paul mccartney

paul mccartney on Elsewhere by Graham Reid - Browse our selection of content tagged 'paul mccartney'.

Various: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Tipitina's/Shock)

Various: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Tipitina's/Shock)

In the days after Hurricane Katrina it was believed that this great New Orleans r'n'b singer had been washed away. Fortunately he had been rescued although his home, like much of that wonderful city, had suffered extreme damage. The interesting thing about the rumours of his death was the sudden recognition of his talent in the wider...

Josh Ritter: The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter (Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Josh Ritter: The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter (Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Elsewhere has been around long enough to do a bit of bragging about bringing certain people to your attention long before anyone else: one of them being this American singer-songwriter whose previous album The Animal Years (see tag) was such a gem. I just kept bringing it back and named it as one of the Best of Elsewhere 2006. Then he was...

Jude: Redemption (Naive/Elite)

Jude: Redemption (Naive/Elite)

There are those of us old enough/smart enough/obsessed enough to know that Paul McCartney's Ram album of '71 -- his first fully-fledged album after being in His Previous Band -- was among the three best albums of his very long post-Beatles career. (see tag) So maybe only we few might fully appreciate this album by a man called Jude. Okay,...

RAY DAVIES INTERVIEWED: Still a well respected man (2008)

RAY DAVIES INTERVIEWED: Still a well respected man (2008)

Ray Davies, the former Kink and for the past decade a solo artist, say that these days he “stays -- notice I don’t use the word ‘live’ -- at Highgate Hill which is literally half a mile from where I grew up in Muswell Hill. It’s the highest spot in London and you can look over the city, one of the more romantic...

ELVIS COSTELLO INTERVIEWED (1991): Every thorn has a rose

ELVIS COSTELLO INTERVIEWED (1991): Every thorn has a rose

Elvis Costello has lurked about under any number of names in the past decade or so. He’s been Howard Coward of the Coward Brother (when he sang with T-Bone Burnett), Napoleon Dynamite (for his ’86 Blood and Chocolate album), cynically called himself “The Beloved Entertainer” and for a while even worked under his birth...

ELVIS COSTELLO INTERVIEWED (1993): Elvis - with strings attached

ELVIS COSTELLO INTERVIEWED (1993): Elvis - with strings attached

When Mick Jagger started doing interviews this year for his return-to-form Wandering Spirit, he let it be known he’d prefer to speak with younger writers, not those carrying a whole heap of Stones baggage. Elvis Costello – now 16 years in the trade and whose latest album The Juliet Letters finds him with a string quartet –...

SCREAMIN JAY HAWKINS INTERVIEWED (1991): Coffin-rocking, wine drinking skull shaker

SCREAMIN JAY HAWKINS INTERVIEWED (1991): Coffin-rocking, wine drinking skull shaker

The man on the phone with the curiously quiet voice gently sets the record straight quite quickly. He’s never considered himself a singer he says. But after 35 years of making records and giving the world one of the most outrageous stage shows ever, then what is he? “I’m a big mouthed screamin’ man who uses a lot of...

The Fireman: Electric Arguments (Shock)

The Fireman: Electric Arguments (Shock)

Paul McCartney -- who is half of The Fireman with producer/remixer Youth -- has always adopted a curious but probably sensible dichotomy when it comes to music outside of his pop-rock releases. The full title of his classical album of 1993 was Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio, and his small classical composition (played by pianist Anya...

Paul McCartney: Memory Almost Full (Universal)

Paul McCartney: Memory Almost Full (Universal)

From the title to the reflective nature of many lyrics this -- McCartney’s 21st post-Beatles release, not counting live albums, classical digressions, compilations, The Fireman project etc -- could be read as his public swansong. He considers his life on the energetic That Was Me; in an aching falsetto You Tell Me he wonders about...

THE MONTY PYTHON AUTOBIOGRAPHY by THE PYTHONS(2003)

THE MONTY PYTHON AUTOBIOGRAPHY by THE PYTHONS(2003)

The shadow of the Beatles is cast long over Monty Python's Flying Circus. The late George Harrison always said he felt something of the band's spirit passed to Monty Python, which appeared on television as the Beatles were breaking up, and Paul McCartney would stop recording to watch the show. Harrison later underwrote the Pythons' Life of...

