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The Guitar Train Stops to see Paul McCartney!!!

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Quirky T was extremely lucky to be able to conduct The Guitar Train to see the legendary Paul McCartney in concert on Sunday, August 7 at Giants Stadium (really called MetLife Stadium). It had been 14 years since I last saw my favorite Beatle perform live.  The concert was, not surprisingly, amazing.

Tripping the Live Fantastic CD

Before going to the concert, I checked out the set list for the concert prior to this one. I was a little disappointed that he would not be playing some of the songs that I really wanted to hear. (Click on the link for the set list for the concert I attended. http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/paul-mccartney/2016/metlife-stadium-east-rutherford-nj-2bfc9c2a.html) I wrote a Guitar Train stop called “Concert Song Requests of My Faves” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/concert-song-requests-of-my-faves/ where I listed the Beatles songs I would like to hear. So, Sir Paul, any time you need help coming up with the set list, I would be more than happy to help. (Incidentally, that list would include several songs from the album, “Help!”). I guess I was comparing the set list to the first Paul McCartney concert I went to at Giants Stadium (the actual name of the stadium then). At that concert, he played several songs from my favorite solo album of his, 1989’s “Flowers in the Dirt”. I bought the double CD of live performances from that concert called “Tripping the Live Fantastic”. So the memories of that concert have been kept alive for me.

 

I was also comparing the set list to the one from his October 21, 2015 concert in Detroit where he played several songs from my favorite Beatles album, “Help!” as well as other Beatles songs he doesn’t usually play in concert. It’s just so frustrating because he has so many incredible songs to choose from that I wonder why he chooses the ones he does. The crowd at this concert, at least the fans near me, was definitely into The Beatles songs (obviously) and less into the Wings songs, and even less into the songs from his 2013 CD called “New”. At one point, Paul mentioned that when the crowd is into the song he is playing, he sees all the lit up cell phones. When they aren’t into the song, it’s like “a black hole”. He added, “But we don’t care.” Since it is impossible to play every song that every fan wants to hear (and keep the concert time under three hours), he has to play what he wants and not worry too much about fan reaction. It’s not as if any song is so horrible that he will be booed.

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So let me move on from whining and write that I loved the concert and was grateful to be there. I really liked the fact that Beatles songs were played before the concert began. Some songs were sung by the Fab Four such as “Tomorrow Never Knows”, “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You”, “If I Needed Someone”, and “Day Tripper” and some were covers such as “Get Back” and “You Can’t Do That”. I really enjoyed listening to these songs because I have never liked any of the songs played before any other concert I’ve ever attended. It makes perfect sense to play Beatles songs, and not just Paul’s Beatles songs, because the audience will definitely like them.

 

Also before the concert, there was a rumor going around that a special guest would join Paul McCartney on stage. Someone brought up Ringo Starr. I quickly dismissed that as impossible. I doubt Ringo just happened to be hanging around East Rutherford, New Jersey and would pop up on stage for half a Beatles reunion. Another name brought up was Bruce Springsteen but that was quickly shot down as he was touring in Europe at the time. I did think a perfect song for them to duet on would be Bruce Springsteen’s “Jersey Girl” since Paul called his wife, Nancy, a “jersey girl.” I could only think of musicians of his generation that I hoped wouldn’t come on stage. Alas, there wasn’t any special guest and none was needed.

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I had heard and read that lately Paul has been bringing fans on stage during the concert. I’m so glad that he didn’t do that at this performance. Unless it’s me, no fans belong on stage with him. There were plenty of fans vying to get on stage with the clever signs they made. Paul commented that he couldn’t read the signs and remember the chords and words at the same time.

 

I found it interesting when Paul said, “we played our first song and now we’ll play our latest song” because there is no “our”. He is the only one who played on that first song, “In Spite of All the Danger”, the latest song, “Four Five Seconds” and all the songs in between. There’s no “we” who played with him in The Beatles, Wings, and solo. If anyone can say, “I”, without being narcissistic, it’s him.

A Hard Day's Night CD cover

Not surprisingly, The Beatles songs really held up after all this time. As he played “Can’t Buy Me Love”, I thought of how that song is over 50 years old and still played and still loved. I doubt that in the 1960’s, people were listening to songs from the 1910’s. Also, as always, I think of the fact that Paul is performing Beatles songs which he never performed live with John, George, and Ringo.

