Paul McCartney “Gets Back” To His Roots With “Carpool Karaoke”

This picture should be an official ad for happiness.

Whenever Paul McCartney is in the news, I (and the rest of the world) pay attention. Sometimes he’s announcing a new concert tour or a collaboration he did with another prominent musician. And sometimes, he’s appearing on late night television with another British celebrity, driving around his old stomping grounds and reminiscing about his Beatle days.

When I saw “Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke” pop up in my YouTube feed last week, I figured that it would be an amusing, nostalgic drive in London filled with many of my favorite Beatles songs. I did not expect that James Corden would be driving Paul around Liverpool and going to many of the actual sites that Paul has written about in his career. Here’s the clip in its glorious 23-minute entirety, for your viewing pleasure.

I watched all 23 minutes of this video with an ear-to-ear grin on my face. I was already a big fan of the Late Late Show’s “Carpool Karaoke” series before this aired, and I must confess that it had never consciously occurred to me that Paul would be a perfect guest. But as perhaps the most famous musician in the world, Paul seemed quite delighted to drive around for what was probably hours and regale James with stories about growing up in Liverpool. I geeked out when Paul signed his name on the Penny Lane sign, which reminded me of when I visited Abbey Road and gleefully signed my name on the wall outside the studio. I’ve now made a mental note to visit Liverpool one day and add my signature on that sign next to his.

I have thought many times over the years about how I’d love to take a pilgrimage to Liverpool and immerse myself in Beatles lore. Paul’s “Carpool Karaoke” certainly intensified that desire, while showing me yet again of why I fell in love with the Beatles in the first place. This segment, like the Beatles’ career, radiated positivity and love from beginning to end. It also reminded me that Paul’s music is a unifying force in this increasingly divided world. This was evidenced by the touching sequence where people of all ages rushed in off the street when they saw Paul unexpectedly playing a set in a local pub, and it looked like every person there was having the time of their lives. I couldn’t even imagine the chaotic thrill they must have felt as they saw their idol performing only several feet away, in a pub they’ve probably been to many times before.

I certainly did not go into this clip expecting to tear up, but I did get a bit teary-eyed at the constant sight of Paul greeting adoring fans and making their day, probably their life, everywhere he went. Of course, I was mentally putting myself in their shoes and imagining how I would feel absolutely elated if I ever met Paul in person. It was also humbling to hear him share how he and the other Beatles had no idea their music would even be remembered beyond the 60s. It is truly astonishing that this band had such a concentrated period of genius musical output in the 60s that still inspires people to love one another. I know that Paul has been famous for 55 years and probably tires of doing interviews and such, but I was inspired by his energy in this segment and how he gracefully handles his megastar status in the real world.

Of course, Paul’s wonderful songwriting has continued long after the Beatles disbanded, and I loved how this segment also promoted his upcoming album, “Egypt Station.” After watching this “Carpool Karaoke,” which featured a singalong to his new single “Come On To Me,” I immediately went to YouTube and listened to it and his other new song, “I Don’t Know,” on loop.

At age 76, Paul clearly has not lost his musical inspiration. These songs both highlight his knack for weaving together unexpected musical turns and catchy melodies. I particularly adore the musical break in “Come On To Me” that features a lively horn section, as well as the gorgeous piano intro to “I Don’t Know.” Though his last album, “New,” relied heavily on modern musical production and more techno-sounding touches, it seems like this album will have more of that classic instrumental feel that he’s done so well before. However, if Paul has taught me anything over the years, it’s that you can never quite predict what he’s going to do next. So I’ll reserve my full judgment until I can listen to the entire album when it comes out in September. Though I tend to blog sparingly during the school year, you can bet that I’ll do a post reviewing Paul’s new album as soon after that as I can.

As people often comment on particularly resonant YouTube videos, “I didn’t know how much I needed this until I watched it.” James Corden and the whole “Carpool Karaoke” team outdid themselves with this one. I don’t know if late night segments are even  eligible for awards, but this segment is the most Emmy-worthy piece of television I’ve watched in a long time. And we all need a little dose of Paul McCartney spreading joy every once in a while. He may be getting older, but I am so grateful that I still share this world with him and can enjoy new Paul McCartney songs as he releases them. What an incredible privilege it is to be able to say that I once saw him in concert. I am so glad that Paul and James teamed up for this latest “Carpool Karaoke” and gave the entire world a reason to smile for 23 minutes. It was truly a beautiful collaboration.

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In my life… I love John more.

