I’ve Done Paul McCartney Wrong, by Mike Gold

Mike Gold

ComicMix's award-winning and spectacularly shy editor-in-chief Mike Gold also performs the weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, www.getthepointradio.com and on iNetRadio, www.iNetRadio.com (search: Hit Oldies) every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check www.getthepointradio.com above for times and on-demand streaming information.

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39 Responses

  1. Marc Alan Fishman says:

    When I was little, the teachers would love to ask us "what do you want to be when you grow up?". I always replied "… I don't know, but I want to be paid to create stuff." I agree whole-heartedly that now may very well be a new golden age in comics. With creators being given opportunities to play in any sandbox they want to, and indie companies providing the ability to create in any vein, with nearly any idea… it lets the fanboy in me rest easy knowing there's plenty of great material out there. (ignoring any mis-placed overly marketing 18 book tie-in-crossovers that may be getting a little stale.)I sent you an e-mail… happen to see it float by?

  2. Elayne Riggs says:

    Oh dear. I know I asked, in at least two of my columns, for people not to get me started on Paul McCartney. :)Yes, he did a lot of forgettable and unfortunate stuff, particularly in the '80s. But as far as I'm concerned the man all but invented the modern love song, he's had a remarkable career that's still strong 40+ years on, he has never descended into irrelevance or has-been-itis or self-parody, and he deserves every single penny of his multi-billions that he's earned.And you're absolutely right in realizing that he has a tremendous range. So should we all!

    • Mike Gold says:

      Awww, he ain't THAT good. Self-parody is in the eye of the beholder; I've heard him do work that made me run away in agony and fear, quoting Pete Seeger when he first heard electric Dylan: "Make it stop! Make it stop!"Sir Paul will never top "Come And Get It."

      • mike weber says:

        It is, in fact, apprently a myth that Dylan was booed at Newpoer for playing electric.There is a page available – posted by a director of the festival, transcribing the soundboard tape, which begin;:The myth of Newport '65:It wasn't Bob Dylan they were booingby Bruce JacksonBob Dylan performed at the Newport Folk Festival this August 3 and apparently it went very well. All the articles I've read and reports I've heard on radio and seen on TV say there was none of the angry booing that so famously accompanied his 1965 performance, when he appeared on stage with members of Paul Butterfield's blues band at the Sunday night closing concert. The July 25, 1965, audience, the story goes, was driven to rage because their acoustic guitar troubadour had betrayed them by going electric and plugging in. The booing was so loud that, after the first three electric songs, Dylan dismissed the band and finished the set with his acoustic guitar.There's a host of other associated narratives about goings-on in the wings: Pete Seeger and other Newport board directors were so repulsed and enraged they struggled to kill the electric power; Pete was frenetically looking for an axe to chop the major power line; people were yelling, screaming, crying, beating breasts, rending garments. Griel Marcus tells some of those stories really well at the beginning of his 1998 Dylan book, Invisible Republic.Great stories. But not one of them is true.I was one of the directors of the Newport Folk Festival and I was in the wings during Dylan's Saturday night performance. Every time I heard those stories retold, I'd say, to whoever was talking,"That's not how I remember it. Nobody made a move for the power. Nobody took a swing at the sound man. It wasn't Dylan the audience was booing."Read the whole thing at http://buffaloreport.com/020826dylan.html.In fact, it appears that the booing was at Peter Yarrow, trying to pull Dylan off stage after he had played his alloted set and the audience wanted more.Great story, but, as the man says, it ain't true.

        • Mike Gold says:

          Listen to the convert tapes. And "everybody's" source for the story all these years — including the Seeger story, which has been whitewashed — was George Wein, the guy who ran the show. Although I hadn't read his autobiography published a few years ago — he may have recanted, bowing to folksist revisionism — his hostility towards rock and roll was legendary and enduring.But published accounts from people who were there, as well as the concert tapes themselves, bear this out. Dylan and the audience engaged in impolite dialog.But Peter Yarrow sucks either way.

          • mike weber says:

            Very often, people who were there "remember" things that legend says happened when, in fact, the reality is rather different.However, if you follow up on the link i posted, the source is, as i said, one of the Board of Directors of Newport (who was backstage), and the transcript he provides (from the actual official master tape taken from the stage mikes) seems to bear him out.The version of the legend that i particularly like is that nobody at Newport suspected what Dylan was planning. Those amps and suchlike just suddently materialised on stage withut anyone noticing them coming in, apparently.