 

Another observation I had was about the songs he performed which he had written for the loves of his life – 60’s fiancée Jane Asher, his late first wife, Linda, and his current wife, Nancy. “And I Love Her”, a Beatles song, was written for Jane. “Maybe I’m Amazed” was a solo song written for Linda. “My Valentine” was written for Nancy as part of his album of standards. (I wrote about this CD in a Guitar Train stop called “Quirky T’s Favorites Sing the Standards” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/quirky-ts-favorites-sing-the-standards/ ). I think Nancy has the worst song written for her out of those three but I guess since she’s the one who is with him now, it doesn’t matter. I like the fact that Paul still sings “Maybe I’m Amazed” and prefaces the song by saying he wrote it for Linda. He seemed to get choked up before he sang “Here Today” in tribute to John Lennon. He also paid tribute to George Harrison before playing the ukulele and “Something”. It’s sad that there are so many tributes for deceased loved ones.

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For me, the highlights of the concert were Paul McCartney playing one of his earliest songs, “In Spite of All the Danger”, a surprising Beatles song, “You Won’t See Me’, a different version of “Here, There, and Everywhere”, and two upbeat Beatles songs, “Lady Madonna” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. I absolutely loved the fireworks set off during “Live and Let Die” and set off again at the end of the 2 hour and 40 minute concert. I was a little concerned because they were set off from the seating section I’ll be in for an October New York Giants football game. I hope the seats weren’t damaged!

 

Guitar Train passengers, if you went to a Paul McCartney concert, which songs would you want to hear?

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Concert Song Requests of My Faves

 

 

The Guitar Train has been lucky enough to make stops to see all of Quirky T’s favorite musicians (except The Beatles) in live concert performances. While I have thoroughly enjoyed all these concerts, there are some songs which I love that I have never heard performed live. I know musicians are limited as far as which songs they can play because of time constraints, technical production issues, and catering to the audiences’ desires. Or as Huey Lewis says during his concerts when the audience yells out titles of songs they want him to sing, “So many hits, so little time.” So putting all practicality aside (including life and death), here are the songs I would love to hear my favorite musicians perform live at a concert I’m attending.

Help!

For The Beatles, obviously I’d love to have just been at any of their concerts, even with all the screaming. I’ve been fortunate enough to hear Paul McCartney perform Beatles songs that the band never even performed together in concert. I would love to hear my favorite Beatles album, “Help!” in its entirety. During the October 15, 2015 concert in Detroit, Michigan, Paul McCartney did play “Another Girl”, “I’ve Just Seen a Face”, and “Yesterday”. I would have loved to have been a part of that concert experience. Aside from the album “Help!”, these are the other Beatles songs I would like to hear, broken down by whose songs they are.

  • John Lennon – “It Won’t Be Long”, “All I’ve Got to Do”, and “In My Life”
  • Paul McCartney – “I’ll Follow the Sun”, “I Will” , and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”
  • George Harrison – “Old Brown Shoe”, “Here Comes the Sun”, and “Don’t Bother Me”
  • Ringo Starr – “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “Honey Don’t” (I know it’s not an original Beatles song but it’s a fun song for Ringo).

Phil Collins t-shirt

From Phil Collins, I would request his angry songs – “I Don’t Care Anymore”, “Do You Know, Do You Care?”, and “Who Said I Would”. To counter the anger, I would love to hear my all time favorite song of all songs I’ve ever heard in my entire life – “We Said Hello Goodbye”.

Genesis glitter T-shirt

I have been lucky that at the two Genesis concerts I attended, Phil Collins sang many of my favorite Genesis songs. To those favorites, I would like to also request “Abacab”, “That’s All”, and “Just a Job To Do.”

gloria!

I’ve been to many Gloria Estefan concerts but I haven’t heard her perform songs from her 1998 CD titled “gloria!” So I would love to hear that CD performed in its entirety since the songs flow into each other non-stop between tracks. If that’s too much to ask for, I’d settle for just my favorite song from that CD – “I Just Wanna Be Happy”. The other Gloria Estefan song I’d love to hear her perform in concert would fit in with the angry Phil Collins songs. It’s appropriately titled “Go Away.”  I’ll add one Spanish song to my requests – “No Me Dejes De Querer (“Flores” Del Caribe Mix)”.

cu Huey Lewis Sports poster

Huey Lewis and the News concerts are way too short as it is so I can definitely request many more songs for the band to play. They could stand to play a few more hits. In 2013, they played their 1983 album, “Sports”, in its entirety to commemorate its 30th anniversary. That was such an amazing experience that I would love for the band to do that again. In addition to that album, the song I’d most like to hear them perform live is the hard rocking “Couple Days Off”.