NEIL FINN INTERVIEWED (2001): Man alone

NEIL FINN INTERVIEWED (2001): Man alone

Neil Finn gives the impression he's happier than he has ever been. This year he's been around the country playing solo shows in small venues with contributions by ring-in local musicians, billing them as the Band of Strangers. Soon he starts a five-night stand at the St James in Auckland with a guest list that includes Eddie Vedder from...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Elvis Costello: Secret, Profane and Sugarcane (Starbucks/Universal)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Elvis Costello: Secret, Profane and Sugarcane (Starbucks/Universal)

On his what is his thirtysomethingth album here's Elvis Costello's problem as I see it: it is his thirtysomethingth album. As with Eric Clapton who could deliver the best album of his career tomorrow and watch it go largely ignored (as McCartney found with Flowers in the Dirt of '89 where he co-wrote with Costello), a lot of people have...

HILLARY AND BILL CLINTON'S AUTOBIOGRAPHIES CONSIDERED (2003, 2004): Sax, lies and soundbites

HILLARY AND BILL CLINTON'S AUTOBIOGRAPHIES CONSIDERED (2003, 2004): Sax, lies and soundbites

Last week, late-night US television host Jay Leno quipped about a matter diverting American attention - the long-awaited US$8 million ($13.85 million) memoirs of Hillary Rodham Clinton. "Hillary Clinton's book hits the stores this Monday," he said. "Oh boy, it took her a long time to write it. But in her defence, every time she...

The Beatles: Rubber Soul (1965)

The Beatles: Rubber Soul (1965)

While there are any number of Beatle albums which are essential, there is a case to be made that Rubber Soul -- which marked their transition from an increasingly banal and almost irrelevant pop band into a group which became adult, confident and inventive -- is currently the most ignored in their catalogue. But before making the case for...

THE BEATLES' ABBEY ROAD IN 2009: A classic from the cover on in

THE BEATLES' ABBEY ROAD IN 2009: A classic from the cover on in

Four decades ago the Beatles released Abbey Road, the album that marked the end of their career even though the inferior Let It Be would appear later, a sad coda to decade which they defined. Producer George Martin loved Abbey Road and considered it “Sgt Pepper, Mark II . . . it was innovatory but in a controlled way, unlike The...

THE BEATLES REMASTERED, 2009 (EMI): Here, there and everywhere

THE BEATLES REMASTERED, 2009 (EMI): Here, there and everywhere

The story behind the extensive and long overdue remastering of the most important music catalogue in pop has been well canvassed. Indeed, I have written this, a Listener article, Getting Better based on my experience of listening through to a large sampling of tracks while in Abbey Road in June. What that article doesn't address is the...

McCartney, Michael Jackson and me: Oh, get a room!

McCartney, Michael Jackson and me: Oh, get a room!

Mostly when I travel I don’t much care about the room I stay in other than hoping for a decent bed and a functioning shower. If you are doing your travel right, you never spend any time in the room anyway. But in Liverpool I set some kind of world record for transience. I’d barely been in the room a minute when the phone...

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER; PART 1, 1970-80: Success in the Seventies

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER; PART 1, 1970-80: Success in the Seventies

Paul McCartney once commented that his solo career since the Beatles -- now stretching to more than four decades -- was largely undiscovered territory. That’s true. But can anyone name anything from his ‘79 album Back to the Egg? And more to the point, why would they want to? But this is also the man -- once known as...

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER PART 2, 1980-90: Adrift in the Eighties

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER PART 2, 1980-90: Adrift in the Eighties

Paul McCartney closed the Seventies much as he had started it: with the low-key self-titled album McCartney II which deliberately tried to downplay expectation and evoke the charm of his debut solo album McCartney in 1970. Quite where he might have gone after that was an open book, but the decade had been one of diminishing musical returns...

THE BEATLES AFTER THE REMASTERS (2009): And in the end . . .

THE BEATLES AFTER THE REMASTERS (2009): And in the end . . .

So are the remastered Beatle albums released on 09/09/09 ("number nine, number nine, number") the full-stop on a career which ended almost four decades ago? Maybe not. While at Abbey Road in June listening to the playback of some of these tracks (about which I wrote this), it seemed natural to ask engineers Allan Rouse and...

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER PART 3, 1990-2000: Classical, pop and what else ya got?

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER PART 3, 1990-2000: Classical, pop and what else ya got?

As Paul McCartney closed his Eighties on a real high -- a massively successful world tour which won critical accolades and pulled in huge gate-takings -- it would seem he was back in top, rocking form. Not bad for someone who was perilously close to 50. By 1990 he had been two decades out of the Beatles and had behind him more than a dozen...

THE BEATLES ROCK BAND 2009: One, two, a-one-two-three-faaa

THE BEATLES ROCK BAND 2009: One, two, a-one-two-three-faaa

It is one of the many ironies of the Beatles Remastered project (which I have noted in this Listener article) is that these albums might not have even come out at this time were it not for the Beatles Rock Band interactive game. The remasters were finished some years ago and have been sitting around waiting for . . .? Some kind of...