      • Elayne Riggs says:

        Tsk. What part of "don't get me started" was unclear? Seriously, I wish I had the time to debate Macca-demia with you. Nuts. But that will have to wait for an in-person schmooze, as I have a column to write. Not about Sir Paul, although I'm sure I could stretch my daily exercise bike routine out a few paragraphs. Best Macca songs to which to exercise tonight, pace-wise: "Heaven on a Sunday" (from Flaming Pie), "Follow Me" (from Chaos and Creation in the Backyard) and "Every Night (from the eponymous one). Of course, I only have 528 or so on the iPod at present…

    • Vinnie Bartilucci says:

      "he deserves every single penny of his multi-billions that he's earned."He hasn't come close to to earning what he deserves. I'm still waiting for the day that Michael Jackson has to sell the Beatles music he has the rights to, and McCartney snaps them up for (you should pardon the expression) a song.My intense and irrational dislike for Yoko Ono is already on record. I can only take pride in the fact that there isn't a parody of The Beatles ever in the history of man that doesn't portray her as the bifurcating harpy that I believe her to be. I think The Powerpuff girls "Meet the Beat-Alls" was the greatest of all – Yoko was represented by a (non-intelligent) shrieking howler monkey in a bad wig, which Mojo Jojo falls in love with. Art imitating life indeed.While the song "Coattails of a Dead Man" off of Primus' "Antipop" album has always been considered to be about a far more recent wife of a famous dead signer, I always thought it could be applied to certain older examples as well.

      • mike weber says:

        I'm still waiting for the day that Michael Jackson has to sell the Beatles music he has the rights to, and McCartney snaps them up for (you should pardon the expression) a song.As far as i'm concerned, McCartney should get his publishing back right after he gives up the Buffy holly catalog and the Georgia Tech fight song. (Last i heard, every time the Tech band plays "Ramblinb' Wreck", Sir Paul gets 22 cents.

    • mike weber says:

      But as far as I'm concerned the man all but invented the modern love songBut it was Harrison's "Something" that Frank Sinatra hailed as the greatest love song in the English language.Even if he did credit it to Lennon and McCartney.

      • Elayne Riggs says:

        He was probably ill at ease with the song McCartney had written for him, which I still think was a hoot. But I can see Sinatra not wanting to sing, essentially, a love song about suicide.

  3. Lord Snooty says:

    The thing that put me off him the most is when he changed the writing order of the songs he owns from Lennon/McCartney to McCartney/Lennon

    • Andrew Bergstrom says:

      You're absolutly right Snooty, Lord!

    • Mike Gold says:

      Did he do that? I though Yoko was preventing the change from happening. Quite frankly, if McCartney wrote it, McCartney should get the credit. If Lennon wrote it, Lennon should get the credit. And Al Jolson should be removed from all the song writing credits, along with the extortionist music publishers,Not as if I follow her doings all that closely. On Lewis Black's show last week, Andrew Daly referred to "John Lennon and his cartoon-villain wife Yoko Ono," and Linda and I haven't stopped laughing.Let's see. McCartney, Lennon, Ono, Jolson, Black, Daly. And that's before lunch.

      • Marc Alan Fishman says:

        How I love ya, how I love ya… my dear old mammy…

      • mike weber says:

        On Lewis Black's show last week, Andrew Daly referred to "John Lennon and his cartoon-villain wife Yoko Ono," and Linda and I haven't stopped laughing.The National Lampoon people (back when they were still intermittantly funny) took Lennon's own words fromhis Rolling Stone interview, set them to to music, and called the result "Magical Misery Tour".It's scary.And there's a neat little shot at Yoko at the end.I did a blog post about it some time ago; you can read it here and hear the song,

        • Mike Gold says:

          That was the masterful Tony Hendra, now deceased. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Then again, my pal Del Close (also deceased) was directing a play of Hendra's at the Lincoln Center in NYC. The two "did not get along." To put it mildly. To the point where the show died in rehearsal, put to death by an artistic director who, I'm sure, couldn't possibly find enough aspirin.

