Episode 17: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

Synopsis:

Paul McCartney's 2005 album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard is not only his best album of the 21st century, it's also among his best albums of his entire career. In this episode, we place the songs into the context of what was happening in McCartney's life at the time the album was created, the inspiration and influences behind the songs, and a song-by-song musical analysis of the album's tracks.

Sources:

Binelli, Mark, "Sir Paul Rides Again," Rolling Stone Magazine, 20 October 2005.

Dahlen, Chris, "Sir Paul McCartney," Paste Magazine, 21 May 2007.

Dey, Brent, "Paul McCartney Walks the Fine Line Between Chaos and Creation," Paste Magazine, 26 October 2005. 

Du Noyer, Paul. Conversations with McCartney. New York: Overland Press, 2015.

Hadju, David, "McCartney III," The New Republic, 26 December 2005.

Jisi, Chris, "Paul McCartney Records a Unique Solo Album Without Help From His Friends," Bass Player Magazine, October 2005.

Perasi, Luca. Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013). Milan: L.I.L.Y., 2013.

Sounes, Howard. Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2010.


During the television special Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road (2005), Paul McCartney and Nigel Godrich illustrate some of the techniques and instruments that were incorporated into the making of the album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard


19th century English author Charles Dickens is a reoccurring source of inspiration throughout Chaos and Creation:


When McCartney was composing "English Tea", he envisioned Noel Coward performing it, and incorporated Coward's style of delivery into the song: 


"People Get Ready" by The Impressions (written in 1965 by Curtis Mayfield) inspired Paul McCartney's guitar in his song "Anyway":

Episode 16: Paul & Ringo in the 1970s

Synopsis:

In 2016, Ringo Starr stated to the press about his relationship with Paul McCartney, "we weren't like brothers, we were brothers." And like siblings do, these two former Beatles' relationship has had its ups and downs, particularly in the aftermath of the Beatles breakup. While Paul was having a difficult time with his career in the early 1970s, Ringo was experiencing major success as a solo artist; and while Ringo’s career was on the decline in the mid 1970s, Paul’s career was on an upward trajectory with his new band, Wings. In this episode, we will explore McCartney and Starr's relationship and musical collaborations between the years 1970 to 1979. 

Sources:

Badman, Keith. The Beatles: Off the Record. London: Omnibus Press, 2000.

Clayson, Alan. Ringo Starr: Straight Man or Joker? New York: Paragon House, 1992.

Doggett, Peter. You Never Give Me Your Money: The Battle for the Soul of the Beatles. London: The Bodley Head, 2009.

Doyle, Tom. Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s. New York: Ballantine Books, 2013.

Sounes, Howard. Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2010. 

Starr, Michael Seth. Ringo: With a Little Help. Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books, 2015.

Starr, Ringo. Postcards from the Boys. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2004.


Ringo discusses his reaction to the breakup of the Beatles and his career in the early 1970s:


Ringo on The David Frost Show (1970) promoting his first solo album, Sentimental Journey. This interview was conducted before Paul's announcement that the Beatles had broken up:


Billy Ward & His Dominoes' version of "Stardust" from 1957 may have inspired Paul McCartney's arrangement of the song for Ringo's Sentimental Journey album (1970):


Footage of Wings' concert in Los Angeles in 1976, and Ringo backstage with the band. What's missing from this footage is Ringo appearing onstage with the band and handing a bouquet of flowers to Wings' Denny Laine:

 

 

Episode 15: Paul's Pseudonyms

Synopsis:

By a listener's suggestion, we spend this episode delving into the rich history of Paul McCartney's use of pseudonyms. We explore the reasons why he used a pseudonym for each individual situation, and we discuss how the pseudonym was reflected in the music he created under that particular name. 


Sources:

The Beatles. Anthology. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2000.

The Beatles. The Beatles: The Complete Scores. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 1993.

Doyle, Tom. Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s. New York: Ballantine Books, 2013.

Du Noyer, Paul. Conversations with McCartney. New York: Overlook Press, 2015.

Harry, Bill. The Paul McCartney Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books, 2002.

Lewisohn, Mark. The Beatles All These Years, Volume One: Tune In, Extended Special Edition. London: Little, Brown, 2013.

McCartney, Paul. Wingspan: Paul McCartney's Band on the Run. New York: Bulfinch Press, 2002.

McGee, Garry. Band on the Run: a History of Paul McCartney and Wings. New York: Taylor Trade, 2003.

Miles, Barry. Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997.

Sounes, Howard. Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2010.


