Monday, October 06, 2008

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney has a new album out with one of the guys from Killing Joke, and it actually sounds punk rock. 

It's always interesting to me how McCartney searches for a collaborator like an Elvis Costello, or anyone who can lend his work the edge that he used to rely on Lennon for. I heard a bit of his last album; most of the songs start promisingly and then instantly sound like he doesn't know where to go with it. The New Yorker ran a profile on McCartney last year, and the writer observes him seeming somewhat frustrated in the studio. He's got the means to hire the best session guys in the world, but he can't find a collaborator who can intuitively plug in to what he hears in his head.

His wealth aside, reading the New Yorker piece I felt bad for him. This guy who everyone knows seems so profoundly lonely. (It can't have helped that his ex-wife was on a scorched-earth campaign at the time.) He tries to be somewhat unpretentious, living and working right in London. He walks the streets with the self-preservation instinct of a military convoy in Fallujah, dodging the cell-phone cameras (and he has to wonder when it's going to be a Mark David Chapman reaching in a pocket). Everyone he meets wants a hunk of bacon off his back. Who could you really be friends with if that's your daily experience?

The loss of John Lennon hangs heavy over the whole piece.  He clings to the small comfort that the two of them had managed to renew their friendship a little while before the murder.

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