Jon Secada and Cadbury Creme Egg

The one Jon Secada concert I attended was also very short. Of course, at the time, he had only released two albums. So I would be happy to hear more songs from those two albums as well as other songs he’s released in the 21 years since then. I would definitely love to hear the songs “La, La, La’, “Whipped”, and “I’m Free”.

Barry Manilow Greatest Hits Album cover

For Barry Manilow who I’ve seen in concert twice, I would like to hear my three favorite songs of his – “Break Down the Door”, “Beautiful Music”, and “All the Time”. I would also request a song that he probably plays at every concert – “Can’t Smile Without You”.

 

Steve Winwood ticket stub

Steve Winwood ticket stub

One bonus musician that I have song requests for – Steve Winwood. He’s not a favorite of mine like the others are but I do enjoy several songs of his. I saw him in concert six years ago and I was disappointed that he did not play those favorite songs of mine. Those songs are “While You See a Chance”, “Back in the High Life Again”,  “Don’t You Know What the Night Can Do?”, and “Roll With It”.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are the songs you would request your favorite musicians play at their concerts?

Beatles’ Movie Month – “Yellow Submarine”

Yellow Submarine DVD cover

The Guitar Train is reaching the final destination in this month’s look at The Beatles’ movies. This week’s station stop is The Beatles’ 1968 movie, “Yellow Submarine”. Unlike the other Beatles movies I wrote about this month, I had not seen this film before. I appreciate it is as an animated version of The Beatles with a very imaginative plot and visuals but it was too psychedelic for me. As with all the other Beatles movies, I really liked hearing their songs. Several of the group’s song lyrics were also cleverly inserted in the dialogue. An aspect of this film which was similar to “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!” was the witty dialogue taken from the Fab Four’s personalities. In the special feature on the DVD called “Making of Documentary”, Peter Angelis, the voice of Ringo, demonstrated how he can imitate the voices of all four Beatles. That impressed me.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what is your favorite scene from “Yellow Submarine”?

Let It Be album cover

The Beatles last film was the 1970 documentary, “Let It Be”. Unfortunately, I have never seen this film. Even more unfortunately, I cannot get an official, non-bootlegged version of it. I understand that it depicts the breaking up of the band but I can handle that. After all, the band was already broken up when I was born; it’s the only way I have known them. It would be different if the band had stayed together (and alive) and regretted how they treated each other at that time and didn’t want others to see them that way. As it is, there are numerous solo interviews with each Beatle since 1970 where they have, each at some point, had not so nice things to say about their fellow bandmates. The difference between those interviews which are easily available for viewing on You Tube and the “Let It Be” film is that Paul, Ringo, the estates of John and George, and Apple have control over “Let It Be”. Since Apple has continued to re-release and find previously unreleased material to release for profit, why pass up on a guaranteed money maker? The re-release of “Let It Be” on DVD would be a huge event for Beatles fans and possibly the last link to a project all The Beatles were present for and meant to release to the public.

 

Guitar Train passengers, are you lucky enough to have seen “Let It Be”? What do you think about the film? Should it be re-released?

 

Before The Guitar Train departs for its next destination, I just want to wrap up Beatles’ Movies Month with a Beatles related movie called “Good Ol’ Freda”. This 2013 film is about The Beatles secretary, Freda Kelly, whose job was to answer the thousands of fan letters that came in every day as well as to get John, Paul, George, and Ringo to sign autographs for the fans. Freda comes across in this film as a nice, down to earth person who was very loyal to the band as well as really caring about the fans. She gave away autographs, photographs, and memorabilia to Beatles fans which would be worth millions today. I would recommend watching this film as it shows a fascinating inside view of Beatlemania.

 

Next month, come aboard The Guitar Train as Quirky T examines songs for Easter, songs about New York, and songs about California.

Beatles’ Movies Month – “Help!”

