Episode 18: Songs About Jane Asher

Synopsis:

Paul McCartney and his ex-girlfriend, the English actress Jane Asher, had a passionate and tumultuous 5-year relationship, and the evolution of their relationship can be traced through the Beatles-era songs McCartney wrote about her. We explore songs such as "I'm Looking Through You", "And I Love Her", "We Can Work It Out', and many others.

Sources:

The Beatles - The Beatles in Mono: The Complete Mono Recordings.

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

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

Davies, Hunter. The Beatles: The Authorized Biography. New York: McGraw Hill, 1968.

Davies, Hunter. The Beatles Lyrics: The Stories Behind the Music, Including the Handwritten Drafts of More Than 100 Classic Beatles Songs. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2014.

Dowlding, William J. Beatlesongs. New York: Fireside, 1989.

Guesdon, Jean-Michel and Philippe Margotin. All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release. New York: Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, 2013.

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

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

Thomas, David, "The Darkness Behind the Smile," Telegraph, 19 August 2004.

Thomas, Steve. A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song. New York: HarperCollins, 2005.


Footage of the interior of the Asher family's home (57 Wimpole Street, London), where Paul McCartney lived with Jane Asher from 1963 until 1966.


In 1964, Jane Asher starred in the film The Masque of the Red Death, alongside Vincent Price.


In 1966, Jane Asher co-starred in the film Alfie with Michael Caine.


A March 1968 interview with Paul and Jane immediately following their return from mediating in India with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  Four months later, in July 1968, Jane announced to the media that she and Paul had broken up.


Today, Jane Asher continues to act. She is also an author, and she has a successful cooking accessories business:


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