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Paul "rewrites history?"
16 November 2012
3.07am
Holsety
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As usual before I have an idea to post something, I was watching something; specifically a George Harrison interview in which some Beatles author made brief interruptions in the video. He claimed George was the only one you could ask about the Beatles, because Ringo "didn't know" and Paul "rewrites history." While he probably did a lot of research to be able to write a book about them, I'm not sure what this guy means. I'm trying to think of something Paul has said that was blatantly untrue, and I fail to remember anything. That just means I need to think harder, though. As for what he said about Ringo, he probably meant he wrote the least and had the most to do with playing the drums.

As it is common to see controversy in YouTube comments, I noticed someone had a well-thought out comment; these aren't common, so let's cherish them well!

"Hearing him say that makes me sick. It's called a point of view  Paul, John, George, and Ringo all had a different pair of eyes to view the same situation. If 20 people witness a fight, I assure you, not all 20 will have the exact same story. Paul doesn't re-write history  he tells it how he saw it. Who's to say John or George wasn't wrong?"

Well put, I suppose. What do you think?

Please don't wake me, no don't shake me, leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping~.
16 November 2012
6.21am
bikelock28
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I think that Paul has a tendancy to tell us what we want to hear (or at least what he thinks we want to hear), which is perhaps a slightly cleaner and happier version of how G ,J and R would reccount the same event- but that's his viewpoint isn't it? I reckon he tends to emphasise the sunny side of things and perhaps twist the odd event, but he doesn't make up lies.

I think one has to trust Paul's word, because...well, he's Paul. He was actually a Beatle. If he doesn't know about the Beatles, who does?a-hard-days-night-paul-5

"I don't think we were actually swimming, as it were, with shirts on, 'cos we always wear overcoats when we're swimming,"-

George Harrison, Australia, June 1964

16 November 2012
6.41am
kedame
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The history has always been rewritten, by all of them. What this person is probably referring to is Paul's tendency to try to set things straight on his contribution to songs and ideas after the John-was-the-only-genius-in-the-band period in the 80s. People who already don't like him might see this as him "rewriting history," when really, I think he just wants to preserve his own legacy as an important member of the band. I don't fault him for it, but I can see why it makes Lennon fans mad.

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
16 November 2012
5.45pm
RunForYourLife
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For the record, I like Paul, and I think he gets an unfair amount of hate.

 

That being said, I have trouble trusting him. As others have said, I feel like he tells people what they want to hear, and buys into the Beatles-myth a bit too much (certainly more than the other 3). Even when he discusses the nastier bits of the band, it feels like it's been sanitized a bit. He was after-all, the "diplomat" and "friendly face" of the band, and he is a showman.

 

That's not to say I don't trust him at all, I just take what he says with a pinch of salt... 

paul-mccartney

16 November 2012
6.40pm
BluemeanAl
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So can we predicate this conversation this way?

Everybody "rewrites" history.

Let's face it, human memory is far from infallible.  And no one really has an "objective" perspective on the events they've participated in, witnessed, heard of, or even made up.  The lens through which I see events is different from yours -- maybe a subtle difference, maybe a much larger difference, but different.

Our interpetation of events becomes our truth, and that truth undergoes transformation as time passes.  I'm quite sure that as my memory fades my "recollections" become informed more by the stories I've told and heard about past events than actual, objective recollection of those events -- and thus the stories gradually become my new truth.

So is Paul deliberately attempting to "improve his past?" 