Help! CD cover

All this month on The Guitar Train, Quirky T will be looking at The Beatles’ movies. This station stop looks at The Beatles’ second movie, “Help!”. As with all the movies I am looking at this month, they have been analyzed so much so I’m going to just take a quick look at the film. “Help!” was released in 1965 and directed by Richard Lester who also directed The Beatles’ first film, “A Hard Day’s Night”. Since that film had depicted the Fab Four’s chaotic work lives and their personal lives were not going to be depicted, this movie had them as “passive recipients of an outside threat”. Ringo Starr called it “a chase film” which is appropriate especially since he was the one being chased for the sacrificial ring he is unable to remove from his finger. The fact that The Beatles were more passive in this film has been criticized but I still enjoyed the film. In the end, it’s still John, Paul, George, and Ringo. It’s still their witty personalities and their amazing music. I may be a little biased since “Help!” is my favorite Beatles album.

 

Again like “A Hard Day’s Night”, this is a movie I had last seen decades ago. One scene that I remembered from my first viewing that is still a favorite occurs in the beginning of the film. The band members each enter separate doors of row houses only to reveal once inside that it is one large connected house. What a cool interior it is with a grass floor, snack machine, drink machine, organ, revolving bookcase, and John’s bed in the floor. I could live there.

 

Another favorite scene is when The Beatles are sledding and skiing while “Ticket to Ride” plays. It has the look of a music video. In fact, in the DVD’s “Special Features”, Richard Lester said MTV proclaimed him as the “Father of MTV” because of scenes such as this one. I love the coats the musicians are wearing as well as George’s top hat. On another fashion note, according to one of the special features, the khakis The Beatles wore in the Salisbury Plain sequence were sold out for months in stores around the world after the movie premiered. It is just another example of their enormous popularity and position as trendsetters.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what is your favorite scene from “Help!”?

 

Hop back aboard for the next stop on The Guitar Train’s Beatles’ Movies Month as Quirky T looks at the “Magical Mystery Tour”.

 

Beatles’ Movies Month – “A Hard Day’s Night”

All this month on The Guitar Train, Quirky T will be looking at Beatles movies. It’s so great that the band made these films so that all these years later, we have something to look back on that captures them from those periods of time. I’d say the movies are the modern equivalents of long form music videos but even more modernly, they are the equivalents of You Tube videos. The films The Beatles made have been reviewed and dissected millions of times over the decades, so I’m just going to take a quick look at them.

A Hard Day's Night album cover

This week’s station stop is The Beatles’ first movie, “A Hard Day’s Night” from 1964. I had first seen this movie decades ago. I enjoyed re-watching it since it is such a great depiction of Beatlemania. The film really recreates the chaos, claustrophobia, and frantic pace of that time for the group. It also really captures the personalities and wit of the Fab Four.

Ringo from "A Hard Day's Night"

The scene where the whole band is having fun and being silly in the field while “Can’t Buy Me Love” plays is a favorite. Another favorite scene is when Ringo escapes and is chivalrous with his coat while “This Boy” plays. Of course any scene containing a Beatles song is a great scene.

George from "A Hard Day's Night"

The DVD I watched included numerous extras which I found interesting. In the supplemental feature called “Listen to the Music Playing in Your Head”, Beatles producer George Martin said he regrets not encouraging George Harrison more with his songwriting. He actually apologizes to George and calls “Something” “one of the best love songs ever written”.

 

Another interesting supplemental feature was “Dressed to the Hilt” where the tailor son of the tailor who made the Beatles suits displayed the actual suit patterns and suits. It’s amazing that they have kept the patterns all these years later. The fact that suits were made for the band illustrates the differences between then and now where male singers wear casual clothes that certainly aren’t custom designed for them.

back of "A Hard Day's Night" album

Guitar Train passengers, what are you favorite scenes from “A Hard Day’s Night”?

 

The next stop on The Guitar Train’s Beatles’ Movies Month is “Help!”. So hop aboard to reminisce about the Beatles’ second film.

Favorite Movie Soundtracks By My Favorites

This month on The Guitar Train, Quirky T stops to celebrate movie soundtracks. My favorite musicians have all had their songs included in movies. Here are my favorite movie soundtracks by my favorites:

 

  1. “Help!”(the album) – The Beatles
  2. “The Power of Love” – Huey Lewis and the News
  3. “Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)” – Phil Collins
  4. “Music of My Heart” – Gloria Estefan
  5. “Mental Picture” – Jon Secada

Help!