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER PART 4,  2000 - NEW/NOW: Here, there and everywhere

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER PART 4, 2000 - NEW/NOW: Here, there and everywhere

For a man pronounced dead by radio DJs back in the late Sixties, Paul McCartney (or his doppelganger) has has a long and productive life. And musically diverse, as the Nineties proved: classical, pop-rock, balls-out rock'n'roll, acoustic sets, experimental electronica . . . Not a bad track record late in a long career. And in the new...

Jesse Harris: Watching the Sky (Inertia)

Jesse Harris: Watching the Sky (Inertia)

The news that Norah Jones has co-written a song with with Ryan Adams for her forthcoming album The Fall (due in November) is interesting: will he move in her direction or she to him? And which her, or which him? Many of the other tracks are Jones' own work (no bad thing) or with longtime partner Jesse Harris who here delivers up a polished,...

Yim Yames: Tribute to (Rough Trade)

Yim Yames: Tribute to (Rough Trade)

Yim Yames is actually Jim James from My Morning Jacket (no, don't ask me why) and these six songs were actually recorded in 2001, a few days after George Harrison's death as a tribute to a man whose life he said was "a prime example of the healing powers of music". There have been bigger and more self-conscious tributes to Harrison,...

Monsters of Folk: Monsters of Folk (Spunk)

Monsters of Folk: Monsters of Folk (Spunk)

Given who these people are -- Conor Oberst aka Bright Eyes, M Ward, and Jim James of My Morning Jacket (aka Yim Yames) -- you might be forgiven for thinking this is some kind of neo-folk meeting on the mountain top, or possibly a younger, more serious and sprightly version of the Traveling Wilburys. But in the hands of producer -- and fourth...

TIM FINN, A TIMELINE (2009): A solo, and sometimes solitary, man

TIM FINN, A TIMELINE (2009): A solo, and sometimes solitary, man

Tim Finn is one of New Zealand's most gifted songwriters. If his long catalogue sometimes lacks the easy pop-rock polish of those songs by his brother Neil (with whom he has frequently written and played) or the sentimentality of Dave Dobbyn's more recent output, that is only to say Tim has gone his own way. From the idiosyncratic and...

Tim Finn: Anthology; North South East West (EMI)

Tim Finn: Anthology; North South East West (EMI)

Anyone who considers the Tim Finn timeline would quickly conclude that here was a man who always did it his way: the theatrics and manic energy of Split Enz combined with alarmingly engaging and durable music; solo albums which were sometimes uncomfortable for their self-analysis; others which were snappy and poppy; soundtracks and side-projects...

The Dodos: Time to Die (Shock)

The Dodos: Time to Die (Shock)

As a number of overseas critics have noted, it isn’t entirely encouraging to hear singer Meric Long of this San Francisco duo announce repeatedly on Fables here, “I don’t wanna go in the fire, I just wanna stay in my home” on this, only the band’s third album. Not a man to be storming barricades at a guess despite...

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY ON DVD (2003): And the songs remain the same?

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY ON DVD (2003): And the songs remain the same?

For a record company it was the cross-marketing opportunity of a lifetime. Well, maybe a lunchtime. But it seemed an uncanny coincidence that Neil Innes -- aka Ron Nasty of the Beatles-parody band the Rutles -- was in Auckland last week just days before the Beatles' remastered, digitally enhanced, but-wait-there's-more Anthology series...

LENNON AND McCARTNEY 1967-72; COMPOSING OUTSIDE THE BEATLES (Triton DVD)

LENNON AND McCARTNEY 1967-72; COMPOSING OUTSIDE THE BEATLES (Triton DVD)

While you might think there is little left to be said about the Beatles after the break-up and their subsequent solo careers, the narrow and deep focus of this two hour doco is surprisingly interesting. By just taking that period when Lennon and McCartney were starting to go their own ways, and pulling on the handbrake before Wings really...

PAUL McCARTNEY; GOOD EVENING NEW YORK CITY (Universal CD/DVD)

PAUL McCARTNEY; GOOD EVENING NEW YORK CITY (Universal CD/DVD)

After a decade of exceptional diversity on disc -- it started with the left-field Liverpool Sound Collage, there was the remix album Twin Freaks, another album as The Fireman as well as a classical thing and some straight-up Macca-rock albums -- it seems a shame that McCartney should end it in such a predictable manner: a double live. This...

MIKE McGEAR'S VANISHED MASTERPIECE: Brother can you spare me the time?

MIKE McGEAR'S VANISHED MASTERPIECE: Brother can you spare me the time?