    • Allyn Gibson says:

      I don't recall John Lennon decrying flipping the credits when Wings Across America came out in the mid-70s where the Beatles songs were credited "McCartney/Lennon."I don't recall Paul McCartney decrying Yoko Ono's unilateral altering of the credit on "Give Peace A Chance" to solely Lennon with 1998's Lennon Legend CD. (Prior to that, "GPaC" had always been credited Lennon/McCartney.)Flipping the credits on Back in the US live album was something I had no problems with whatsoever.What McCartney really wants is for "Yesterday" to be credited solely McCartney. I have no problems with that, either.McCartney's actions aren't petty or capricious. His fear, which isn't entirely unjustified, is that mp3 and other music tags won't list the entire "Lennon/McCartney" credit. I have some sixty hours of Beatles bootlegs on my computer at home. I can tell you that a good number of the tracks have incomplete mp3 tags. His fear is that future generations may think of "Yesterday" and "Hey Jude" and "Let It Be" as Lennon songs, not Lennon/McCartney songs. Flipping the credit is meant to put the primary composer first. And for "Yesterday," Lennon had nothing to do with it.McCartney's looking out for his historical legacy. It's strange that he feels like he needs to protect his legacy, but I think much of that stems from the canonization of the martyred John Lennon (and Yoko Ono's determined efforts to protect anything from upsetting her carefully constructed fiction of post-breakup Lennon). The caricatures of the Beatles have become calcified. The perception that John was the political one, the avant garde one, the deep one — these are caricatures that aren't entirely borne out by the record. McCartney did politics — look at "Lady Madonna" (and "Get Back" was meant as a political song). McCartney did avant garde — "Penny Lane" is actually more surreal than "Strawberry Fields," and someday we'll be able to hear "Carnival of Light." McCartney did deep — "Let It Be" may be one of the most profound songs in the Beatles canon.I'm not a McCartney apologist, though I suppose the previous paragraphs all read that way. I think that some of McCartney's moves to protect his legacy have some potential for public relations backfiring, but I think even so that those moves are made with the best of intentions.He really does have his reasons.

  4. Tyson Durst says:

    Who are these "Beatles" being spoken of? Are they a new thing on Guitar Hero or Rock Band?But seriously, I wholeheartedly agree that comics are in a new golden age with the diversity of content and how that content is delivered in various formats being where it is and continuing to grow. Combined with exposure in new arenas like bookstores that a decade ago was largely unheard of; it's kept me interested and kept me reading comics.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Seriously, the Beatles were a rock band that were able to transcend their time and become a vital cultural force to at least three generations.Mainstream American comics, sad to say, not so much. But there's all this other stuff out there that's building an audience and, by narrowcasting, sometimes reaching an audience greater than that of DC and Marvel.

  5. Paul Wargelin says:

    I've never understood why Yoko Ono (or any John Lennon/Beatles fan) takes offense at Paul McCartney's attempts to put the record straight regarding McCartney/Lennon vs. Lennon/McCartney. They were in their early twenties with little to no knowledge of the music business when they signed contracts that saddled them with the Lennon/McCartney credit throughout the Beatles' career despite who wrote the song. It's been nearly forty years since the Beatles dissolved, and I certainly don't think McCartney is negating Lennon's contributions to his work.Besides, considering Lennon's opinions of McCartney's later Beatle work as (and I'm paraphrasing here) "Paul's granny music," I can't imagine (no pun intended) that he would be upset if he weren't credited with co-writing "When I'm Sixty-Four," "Martha My Dear," "Honey Pie," "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," and "Maxwell's Silver Hammer."

    • Vinnie Bartilucci says:

      "I've never understood why Yoko Ono (or any John Lennon/Beatles fan) takes offense at Paul McCartney's attempts to put the record straight regarding McCartney/Lennon vs. Lennon/McCartney. "Because Yoko Ono has no other marketable skills, and anything (A-NY-THING) that threatens her husband's legacy (read, "her income") she will fight tooth and claw. I've heard (tho Mike claims to know to the contrary) that Bob Kane's cheildren/estate is equally against any attempts to share creators's credit of any Batman character with Robinson, Finger, et al, and I'd guess for the very same reason.

  6. Shane Kelly says:

    As I recall the story regarding "Silly Love Songs"…It was written as a comical and light hearted response to Lennon's "How Do You Sleep" which was all about ripping Sir Paul, and his contributions to the Beatles and music on the whole.

    • Allyn Gibson says:

      Not quite.Lennon wrote "How Do You Sleep?" on Imagine as a response to "Too Many People" on McCartney's Ram. Lennon took that song as a swipe at him and the others, so he turned around and dished some back.McCartney said that "Too Many People" had nothing to do with Lennon, and he wrote "Dear Friend" on Wings Wild Life as a response to "How Do You Sleep?" to show how hurt he was by that song. (Harrison, by the way, played guitar on "How Do You Sleep?" and he thought the song was overly harsh and unfair.)By early '74, Lennon and McCartney had largely patched their friendship back together. They hung out in California (see the bootleg "Toot and a Snore in '74" for a drunken jam session they did together), and Lennon planned on visiting New Orleans during Wings' sessions for Venus and Mars, but Yoko Ono decided to take Lennon back (as she'd thrown him out and set him up with May Pang eighteen months earlier) the day before he was to have left for the Big Easy. It's strange to imagine McCartney and Lennon trading vocals on something like, say, "Rock Show," but it was a very real possibility in early 1975."Silly Love Songs" came along later, in 1976.

