Got this tweet from Tom Hart today:
“@BarefootJustine should be interested to know the first song I heard after the birth was a McCartney song”
It’s quite auspicious, this sort of thing. And for those of you not in our circle, the birth of this baby is of great significance and is a huge sigh of relief for Tom, Leela, and all of Gainesville!
It was Band on the Run, which I know isn’t unique or uncommon to hear, but is one of my favorites, and the slow parts early on made me tear up.
I will play it now and think you 3.
The whole album was of hope and looking forward not back. The ‘running’, the rolling, “Let Me roll it it”, The flying, ‘Jet’, the future ‘1985’ written in 1973, Bluebird, Helen Wheels etc. ‘If I ever get out of here. At one point he said to Linda “Either I get the magic back or I cut my throat” By the way Mr Hart and lady congratulations.
Wow… fuck, Ed… very insightful!
Even Picassos Last words was looking into the future. A future after the body does not exist with human life.
Great Ed, I’ll be doing my whole show this week on this topic and album. We’ll have to talk more about it.
As this will be my upcoming show topic, I’m going to make a few notes here so I will know where they are. I realized today that the album starts off with imprisonment and release. Considering the theme of “movement,” “freedom” and “release” that the album is centered on, that is significant. “Band On the Run” is essentially a moment of not only release, but birth, or more specifically rebirth, and then the man/people in question are released into the sun, into the world. This could also be seen as allegorical as a release for Paul from the stress of the Beatle breakup and the need to start over, which is also a release from depression and despair. It is a highly personal allegory. Additionally, in Russia, the track was banned as it was seen to threaten authority, which is not as silly as it sounds when we think about it. And the album, as Ed pointed out, keeps moving, keeps flying, keeps hoping. All the way to Mamunia somewhere towards the middle (Mamunia being an Arabic word for “safe haven”) which is even more directly about birth and rebirth, release from seeds and the earth.This song is a safe haven, indeed from the daily turmoil (dealt with allegorically in Mrs. “Vandebilt” among others) of love and the complications of life. Of course “Picasso’s Last Words” is about death, which is the final movement, the final moving on and letting go. Oddly, Paul does not only begin the album with birth and close it with death, no “Band On the Run” as a song quite cleverly also deals with the past. A person who is locked up and in need of release quite obviously has a past. The album deals with the past through enigma, then focuses on the dreams and movement of a restless and active life, almost ending in the death of Picasso. But, Paul being Paul, Nineteen-Hundred and Eighty-Five takes us ones step further into what was definitely the future considering that it was released in ’74. It is difficult not to listen to this album and realize that there is no way all these themes could have been established on accident. Damn… McCartney is a genius. No wonder I always thought of this as a concept album, though until now I had never realized how deep or nuanced the concept is. No wonder people missed it and miss it still, it’s obvious yet deeply encoded and anything but overt.
OK, again, this was not really meant to be read, is merely a collection of notes and thoughts for my show.
Yeah that’s lovely, thanks all
and the first one said to the second one there—“I hope you’re havin’ fun!”
And that too, is true, not only for Tom and Leela with their new baby, but it’s true of the album. It’s not merely a heady concept, it’s also good fun. Now THAT is art worth talking about. I’ll be dealing with all this on my show Thursday. Any comments or observations would be welcome as I’m excited about this show and can’t wait to dig into these themes.
Paul said the if I ever get out of here verse is something George Harrison used to say. The way Paul put it seemed he was directly quoting George.
Great, Ed, been thinking a lot about tomorrow’s show. I think it will take 2 weeks. to do it right. I’m still wanting to know what sources you use for all this. When I read McCartney interviews all I find is Paul self mythologizing himself into a self defeating malaise of ordinariness and fluffy banality.
I think Venus and Mars is a mirror image. An opposite side of Band. When we look in the mirror we never truly see ourselves. But let us no get ahead of ourselves. And that damn podcast better work. 🙂