In Guitar Train stops scheduled for next year, I will spend a whole month discussing the Beatles movies. So for this stop, I’ll just mention that since “Help!” is one my favorite Beatles albums, it goes without saying that it would be my favorite Beatles soundtrack album.

Huey Lewis and the News Greatest Hits

Huey Lewis and the News Greatest Hits

 

Huey Lewis and the News had two songs in the excellent 1985 film, “Back to the Future”. I prefer “The Power of Love” over “Back in Time” because it stands on its own separate from the film. “Back in Time” is more of a synopsis of the movie. “The Power of Love” was always an elusive song for me since it didn’t appear on any of the Huey Lewis and the News cassette tapes I had at the time. The only way I could hear it was randomly on the radio. I think that made it more special for me.

Before Phil Collins’ songs were in soundtracks of Disney movies such as “Tarzan”, he wrote and performed “Against All Odds” for the 1984 film of the same name. The film starring Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward is okay but the Phil Collins song is great – heartbreak at his best.

Gloria Estefan’s song “Music of My Heart” with boy band ‘N Synch from the 1999 movie, “Music of the Heart”, is not one of her best songs. I only saw the movie because Gloria Estefan had a part in it as well as my favorite actor, Aidan Quinn, and the very amazing Meryl Streep.

 

Jon Secada

Jon Secada – Heart, Soul, & A Voice

Jon Secada’s song “Mental Picture” from his 1994 album, “Heart, Soul, & a Voice” appeared in the 1994 movie, “The Specialist”. Although I have not seen the movie which stars Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone, the Jon Secada song is good.

 

Guitar Train passengers, have your favorite musicians done movie soundtracks? If yes, which ones and did you like them?

 

At the next stop of The Guitar Train’s Movie Soundtrack Month, Quirky T lists her favorite movie soundtracks from musicians other than her favorites. So hop back aboard for that.

Favorites Month: The Beatles

All this month, Quirky T will be conducting the Guitar Train for a stop at each of her all time favorite musicians. The first destination is The Beatles.

The Beatles Love Songs
First Stop (The First Time I Heard Their Music)
I first heard The Beatles music about 35 years ago. My mom is a Beatles fan so I heard their music because of her. The first Beatles song I remember hearing is her singing “Lovely Rita”. The first Beatles tape I ever received was a compilation called “Love Songs” which was released by Capitol Records in 1977.

 

The Beatles Anthology book
Second Stop (What I Did Next)
From then on, I listened to all the official Beatles albums (as official as the American versions were) from the beginning of their career as a band until the end in 1970. I watched their movies. I also read many books about The Beatles. The amount of books written about them is overwhelming. They have almost gotten down to a minute by minute account of everything John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr said and did from 1960-1970.

 

Help CD cover
Repeated Destinations (Favorite Song and Album)
My favorite Beatles album is “Help!”. I prefer the early Beatles albums up until 1965’s “Rubber Soul”. That’s not to say I don’t like any songs after 1965; I just prefer the earlier songs over many of the later songs.
My favorite Beatles song changes often. Currently it is 1970’s “Get Back” which I can also play on the guitar.
Now Departing (What Non-Fans Say about Them)
Are there non-Beatles fans? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like at least a few Beatles songs. I also don’t know anyone who doesn’t acknowledge that The Beatles were musical geniuses, innovators, and groundbreakers.
Conducting This Train (Why They Will Always be My Favorites)
Beatles music just makes me happy. They were talented musicians who made amazing music. The band released an astonishing amount of music in a short time in several different genres.

 

Meet the Beatles album cover
All Aboard (Why I Wish Others Would Listen to Them and Where to Start)
I can’t imagine any person going through his or her whole life without ever having heard a Beatles song. So it’s not like I really have to sell anyone on The Beatles. I also couldn’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to let a bit of happiness and musical genius into their lives.
But for the newcomers, I would recommend listening to an early Beatles album such as 1964’s “Meet the Beatles” (an American release) and also a later album such as 1967’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. I would really recommend listening to all their albums in chronological order to get a greater sense of how their music changed over the years. For the more serious fans, I would recommend “The Beatles Anthology” book and DVDs. It is the definitive story of the band told in 1995 by the then three surviving members with previous interviews from John Lennon.
Official Track
For more information, check out The Beatles official website at http://www.thebeatles.com

 
Guitar Train passengers, tell Quirky T who are your all time favorite musicians and why.

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