Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Fish Tale

"He rewrites history."

That’s what Philip Norman, the author of “Shout” says about Paul McCartney at the end of Rotten Apple 34. Sometimes the lies are so blatant, you wonder if he believes anybody is listening. In a new campaign on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Paul says that his desire to become a vegetarian stemmed from a fishing trip. (Story from Reuters). We all know that for years Paul had been telling the story of how he and Linda were eating lamb one day and then noticed the sheep grazing out the window. (Story from Ezine)

Granted, sometimes there can be contradictory truths, but he does do this a lot. Remember when he said that it was fun to do Sgt. Pepper with U2 at Live 8 because he had not done the song since he originally recorded it? That makes it hard to figure out how it ended up on those live albums that preceded the Live 8 performance.

So, how can we believe him when he says, “That was me at the scout pamp”?? Scout pamp? Pamp?

12 comments:

65if2007 said...

Heh-heh.

Well, scout "pamp" was probably just the singer getting tongue-tied.

What I found amusing -- and I don't mean that it was necessarily illuminating -- is that in that 82 second video, he actually uses the expression, "That wasn't me".

I hasten to add that he says "that wasn't me" in a different context.

The song "That Was Me' is about the life and times of the historical Paul McCartney, but the singer is not talking about the life and times of the historical Paul McCartney when he says, "that wasn't me".

It still sounded funny, and there are certainly people who might hear it and conclude that the gentleman singing the song has unconsciously betrayed himself again.

Anonymous said...

Paul's changing stories are typical of celebrities who are asked so many questions in so many contexts that it's hard to keep one's own history straight. It is also typical of memory in general. Those supposed "Polaroid memories" like remembering exactly where you were when Kennedy was assassinated turn out to be wildly inaccurate. Studies demonstrate that people's memories of a specific moment or day are often a combination of memories from that day and subequent memories added to it. It is not an ordinary life Paul's led, what with many days packed with what for most would be several year's experience.

65if2007 said...

***** Paul's changing stories are typical of celebrities who are asked so many questions in so many contexts that it's hard to keep one's own history straight. It is also typical of memory in general....It is not an ordinary life Paul's led, what with many days packed with what for most would be several year's experience.*****


All well and good. But I don't know if these lapses occur as often with other celebrities who have led interesting lives.

Besides, "Paul" -- or whatever his name is -- wears his vegetarianism on his sleeve.

On the surface, it is a matter of intense personal importance to him.

It is not a tremendous exaggeration to say that to the extent that circumstances allow, he sometimes postures himself as the Torquemada of the Vegetarian Inquisition. There is no room in his universe for those who eat meat.

So given that professed fanatacism, you really would think that he would be clear in his own mind on why exactly he IS a vegetarian -- even if we might excuse memory lapses in other contexts.

That having been said, the vegetarian story doesn't concern me much anyway because this conversion to vegetarianism took place after 1966 anyway.

What mostly puzzles me is that explanation that he gave in Rotten Apple 38 to the effect that the Beatles were already a "set up affair" when he joined them.

Man, that is SO wrong for the historical Paul McCartney, and it doesn't seem appropriate to excuse it as a simple memory lapse of one who has led an interesting and varied life. But it WOULD be accurate for someone who joined the Beatles in 1966.

Anonymous said...

Surely you aren't saying that a replacement was unfamiliar with how the Beatles formed? Or are you saying that "Faul" was more than hinting that he joined in 1966? What Paul meant was that he joined an already existing core of a band with the Beatles and never had to form a band from scratch by himself, which is true. John invited him to join his band.

65if2007 said...

*****Surely you aren't saying that a replacement was unfamiliar with how the Beatles formed?*****


That is certainly the implication.


*****What Paul meant was that he joined an already existing core of a band with the Beatles and never had to form a band from scratch by himself, which is true. John invited him to join his band.****


Nevertheless, the historical Paul McCartney played a significant role in bringing George Harrison and Richard Starkey aboard -- and in kicking out Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best.

The group that Paul McCartney joined was obviously in a state of flux at the time that he joined it, and he played a major role into molding that flux into the final product that was the Beatles.

It was anything but a "set up affair" at the time that he joined them, and his role in forming the Beatles was anything but passive.

Yet the full statement from the guy in Rotten Apple 38 says, "So I suddenly realized that I didn't actually know how to set up a band. When you think about it, I'd never actually done it before. I'd joined the Beatles as an already set-up affair".

But in the myspace biography of "Paul McCartney", that guy says, "I met Lennon and formed the Quarrymen at the Woolton". It's almost as if he had watched Rotten Apple 38 and said, "Oops".

Tafultong said...