Perhaps "masterpiece" is too strong a word, but the singer-songwriter Mike McGear -- a member of Liverpool's poetry/music group the Scaffold who scored the '68 hit single Lily the Pink -- did crack quite a remarkable album in 1974, which seems to have disappeared entirely. Simply entitled McGear, it was originally released on...

PETE HAM OF BADFINGER: Take a sad song and make it sadder

PETE HAM OF BADFINGER: Take a sad song and make it sadder

Put simply: Pete Ham was one of the singer-songwriters in Badfinger, the British pop band of the late Sixties and early Seventies which enjoyed the patronage of Paul McCartney. He gave them his Come and Get It (used in the Ringo-Peter Sellers movie The Magic Christian) on the condition they record it exactly as his demo. They did, it...

Various Artists: The Lennon and McCartney Songbook (EMI)

Various Artists: The Lennon and McCartney Songbook (EMI)

While there have been quite a number of such compilations in the past interest alights on this one in particular because it has been pulled together by EMI New Zealands in-house memoryman Bruce Ward who does a fine job on such collections -- and here writes the intelligent liner essay. The Lennon and McCartney team were giving away hits in...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009  The Beatles Remasters (EMI)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 The Beatles Remasters (EMI)

Much as it is possible to love every crackle and piece of surface noise on the original vinyl albums which some still have or have inherited, the remastering brought out an energy and vitality in the Beatles catalogue which was undeniable. The music (and the Beatles Rock Band game) was much essayed at Elsewhere on release (I heard the...

TICKET TO RIDE by LARRY KANE: Along for the ride

TICKET TO RIDE by LARRY KANE: Along for the ride

In 1980 presidential candidate Jimmy Carter leaned over to journalist Larry Kane and said, "So I heard you toured with the Beatles. What were they like?" Even the 39th President of the United States wanted to know about those young men who changed the social and musical landscape of the 20th century. And Kane should know - he was...

Tommy Quickly: Tip of my Tongue (1963)

Tommy Quickly: Tip of my Tongue (1963)

At the end of '63 the fresh and freckle-faced 18-year old Tommy Quickly was standing at the door of his dreams: he'd been signed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein (who had changed his name from Quigley in the manner of manager Larry Parnes' school of stage names like Vince Eager, Marty Wilde and Billy Fury) and was tipped for massive success....

The Beatles; You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) (1970)

The Beatles; You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) (1970)

The 2009 remastering of the Beatles' catalogue allowed listeners not only the chance to reassess their sound, but also the breadth of their musical reach. Here was a band which created great pop, beautiful ballads, economic psychedalia (Strawberry Fields, Walrus, Lucy in the Sky and others barely broke the 4.00 mark), raga pop and had a sense of...

Elvis Costello: Imperial Bedroom (1982)

Elvis Costello: Imperial Bedroom (1982)

By the time Elvis Costello got to this remarkable, emotionally dense and astonishingly concise album (so many moods, styles and emotions in 50 minutes) he had become well separated from his post-punk peers. By '82 -- and he had appeared just five years previous -- he had skirted off from punk-fuelled rock through country music and had...

Various artists: Nowhere Boy soundtrack (Sony)

Various artists: Nowhere Boy soundtrack (Sony)

This is the music from the film which traces the life of John Lennon from a child to . . . Well, to where the film Backbeat picks up actually. And as with the soundtrack to Backbeat which featured The Backbeat Band (Greg Dulli, Dave Grohl, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and others playing rock'n'roll of the era) so too this album has material...

Pop Mechanix: Now-Then; One Hit Windows (Failsafe)

Pop Mechanix: Now-Then; One Hit Windows (Failsafe)

It would be fair to observe that when the countback of Kiwi bands of the Eighties is done the name "Pop Mechanix" comes up much less frequently than it should. Yet here was a hard-working and thoroughly entertaining live band from Christchurch which cracked urgent singles like Radio Song ("my music, I want to hear it on the...

Liverpool 2010: Forty years after the divorce

Liverpool 2010: Forty years after the divorce

The divorce was as messy as most when, 40 years ago in April 1970, the Beatles broke up. As John Lennon put it later that year on his Plastic Ono Band album, “the dream is over”. But it was Paul McCartney who first made it public and official. In April 1970 McCartney released his first solo album -- Lennon and George...

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR MEMORIES, a doco by DAVID LAMBERT (DV1/Southbound DVD)

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR MEMORIES, a doco by DAVID LAMBERT (DV1/Southbound DVD)

Introduced by Victor Spinetti -- the only man other than the Beatles to appear in three of their films, A Hard Day's Night, Help! and Magical Mystery Tour? -- this rather stilted but nonetheless mildy amusing doco is knobbled by the obvious: it doesn't include any of the original Beatles film; none of their music (aside from covers of relevant...

Norman "Hurricane" Smith: Oh Babe, What Would You Say (1972)

Norman "Hurricane" Smith: Oh Babe, What Would You Say (1972)

Norman Smith was an unlikely chart-topper when he knocked Elton John off the top of the US charts with this, his second single: he was 49 at the time and prior to that his career had been firmly on the other side of the microphone as an engineer and a producer. But what a career he had enjoyed. In his late 30s he'd been taken on as a...

LENNON AND HARRISON; GUITARS GENTLY WEEP (DV1/Southbound DVD)

LENNON AND HARRISON; GUITARS GENTLY WEEP (DV1/Southbound DVD)

Although this DVD and CD set is beautifully packaged -- classic cover photos by Astrid Kirchherr, thick and lavishly presented biography book -- it fails to live up to its claim of exploring the (often tetchy) relationship between these two men. The 55 minute DVD notes that the relationship between Lennon and McCartney has been much...

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOURS by TONY BRAMWELL: Not only a northern song

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOURS by TONY BRAMWELL: Not only a northern song

Tony Bramwell -- who sounds like great man to have a martini with -- has had an extrordinary life, and not just because he was a childhood friend of the Beatles, became their manager Brian Epstein's off-sider, and -- as their road manager and CEO of Apple Records and Films -- was one of a small inner sanctum around the band until they went their...

The Flame: See the Light (1970)

The Flame: See the Light (1970)

Even during their lifespan there were always records which were attributed to the Beatles. The suggestion was that they might put out a single anonymously just to see if it would chart -- or there were the famous bootlegs of "the Beatles with Bob Dylan". After they broke up in 1970 there were any number of rumours that they had...

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Monkees; The Original Album Series (Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Monkees; The Original Album Series (Rhino)

By the merest twist of fate, the history of popular American music 50 years ago could well have been very different if just one man had got a different job. Stephen Stills -- a wonderful songwriter but even better guitarist who had his friend Jimi Hendrix on his first solo album -- was a mainspring of Buffalo Springfield and co-founder of...

John Lennon: I'm Losing You (1980)

John Lennon: I'm Losing You (1980)

The remastered Lennon catalogue (released on the anniversary of what would have been his 70th birthday) naturally allows a reconsideration of some of his material. (See essay here.) This song -- when it appeared on Double Fantasy, see clip -- had a brooding quality and the anger seemed self-directed. But this version, taken from the Lennon...

JOHN LENNON, REMASTERED AND RECONSIDERED (2010):

JOHN LENNON, REMASTERED AND RECONSIDERED (2010):

In what would be one of his final interviews around the release of Double Fantasy in late 1980, John Lennon said – as a married, settled man at 40 with a young child – he was interested in seeing if it was possible to have a life centred around a family and a child and still be an artist. “Could the family be the...

Marc Cohn: Listening Booth; 1970 (Sony)

Marc Cohn: Listening Booth; 1970 (Sony)

The way singer-songwriter Cohn remembers it, 1970 was when the Beatles, and Simon and Garfunkel, broke up. It was classic singles, the dawn of the singer-songwriter era (James Taylor, Neil Young and others), great albums by various solo Beatles, Van Morrison, Cat Stevens, Creedence . . . So he goes back to that year for this collection...

Ringo Starr: Early 1970 (1970)

Ringo Starr: Early 1970 (1970)

It was one of the great ironies that after the Beatles broke up the solo careers of the songwriters Lennon and McCartney languished for a while, and that George Harrison unleashed the phenomenally successful All Things Must Pass triple album (with the chart-topper My Sweet Lord) But the most succesful solo Beatle was -- and here's the real...

THE BEATLES; LIVE IN 95: All back to the Beeb

THE BEATLES; LIVE IN 95: All back to the Beeb

It was a curious thing, but in '95 the Beatles released a new single, Baby It’s You, which came on seven-inch vinyl with extra tracks (an EP no less!) and there was an accompanying video. The Beatles in ’95'? What could they teach us 30 years after the event? Quite a lot, actually. While it was easy to be cynical...

PAUL McCARTNEY INTERVIEWED (2010): Band on the Run remastered

PAUL McCARTNEY INTERVIEWED (2010): Band on the Run remastered

While Elsewhere always does its own interviews, this one provided to coincide with the remastered version of Band on the Run -- which launches a whole McCartney remaster/reissue series -- is interesting, so an exception has been made. For an overview of McCartney's post-Beatles career -- including classical projects and oddities alongside his...

