In part 20 of my youtube favorites countdown, we delve a bit into the sadder side of Beatle history with a clip of Paul McCartney reflecting on the life of his then recently deceased pal John Lennon. Now, when most people think of Paul’s reaction to John’s death, they either think of this clip where he says rather horribly, that “Its a drag,” and nothing more.
But that’s totally unfair, as Paul was probably so stunned, that he was just rambling answers to the press in hopes to just get the fuck away from them. For a fairer look at Paul’s feelings on the subject, we have this priceless clip.
In it, we see Paul first talk about the old days at the Cavern Club, going on about “Searchin’,” an old Coasters song. I love his imitation of teenage John’s singing, its borderline mocking, but you could tell he really loved him. Then the clip skips to Paul playing John’s “Beautiful Boy,” from John’s last record Double Fantasy. Paul immediately wells up and starts singing along. It’s a touching moment. I’ve read quotes about how around this era, Paul was desperate to write with John again, and it shows here. It’s a magic bond thing Paul tried to recreate with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, and Michael Jackson, but never came close to finding. However, I have read a lot about how the ice between the two was beginning to crack around this time, and that a reunion was inevitable. It’s not well known, but a reunion was in the works for over a decade, as they all agreed to create the “Anthology” project long before it had a name. They were very cognizant of managing their legacy and Beatle empire in the coming years, and John was to play a big role in it. Why? Because what was becoming evident was, since they broke up, the Beatles popularity and myth continued to explode, and they were consistently among, if not the top sellers in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, in all commercial music. In fact, people don’t really understand that the reason Paul, George, and Ringo united to do the “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love” singles was because they knew, had John lived, a reunion of some form or another was likely in the late 80s or early 90s. Well, anyway, you can read more about that stuff on wikipedia’s history of the Beatles Anthology by clicking these words, but for now, enjoy this great clip, and genuine moment.Tags: Beatles History, Beautiful Boy, Double Fantasy, Elvis Costello, George Harrison, John Lennon, John Lennon's death, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Searchin', Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, The Beatles Anthology, The Cavern Club, The Coasters, willie simpson