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Archive for the tag “Paul McCartney”

Another Quick Station Stop and Reading Update

Good news from The Guitar Train, Quirky T is finally reading books she has had on her bookshelves for years. I just finished reading “The Beatles” by Hunter Davies. This is the only authorized biography of the Beatles and was published in 1968. The version I read included a 1985 Postscript and a 2009 Memento Mori list of Beatles related people who have died since 1968. I can’t believe that I have not read this book until now. How did I miss it 30 years ago when I first became a Beatles fan? I read so many Beatles related books then but none as great and first hand as this one. The author spent months with the Beatles during a very interesting time in their career (but really, when was there an uninteresting time in the band’s short career?). I recommend it to every Beatles fan as a must read book.

After finishing that book, I started reading another Beatles book, “Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney” by Howard Sounes. This book was given to me as gift and I purposely put off reading it because I thought it would be too salacious. So far it definitely is more so than the Hunter Davies biography which had to be whitewashed some at the time. But as I wrote in the station stop about reading Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford autobiographies, how much do I really want to know?  https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/how-much-do-you-want-to-know/

I really don’t want to know too many personal details about Paul McCartney especially if they are gossip and not fact. Still, I will read the book without necessarily believing everything that is written.

 

On a non-music note, I am also reading Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None”. I have seen movie and play versions of the book but I hadn’t read the book. I’m reading it now for a book club meeting in March. Since I have a deadline to finish the rather slim book, I think I’ll have no problem finishing it. So I am back on the reading track.

 

Guitar Train passengers, which Beatles book is your favorite and why?

 

 

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The Guitar Train Urges All to Take a Cool Car Ride in Liverpool

Penny Lane

Quirky T is urging everyone to watch and set your recording devices for what promises to be an excellent television special called “When Corden Met McCartney: Live from Liverpool”. This is an expanded version of the segment of carpool karaoke which originally aired on the “Late Late Show with James Corden” on June 21, 2018. The segment was filmed in Paul McCartney’s birthplace of Liverpool, England. The new primetime TV special will air on Monday, August 20 from 8-9 pm ET/PT on CBS.

20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool – Paul McCartney’s house

Unfortunately I did not know about the air date of the original carpool karaoke segment so I did not record it. Of course I had to watch it on You Tube as soon as I found out about it.   It was an amazing segment because it was funny, heartwarming, nostalgic, and of course, contained great music. I was crying near the end during Paul’s surprise pub performance of “Hey Jude”. They were tears of joy over the success of this talented man from Liverpool and the enduring reach of The Beatles. I know from comments on this blog and reading other Beatles related blogs, that there are numerous other Beatlefanatics out there. Yet I am still surprised when other people show the enormous love and enthusiasm for the Beatles history and music which I have. Word of Paul’s appearances throughout Liverpool and the mini concert drew huge crowds of people. I didn’t want this segment to end so I am excited about this new extended version containing scenes cut out of the original.

 

So be sure to watch and record what will be a great TV event on Monday, August 20 at 8 pm ET/PT on CBS.

 

Guitar Train passengers, have you seen the original short segment, will you be watching the longer version, and what did you think?

The Guitar Train is Derailed on the Reading Track

 

The Guitar Train is chugging along with the May pledged to stop reading library books and only read the approximately 50 books I own at home and have never read. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/the-guitar-train-takes-a-new-route/  I have had several derailments along the way and only minimal progress.

 

Before starting to read my own books, I had one last library book to read. “The White Lioness” by Henning Mankell at 500 pages was not a quick read. Once I finished that book, I put the Kurt Wallender detective series aside while I literally dusted off the books on my bookshelf.

The first book of my own I started reading was “X” by Sue Grafton only to realize that the story in “W is for Wasted”, the previous book in the series, was very important to recall in order to understand “X”. Since I had read “W is for Wasted” years before, I didn’t remember all the details so I had to reread it in order to follow the story in “X”. So that added another book to my “to read” list. I was worried as I was getting to the end of “Y is for Yesterday” that the story would not be completely resolved since tragically Sue Grafton died before she finished writing “Z” which would have presumably been the last book in the Kinsey Millhone detective series. Not to give anything away to anyone else who like me was silly enough to have left the books unread on a bookshelf for years or anyone who has yet to read this great series, the end of what became the last book in the series is very satisfactory.

