Thursday, June 14, 2007

Paul McCartney rocks with new songs at "secret" NY show

Reuters report by Christian Wiessner, June 13, 2007 - excerpt:
Paul McCartney stormed the stage of a small ballroom on Wednesday and delivered a 20-song set featuring Beatles favorites and select cuts from his newly released album “Memory Almost Full.”

The free show for about 700 fans at the Highline Ballroom in New York’s Chelsea district was hastily arranged, with McCartney’s website only announcing the gig on Tuesday. Passes were distributed through a give-away on the website and to fans who lined up on Wednesday outside the venue.

The show’s intimate setting had McCartney in a relaxed mood and he reminisced about writing certain songs.

“I remember writing this next song in a little house we used to live in Liverpool. I was standing in the front parlor looking out through the little lace curtains and thinking, ‘I’m going to be a star,’ like you do, but it never happened,” he quipped before performing “I’ll Follow The Sun” from the 1964 release “Beatles For Sale.”

Before performing “Here Today,” from his 1982 album “Tug of War,” McCartney said the mournful ballad was originally written for his one-time writing partner and fellow Beatle John Lennon, slain by a deranged fan in 1980 just a few miles away.

“I’d like to dedicate it tonight to fallen heroes John, George (and) Linda,” McCartney said, referring to Lennon as well as Beatle guitarist George Harrison, who died of cancer in 2001, and McCartney’s first wife, who died in 1998.

“But as for me, I still remember how it was before, and I am holding back the tears no more,” he sang to a hushed crowd.
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John Lennon’s music helps Darfur effort

Los Angeles Times report by Randy Lewis, June 14, 2007 - excerpt:
Initially, Amnesty International officials had approached Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, for permission to use his “Imagine,” a song she’d never approved for any philanthropic project.

“I’m not afraid to say no,” said the 74-year-old Ono. “There are so many people and organizations (who’ve had) that same request, and I’ve said no to everybody. ... The Amnesty International people brought (this proposal) to me and I responded very quickly, because I had been doing some projects with them before that and had a very good feeling about them. ... So in this case it was a big ‘yes.’”

Big indeed. Beyond giving her thumbs-up for “Imagine,” she opened the door to Lennon’s entire solo catalog. The result is 23 performances from such established stars as U2 (“Instant Karma”), Christina Aguilera (“Mother”) and Green Day (“Working Class Hero,” which has been released as a single) and comparatively new arrivals including Corinne Bailey Rae (“I’m Losing You”), the Postal Service (“Grow Old With Me”) and Regina Spektor (“Real Love”).

“Imagine” rates two performances, one by pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne, the other by latter-day surfer dude Jack Johnson.

The vituperative “Gimme Some Truth” also appears twice, in a version by Mexico’s Jaguares and a duet by two offspring of rock royalty, Jakob Dylan and Dhani Harrison, George’s son.

“Instead of just the big, big names,” Ono said, “the “now’ people are in here, too. I like the fact that they cover it all, and I’m sure John would have been very happy.”
Yes, me too. Love and peace.
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"Imagine" a better Karma

"Imagine" a better Karma

Photo: Yoko and John Lennon some 40 years ago. (Credit: Kevin Robillard,

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