“Man on the Run” is Paul McCartney’s new biography about his final days with The Beatles in 1969-1970 and the early days of his solo career as well as his formation of Wings in the early ‘70s. The book by Tom Doyle divulges information either never-before told or not known to most fans.
Few fans are aware, for instance, that the day a London High Court judge sided with McCartney, the other three Beatles — Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon — drove over to McCartney’s London home in Lennon’s Rolls Royce, climbed over its wall and Harrison and Starr looked on as Lennon threw two bricks at a pair of windows in McCartney’s home, smashing them. McCartney was in New York City at the time.
Doyle alos notes that when McCartney hired session drummer Deny Seiwell and an old friend, Denny Laine, who was The Moody Blues first singer, circa 1964-1966, he paid them a weekly retainer of £70 a week ($205 U.S. dollars at the time). He did promise them they would be paid more eventually.
In 1971, during the first days of rehearsals with Wings, several of the other band members voiced dissent at McCartney’s hiring of his wife, Linda, who was a novice keyboardist. Guitarist Henry McCullough, who left Joe Cocker’s Grease Band to join Wings (two years earlier he played Woodstock when Cocker belted out his fabled version of Lennon-McCartney’s “With a Little Help From My Friends”), came out and directly suggest they get “a proper piano player.” Apparently, McCartney just as directly told McCullough, “no.”
However, later on during at least one occasion, McCartney had second thoughts and came very close to asking his old pal Billy Preston to join this new band (McCartney first met Preston on a British tour in 1962 when he was a member of supporting act Little Richard’s band, and Preston was the only non-Beatle to receive credit on an actual Beatles record, on “Get Back”).
An excerpt of the biography was printed in Rolling Stone magazine.
THE KINKS TO REUNITE
Legendary British Invasion band The Kinks will reportedly reunite, possibly for a new album and tour, according to the U.K.’s Sunday Times.
The band formed in London’s Muswell Hill district in 1963, invaded America and in the next year conquered it with such all-time hits as “You Really Got Me,” “All Day and All of the Night,” A Well Respected Man” and “Tired of Waiting.” The Kinks did it again in 1970 with “Lola.”
Band leader Ray Davies, one of the most highly-regarded songwriter in pop and rock music, and his brother/lead guitarist and backup vocalist Dave, continued to record hit albums through the ‘70s and ‘80s until finally hanging it up in 1996 after 33 years.
But through most of these years the Davies brothers have fought fiercely and their sibling battles continue to this day. So, it’s always with some skepticism when it’s reported that Ray and Dave are reuniting — and this report that Ray, Dave and the band are getting back together after nearly two decades is no different.
“I met Dave only last week to talk about getting back together again. We’ve also spoken a few times on the phone and emailed. He’s been composing his own songs, but I’d really like to write with him again,” Ray told the U.K. paper (Note: I actually know of only three songs the brother ever wrote together, including Dave’s 1967 British hit, “Death of a Clown”). Ray continued, “We both agree we don’t want to do our old stuff, or tour, with (only) past hits. It’s got to be something new.”
This is what’s sparked all the reunion tour and new album reports.
Another factor in a possible reunion may have been that Dave recently attended a pre-West End production of a musical based on the band, “Sunny Day” (Ray was involved in the script and music selection) and got a tad nostalgic and really enjoyed it. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY MARKETING CAMPAIGN
The Jefferson Airplane, one of rock’s forgotten giants, is planning a major marketing and merchandising campaign next year marking the psychedelic San Francisco band’s 50th anniversary, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The band will offer an array of psychedelic merchandise based on the group’s “free your head” image. “Free your head” is the concluding lyric to The Airplane’s 1967 counterculture classic, “White Rabbit,” written by its singer Grace Slick.
Among the new Airplane products to be sold include buttons, incense, stickers and metal jewelry as well as more expensive items like T-shirts, tops, sleepwear and handbags as well as home decor items, gifts, paper good and collectibles. All are licensed through Epic Rights, who are working with Sony Music about a mass re-issuing of the band’s album catalog.
As for a full Airplane concert reunion, don’t count on it.
NEW MUSIC: GUNS N’ ROSES, MONTY PYTHON, FLAMING LIPS WITH MILEY CYRUS
Guns N’ Roses boss Axl Rose tells Revolver that there are two finished GNR albums in the can that have been recorded after the group’s last studio album, 2008’s “Chinese Democracy.”
What may be less than credible is his claim that he could release the albums in the near future in light of the more than $13 million in production costs that Rose spent over nearly 13 years putting the finishing touches on “Democracy.”
Rose, 52, and Guns N’ Roses concluded their Las Vegas concert residency at the Hard Rock Hotel June 7.
The guys in the reunited Monty Python have rerecorded their 1979 song “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from their movie, “Life of Brian,” with new lyrics. The new version is a sarcastic theme song for the English soccer team as it is about to compete in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The lyrics prepare the nation for defeat in its first game: “When you’re in the World Cup/and all your hopes are up/and everybody wants your team to win/Then they go and let you down/and come slinking back to town/it’s time for this daft song to begin.” Lead singer and the song’s composer Eric Idle then adds, “Cheer up/next time.”
According to the BBC, a 2005 poll throughout the U.K. placed the original song (sung by Brian and others as they are crucified) as No. 3 most popular funeral song in Britain.
Word from The Flaming Lips camp is that the Oklahoma City-based psychedelic rock group’s next album may be a cover of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band” album in its entirety. The Lips’ version is reported to be called “With A Little Help From My Fwends.”
The original “Sgt. Pepper’s” was released on June 1, 1967, electrifying the pop and rock music world and changing it forever
A couple months ago, the group released its take on “Sgt. Pepper’s” trippy masterwork “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” with their friend Miley Cyrus. It’s said that different artists will join The Lips on each track of the reported tribute album.
A portion of the album’s proceeds is expected to go to the Bella Foundation, a nonprofit that assists low-income, elderly or terminally ill pet owners in the Oklahoma City area with veterinary care costs.
Steve Smith writes a new Classic Pop, Rock and Country Music News column every week. Contact him by email at Classicpopmusicnews@gmail.com.