I've recently bumped into a high school friend whom I haven't seen since 1971.  What he remembers about our shared history is in many ways very different from what I remember -- it's been pretty funny looking at which bits stuck in his memory as opposed to the different bits that have stuck in mine.  He doesn't recall, for example, stealing a particular girlfriend from me when we were in the 9th grade (and I believe him).  But I remember it like it was yesterday... a-hard-days-night-ringo-13

It's gotta be rock and roll music if you wanna dance with me
16 November 2012
6.43pm
fabfouremily
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I think the reason why he tries to make thing more ''happy'' sounding is because he´s tired of going over the same things every he does an interview or whatever. Imagine if you were asked the same question all the time, it would be such a drag to say well, look it was a horrible time for all of us and we practically hated eachother and so on..., so he makes it sound a bit better, what ''we weant to hear'', as said above. I don´t know whether that´s twisting the truth as such or just stopping himself from getting really depressed about it all.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

16 November 2012
8.37pm
thewordislove94
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A great example of what people would call "Paul rewriting history" is the dispute over how much Paul contributed to In My Life. John stated that he wrote all of the lyrics, and Paul did the harmony and middle eight. Paul claims that he helped with the lyrics at John's house. No one knows which is the truth, but I could understand how people could hate Paul for this. In their minds, they are saying,"How could he take more credit than he deserves on a song that just oozes with John Lennon's heart and soul?" If you don't like what Paul says, then pay no attention to it. 

"The world is a very serious and, at times, very sad place - but at other times it is all such a joke."-George Harrison
16 November 2012
9.16pm
kedame
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thewordislove94 said
A great example of what people would call "Paul rewriting history" is the dispute over how much Paul contributed to In My Life. John stated that he wrote all of the lyrics, and Paul did the harmony and middle eight. Paul claims that he helped with the lyrics at John's house. No one knows which is the truth, but I could understand how people could hate Paul for this. In their minds, they are saying,"How could he take more credit than he deserves on a song that just oozes with John Lennon's heart and soul?" If you don't like what Paul says, then pay no attention to it. 

John also said he wrote 80% of the lyrics to Eleanor Rigby. Hahahahahahahaha!

And I think the thing with In My Life doesn't have to do with the lyrics, but with the melody. Paul says the melody is his. Honestly, there are more recorded incidences of John outright lying about stuff than Paul, but it's Paul who gets the short end of the stick, as always.

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
16 November 2012
10.23pm
Holsety
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The fact that he directed the claim at Paul was what bothered me. I'm sure they have all had a claim about something that happened during the Beatles in which they were mistaken about. While they were listening to Golden Slumbers in Anthology, none of them could figure out who was playing bass, but they did come to the conclusion of John or George. I can't blame them for being forgetful though, because most people who do know that found out without being there. 

Please don't wake me, no don't shake me, leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping~.
16 November 2012
10.31pm
meanmistermustard
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Wouldnt Let It Be Naked be an effort of trying to rewrite history? Maybe more so if the original Let It Be had been deleted at the same time but certainly it was an effort of Pauls to create a new album from those sessions especially with all the hype about being as it was meant to be. Maybe im just always annoyed by that album, got to let it go.

 

Ever since the split Paul and John have been trying to grab credit. I have this idea that Paul only really began after John died and began to be portrayed as the Great One as Paul stood on the sidelines looking on with awe and bathing in Johns glow. That understandably pissed off Paul who ever since has been trying to reclaim ground. I'm willing to be wrong.

His bid to reverse the Lennon/McCartney composer credit on his songs was naive tho as its inbuilt in people's minds and history; it came across as a petty move and left a nasty taste in some peoples mouths.

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)
17 November 2012
3.44am
kedame
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meanmistermustard said
Wouldnt Let It Be Naked be an effort of trying to rewrite history? Maybe more so if the original Let It Be had been deleted at the same time but certainly it was an effort of Pauls to create a new album from those sessions especially with all the hype about being as it was meant to be. Maybe im just always annoyed by that album, got to let it go.

 

Ever since the split Paul and John have been trying to grab credit. I have this idea that Paul only really began after John died and began to be portrayed as the Great One as Paul stood on the sidelines looking on with awe and bathing in Johns glow. That understandably pissed off Paul who ever since has been trying to reclaim ground. I'm willing to be wrong.