Great conversation guys. I got a lot more than I expected out of a "slow news day" kind of post. Excellent points on both sides of the issue.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why you find something suspicious about Paul's two different stories as to why he went veggie. As you stated, that happened after '66, so, if anything, that example only supports my statement that Paul tends to give different versions of his pet stories. Watching and reading Anthology, it is humorous to see how, in so many instances, all four Beatles disagree on certain stories and facts that for most of us would be seared into our memories. I cannot imagine a replacement for Paul McCartney wouldn't have been briefed on basic Beatle facts; facts that all fans (and most non-Beatle fans)know. Paul did take the simple step of bringing George, a friend, into the Beatles. That's not the same as what he faced when he put together Wings, which required auditioning musicians and going through the whole process from scratch as the leader (Lennon was unquestionably the one who formed and led the Beatles. Lennon had to okay both Paul and George). I doubt Paul signed up to MySpace and wrote his own bio, but, in any case, he likes to spin a good yarn, and by saying he'd never really started his own band before is also another way for Paul to get some extra credit for what he achieved with Wings. By the way, Paul has also stated he doesn't even know what sort of bass strings he uses, which is absolute nonsense, and typical Paul downplaying his knowledge and expertise (such as whether he can read music). Sorry so long winded Taful. Just some thoughts--appreciate the banter.

Anonymous said...

"There is no room in his universe for those who eat meat"

Not really true.On his 1990 tour he let the roadies who did'nt care for the veggie buffet send out for McDonald's.

65if2007 said...

*****I'm not sure why you find something suspicious about Paul's two different stories as to why he went veggie.*****

For consideration of the issue of PID/PWR, it's certainly not important.

Why do I consider this to be "suspicious"? Probably just because there's something a little weird about saying that putting a worm on a hook and dropping the baited hook into a lake makes one a "murderer"?

Didn't they have fishing at that "scout pamp"?

*****Paul tends to give different versions of his pet stories*****

Gee, I wonder if they might vary depending upon what he perceives to be his own self-interest.

*****I cannot imagine a replacement for Paul McCartney wouldn't have been briefed on basic Beatle facts*****

I don't know if that necessarily would have been a priority. And even if it were, I seem to recall someone talking about the fallibility of human memory.

*****facts that all fans (and most non-Beatle fans)know.*****

Your argument below amounts to alternatively 1) he really didn't "set up" the Beatles and 2) he had a reason for minimizing his role in setting up the Beatles.

*****Paul did take the simple step of bringing George, a friend, into the Beatles.*****


He did a great deal more than that.


*****That's not the same as what he faced when he put together Wings, which required auditioning musicians and going through the whole process from scratch as the leader*****


So do you think that he drew Harrison, Best, and Starkey's names out of a hat?

*****(Lennon was unquestionably the one who formed and led the Beatles. Lennon had to okay both Paul and George)*****

The Beatles were NOT a set up affair when Paul McCartney joined them.

***** I doubt Paul signed up to MySpace and wrote his own bio*****

Why do you doubt this? How did the guy who you suppose wrote the bio in his place get wrong facts that "all Beatles fans and most non-Beatles fans know?"

***** but, in any case, he likes to spin a good yarn, and by saying he'd never really started his own band before is also another way for Paul to get some extra credit for what he achieved with Wings.*****

Or as was put earlier, he likes to "change history". Or maybe he just likes to lie.

And again your argument amounts to Paul both DID and DID NOT start his own band before Wings.

***** By the way, Paul has also stated he doesn't even know what sort of bass strings he uses, which is absolute nonsense, and typical Paul downplaying his knowledge and expertise (such as whether he can read music). *****


Oh, can he read music? For how long do you think that he's been able to read music?

For that matter, for how long has he been talking "absolute nonsense"?

Tafultong said...

It is a strange thing, but a lot of people do lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth. And yes, I was reading quite a bit into it when I made the original post. Like so many parts of this mystery, it doesn't appear to have any significance in and of itself. But when you consider them side by side with that handful of things that can't be explained away, it makes you wonder why he would make up a new story when the lamb story was a perfectly good one. Maybe the PETA people had a Fish Awareness Workshop for those veggie people who still eat seafood.

And yes, he still insists that he can't read music. I guess that helps to support his view that his songs come to him from some mystical source beyond himself. That's why he allows such things as "Puppy dog tails in the House of Lords" and "I acted like a dustbin lid."

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure his two veggies stories did not actually happen, though the subject has no bearing on PID. I have about 10 different reasons I became an artist, and depending on my mood and state of reflection, any one of those incidents is my "main" reason I tell people. To my earlier point, it isn't really fair to say that the evil Paul is a liar when it comes to questions about things Beatle. Read Lennon and Harrison interviews and you'll find wildly conflicting reports on how, why, what, and where on many topics. My grandmother used to give us different stories as to why she got married, whether there was a ghost in our relative's house, and what she thought of a certain president. She wasn't necessarily lying--just reconsidering her own take on things. Maybe she said there was a ghost when she believed in ghosts, and then recanted when she thought it probably didn't happen. Memory . . . like the corners of my mind.

65if2007 said...

****"There is no room in his universe for those who eat meat"

Not really true.On his 1990 tour he let the roadies who did'nt care for the veggie buffet send out for McDonald's.****


Yes, but it's still "really true".

More recently, he has fired roadies for eating meat.