Sunday, September 17, 2017

ES-Say #100

No Sunday Rain Today-McCartney Not On Tap For Promoting His Guest Recordings

September 15th, 2017 Paul McCartney appears on New Ringo Starr And Foo Fighters Releases

Let's get one thing straight- I Love Paul McCartney! I don't think I need to explain this, but when I type on my blog about Paul McCartney, I'm not always making positive comments and observations about his career. That doesn't mean I'm against McCartney as a solo artist, or a Beatle. I'm only against pretending to like every single thing he has to offer to his fans, whether it be a song or a fashion statement, or even the manner of his self-promotion. In fact, I will champion any argument in favour of Give My Regards To Broad Street(The 1984 film, widely considered to be a Turkey), His 1970's creation of Wings, and commitment to Vegetarianism. I just can't get enough of 1980s-1990s Paul McCartney releases. So before, we begin my slaughter(sorry, bad choice), I mean pounding, of two new McCartney-related music offerings, please don't mistake the review as damaging to McCartney's image. It's only a review, folks, as usual, I'm not saying anything to Paul McCartney....

Ringo...RINGO!, and Dave Grohl- Both good friends with Paul McCartney. Not surprising at all that Paul would willingly go and record with each of them. In fact, all summer we have heard snippets and read articles, all about what he contributed to both artists new albums. Coincidently, both were released on the same day(this past Friday). I decided to download two of the songs in which Paul appears- Sunday Rain(Paul on Drums, Foo Fighters) and We're On The Road Again(Paul on Bass and Backing Vocals*).

First let's talk about We're On The Road Again from Ringo's Give More Love CD. It's produced to be a single(which I believe it actually is) and formulated to sound like an instant hit song, in that Ringo way, in which he sings these matter-of-fact type lyrics("...headed for the studio to finish this track.."). I don't actually own any Ringo Starr solo song, but this isn't "It Don't Come Easy" this new song is like a cross-between "It Don't Come Easy," Paul's "New"(title track from "New" 2013), and whatever a comedy impression of Ringo Starr would sound like with Paul chiming in("haaaaaaaaaaaaah" offering in the song was not missed or appreciated because it was equally formulated like Ringo's phoned in lyrics throughout).

One could argue New(single 2013) has more merit as a song, but is the only miss-step in an otherwise fresh and dynamic Paul album. I've listened to the New(single) with such reluctance over the years because it felt like a safe song for McCartney to release- no chance to not be a single, yet effortlessly presented without much care. Unless, I get a copy of "Give More Love" for free, I'm not going to buy four copies of it like I did for New(album, 2013). If Paul can't save Ringo's album, no one can. And, no, I don't feel like going into Ringo even more, but I'm not convinced he should be continuing to put out albums, just for the hell of it.

Music Promotion is in a brand new age. The old promotion tricks of getting an album sold in stores from a radio single has moved on. Your bound to buy a new album in 2017 because a) You heard it in a Christmas commercial for sweaters, or b) It's free in your local newspaper. Most new music has to have a catch or gimmick now for you to notice it's available. Record companies have to try new trends to get sales for established artists new offerings. That's why RCA records has taken this UK route of a POP-UP shop(In this case, an artist themed-Pub), for the Foo Fighters new album "Concrete And Gold."

          Which gets your attention- a sign at HMV or an entire Pub. Choose Now(One serves Hard Alcohol-I'll give you a minute)

Sure, The Fighters Of Foo, are a great band. Our Blog Nemesis, The Foot, is a big fan. Myself, I like the greatest hits, and I like Grohl as an ex-member of Nirvana. So, even if The Foot has accused me of now just liking The Foo Fighters, because Paul McCartney has appeared as the drummer on their new song, Sunday Rain, he would be sorely mistaken. I like The Foo Fighters and they have teamed up a second or third time for a McCartney-billed recording. This time around Sunday Rain, isn't bad at all with McCartney drumming on it. What is bad, is that I spent my Sunday morning pretending to love The Foo Fighters to buy exclusive merchandise in Bethnal Green. Not a McCartney mention at all, just a bunch of looping queues to get into The Foo Fighters Arms. Where did my £60 go-
                       Some of what was left to purchase at the converted The Dundee Arms

