Paul's behavior got John mad

Discussions related to Paul as a Beatle.

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Re:

Postby jjs » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:40 pm

Chris Speers wrote:I think i was trying to state why John had so much anger toward Paul. Why the business deal drove him to really have some nastiness toward him? Meaning Paul.

I don't think Paul deserved the anger. But, i don't think he is an innocent victim.

I have been a bit down on Paul , i suppose. I shouldn't be that. My issues with him remain his attempt to re-write the past. I still can't get over the Vanity Fair article and the Danny Fields book. Wow! Of course, i should try to be a little more positive since he is the only the greatest song-writer of all time[^][;)]


I'd like to ask how you know whether he's trying to rewrite the past, or set the record straight? If his statements are true, and he feels the need to make those statements because the public's general impressions are not consistent with the truth, isn't he justified? I certainly think so. I'm sure anyone in that situation would do exactly the same thing. I sure know I would.

Look at it like this: Someone mentioned that John accused Paul of "subconsciously sabotaging" his songs. First, this isn't just a story, it's a matter of public record. John filed a lawsuit (actually a counter-suit) alleging this. The suit alleged that Paul would micro-manage (my words) when doing one of his own songs, until the song was note-perfect, but when they were doing one of John's songs Paul would become casual and want to experiment.

Keep in mind John sued Paul over this... yet John is considered the "experimental" Beatle. How can one complain about the "air of experimentation" that would surround his songs, and simultaneously be the "experimental" Beatle? It doesn't make sense. Yet when Paul comes out and says that he pushed the Beatles to experiment, and he was the one that did this or did that, he's accused of rewriting the past. John never ventured very far away from standard guitar rock on any of his solo songs after the Beatles. Paul on the other hand touched everything from avant-garde to psychedelic to country on his solo songs. Why? Because these are their respective natural tendencies. I'm not saying one tendency is better than the other, in fact my opinion is that Paul's tendency to experiment (both with different genres and with different sounds) did not work as well on his solo recordings without the strong foundation Lennon's musical and lyrical tendencies seemed to provide.

So you know what I think? I think Paul McCartney was the experimental Beatle. I think Yoko Ono was the experimental Beatle. And I think John Lennon would have played guitar rock songs with few exceptions throughout the 60's without their influence. And I don't think it's a terrible thing for Paul to say so.
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Re: Paul's behavior got John mad

Postby ahawk66 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:59 am

RE: Paul "sabotaging" John's songs... I'd say John had some revisionist musings on this one, or at least he put a twist on it. I've read that George Martin and others have said that Paul simply had a clear idea of what his songs would sound like as complete recordings before they ever worked on them in the studio, while John would come in, strum away and let the others come up with their parts as it went along. Paul was just more musically broad, hearing all elements of a song. That's not knocking John's style, either, but they just had different approaches when it came time to record. Actually, I've heard that Ringo and George liked recording John's songs more than Paul's because of this fact. John kind of trusted that the other three would do the song justice by bringing in their individual strenghts. Paul just knew what he wanted and got the others to do what he heard in his head. So I don't think there was wild experimentation, per se, on John's songs. I think it was just that they were more open to ideas from the other Beatles & George Martin. He may have gone along with them at the time and in hindsight wished he hadn't, but even a song like "Strawberry Fields", whose recording he said (later) that he didn't like, was applauded by John once it was finished in the studio. At the time, he loved the mellotron opening by Paul and the way George Martin spliced together the two original recordings. It might've been the Playboy interview where he said he'd re-record almost everything they ever did, but I think most artists would say that about their previous recordings. I think John liked being a Beatle a lot more than he ever let on, especially with his '70s interviews.
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Re: Paul's behavior got John mad