"Sing the Changes" by Paul McCartney's pseudonym, The Fireman, has been a staple of his live performances for several years:


"Apollo C. Vermouth" (AKA Paul McCartney) produced the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band's "I'm the Urban Spaceman" (1968):


The songwriter of "Woman" by Peter & Gordon was attributed to "Bernard Webb":


"My Dark Hour" by The Steve Miller Band features drums and backing vocals by "Paul Ramon":


After the release of the Fireman's second album, Rushes, in 1998, it became public knowledge that "The Fireman" was a Paul McCartney pseudonym. In this interview, McCartney discusses The Fireman project and why he loves to use pseudonyms:


Paul McCartney's pseudonym "Paul Ramon" was the inspiration behind the band, the Ramones. Each individual band member gave themselves the pseudonym "Ramone" and collectively referred to themselves as "The Ramones":

Episode 14: Ramming On with guests Fredrik Skavlan & Eirik the Norwegian

Synopsis:

In this mega-episode, we have two fantastic guests sharing stories about their personal experiences with Paul McCartney. First up is talk show host, journalist, and massive McCartney fan, Fredrik Skavlan: he describes what it's like to have drinks with Paul and the challenges that go along with interviewing artists you admire.

Our second guest is musician, producer, and engineer, Eirik Wangberg, who's also known by the nickname Paul gave him: Eirik the Norwegian. Eirik shares with us the history of his fascinating career through stories about the Beach Boys, the Wrecking Crew, the Monterey Pop Festival, and the Beatles. Eirik goes into great detail about his involvement in the making of McCartney's 1971 masterpiece, Ram.


Fredrik Skavlan

Fredrik Skavlan. Photo courtesy of Mockberry AS.

Fredrik Skavlan. Photo courtesy of Mockberry AS.

Paul McCartney with Fredrick Skavlan, 2001. Photo courtesy of Fredrik Skavlan.

Paul McCartney with Fredrick Skavlan, 2001. Photo courtesy of Fredrik Skavlan.

Fredrik Skavlan's talk show, Skavlan.

Skavlan's YouTube channel


Eirik Wangberg, AKA "Eirik the Norwegian"

Eirik Wangberg with his hand-built bass guitar. Photo courtesy of Eirik Wangberg.

Eirik Wangberg with his hand-built bass guitar. Photo courtesy of Eirik Wangberg.

Paul McCartney with Eirik Wangberg during the Ram recording sessions, 1971. Photo by Linda McCartney, courtesy of Eirik Wangberg.

Paul McCartney with Eirik Wangberg during the Ram recording sessions, 1971. Photo by Linda McCartney, courtesy of Eirik Wangberg.

Eirik Wangberg with Paul and Linda McCartney, 1989. Photo by Fredrik Skavlan, courtesy of Eirik Wangberg.

Eirik Wangberg with Paul and Linda McCartney, 1989. Photo by Fredrik Skavlan, courtesy of Eirik Wangberg.

Eirik Wangberg's website

Episode 13: Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder

Synopsis:

There's a lot more to these legendary musicians than just "Ebony and Ivory." We discuss not only their collaborations, but also the ways in which McCartney and Wonder have influenced each other's music over the past 50 years. We'll explore songs such as "My Cherie Amour," "Arrow Through Me," and many others.


Sources:

The Beatles. The Beatles: the Complete Scores. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 1993.

Doyle, Tom. Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s. New York: Ballantine Books, 2013.

Du Noyer, Paul. Conversations with McCartney. New York: Overlook Press, 2015. 

Harry, Bill. The Paul McCartney Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books, 2002.

Lewisohn, Mark. The Beatles All These Years, Volume one: Tune In, Extended Special Edition. London: Little, Brown, 2013.

Perasi, Luca. Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013). Milan: L.I.L.Y., 2013.

Perone, James E. The Sound of Stevie Wonder: His Words and Music. Westport, Conneticut: Praeger Publishers, 2006.

Ribowsky, Mark. Signed Sealed and Delivered: the Soulful Journey of Stevie Wonder. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2010.

Sounes, Howard. Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2010.


The Beatles made their adoration for the Motown sound apparent by covering many songs by Motown artists. By doing this, the Beatles helped expand Motown's audience. Stevie Wonder became a Motown artist in 1961 at age 11:


Stevie Wonder performed "We Can Work It Out" at The Beatles 50th Anniversary Tribute in 2014:


The bootleg known as "A Toot and a Snore in '74" documents the first time Paul McCartney and John Lennon had performed together since the breakup of the Beatles. Also participating in this session was Stevie Wonder:


Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder's duet, "Ebony and Ivory", was a massive hit in 1982. The video was innovative in its time because the two men were filmed separately (Wonder in Los Angeles and McCartney in London) and edited together: