Monday, June 19, 2006

Now he’s 64

So Paul McCartney turned 64 yesterday, an age that goes un-remarked-on for nearly everyone else in the world except, you see, he wrote this song…

The real shame is that Paul’s song is about a couple staying together into old age and he has two sad things related to that. The love of his life, Linda, died a few years ago and it seems to go without saying that she would still need and feed him now that he’s 64. His marriage to his second wife, Heather, is apparently over, all except the legal work, and to have all that bad stuff in the press at a time when people are putting your name with a song about marital longevity is just a shame. Heather and Paul have enough people sniping at them so I won’t pile on – and if you think the press hasn’t been that bad then just surf on to some of the UK tabloids – they’ve been relentless and mean.

Sgt Pepper is one of my favorite albums of all time – just a great collection of songs recorded with creativity and energy. I got it from my brother, John, for my 13th birthday – is that like the coolest present ever or what? I remember sitting in our family living room in the swivel chair in front of the stereo (it was built into a big cabinet) listening over and over and over – then I got headphones and listened over and over and over and over. It was the soundtrack to my 8th grade year.

Paul’s solo work has been uneven but I’ve certainly gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it. He hit some real high points with Band on the Run, Tug of War, Flaming Pie and Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. Curiously, two of those best four albums were in the last 6 years or so – something to keep in mind when people say he’s lost it. But even his other albums have been great – he writes ballads like nobody else and manages to put at least one knockout song on almost every album. Driving Rain, for example, had the wonderful “Your Loving Flame” on it, an amazing song by anyone's standards. Even Press to Play, an album that is not one of his best has “Only Love Remains.”

It’s clear that I’ll still be a Beatles fan when I turn 64, many years from now. Thanks, Paul, for all the cool songs.

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