Paul McCartney and Wings; Band on the Run Remastered. (Universal)

Paul McCartney and Wings; Band on the Run Remastered. (Universal)

It's sad in a way, but great albums often are a result of bad situations: death, divorce, betrayal, litigation and debilitating substance abuse seem to make for better and more interesting music than cheery times with the family on holiday. Think about it: Neil Young's Tonight's the Night (death, drugs); John Martyn's Grace and Danger...

THE RUTLES. RON NASTY and NEIL INNES INTERVIEWED: I have always thought in the back of my mind . . .

THE RUTLES. RON NASTY and NEIL INNES INTERVIEWED: I have always thought in the back of my mind . . .

In the Sixties they changed the world -- in 1970 they changed their mind and broke up. They were the Rutles, lovable legends from Liverpool who launched their career with innocent hits such as Hold My Hand. Within two years the cynical Ron Nasty and cheery Dirk McQuickly had penned dozens of enduring classics. As they matured through...

The Woofers and Tweeters Ensemble: Daytripper (1983)

The Woofers and Tweeters Ensemble: Daytripper (1983)

And you thought YouTube threw up fly-by-night stars and oddities? This one puts the surfing cat and dancing pig into perspective. In the early Eighties a couple of Australians -- over a few wines -- fiddled with computer technology to simulate the sound of dogs barking and used it to have the "dogs" "sing" a Beatles song....

THE BEATLES Vs THE ROLLING STONES by JIM DeROGATIS and GREG KOT

THE BEATLES Vs THE ROLLING STONES by JIM DeROGATIS and GREG KOT

At a first glance this lavishly illustrated and beautifully presented book -- with dozens of relevant, interesting and never before seen photos of the bands, and of period-piece memorabilia, movie posters and the like -- looks fairly lightweight. But fun. A quick read and you've got it: the two authors posit a rivalry between these two...

PAUL McCARTNEY 1970 AND 1980 (2011): Lowkey at each end of his first post-Beatles decade

PAUL McCARTNEY 1970 AND 1980 (2011): Lowkey at each end of his first post-Beatles decade

In a few months Sir James Paul McCartney, age 68, will premier his new work, a major orchestral piece for the New York City Ballet entitled Oceans Kingdom, written in conjunction with American composer John Wilson. This ambitious career move in the classical world follows his Liverpool Oratorio, Standing Stone and Working Classical with...

Various Artists: Paul McCartney's Jukebox (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

Various Artists: Paul McCartney's Jukebox (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

With the current reassessment of Paul McCartney's career immediately post-Beatles -- driven by the reissue of Band on the Run and the McCartney and McCartney II albums -- Mojo magazine offered a 15 track cover CD of "The Roots of Paul McCartney" which was a collection of songs which had influenced him. This 29 song collection...

PHIL SPECTOR'S RISE AND FALL . . . AND FALL AGAIN (2003): The high and low life

PHIL SPECTOR'S RISE AND FALL . . . AND FALL AGAIN (2003): The high and low life

So Phil Spector has been charged with murder, huh? Well, no surprises there then - because Spector has been one of the more disturbed individuals in rock, right up there with the eccentric and once reclusive Beach Boy Brian Wilson, the Pink Floyd founder Floyd Syd Barrett, and the just plain weird Michael Jackson. When it came to crazy...

THE BEATLES AND APPLE RECORDS: Western communism and rotten at the core

THE BEATLES AND APPLE RECORDS: Western communism and rotten at the core

The Beatles faced a screaming audience for the last time at San Francisco's Candlestick Park in August 1966. After that they retired as a live band. It was inevitable. As Ringo Starr said of their touring years: "It was the worst time and the best time of my life. The best time because we played a lot of good music. The worst time ......

THE BEATLES' LET IT BE NAKED REVIEWED (2003): Get back . . . at Phil

THE BEATLES' LET IT BE NAKED REVIEWED (2003): Get back . . . at Phil

The story behind the making of the Beatles' 1970 album Let It Be is well known, but to recap: The "White Album" of 68 was aural proof each was going his own way; however, late in the year, McCartney suggested they do a back-to-basics recording, ostensibly for an album to be called Get Back -- and get a film crew to make a doco to go...

Pajama Club: Pajama Club (Isaac)

Pajama Club: Pajama Club (Isaac)

From the deliberate domesticity of the band name/album title, this album which began as a knockabout home sessions between Neil Finn and his wife Sharon comes with some coy downplaying. I guess Neil would be aware of the subtext of the words "Linda McCartney". But here with Neil on drums and guitar, Sharon on bass and SJD...

