Latest News: Paul McCartney

A Day in John's Life

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December 1980 must’ve felt especially cold with the death of John Lennon fresh in the news. But every year around this time, Lennon is brought back to life with new articles about his life – as well as “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” on repeat at shopping malls across America. With the Beatles’ music being so big, it is the small, humanizing tidbits on their daily lives that keep fans interested in figuring out who these British boys in tight trousers really were. A lot of clues led fans to conclude that these celebrities were in fact just like us. In a Rolling Stone interview three days before his death, John spoke about the importance of being human over being a rock star: “Real success is…the success of my personality, the success of my relation with [Yoko] and the child, my relationship with the world…and to be happy when I wake up. It has nothing to do with rock machinery or not rock machinery.” Yet it is John’s rock star image that makes his personal life intriguing – so intriguing that someone paid $16,696 for his 1980 handwritten to-do list on Gotta Have Rock And Roll. From the famous scrawl, it looks like a day in John’s life wasn’t that different from ours (except for the fact that it was written for a personal assistant to do): Filling up the gas tank, returning that book, fixing that hook on the bathroom door, asking Steve for some herbs (“for the cat”) and waiting for the HBO guy. Up-and-coming rock stars (and their interns): Start saving those shopping lists. You never know when a rich fan will want to feel closer to their idol and dish out a college-tuition’s worth to frame your daily scribbles over the dinner table. For those of us with smaller paychecks, there is still the best part of Beatles - their music. Check out the Vitamin String Quartet’s second take on some number one hits.

Vitamin String Quartet Performs The Beatles Vol. 2 Available at iTunes

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Two Is Better Than One

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Alison Krauss and Union Station’s first album in seven years was released this week, and reviews suggest that the album, Paper Planes, was worth the wait. This award winning and much beloved blues-country outfit is led by singer and fiddle player, Alison Krauss, who filled in the band’s hiatus with 2007’s Raising Sand. This album, a collaboration between Krauss and music legend and former Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant, was a lush, gorgeous roundup of original and covered material. Listening to it still gives us goosebumps. (See “Polly Come Home” for proof.) In honor of this epic rock/country collaboration, we give you other great cross-genre collaborations. The Duo: Eminem feat. Dido The Song: “Stan” Eminen’s 2000 track about the obsession and eventual suicide of a fan, Stan, samples English singer Dido’s “Thank You.” On its own, Dido’s ambient love song is nothing but sweet. Paired with Eminem’s dark lyrics, the pretty song takes a decidedly sinister turn. Eminem also made headlines when he performed “Stan” with Elton John (who did Dido’s part), at the 2001 Grammy Awards. (That’s Dido playing Stan’s wife at the beginning of the music video). The Duo: Run DMC and Aerosmith The Song: “Walk This Way” This 1986 collaboration between hip hop outfit Run DMC and rock legends Aerosmith is cited as the moment when the walls between rock and rap came down. Literally. The song’s video features Steven Tyler busting through an actual wall with his mic stand to jam with Reverend Run and the boys. The Duo: Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney The Song: “Say, Say, Say” This 1983 George Martin-produced hit comes from McCartney’s Pipes of Peace album. Jackson wrote the song’s lyrics and McCartney played percussion, synthesizer, guitar and bass. McCartney’s wife Linda and Jackson’s sister LaToya both appear in the video. The music legends also collaborated on “The Girl is Mine” from Jackson’s massive Thriller. The Duo: Danger Mouse and James Mercer The Project: Broken Bells All the indie kids went crazy for Broken Bells eponymous debut album last year. Producer Danger Mouse (Beck, Gorillaz, MF Doom) and Shins’ vocalist Mercer decided to collaborate after meeting at a Danish music festival in 2004. They made good on that promise six years later with their critically acclaimed album. A follow-up EP, Meyrin Fields, was released last month. llison Be sure to check out: The String Quartet Tribute to Dido Available now at iTunes and Amazon The String Quartet Tribute to Aerosmith Available now at iTunes and Amazon Vitamin String Quartet Tribute to Michael Jackson Available now at iTunes and Amazon The String Quartet Tribute to Paul McCartney Available now at iTunes and Amazon

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Paul McCartney Claims He Liked The Grey Album

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Before Danger Mouse, AKA Brian Burton, became well-known with bands like Broken Bells, Gnarls Barkley, and producing every buzz band that comes along, he was trying to break into the limelight with a 2004 project called The Grey Album. This tribute piece was a mashup between classic Beatles songs and Jay-Z. The album was one of the most infamous of its kind, garnering a lot of attention from both lovers and copyright sheriffs alike. The album would eventually be attacked by EMI, the copyright holder of The Beatles, and told to cease distribution of the album or face consequences. Jay-Z’s label did nothing because the a capella tracks that Danger Mouse used for the album from the rapper had been commercially released for just such purposes. This would lead to a day of electronic civil disobedience, where many websites posted the album for download to counter EMI’s claim that the album wasn’t fair use. Years later, after many such mashups have since been released, The Beatles’ Paul McCartney is now saying he liked The Grey Album. “I didn’t mind when something like that happened with The Grey Album. But the record company minded. They put up a fuss. But it was like, ‘Take it easy guys, it’s a tribute.’” The Beatle went on to say that he felt that his group brought a lot of music out to the masses when they began, and he feels like hip hop does this today. “It was really cool when hip-hop started, you would hear references in lyrics, you always felt honored. It’s exactly what we did in the beginning – introducing black soul music to a mass white audience. It’s come full circle. It’s, well, cool. When you hear a riff similar to your own, your first feeling is ‘rip-off.’ After you’ve got over it you think, ‘Look at that, someone’s noticed that riff.’” In response to extreme fans that found the mash-up to be sacrilege, he explained, "I think there will be people who are purists and want to hear it as it was. And y'know what? It exists as it was. So you know, play your vinyl. Y'know, that is how it was, but obviously by allowing it to happen, we don't have a problem in cleaning (the masters) up. So for the purists, you stick to the pure sound and let other people hear it clean." Be sure to check out: The String Quartet Tribute to the Beatles Available now at iTunes and Amazon

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