      • Russ Rogers says:

        "Silly Love Songs" is what it is, an intentionally trite, but catchy pop tune. All in all a much better song than say "Pipes of Peace," an over-reaching piece of drivel. But Paul had great success with "Ebony and Ivory," and even more drivelous mess. Personally I think McCartney is best when he's teamed with someone with an acerbic edge like John Lennon or Elvis Costello. I think the last really good singles McCartney's done were "Veronica" and "My Brave Face." That was also the last time he cracked the American Top 40 singles and that's nearly twenty years ago.

        • PowerMater says:

          I'd agree that McCartney has made some drivel in his career, but lyrically inconsequential as it may be.. one would miss one of McCartney's great moments as as performer, arranger, composer if you throw out Silly Love Songs. As a piece of pop music..it might seem unambitious and ordinary.. a breezy brazilian Brazil '66 knockoff by way of thumping disco single to pander to the market. It is similar in some ways to McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" which is considered by some the worst song ever made. But really consider the elements put in here.. McCartney's bass.. the sweet double tracked vocals which give it that spaced out disco vibe reminiscent of Brazil 66 or Andrea True.. the mixture of song segments into a simultaneous symphony near the end.. all drawn up with the final chorus. McCartney SHOULD have gone twice as long with this and really tried something even more sophisticated. But the song definitely got attention and catches you up every time you let yourself fall into it which I recommend you do at high volume sometime!

          • Russ Rogers says:

            I LOVE "Silly Love Songs." It's a song from my youth and I know all the words. "Wonderful Christmastime" has the worst synthesizer patch in the history of recorded music. It's buzzing pierces my brain every Holiday Season. Fingernails on a blackboard. Nearly any cover version of "Wonderful Christmastime" is better than the original because of that. Seriously, I will take Hilary Duff over Sir Paul on that one.

  7. Michael Davis says:

    In my humble opinion there are a few people who rise to such a point in their careers where they are so goddamn bad (that's bad as in good) that they could have tried anything they want. They are:1) The Beatles2) Frank Sinatra 3) Public Enemy4) Denny O'Neil 5) Quincy Jones6) Stevie Wonder7) The Rolling Stones8) Stan Lee9) Mike Richardson10) Kevin Eastmen11) Kent WilliamsThe above list is NOT in order of importance. There are more I could add to the list but I'm watching 'All My Children' and that's way more important. The people I listed above have done such remarkable things with their work that if they released work titled 'All Nuns kiss my ass' I would at least see what they were talking about first. With regards to credit and who said what, I simply don't care because I don't know. NOBODY knows what goes on that that level regarding those decisions unless YOU WERE THERE. Man it burns me to hear people talk about what they heard as to why this person did this, that or the other. If all you know is what you heard so you don't know shit. I saw on line recently that Milestone was created by Dwayne McDuffie…period. I'm sure that whatever asshole posted that thinks it's true. Like I said unless you were there you don't know nothing.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Thank you, Michael, and I'm honored to be in such august company.And Mike Richardson won a fucking Emmy!

      • Michael Davis says:

        Hell,Don't get me started on all those creators who (including me) would have had little chance to create anything if not for you. Guys like you, Kevin and Richardson never get any props. Kevin has done remarkable things for the industry and so has Richardson but the rumor mill would have you think that Kevin is simply spending his turtle money and Richardson is an ass-hole.All those nice things about you aside…RETURN MY CALL.

      • Lord Snooty says:

        I had no idea that you could win an Emmy's that you could f@ck !!!!

  8. I ME MINE says:

    You're "Silly Love Songs" story is BULLSHIT,Mike. Nice try. I remember reading the same joke in NATIONAL LAMPOON in 1976

  9. Mike Gold says:

    Crap. You're an idiot. The joke is so obvious a seven year-old could have come up with it. The story is true. Right down to the obvious joke.And Tony Hendra was brilliant. So there. Even if he fought tooth-and-nail with Del Close.And you should still support your favorite rabble-rouser.