BEATLES FOR SALE, AGAIN: The release of Anthology 1 (London, 1995)

BEATLES FOR SALE, AGAIN: The release of Anthology 1 (London, 1995)

The release of any Beatles album was always an occasion, so 25 years after the band broke up, the plush ambience of the Lancaster Room in the Savoy Hotel doesn’t seem inappropriate for the launch of The Beatles' Anthology 1, a collection of out-takes and unreleased material, the first of a series of three double CDs that effectively mops...

THE BEATLES IN PRINT: HAMBURG DAYS; Before the whirlwind (2002)

THE BEATLES IN PRINT: HAMBURG DAYS; Before the whirlwind (2002)

The oldest wasn't yet 20, but they were drunk, pilled to the eyeballs and doing what they loved best: playing rock'n'roll. In black leather, hair greased back Elvis-style, they pumped out primal versions of Little Richard hits to the drunken sailors, pimps and prostitutes who jostled in the beer-stale club, the sweat dripping down on them as...

BRIAN EPSTEIN: Behind the music (2002)

BRIAN EPSTEIN: Behind the music (2002)

When Brian Epstein died in August 1967 at the age of 32, he was one of the most famous men in Britain. His death by an accidental overdose of prescription drugs made the front page of newspapers at home and abroad. Yet a mere five years earlier Epstein was known only to a few close friends and family in his native Liverpool where he managed...

PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS: The solo career that faltered, flew then faltered

PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS: The solo career that faltered, flew then faltered

"Wings, only the band the Beatles could have been," said Alan Partridge -- who, we should quickly add, is an alter ego of British comedian Steve Coogan.Rock writers were understandably unforgiving toward McCartney's post-Beatle band but the public just wouldn't listen to those damn critics. People liked Wings. They, or more...

THE BEATLES IN AMERICA 1964: Songs of innocence -- and experience  (DVD reviewed, 2004)

THE BEATLES IN AMERICA 1964: Songs of innocence -- and experience (DVD reviewed, 2004)

In the beginning there were just the four of them. Then we learned of the fifth Beatle. Depending on who you talked to it was producer George Martin, New York DJ Murray the K, or the dumped drummer Pete Best. Then we heard about their Hamburg days and the dead Beatle Stu Sutcliffe, their manager Brian Epstein (below) and the rest of the...

PAUL McCARTNEY GOES CLASSICAL (1993): An oratorio for everyman

PAUL McCARTNEY GOES CLASSICAL (1993): An oratorio for everyman

Around the time of his 50th birthday in June last year, Paul McCartney could have -- if he so chose -- picked up a couple of mainstream British newspapers and read editorials and think pieces suggesting that this former Beatle be made a knight of the realm. And why not? James Paul McCartney is undeniably Britain’s most popular...

THE LENNON LEGEND BOOK, REVIEWED (2003): More or less Lennon

THE LENNON LEGEND BOOK, REVIEWED (2003): More or less Lennon

Had John Lennon lived, he would have turned 63 last month. It's interesting to speculate what kind of music he might be making today. Interesting, but pointless: Lennon never saw the trickle-down of punk and new wave; the big-hair 80s; the rise of rap, Madonna and Springsteen; Guns N' Roses, Nirvana and grunge; trends like nu-metal, nu-jazz and...

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY IN PRINT (2000): Hardback Writers?

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY IN PRINT (2000): Hardback Writers?

The Beatles' story has been recounted by those who knew them intimately and those who not only never met them but would seem, after enduring a few pages of their authors recycling press clippings, to have had little real interest in them. But it has rarely been told by the only ones who know the true story -- the Beatles themselves....

JOHN LENNON, IMAGINE RECONSIDERED (2000): Peace in our time?

JOHN LENNON, IMAGINE RECONSIDERED (2000): Peace in our time?

Some people just don't get it, do they? Wouldn't you love to meet those gearing up to pay an expected $4.5 million at on-line auction for the piano on which John Lennon wrote Imagine? Imagine no possessions, huh? Of course, the Famous White Piano will command top dollar because Imagine was recently voted the best song ever written or...

ABBEY ROAD REVISITED: Crossing the crossing (2006)

ABBEY ROAD REVISITED: Crossing the crossing (2006)

Long before you reach the most famous recording studio in the world you can hear the sound. But it is not music coming from inside the walls. It is the squeal of tyres as another car or truck slams on its brakes because a tourist - and often a whole group - has stepped on to the nearby pedestrian crossing to have a photo taken in imitation of an...