I felt like the purpose in buying related Concrete and Gold merchandise was worth it as to have something from an album that McCartney was a part of. However, all the promotion in print and online has seemed to feature McCartney as the after thought. It doesn't seem likely that Paul had a huge hand to give his promotional push over to The Foos despite the connection of appearing on the album. Here's a big example of that lack of input(YouTube Video Below). Dave Grohl is only give the opportunity to name drop Paul it seems. (At least Ringo got a picture with Paul)
On Sunday Rain, instead of sticking out like a sore thumb with Ringo, Paul takes the task of drumming with more modesty. The singer isn't even Grohl, but surprise surprise, their own Foo Drummer, Taylor Hawkins. But, even though Paul didn't even seem to be in the same room to record for this, the improvised licks fit like a glove(do we even call drum beats licks? No idea). I'm proud of Paul here, but he's disposed to promote it for good reason..a little matter of a USA Tour...

....but that doesn't mean he shouldn't actually be promoting it...

Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney would like to remind our readership that we are on both Facebook and The Twitter with all the latest Macca News! Join today! See extra photos from The Foo Fighters Arms and please note that Beatle Ringo is always given love as much as "The Paul McCartney." I think we made it obvious that Ringo solo isn't for us...

*he also plays Bass on track 3 of Give More Love.

Monday, August 28, 2017

ES-Say #99

Stop Off At Paul's House-From Abbey Road To Baker Street

                                             Across The Road from 7 Cavendish Avenue, London

Bank Holiday Weekend In The UK 2017. A Three Day Weekend, marking the end of International Beatles Week in Liverpool . Unfortunately, despite my two pilgrimage trips to Liddy Pool this year, I declined to attend. Making matters worse, had I planned to travel via train from London- there are track repairs being done that would have forced me to hitchhike. No thanks, If I'm going to do a Beatles-Themed vacation break, I might as well do a walking tour by myself in London.

Luckily, Abbey Road Studios has recently opened a tourist shop. It's located next door to the left of the studio. I decided to return this weekend for two reasons. A. To get 50% in the shops holiday weekend sale, and B. To see the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts fa├žade on the walls. Well...I had some mixed results!

Firstly- Here are some pictures back in late June 2017-

BEAUTIFUL! I can't remember a time ever seeing something so celebratory at the studios!

...AND NOW...end of August 2017

 Oh well, at least I can tell you about the other extremely wonderful change I have noticed...
No, not this horrible sign...(we get it-don't even think of getting in, you poor peasants!)

The 411 is that when you go through the shop walkway entrance right next door to 5 Abbey Road, for the first time ever, (or maybe in ages), you can take clear beautiful pictures of the right side view of the front of the studios!!!

As I moseyed on into the studio shop, I told two of the sales people this amazing discovery. Politely smiling, they tried to sell me limited in-store items from the online 50% off sale, but humoured my talking to them about taking photos of the building.

The rest of the store was a balanced mix of Abbey Road Studios branded, Beatles branded & other Abbey Road recording artists(but expectedly mostly Beatles merch). It's a small store, but it has a good range of collectibles to check out. After spending £19 in total on a 1966 Revolver tote bag and a Sgt Pepper notebook(marked down from £8 to £4), I was on my way....

...on my way to Paul McCartney's St. John's Wood home, a short distance away from Abbey Road!

Before, I strolled down Cavendish Avenue, I remembered that I wanted to sit on Paul McCartney's Bus Stop Bench-
                That's my own foot, not to be confused with our absent blog nemesis "The Foot."

"Paul McCartney's Bus Stop Bench!", you ask, "That's not in The Beatles' London Guide To 467 Sites !?"

Here at Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney Blog, not only do we give reviews of documented Beatles Sites, but we go that extra mile to tell you about stuff you didn't even realise could be Beatle connected!