 

 

The not reading library books track was almost derailed again when I was adding the Rizzoli and Isles series of mystery books to my huge book reserve list on my library’s website. A glitch on the website resulted in a non-Rizzoli and Isles book by the same author, Tess Gerritsen, to be reserved for me and sent to my local library for pick-up. Not only was it a book I did not add to my list, but it was also in large type format. By the time I saw the error, the book was already on route to my library. I decided to check it out since I might like it. Fortunately for my reading my own books exclusively pledge, the first sentence was so gruesome, it turned me off from reading the book at all.

 

While I was at the library, I picked up a free magazine listing nearly 100 recently published books in several genres with an emphasis on the mystery genre, my favorite. So that opened up a can of worms or in my case, a huge list of books to read for a bookworm. From that magazine, I ended up adding about 30 books to my already massive library book reserve list. Adding the titles made me want to get the books right then and read them and abandon my reading my own books pledge. I resisted the urge and logged out of the library website before ordering any of the books.

 

Another detour which added more books to my bookshelf was the buying of two books that I had first borrowed from the library. I had checked them out from the library to preview them to make sure they were really worth buying. They were so I added two more books to my list to read – one reference book and one cookbook.

So to update what I have actually read from my own bookshelf – not much. Besides the two new Sue Grafton books, I finished reading the autobiography of Mike Rutherford from Genesis called “The Living Years.” I wrote about this book and Phil Collins’ autobiography in the Guitar Train stop from January 2018 called “How Much Do You Want to Know?” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/how-much-do-you-want-to-know/  It was interesting to read Mike Rutherford’s take on Genesis.

I also read “The Beatles, The Bible, and Bodega Bay” by Ken Mansfield. He was the first manager of Apple Records in the United States. On page 135 of his book published in 2000 before George Harrison and Neil Aspinal died, Ken wrote, “In my opinion, the only people alive today who have the right to write the Beatles’ story are George, Paul, Ringo, or ex-head road manager and now Apple managing director Neil Aspinal. I honestly doubt that any of them would be moved to do so, but it still remains that they are the only ones still here and the only ones who were truly there for the duration.” I guess his own opinion didn’t stop him from writing this book and more books on the subject. Now I have to decide if I should add his other books to my never ending reading list.

The ride on the reading track has not been smooth and uninterrupted. It may be derailed again by streaming movies on Netflix in order to get through my 300 DVD queue quicker. After that comes the beginning of the NFL season which between all the games and the shows about football, leaves little time for reading. The book I am currently reading is Joe Torre’s memoir called “The Yankee Years.” That should help me get back on track.

 

Guitar Train passengers, have you read any books which have been sitting on your bookshelf unread for years? Did you enjoy them and regret not reading them sooner?

Quick Station Stop – Holding Hands with My Faves

Quirky T has noticed that her favorite musicians have made references to holding hands in their songs. The lyrics evoke images of comfort. So here is The Guitar Train’s list of songs by her favorite musicians which mention holding hands.

  1. The Beatles – “I Want To Hold Your Hand”
  2. Paul McCartney – “Put It There”
  3. Phil Collins – “Come With Me”
  4. Gloria Estefan – “I See Your Smile”
  5. Huey Lewis and the News – “Do You Believe in Love”

And here’s a bonus song from another band I liked:

Hootie and the Blowfish – “Hold My Hand”

Guitar Train passengers, what songs by your favorite musicians mention hand holding as a source of comfort?

The Guitar Train Stops to See Ringo Starr in Concert!!!

Ringo Starr marquee

Quirky T has been very lucky to see Paul McCartney in concert four times. I always thought he’d be the only Beatle I would be lucky enough to see live. That was until I saw Ringo Starr in concert!!! He was touring, as usual, with his All-Starr Band featuring famous musicians. This is such a perfect concept for Ringo in order to compensate for his lack of a huge catalog of hit songs. I wanted to see Ringo so badly that I didn’t even care who else was playing with him. This year’s line-up has actually been together since 2012. The musicians included Todd Rundgren, Gregg Rolie (from Santana and Journey), Steve Lukather (from Toto), Richard Page (from Mr. Mister), and Warren Ham (from Kansas).

Ringo Starr stage

The concert was amazing. Not surprisingly I loved Ringo Starr but I was also very impressed with all the other musicians. Before the concert, I had checked out the set list (at http://www.setlist.fm) from previous tour dates to see if I knew all the songs that could be played.  Surprisingly, I knew all the songs by all the musicians. The concert was set up with all the musicians on the stage at the same time and they each took turns as lead singer on their former groups’ hit songs. Before the concert, I had assumed other concertgoers were there primarily for Ringo. From the reactions of those around me, hearing the other musicians may have interested them more. So the concept works perfectly; there is something for everyone. I was not bored during the non-Ringo songs since the other musicians were so musically impressive and had great personalities.