An inspiring picture of an inspiring man

An inspiring picture of an inspiring man

So, although it’s a bit late in the day, I figured that it’s not too late to do a short tribute to John Lennon in honor of the 33rd anniversary of his death. Today, 33 years ago, John was shot in front of the Dakota in NYC by Mark David Chapman, a deranged fan. It was an unjustified act of pure insanity. The world mourned then, and today, the world still mourns the loss of John.

Here are a few fantastic tribute songs to John by three of my favorite artists: George Harrison, Elton John, and Paul McCartney. They are all different, but each one is a moving tribute in its own right. Enjoy!

George Harrison- All Those Years Ago

This is a rather upbeat tribute song for John, and I like that. Typical of George to make light of a sad situation with a wistful, nostalgic, yet happy song.

Elton John- Empty Garden (Hey, Hey, Johnny)

This is so incredibly sad, with such beautiful lyrics, that I can’t help but cry a little when I hear it. Well done Elton and Bernie.

Paul McCartney- Here Today

This is possibly the most poignant tribute of them all. It always brings a tear to my eye, especially when I saw Paul perform it live.

I said a lot about John on my birthday post for him a couple of months ago, so I won’t say too much more, but I hope you take a moment today if you have not yet done so to think about what effect John Lennon has had on your life. I’m sure he means something different to everyone, but he is definitely an inspiration to us all. RIP John. All you were saying was to give peace a chance, and though all the people aren’t yet living life in peace, we’re getting closer every day because of you. I love you. 🙂

Maybe I’m amazed by Paul McCartney’s “New”!

New

New

Paul McCartney has been seemingly everywhere recently. He showed up at a Queens high school not 20 miles from where I live and gave a surprise concert to the students there! He gave a surprise show in Times Square last week! He gave a surprise show in Covent Garden, London, this week! He’s performed on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and basically everywhere else. And all of this is to promote his new album, “New”! I’ve been looking forward to this album for weeks, and it does not disappoint in the slightest!!!

I downloaded and listened to this album the day it came out, and I was absolutely blown away. It is modern, slick, and different than anything from Paul I’ve ever heard. And yet, it still sounds like signature Paul to me! The songs are catchy and amazingly produced, with an almost spacey vibe. I won’t dissect each song for hours, because that would get a bit tedious, but I will give a one-sentence sum up of all the songs.

1. Save Us- An awesome uptempo rocker kind of like “Only Mama Knows” from his last solo album, Memory Almost Full, although I think this is better.

2. Alligator- I think this is the most musically interesting song on the album, and I was transfixed the first time I listened to it by all the cool sounds throughout.

3. On My Way To Work- The lyrics remind me of “A Day In The Life” a bit, and while the song itself doesn’t, it is a fantastic song nonetheless.

4. Queenie Eye- One of my favorites on the album, because it’s so catchy, interesting, and just all around AMAZING!!!

5. Early Days- An acoustic, nostalgic, beautiful song that is basically classic Paul.

6. New- I’ve already shared my thoughts on this song, but it’s very Beatley and I LOVE IT!!!!!!

7. Appreciate- A little too electronic to be a favorite of mine, but it is a very cool song that sounds a lot like something Dhani Harrison and thenewno2 would do.

8. Everybody Out There- Extremely catchy with a great opening riff that will surely become a live favorite in the near future!

9. Hosanna- A very different sound than Paul usually does, but it’s fascinating to listen to, and almost sounds like “Tomorrow Never Knows” at the end.

10. I Can Bet- This song is really fun and upbeat, which is what Paul does best!

11. Looking At Her- Another amazing song that has interesting lyrics and is just fascinatingly cool.

12. Road- WOW!!!!!! That is all.

13. Turned Out- A fantastic little ditty that had me singing along before I even knew the words.

14. Get Me Out Of Here- The first half is very Wings-esque, and the second half is an intimate, beautiful piano ballad in which Paul amazes me with his talent, yet again.

So, if I had to rate this album, I would give it a 10 out of 10, 5 stars, and the absolute highest praise I could possibly bestow upon it!!! I think this is better overall than his last solo album, Memory Almost Full, and I think it might actually be better than what I’ve decided is my favorite Paul solo album, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. I won’t go so far as to say that it’s the best solo Paul album ever, but it’s definitely up there with the best of his Wings and solo career, in my opinion.
What I think makes it so great is that it doesn’t sound like something from the 60s. It’s very modern, but in a good way because it’s so amazingly produced and sounds so great. The songs are all very diverse, yet they all fit together well, and that makes the album interesting and fun to listen to. And best of all, I don’t think you have to be a Paul fan, or even a Beatle fan, to like this album. I believe that anyone who says they like modern pop, which is a very large amount of people, would enjoy listening to this album! It’s very current, very Paul, and absolutely brilliant!!!! I’m listening to it again right now, and I know this will become a regular part of my musical rotation.