Yes, that's right, Sir Paul McCartney sings a lot about bus riding, so why not get Selfies at the closest bus stop at the end of his street? Last time I saw this fancy bench, people were actually sitting on it, waiting for the 46 or 187-

This time, I practically draped myself over the empty bench. What a thrill! Next stop-Paul McCartney's Local Area Post Box!!! Yaaaay!(Nevermind...I do draw the line somewhere...)

Getting back at the task at hand- to walk past Paul McCartney's 7 Cavendish Avenue home. This was my third visit over the years. The first two times, I just walked down the road without stopping long enough to get a photo. This time I built up the courage to take some photos of the shut gate(you can't see through it). To be honest, there is very little view of the house due to huge trees and shrubbery, but you can see parts of the top of the house. Again, the "side view g-ds" were with me, as 9 Cavendish Avenue had it's gate open(but blocked by a parked van), and you could see some more of the top front of Paul's house.

I am not a criminal and I don't want to get accused of trespassing via "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window." I only took a couple of photos from the sidewalk and across the street(it's public street, mind you). I quickly kept going towards the end of the block, past mentioned Paul's public postbox leading towards Wellington Place(Next To Paul's...I mean Lord's Cricket Ground).

The next place I wanted to go was to London Beatles Store near Baker Street Station. It's a nice walk or bike ride heading east from Wellington Road. All you have to do is follow the station signs and not have to bother with getting back on a train for one stop.
                             I mean, I don't mind running(or walking) over to look at more Beatles merchandise!

There was a HUGE line outside the front of the London Beatles Store, but that was for the entry next door to the Sherlock Homes Museum. I had to cut through the queue to get over to the line-free front of the Beatles shop. The shop is two rooms filled with official merchandise with a huge selection of apparel and souvenirs. I love the selection of T-Shirts and there's always something new to see. However, it seems like a revolving door of employees(I've never recognized a permanent staff member). I used to think that the employees standing close by in the front room were eager to help but they seem more like private security in plain clothes. "Friendly" is not the word I'm thinking of. It's not that their unhelpful but there is a hint of snobbery in the air. (Don't get me started about the employees in the second room. They seem to deal with some higher priced items, yet the Hope Diamond is not in the collection!) 

Anyhoo, The Beatles music playing and a limited 2 for £25 on some t-shirts were available, but I didn't like the designs this time around. Also, I noticed that a Paul McCartney autograph connected with Give My Regards To Broad Street(in a display frame) had been taken down since the last time I visited and I left empty handed.

I usually end this 90 min walking excursion by checking out what that English like to call "Tack". Tack is basically the London tourist merchandise stuff for holiday souvenirs. But, surprisingly, I have found some unique Beatles items made cheaply for tourists, and in front of Baker Street Station there are several shops that carry Beatles coffee mugs and other mystery items. This time, I wound up buying five George Harrison party masks for £1.50 each.*

You honestly don't know what you'll find when you take this London walk but it's a gateway into looking for more Beatles sites in London.

Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney Blog has written past ES-Says that explore McCartney and Beatles sites outdoor adventures. Check it out!

Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney would like to remind you to check out our current Paul McCartney news and our blog updates by joining the  "Fun Club" Facebook Group or Twitter page(see the widget!).

Saturday, August 5, 2017

ES-Say #98

Out of Print-A Sampling of Old McCartney Cassettes
      Unplugged(1991), Just one of the fifteen cassettes I bought off of Ebay recently

Many people have gotten caught up in the resurrection of the vinyl format over the past few years.

Wait, my mistake- Young people have been introduced to, and have gotten caught up the return of the record player and buying new vinyl at inflated prices. Older people who decided to dump the format in favour of the CD and Cassette are just snickering in the background.

Again, I've goofed- Old Farts, like myself, have felt compelled to mix with the babies who go to HMV and say "Oh look, Justin Beiber has put his rock album out on 180 gram vinyl! I need this for my collection and it's only 19.99!" We want to desperately school the youth. We want to break these overpriced records in half. We only want to deal with this retro nightmare if that means record accessories (sleeves, mostly in my case) are easier to obtain.