His bid to reverse the Lennon/McCartney composer credit on his songs was naive tho as its inbuilt in people's minds and history; it came across as a petty move and left a nasty taste in some peoples mouths.

I agree with this sentiment, but I must add that the "bid to reverse the Lennon/McCartney composer credit" is always misunderstood by those who use against Paul the most vehemently. He didn't want to reverse the credits on albums or anything, just on one of live albums. He did it on Wings Over America and John had no problem with that. I don't understand why it makes people so mad. He could have just done it and dealt with the consequences, I suppose, but he even asked Yoko. She made too big a deal out of it, I think.

If I were Paul, I'd be pretty pissed off if I flipped through a songbook and found one of the most special songs I had ever written did not even display my name (which is what set him off to begin with, I think).

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
17 November 2012
6.26am
frankdialogue
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Paul doesn't rewrite history, because he wrote part of the history.

 

Perhaps a solution would have been to simply release the Glyn Johns 'Get Back'. but there may have been contractural problems, or perhaps the actual Johns version was damaged, unavailable or unusable.

17 November 2012
3.12pm
bikelock28
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"So, being optimistic and positive from your heart means you're naturally dishonest,"

No. It just means you would have a different take on things and a different memory of events than another person would. As a rule, Paul is the optimist, so obviously when he gives interviews about the Beatles they sound pretty rosy, or at least rosier than John's accounts (I look at it like this; Paul writes about losing a girlfriend in Yesterday in which he looks back on the relationship and thinks how great it was and deals with rejection by beleiving in yesterday. John writes abot losing a girl and writes I'll Cry Instead, in which he is bitter, angry, insecure, and deals with rejection by vowing to get revenge. That demonstrates the difference in their outlooks and ways of coping)
On the other hand, Macca is and always was the PR Beatle, so he has the interests of the public and of Beatles fans more at heart than G,R and J ever did (of course we don't know that for a fact, but I think that it is a justifiable claim).
So, perhaps Paul's accounts of the Beatles are positive becuase of his naturally optimistic nature and/or becuase he "tells us what we want to hear," becuase he is more in touch with what we want to hear. None of it is dishonesty- I don't believe he'd taint the Beatles' legacy by lying about them- although it has a sunnier egde, and of course he and the others make mistakes and give conflicting accounts, but that's just human brain error, isn't it?

It seems to be that this discussion begs the question, "Did John rewrite history?"...but maybe that's for another time

"I don't think we were actually swimming, as it were, with shirts on, 'cos we always wear overcoats when we're swimming,"-

George Harrison, Australia, June 1964

17 November 2012
3.40pm
Holsety
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Think about it. Do you think Paul would freely dish out all the problems he and the band had with Yoko being around during the White Album and Get Back Sessions (as well as Abbey Road)? I'm not saying she was 100% a problem, but he only speaks good about her because he knows dishing it out would have pissed them off. That's more him holding back than changing the truth, though.

 

by the way, I posted this thread with the mindset of an annoyed Paul fan, but I'm primarily a George fan and the rest are close.

Please don't wake me, no don't shake me, leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping~.
17 November 2012
9.42pm
meanmistermustard
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One of the things that bugs me about Johns reported stance on the beatles is that generally folk only pick up on the early 70's quotes, especially the Jann Wenner interview, when he slated their legacy, trying to dismantle the godlike persona that had been attached. Later on his position changed a bit and gave some very positive comments.

 

For me Paul tries a little too hard at times to play the PR man role, something that he has been criticised over. If he did just speak his mind and be open and frank he would come across better at times. And sorry but when he says the beatles were a good wee band who played some good music; come on, we all know he believes they were amazing so why underplay it? I know John did as well (back in the Wenner interview) but i think he didnt really totally believe that and was more trying to dismantle their image and get rid of some of the angst inside. People forget that John would often defend the beatles when outsiders had a go. He was happy to put the boot in himself but at the same time did show loyalty.

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)
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