Postby ahawk66 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:11 am

...as an addendum to my previous post: I can see how John would be upset when he found out that Paul had privately bought more shares of Northern Songs in the mid to late-'60s. Maybe Paul should've told John right away and they could've bought more shares together, thus keeping control of their own songs. From what I've read (and there's always speculation involved here), it seems Paul should've let John in on that in some way. John shouldn't have had to find out elsewhere. I can see how John would look at that as betrayal, especially when they were as close as they were personally and professionally. Since it affected both of them and it dealt with both their creations, Paul could've been a bit more above board with the purchases. Just my opinion, for what it's worth. ...I think the higher royalties Paul ultimately received on Beatles stuff in the '70s were OK with the others once they found out why and how it happened, although I'm sure there was a lawsuit involving that in there somewhere :?
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Re: Paul's behavior got John mad

Postby Mark Rink » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:09 pm

Sir Paul McCartney made John Lennon a VERY rich man.If you know the story when John first met Paul he saw his enormous talent and thought... :-? ummmm I better ask this guy to join my group before he starts his own.
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Re: Re:

Postby james1985 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:37 pm

jjs wrote:So you know what I think? I think Paul McCartney was the experimental Beatle. I think Yoko Ono was the experimental Beatle. And I think John Lennon would have played guitar rock songs with few exceptions throughout the 60's without their influence. And I don't think it's a terrible thing for Paul to say so.


There's a degree of truth in that - a really interesting point. That's gonna have me thinking things over in my head for a while now
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Re: Paul's behavior got John mad

Postby jjs » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:43 pm

ahawk66 wrote:RE: Paul "sabotaging" John's songs... I'd say John had some revisionist musings on this one, or at least he put a twist on it. I've read that George Martin and others have said that Paul simply had a clear idea of what his songs would sound like as complete recordings before they ever worked on them in the studio, while John would come in, strum away and let the others come up with their parts as it went along. Paul was just more musically broad, hearing all elements of a song. That's not knocking John's style, either, but they just had different approaches when it came time to record. Actually, I've heard that Ringo and George liked recording John's songs more than Paul's because of this fact. John kind of trusted that the other three would do the song justice by bringing in their individual strenghts. Paul just knew what he wanted and got the others to do what he heard in his head. So I don't think there was wild experimentation, per se, on John's songs. I think it was just that they were more open to ideas from the other Beatles & George Martin. He may have gone along with them at the time and in hindsight wished he hadn't, but even a song like "Strawberry Fields", whose recording he said (later) that he didn't like, was applauded by John once it was finished in the studio. At the time, he loved the mellotron opening by Paul and the way George Martin spliced together the two original recordings. It might've been the Playboy interview where he said he'd re-record almost everything they ever did, but I think most artists would say that about their previous recordings. I think John liked being a Beatle a lot more than he ever let on, especially with his '70s interviews.


The fact is that John filed a suit against Paul alleging that Paul subconsciously sabotaged his songs by "adopting an air of casual experimentation". How you feel, and what you think (or better said, what you feel) he really meant by that isn't really relevant. What John thought and felt is relevant, and he expressed those thoughts and feelings by filing the suit.

That being said, I think you missed my point. My point is that Paul is criticized for trying to "rewrite" the past. One of the ways he tries to rewrite the past is by saying that he was the one most inclined to experiment, not John. Some people don't believe Paul, but they overlook four important facts: The lawsuit, which proves that Paul was an experimenter, the fact that John Lennon obviously didn't like that Paul experimented with his songs, the fact John never released a solo song that wasn't mainstream "guitar" rock, and the fact that Paul McCartney solo career was replete with all sorts of sonic experimentation.

So, is Paul trying to revise the past, or is he trying to set the record straight? The facts seem to imply the latter.
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Re: Paul's behavior got John mad

