Paul McCartney's John Lennon Tribute, Here Today, Most Emotional Performance Ever

Posted in Paul McCartney on July 18th, 2012 by Willie

I’m nearly done with Peter Doggett’s excellent biography, You Never Give Me Your Money, a book that chronicles in precise detail the breakup of the Beatles.  The book is one of the best Beatle books I’ve ever read, mainly because it delves into the Beatles’s complex interpersonal relationships and not so much their broader history of artistic and cultural achievements.  The book details a moment in 2007 when ever self-conscious Paul McCartney is playing for 200 people at a California record shop, and nearly breaks down in tears singing his John Lennon tribute song, “Here Today.”  The book describes the moment as one of, “naked reality almost unmatched in his career, a gesture of love and pain, and a wound that could never be healed.”  Immediately after I read that line, I put the book down and raced to the internet.  I was lucky enough to find the performance generously persevered on youtube by a fan filming Paul with their camera phone.  The film is letter-boxed and a bit grainy, but the sound is good, and the moment is captured wonderfully.  Paul plays his guitar beautifully, and visibly has trouble holding back his tears.  Paul himself commented that he saw a young girl weeping in the audience, and once his eyes locked with hers, his emotion just poured out.  “Here Today,” from 1982’s Tug of War, is one of the most haunting and bittersweet Paul McCartney songs ever.  I’ve always felt a deep desire to hear more from Paul in this song and this subject, but its the nature of the song, and the nature of John’s death, that makes it impossible.  Its a masterpiece coming from an artist of unparallelled decency.  Check it out.

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The Beatles, You Never Give Me Your Money

Posted in The Beatles, Youtube Favs on April 30th, 2011 by Willie

For part 50 of my youtube countdown, we dissect the many ways in which life is a bitch.  For instance, I was laid off my job yesterday.  Yes, loyal readers, I am now but one of the unemployed masses, set to be scrambling for an unemployment check, desperately sending out resumes, left wondering what it all means as I eat a bowl of corn flakes for dinner.  Luckily, the Beatles, who never had too many employment problems, nonetheless made a beautiful anthem to the “aimless young man set adrift” demographic in the guise of “You Never Give Me Your Money.”  This song, from Abbey Road, set off the famous song cycle that typifies side 2 of the legendary record.  The video I present is nothing fancy, just a cool compilation of Beatle clips set to the tune.  The video is a little dratty, but the song is top notch of course.  I think these are Paul McCartney’s most unpretentious lyrics, and a reflection of the amazing musical craftsmanship he was capable of in this era.  I’m putting this up for me, and everyone else seeking a new job, and a better life.  Enjoy.

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