BEATLES PHOTOGRAPHER JURGEN VOLLMER PROFILED (1994): The man who clicked with the Beatles

BEATLES PHOTOGRAPHER JURGEN VOLLMER PROFILED (1994): The man who clicked with the Beatles

If the name Jurgen Vollmer isn’t familiar at all, it’s because it only ever appears somewhere around the first chapter of even the most brainless Beatles biography -- then drops out forever. Vollmer was one of a group of self-styled existentialist art students in Hamburg -- photographer Astrid Kirschner the most well known -- who,...

SIR GEORGE MARTIN INTERVIEWED (1998): The retiring knight of the round vinyl

SIR GEORGE MARTIN INTERVIEWED (1998): The retiring knight of the round vinyl

Of all the knights of pop -- Sir Cliff, Sir Paul, Sir Elton -- it is Sir George Martin, famously known as the Beatles’ producer, who seems the most deserving of the accolade. It was November '95 when I met him in London at the launch of the Beatles’ Anthology albums. He was self-effacing, courteous and well-spoken. (At age...

PAUL McCARTNEY'S OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY REVIEWED (1997): Still can't buy the love?

PAUL McCARTNEY'S OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY REVIEWED (1997): Still can't buy the love?

Paul McCartney is the Beatle old fans love to hate: his sins are manifest in Silly Love Songs, a Linda and not a Yoko, the permanent Mr Thumbs Aloft attitude, the knighthood which his old colleague John Lennon would doubtless have declined …. But there is worse. This past decade, by quiet incremental steps, we have witnessed the...

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED, THE LENNON ANTHOLOGY BOX SET (2003): And Lennon's on sale again. . .

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED, THE LENNON ANTHOLOGY BOX SET (2003): And Lennon's on sale again. . .

For reasons which withstand no scrutiny at all, there’s an expectation Yoko Ono will be miserable in interviews. After all, here is the Famous Rock Widow whose husband was gunned down before her eyes leaving her with a much beloved five-year old son, the legacy of the Lennon name and fortune, and the still prevalent perception of her as...

PAUL McCARTNEY LIVE IN SYDNEY (1993): Younger Than Yesterday

PAUL McCARTNEY LIVE IN SYDNEY (1993): Younger Than Yesterday

Among the tickets touts barking at the crowd outside the Sydney Entertainment Centre before the Paul McCartney concert, the scalper with the XXOS beer gut wrapped in a small-men’s T-shirt stood out. While others on this raw edge of the market economy were offering $130-a-ticket, the swollen T-shirt was nasally hawking “tickets...

ASTRID KIRCHHERR, BEATLES PHOTOGRAPHER, INTERVIEWED (1994): Young, free and wild.

ASTRID KIRCHHERR, BEATLES PHOTOGRAPHER, INTERVIEWED (1994): Young, free and wild.

At 55, Astrid Kirchherr still loves rock music and listens to it every day: The Beatles, the Doors, Bowie . . . “and Prince, he’s such a genius -- if he just wouldn’t wear those stupid clothes! I always wanted him to look serious, young and sexy. But he dressed like an old prostitute in drag.”  Kirchherr laughs...

BACKBEAT, ASTRID KIRCHHERR AND THE YOUNG BEATLES ON FILM (1994): The Birth of the Beat

BACKBEAT, ASTRID KIRCHHERR AND THE YOUNG BEATLES ON FILM (1994): The Birth of the Beat

His letters back home don’t tell the whole story. But such letters seldom do. He says there are plenty of girls “but none of us can be bothered” and that he is “not the happiest man alive. It’s now my seventh week here. I came here for a reason I do not know. I have no money, no resources, no hope . . .”...

The Beatles: On Air - Live at the BBC Vol 2 (Universal)

The Beatles: On Air - Live at the BBC Vol 2 (Universal)

Just as the Beatles enjoyed that long and rare association with producer George Martin and EMI's Abbey Road studios, so too they had a mutually beneficial relationship with the BBC. The "Beeb" as it is affectionately knows may have been the conservative face of British broadcasting, but it was also aware of its mandate to represent...

Paul and Linda McCartney, Ram (1971)

Paul and Linda McCartney, Ram (1971)

Sir James Paul McCartney has released around 40 albums under his own name  -- or that of Wings, with his late wife Linda, or under some other nom de disque -- since the break-up of the Beatles in 1970. That's about an album a year, and even if we take out live releases or compilations, his strike rate is astonishingly...

Harry Nilsson, Nilsson Schmilsson (1971)

Harry Nilsson, Nilsson Schmilsson (1971)

The too-short life of the greatly under-appreciated singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson (1941-94) was full of bitter ironies: not the least was that this gifted songwriter's biggest hits were written by others. His memorable Without You was penned by Pete Ham and Tom Evans from the Beatles-blessed power poppers, Badfinger; and although...

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