Postby linclink » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:13 am

I do think that both John & Paul were experimental, but to say that Macca was the experimental Beatle seems incredibly far fetched to me. During The Beatles era work together Macca certainly made huge contributions to everyone's songs, and he was unfairly vilified as being a hyper-conservative popnik also ran has been, BUT...Lennon's songs are, structurally & lyrically more adventurous & McCartney's are more standard, conservative fare. These guys were a musical collective, but to actually go so far as to claim that Macca was the radical, or even the most radical in the group is over stepping things in as extreme a manner as those who dismiss Macca as old fashioned, boring, trite & White. Neither of those extreme statements rings true at all for me. John Lennon was "out there" and naturally explosively experimental conceptually, lyrically/verbally, artistically, in pretty much every exploratory & border dissolving, boundary expanding aspect of his life & from a very young age, because that was part & parcel of who he was, and how he was, at this very core. McCartney is a good & different person, but he is much different from Lennon. He is not as explosive or explicit, which doesn't mean certain things don't exist, just that they are different. To try to paint Lennon as the mainstreamer & Macca as the radical just doesn't sit well at all. It's much more true, & correct to correct the misconceptions out there about Paul being right-wing & Lennon left-wing, that old stereotype is wrong too. I do have to say that I do think that while McCartney has had to battle against this stereotype in trying to reclaim his place in history that he has done so in a way that borders on Stalin like re-writing of history. He comes off as heavy handed, ego driven and the whole sad lot. It's unfortunate he has to battle against this stuff, but in my opinion he does it in a shrill & not very believable manner. I recall the "program" he gave out, for free, at his '89 tour, and it seemed like both a love letter to himself as well as his effort to try & counter the Lennon heavy critical bias of much of the media, & it seemed forced & embarrassing.
I also have to say that the idea that Lennon's career was standard guitar rock is pretty off base too. "Plastic Ono Band" is as severe, unique & successful a sonic statement as I can think of, period. I even prefer "Imagine" which goes to the more Spector side of things & has walls of Rockestra like thickness with "I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier" alongside the amazing ambition of "How Do You Sleep"...songs on both albums veer from heavy hard rock to folk ballad simplicity, and many different styles in between...not unlike "The White Album". You could argue that "Mind Games" & "Walls & Bridges" were more generic standard fare works, though still with amazing high points, but certainly "Double Fantasy/Milk & Honey" were VERY ambitious projects, with his most Beatle like production sensibilities to date. His solo works went many places & with consistently high standards and ambition.
As far as Macca's solo experiments.... I'd say that he tended to look backwards the most, in trying to recreate a Beatles type sensibility/sound with his solo or Wings work. I think this was as much out of a sense of wanting his "product" to be recognizable in the marketplace as anything. Certainly both Harrison & Lennon struck out to create their own more separate solo voices in striking & brave ways that I don't think was in McCartney's nature. I also think it can be argued that Macca also carried on a Beatle feel/sensibility of experimentation in positive ways too. In many ways both his Beatles & solo works are very White, & conservative & mainstream, and in many ways they are much more out there & ambitious.
I think to generalize that it's an either/or situation (in regard to anyone's solo catalog & especially in relation is to take an extreme position that takes the question far itself far out of focus. I think that by looking at how these artists perfectly complimented each other is more apt & honest. Blessings!!
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Re: Paul's behavior got John mad

Postby jjs » Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:57 pm

linclink wrote:I do think that both John & Paul were experimental, but to say that Macca was the experimental Beatle seems incredibly far fetched to me.


Yes, of course, because you've ignored the facts I've presented, because they're in conflict with how you feel. The facts are once again: John Lennon filed a lawsuit against Paul because Paul 'experimented' on John's songs, Paul's solo music is replete with all sorts of musical experimentation as is Yokos, and John Lennon never released a single solo song that was anything other than mainstream guitar rock.

Saying that he wrote good mainstream guitar rock songs with strong lyrics, odd time signatures and unusual chord changes doesn't change anything, because all good mainstream guitar rock songs by guitar players are this way. Every one, from the Stones to Bon Jovi.

Relaying your feelings towards Paul's technique for rewriting the past or setting the record straight isn't relevant either.

The facts that the experimental Beatle voiced his dislike for anything other than mainstream guitar rock on more than one occasion, voiced his dislike for the Sgt. Pepper psychedelic sound on more then one occasion, sued his former partner because of alleged "subconscious sabotage" in the form of "experimentation" on his songs, and ceased to "experiment" as soon as soon as he was on his own seems to be lost on you. You might "feel"... but the facts point to Paul and Yoko as being the experimental influences in John's life. Yes, once influenced John might 'explode' with his "new toy", but he'd soon tire of it and settle back into what was his tendency. Mainstream guitar rock.
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Re: Paul's behavior got John mad

Postby linclink » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:35 pm

jjs wrote:
linclink wrote:I do think that both John & Paul were experimental, but to say that Macca was the experimental Beatle seems incredibly far fetched to me.


Yes, of course, because you've ignored the facts I've presented, because they're in conflict with how you feel. The facts are once again: John Lennon filed a lawsuit against Paul because Paul 'experimented' on John's songs, Paul's solo music is replete with all sorts of musical experimentation as is Yokos, and John Lennon never released a single solo song that was anything other than mainstream guitar rock.

Saying that he wrote good mainstream guitar rock songs with strong lyrics, odd time signatures and unusual chord changes doesn't change anything, because all good mainstream guitar rock songs by guitar players are this way. Every one, from the Stones to Bon Jovi.

Relaying your feelings towards Paul's technique for rewriting the past or setting the record straight isn't relevant either.

The facts that the experimental Beatle voiced his dislike for anything other than mainstream guitar rock on more than one occasion, voiced his dislike for the Sgt. Pepper psychedelic sound on more then one occasion, sued his former partner because of alleged "subconscious sabotage" in the form of "experimentation" on his songs, and ceased to "experiment" as soon as soon as he was on his own seems to be lost on you. You might "feel"... but the facts point to Paul and Yoko as being the experimental influences in John's life. Yes, once influenced John might 'explode' with his "new toy", but he'd soon tire of it and settle back into what was his tendency. Mainstream guitar rock.

I'd just point out that you have opinions & not a monopoly on "facts" mi amigo. Just because you "feel" them doesn't turn them into facts. So let's start there. As far as lumping Lennon into mainstream guitar rock, and not much else, well that would depend largely on what your definition of "mainstream" is, and that, once again would be a matter of subjective opinion, not "fact".
Also Lennon was wildly inconsistent in his views on anything in any given interview (not unlike the great Neil Young in this respect) & he was fairly well aware of that. So he might have been down on some things one minute, & then very pleased with them the next. He was vast & contained contradictions...like in the Whitman poem. I think he was somewhat paranoid about Macca actually consciously undermining him in any real severe fashion, but that said...he was getting a hell of a lot of heat from all corners & on many levels for lots of his coloring outside the lines in life, and...McCartney was certainly arguably egocentric in the studio, & so on....
As far as Lennon's solo career I simply don't agree with you. There are others on here who don't, and have been pretty eloquent about it as well. As far as many of your examples of Macca's experimental solo efforts- Loop & Morse Moose, I think you've chosen cuts that I feel are pretty subpar, period. Neither of our feelings by the way is a fact, they are opinions and that is all. There are no shortage of critics who pigeon hole McCartney as being hyper conservative, and mainstream to a heavy fault. I don't share this opinion, but simply feel that your case is overstated is all.
I won't bother to point out to you that you are "wrong" about things because you "feel" some other way than the "facts" I have presented here or elsewhere. Because, as I said, subjective opinions about art involve definitions of your field of examination (& those often aren't agreed upon), and are subjective anyway by nature. You can feel however you like about that, but calling your feelings facts doesn't make them that. What it does is reveal the manner in which you approach a dialogue. And if I were you I might take a moment to reflect on that. Blessings!!
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Re: Paul's behavior got John mad

Postby james1985 » Sat Mar 28, 2009 4:49 am

Yes, John's solo career was, with the exception of Sometime in NYC, "Mainstream Guitar Rock".

And yes, Paul's solo career, until he messed about a bit - under a pseudonym, remember! - in the 1990s was mainstream guitar pop/rock.


As I've said on another thread, jjs, in my opinion you're confusing Paul being eclectic with him being experimental. See my post on the "Yoko's influence" thread for more detail.
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