Given the fact that Paul McCartney is scheduled to play two shows at Chicago’s historic Wrigley Field on July 31<sup>st</sup> and August 1<sup>st</sup> it makes sense that Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot would publish an article debunking certain myths that have held true for decades among McCartney’s fans and critics alike. This article is compelling because it gives readers not only a current interview with Sir Paul but also includes excepts from past interviews with him with content that is still relevant today.
In light of the recent deaths of talented musicians like E-Street Band saxophonist, “The Big Man” Clarence Clemons, and singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse, Kot’s article, Paul is Dead and Other Myths is unfortunately titled but has quite a bit of interesting content.
In today’s economy even the most devoted McCartney fans will have trouble spending the $250 for tickets. When asked about the price of his tickets McCartney put most of the blame on concert promoters. In the article, he told The Chicago Tribune, “I always say to my promoter…And they always give me the ballpark figure, And that’s what I charge. I try to get it on the cheap side. This aint Streisand. We’re not trying to take advantage.” For a multi-millionaire like McCartney $250 might be pocket change but to fans that’s quite a lot of money.
So is Paul McCartney worth the price? The answer according to Kot is a resounding yes, despite the fact that one could equally talented acts like Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band or Irish rockers U2 for a third of the cost of one McCartney ticket.
McCartney has given both Beatles and Wings fans some great music over the years. And Greg Kot’s piece debunks primarily three “McCartney myths.” The first one has been a source of argument for decades. The myth argues that it was Paul McCartney and not John Lennon who was the driving force behind such Beatles hit as “Helter Skelter,” “Tomorrow Never Knows,” and “In My Life.” This debate is similar to asking which came first, the chicken or the egg. A good song is a good song and it doesn’t really matter which name is listed first on the credits.
The second “myth” in the article was that McCartney “was just a bass player.” It doesn’t take a musical genius to know that one can be multi-talented. No one person is adept at just one thing. Kot cites McCartney’s skill on the bass on such Rubber Soul era Beatles hits as “Michelle” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Again, these are good songs and not much more needs to be said.
And finally, the third “myth” that McCartney’s talent has “gone downhill since Wings” is a matter of opinion even more than the other two “myths.” Songs like “Junior’s Farm” and Band On The Run” are good. But if fans think McCartney’s best years are behind him, they won’t attend his concerts.