Ringo Starr ticket stub and program

Ringo, or “the boss”, as the other musicians called him, was just as I thought he would be. He was funny and all “peace and love”. He was also very energetic; even doing jumping jacks at the end. I found it interesting that The Beatles were never referred to by name; they were called “the original band” or “that other band”. That could come off as bitter but not when Ringo says it. He even mentioned the band he was in before The Beatles – Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Todd Rundgren noted that this version of the All-Starr Band has been together for six years, almost as long as The Beatles. He added “it’s not that hard”. Obviously, there’s a huge difference between established musicians playing old songs together for fun versus a group of four young men with the whole world watching their every move. I was struck by the fact that Paul McCartney would not be playing in a venue as small as this 1,300 seat theater. (If he did, it would be amazing to be that close to him). He is still playing 80,000 seat stadiums.

 

I was happy with Ringo’s selection of his solo and Beatles songs. Just like Paul McCartney, Ringo performed Beatles songs which he never performed live with The Beatles. The song “Matchbox” which opened the show was more of a rocker than I had thought. I wish he had performed “Honey Don’t” but it wouldn’t be the same without Ringo calling out George Harrison to play for him. I enjoyed hearing “Back Off Boogaloo”   and I would love to tell off someone who angered me by saying that. I’m not sure it would go over well or be understood. If the concert had been in December, I would have loved to hear the band play Ringo’s “Come On Christmas, Christmas Come On” since it’s my new favorite Christmas song.

I really enjoyed this concert and am so grateful I was able to see another Beatle perform live. I was also entertained by all the other musicians in the All-Starr band. I would highly recommend this concert to everyone. It was a greatest hits set of several very talented musicians.

 

Guitar Train passengers, which musicians would you like to hear only a few hit songs from in all star format?

Questions Quirky T Would Ask Her Faves

 

 

Quirky T has seen many interviews of her favorite musicians. Because of the enormous fame of these musicians, they have been interviewed frequently and just as frequently asked the same questions. As a real fan, I don’t want to watch interviews with only surface questions, I want to dig deeper. Since I’ll never have a sit down interview with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan, Phil Collins, Huey Lewis and the News, or Jon Secada, I’ve come up with questions I would ask them if I happen to run into them and only have seconds to blurt out a question before they disappear. Of course, the chances that I’ll be anywhere near any of them is infinitesimally small but I do want to be prepared just in case. (Does it increase my odds that I only need to run into one member of The News to have my question answered?)

Let It Be album cover

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr – as the only living representatives of The Beatles, the question I would ask them would be when will they re-release the movie “Let It Be.” When can they let the many of us who haven’t seen it, see an official version? The chances of me meeting these two Beatles together are probably as likely as this Beatles movie being re-released in some format.

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Phil Collins – I have several questions for him. I would ask him to clear up all the rumors and tell me what “In the Air Tonight” is really about. Also, what is one of my favorite Genesis’ songs, “Abacab” about? If I didn’t have time to ask any questions, then I would resort to begging him to go on tour again as a solo artist and with Genesis’ Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. I would suggest to him that Chester Thompson could play the drums for him and he could just sing. I would also beg that if he did that, he would tour near where I live so I could see him.

 

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Gloria Estefan on side of building in Chicago

Gloria Estefan – She is so talented in the way she does English and Spanish versions of several of her songs. I would ask her for an English song version of my favorite of her Spanish songs, “No Me Dejes de Querer (“Flores del Caribe Mix)”.

cu Huey Lewis Sports poster

Huey Lewis and the News – I have one and only one questions for this band. When will the new CD be released? I wrote about this in The Guitar Train stop called “The Guitar Train Delivers Good News”.( https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/the-guitar-train-delivers-good-news/ )  I’m still waiting impatiently for new songs. So when will they be coming?

Jon Secada

Jon Secada – I was only able to see him once in concert – 22 years ago. He had just two CDs released at that time. So there are many songs I have never heard him perform live. So my question to Jon Secada is when will you perform a full concert (near me) again?

 

Guitar Train passengers, if you were ever lucky enough to meet your favorite musicians, what questions have you always wanted to ask them?

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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