I haven’t listened to Elton John’s new album in its entirety yet, and I may do a review for that in the near future. But for now, although I haven’t bought or listened to that many albums released this year, I say that this should definitely be in the running for “Album Of The Year” at the Grammys. If you haven’t bought it, no matter who you are, I highly recommend it and suggest that you buy it! You will be amazed!!!

In honor of Halloween in 10 days, here's Paul McCatney.

In honor of Halloween in 10 days, here’s Paul McCatney.

Happy Ed Sullivan Day!

The Beatles with Ed Sullivan

The Beatles with Ed Sullivan


I know that Ed Sullivan Day, February 9th, isn’t an official holiday, but it should be! That was the day when 73 million Americans saw the Beatles’ live debut on American television. Many of those were teenage girls that instantly fell in love with the Beatles, and though I wasn’t around for that historic day, this is exactly how I fell in love with the Beatles!
Confused? Let’s backtrack a bit, while I explain how I became a Beatlemaniac almost exactly a year ago today…

For most of my young life, I vaguely knew the Beatles and their music. I knew John, Paul, George, and Ringo as a band from a long time ago that was and still is very famous. I knew most of the words to Hey Jude and Yellow Submarine like everyone who doesn’t live under a rock. And I knew that Paul McCartney’s 3rd wife, Nancy Shevell, had the same name as our longtime pediatrician. But beyond that, they were not a big part of my life. In fact, until about 3 years ago, I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head who George Harrison was. (sad, I know, but that changed!)
So there I was, going along in life, and when I got to middle school, I made friends with a girl who LOVED the Beatles! (you know who you are…) Whenever I went to her house, we’d listen to albums like Please Please Me and Help! and I’d be mystified as to how she knew all these songs from so long ago. So for about 3 years of my life, I was a casual Beatles fan, but not an obsessive one.
Gradually, I started to realize that there was not much modern music I liked, and I started listening to the measly 16 Beatles songs on my iPod more and more. I liked these songs a lot, but I still couldn’t tell the Beatles apart. I’d stare at the Rubber Soul album cover for 10 minutes at a time, trying to figure out which one George was. As the months went by, I eventually borrowed all of the Beatles albums from my friend and from the library, while uploading the rest of the albums that my family owned on CD onto iTunes. I began listening to almost nothing but the Beatles, as I didn’t know of any other music out there that I could connect with. This was about a year and a half ago, the beginning of 9th grade for me.

And then I started listening to full albums at a time. I made it a point to listen to every single Beatles album out there, and I fell in love with their music. I distinctly remember a turning point in my Beatle fandom came while listening to Abbey Road in the car, and sometime during I Want You (She’s So Heavy), I felt that the Beatles were just the best thing that had ever happened.
Fast forward to 2 months later, the Friday before February break. I had lots of time to waste doing nothing, and I thought that the Beatles, a band I had grown to love, must be on Youtube somewhere. I decided to look for their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, since I thought that would be a good place to start. I found the video and started watching, and within 5 seconds of the first song, I understood exactly how all of those girls from 50 years ago felt. I was thrilled and excited by their performance, and felt like screaming along with the audience! I had never had such a distinct feeling of joy and happiness from anything except going to Mets games, but this was different. I noticed how smiley and happy they looked, and of course, I immediately noticed how good looking they were. And sometime during this video, I decided that I liked George the best. (I realize now that this was probably because of his dashing smile during his solo on Till There Was You)
I was hooked, and watched Beatle videos on Youtube for about 3 hours straight. I loved their wit and sense of humor, and I just thought they were amazing and perfect in every way.

I didn’t tell anyone I loved the Beatles for about a month after that, but slowly, people figured it out or I told them. And I was surprised that so many of my friends liked the Beatles as much as I did!
And that’s my story…
The Beatles, since that day in February, have added a lot of fun times and true meaning to my life. And I am so thankful that they existed! Thank you John, Paul, GEORGE, and Ringo for being the fabulous Beatles all those years ago. You guys rock my world.

To close out this probably too long post, here’s the video that started it all, for me and so many others: