Kids grow up and mature at different rates and in vastly different ways. You can’t hide the truth and reality from children. Growing up in the late sixties in Southern California with the violent race riots was one of those scenarios that brought a harsh reality to my young world, but it wasn’t all bad… the music was sensational.
It was in 1970 that I promoted myself from little kid to bigger kid, even though I hadn’t grown a lick in the split second it seemed to take for my taste in music to change.
I had a couple of 45 records, one of them was a Winnie the Pooh song. The other 45 was a song about a boy on a train and a lovely lady who sat on his hat. I played that record so much that all my older siblings know it by heart too, against their will. That’s as close to them actually killing me as I ever got.
But being the youngest means that you’re low man on the totem pole in more than just physical stature. So I was subject to their music too; Creedence, Hendrix, The Supremes, The Guess Who, Steppenwolf, the list went on and on.
I’m not sure where I got the money, which was more scarce than peace in 1970, but there I was on a Saturday, downtown, sifting through 45’s. The first rock song I ever bought was the Beatles “Let it Be”. Paul McCartney wrote and sang the song.
It was a short time later, after the Beatles broke up, that one of my older brothers ended up with McCartney’s second album Ram. After a million plays “Uncle Albert” wore on me, but “The Long and Winding Road” never did, still doesn’t.
I was a teenager when my oldest brother got me a gift certificate from the local music store. One of the albums I got was Sweet “Desolation Boulevard”. For those of you squares that aren’t familiar with Sweet, think, “Love is Like Oxygen” and “Ballroom Blitz”. The other was Paul McCartney’s Greatest Hits after having already worn out a McCartney “Band on the Run” album.
By the time 1984 rolled around the world had changed and so had I. I had my own house and the only channel I’d ever bother to watch, ’cause I was busy burning my candle at both ends, was MTV.
While the critics bye and large threw metaphorical rotten tomatoes at McCartney for both the movie Give My Regards to Broad Street and his soundtrack, I liked it. I still appreciate the single “No More Lonely Nights”.
I got a crash course in business after I’d started my own business in ’89. I worked all over western half of the States trying to pay off debt. McCartney’s “Off the Ground” cd helped get me through the lonely winter of ’93 in Denver.
I’m not big on crowds and I’m never star struck. I didn’t say a word to Denzel Washington as we stood next to each other waiting for the valet to bring us our vehicles on Coronado Island in San Diego. And it was Alice Cooper that struck up a conversation with me standing in line at the local Ace hardware store.
But after a lifetime of enjoying Paul McCartney’s music, I thought it might be time to see him live while it’s still possible. He’s seventy seven now. He rocked the house and I knew pretty much all the words to all the songs, Beatles and his solo stuff.
McCartney closed the encore with a fitting song that caught me off guard. A song I’ve known well almost my whole life. The song is aptly titled “The End”. “And in the end… the love you take – is equal to the love… you make.”
Man I love that song… But for all Paul McCartney has, including endless talent… he doesn’t know the first thing about real Love… Hope he learns before The End.