter the Lennon/McCartney songwriting credit on certain songs was incredible foolishness and harmed these such efforts as it made him look petty; as many other far less important people in the story have found you don't piss about with the legacy of the Beatles without some recrimination as it means so much to so many. 

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
30 July 2013
4.49pm
vonbontee
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See, I really don't think there's that much disinformation out there anymore. John had ten post-breakup years to spread whatever exaggerations, misremembrances or outright lies he chose to. Paul has had over 30 years (and counting!) since the man's death to endlessly and unrefutedly set the record straight - and to add new bits of info to the mix. And yeah, much of that info is about what he contributed. It doesn't matter if it's true or not - I think he's telling the truth, or at least the truth as he remembers it. And yet I still grow tired of the man blowing his own horn. I think the effect is like taking a step forward and two steps back. He's Sir Paul McCartney! The richest, most successful figure in pop music history! He still has enough adulation to mount hugely successful tours at the age of 70+ and says he has no plans for retirement. With so much at his disposal, does he really need to keep reclaiming every little bit of the past that he can? Why not just be personally proud of your contributions to what people think of as John's songs?

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
30 July 2013
5.06pm
parlance
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vonbontee said
See, I really don't think there's that much disinformation out there anymore.

Perhaps not to you because you're a hardcore fan who bothers to read the resources out there. To the majority, I think there's a lot of misinformation.

Let's take Mr. Kite as an example. I re-borrowed Revolution in the Head from the Library, so I just looked up the entry. Despite Ian MacDonald's meticulous research, there's no mention of Paul's contribution to the song. I also re-borrowed MYFN, and Paul's assertion in this 2013 interview is consistent with his assertion in the 1997 book - he said was very much co-written. Edit: I missed a footnote at the bottom in MacDonald's book that references MYFN. But it's only a footnote, which seems to imply MacDonald may not have believed the claim.

So, assuming that Paul is telling the truth, I could see where he'd be frustrated at yet another omission of his contributions to the songs - from a Beatle scholar, no less. And Paul was asked about the song, so he took the opportunity to talk about his contribution. I don't see the problem with that, other than in the context of his fight over the McCartney-Lennon credit, it may seem wearisome. I just see it as matter-of-factly.

Yes, he's had 30 years to set the record straight, but it's not like he's spent every single one of those days talking to the media about his role in the partnership. Most of those days, he's probably just endured reading or hearing the misconceptions and said nothing, waiting for an opportune moment. I think some of the detractors were making a bigger deal out of this statement than it warrants.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

30 July 2013
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parlance said

DrBeatle said
Yep...according to Norman, John was the genius, Paul was his doe-eyed lapdog,

Getting off-topic, but I've heard the quote was "cow-eyed." Brought to you by the man who also wrote "Paul's immovable heterosexuality." Frightening he's writing a bio on Paul.

parlance

More frightening that Paul has given his blessing!!

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30 July 2013
5.26pm
DrBeatle
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parlance said

vonbontee said
See, I really don't think there's that much disinformation out there anymore.

Perhaps not to you because you're a hardcore fan who bothers to read the resources out there. To the majority, I think there's a lot of misinformation.

Let's take Mr. Kite as an example. I re-borrowed Revolution in the Head from the Library, so I just looked up the entry. Despite Ian MacDonald's meticulous research, there's no mention of Paul's contribution to the song. I also re-borrowed MYFN, and Paul's assertion in this 2013 interview is consistent with his assertion in the 1997 book - he said was very much co-written. Edit: I missed a footnote at the bottom in MacDonald's book that references MYFN. But it's only a footnote, which seems to imply MacDonald may not have believed the claim.

So, assuming that Paul is telling the truth, I could see where he'd be frustrated at yet another omission of his contributions to the songs - from a Beatle scholar, no less. And Paul was asked about the song, so he took the opportunity to talk about his contribution. I don't see the problem with that, other than in the context of his fight over the McCartney-Lennon credit, it may seem wearisome. I just see it as matter-of-factly.

Yes, he's had 30 years to set the record straight, but it's not like he's spent every single one of those days talking to the media about his role in the partnership. Most of those days, he's probably just endured reading or hearing the misconceptions and said nothing, waiting for an opportune moment. I think some of the detractors were making a bigger deal out of this statement than it warrants.

parlance

Let's even take a basic exampe: the avant garde leanings of John and Paul in '66-'68. *WE* all know, as hardcore fans, and this is FACT, that Paul, being the only one living in London, was the first to experiment with tape loops, sound collages, and avant garde pieces. He was the driving force behind Carnival Of Light and many other sonic experiments both alone and with the band during that period. John (and Yoko) do Revolution 9, What's The New Mary Jane, and those atrocious albums in 1968-1970, and the historical record is pretty much set as "John was the avant garde/experimental one, Paul wrote soppy ballads."

 

Paul's faced not just with people thinking he wrote this and John wrote that, etc, but that HIS ENTIRE BEING and all of his talent was reduced to being a pinup who wrote sickly sweet ballads for teenage girls, while John was the "real" rock star and genius.

 

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30 July 2013
5.42pm
parlance
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DrBeatle said

More frightening that Paul has given his blessing!!

I don't think that's actually the case if you read between the lines of that interview Norman gave. I think Paul's just letting it happen, which isn't the same as blessing it.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

30 July 2013
5.42pm
parlance
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DrBeatle said

Paul's faced not just with people thinking he wrote this and John wrote that, etc, but that HIS ENTIRE BEING and all of his talent was reduced to being a pinup who wrote sickly sweet ballads for teenage girls, while John was the "real" rock star and genius.

I think that's it in a nutshell.

parlance

 

 

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

30 July 2013
5.52pm
DrBeatle
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parlance said

DrBeatle said
More frightening that Paul has given his blessing!!

I don't think that's actually the case if you read between the lines of that interview Norman gave. I think Paul's just letting it happen, which isn't the same as blessing it.

parlance

True, he's not authorizing it. But he's also given everyone he personally knows permission to speak to Norman. I'm cautiously optimistic because I did actually enjoy Norman's John bio and he toned down the John worshipping and Paul bashing in that.

 

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

Twitter: @blackbookblur

 

30 July 2013
6.28pm
Funny Paper
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As Joe documents in the "Songs" section, there's a major discrepancy between Paul's memory of "And I Love Her", on the one hand, and John's memory + the memory of Dick James -- apparently specifically concerning the crucial middle eight of that song (which George Martin rightly says saved the song from being too repetitious):

"A love like ours,

will never die,

as long as I,

have you near me..."

Paul's memory is that he wrote everything.  The memories of John and Dick James contradict that.  Thus, I have difficulty trusting Paul's memory on any other song.

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