So, when I recently bought a McCartney cassette for my collection, I thought it was strange that LAST YEAR, it was predicted that the CASSETTE was the next format comeback for these thumb suckers(sorry, hipsters...). I vaguely remember hearing this news, but it wasn't really mentioned again. Why?  Was it because not enough artists were willing to commit to having their new releases put out on cassette? Yup!

Off hand, I can only discuss how several of these newly released cassettes are limited edition collector items and not for anyone who wants easy access to a new recording.

At the moment, the three-song 2017 Record Store Day release of Flowers In The Dirt Demos on Cassette are going for over £30 on Ebay. No, Thanks! I would rather buy a bunch of random discontinued Paul McCartney tapes for the same price, and spend an addition £17.99(+ £4.99 on Duracell Batteries) for a brand new tape player.
                                      We Got The Tapes! (And A Little Bit Of A Mess!)

The whole experience of buying and playing cassettes again was similar to an old friend reunion. You can't figure out why you were friends in the first place, but it's great to reminisce about the past while having a good laugh.

I laughed, I cried, I was completely rusty in the beginning using one, but I've come to the conclusion that a tape player can be fit into my home. If I ever need some home security from an intruder, I'm swinging this brick first-
It's not how I remember a Walkman. They were light-weight and didn't have a tacky antenna and speaker attached.

My new cassette player was confusing at first. I hadn't owned one in years and was only familiar with the basics-Play, Rewind, Fast Forward, Stop. It came with some poor quality earbuds which I immediate threw away and stuck in Apple earbuds. Within a month, I was listening to various McCartney tapes that peaked my interest and I kept notes(to torture my blog readers with, naturally...)

Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney's Retro Tapes Review!

1st Victim- Give My Regards To Broad Street(1984 Original, TCPCTC2). For £1, I got to listen to a tape that was on it's last leg because it was warbled. This was most heart breaking during "Wanderlust" because of the strangling lead vocal playback, which is a normally lovely recorded performance on CD. ("liiiight out wander-luuuuuuust, help us to be freeeeeeee" sounds unfortunately painful on Tape). It's like listening to music underwater and something I hadn't considered that would sound worse than a record skipping. The operation of the tape reels could be heard clicking, which became a pattern with other the used tapes purchased.  No improvement could be heard with listening without earphones to the decent speaker. I had no idea if the quality of the tape would ruin the player or if the player was too cheap at this point. 

2nd Victims- Tug Of War(Thailand, Golden Peacock 1036). The first of a group of tapes that I honestly thought were distributed on legitimate foreign labels. There was a reason I never heard of Golden Peacock, Thomsum, or King's. They were all mid-1980s Pirated copies that are easy to buy. I learned something new- The history of enforcing copywrite in Thailand

This similarly applied to the Indonesian and Saudi Arabia tapes(labels above) of Give My Regards..,Press To Play and Pipes Of Peace. The quality of these tapes was pretty good, yet the errors included made them qualify as "mix tapes." For example, the running order of songs was incorrect or songs from other albums were included. It may have been great to get the 6:56 version of Say Say Say on to tape rather than dragging out the vinyl 12"single. It was not-so-great for expecting to hear "The Best of Paul McCartney-New '85" masking itself a "Billboard" release, and getting a weird version of the Frankie Goes To Hollywood LP. Pirate Copies- Relax, Don't Do It!

3rd Victims- Press To Play(1986 Original, TCPCSD 103) and "Pretty Little Head"(Original Single, TCR 6145). I enjoyed listening to Press To Play on Cassette and seemed to enjoy side two the most, despite the worn out playback interruptions(Can we please have this re-released on CD again?). However, I was happy to find out I paid £2 for Pretty Little Head, which is the 1st Paul McCartney UK cassette single ("One of the rarest singles in this format" is what I wrote in my notes-possibly from copied from Wikipedia or I saw a few listings(not on Ebay) for it being sold for £10. Having a copy of it is a reminder that I love collecting McCartney for the sake of just having a collection.

4th Victim-  McCartney(Fame/MPL Original, FA 41 3100 4) was from a budget reissue of EMI Records. As an official release, it too was warbled! I'm going to take this used copy as a sign that official and used Paul McCartney cassettes were played so often that the owners just played them out, rather than not playing them at all. If this is why all my used Beatles records skip during popular hits, it makes loads of sense. (I haven't listened to the full McCartney album in years, so I am assuming my CD copy will not let me down, like the dying cat of a cassette from a mid-price range).

Our 5th and final victim- a personal favourite! No Joke! For £6.50(my best offer Ebay winning bid), I got a two TDK cassettes with black and white-copied homemade cassette covers. It was the known LIPA benefit Liverpool show 28/6/1990. I tried to research all the questionable and legit sources of this recording(like the C4 airing 17/12/90 of "From Rio To Liverpool"). My opinion is that I've got the complete show and I think all 31 songs are in the correct order. I believe it's a combination of both soundboard and audience recorded. I enjoyed listening to it on cassette so much and I long for all the non-McCartney and Beatles lost live tapes left in a box that my cat peed on(in my absence). I don't wish it was 1999, I just want to revive my urine-free, life of crime* 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

ES-Say #97

A Ketchup With "Paul Or Nothing" Podcast

Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney had the opportunity to ask some questions to Sam Whiles, Creator of the "Paul or Nothing" Podcast. On the show, Whiles offers some knowledgeable insight into McCartney's music catalogue as a 1970s solo artist and beyond, along with some special guests to weigh in about Paul's post-Beatle career.  Whiles was a good sport to tackle our burning questions, so let's get on with the interview!

Meredith Evonne, NSATPM Blog: How has your podcast developed since starting back in November of 2016? Has it met your expectations?

Sam Whiles, Paul or Nothing Podcast: Wow, November 2016! Has it been that long? The podcast was previously on another podcast hosting site, so it must be even older than that. In terms of success, growth, and branding (and all those other horrid buzzwords), I guess I am very pleased that I have any listeners at all. Paul may technically be more popular than ever, but in terms of people I meet, it may as well be the dreaded 1980's in terms of being a fan.

The Podcast has yet to hit 10,000 downloads, but our fan base is a wonderfully vibrant bunch, who teach me more than I probably teach them! After the success of my Tom Waits Podcast, Down in the Hole, which was considerably bigger, I never expected anything really, so all of this is a plus.

NSATPM: How do you prepare to discuss your McCartney album and songs analysis prior to a recording an episode of the podcast?

Whiles: The preparation process for each episode varies. The general gist of it, is at least two months of soaking in the album. The show is just as much a journey for me as it is for the audience, so I need to get my hands dirty with each release as opposed to just listening to it once or twice.

I then write long hand the entire script for that episode, which can easily go over 30 pages. This is mostly done due to a pretty noticeable stutter (that I am far too self-conscious about). However, I am experimenting with a looser format for a much quicker turn around. Don't even get me started on the editing process...

NSATPM: I heard you talk about 'Monkberry Moon Delight'. Is this your favourite McCartney song? I got that impression...
Whiles: Early on, I did commit to ‘Monkberry Moon Delight’ as it was my favourite McCartney track before I started the podcast. It's always tricky to be faithful to a particular song, and truthfully, I have been tempted by many other sultry tracks. For example, the charms of ‘Goodnight Tonight’ have recently been worming their way into my ear. Similar to my favourite album, the choice varies with how I'm feeling and what I'm listening to. Though it will always be in my top 5. "SO I SAT IN THE ATTIC...."
         There's a lot of love for this Wings single at NSATPM, but you've heard it all before!

NSATPM: The several bonus episodes are an interesting feature, as you got to interview a few popular McCartney book authors and former Wings Guitarist Laurence Juber. Was it easy to book your guests or were they hard to contact at first? Who else would you want to interview? 
Whiles: Every guest who I have had on the show, has been surprisingly cordial and easy to book. Juber, in particular, was a gentleman who acquiesced to several rescheduling of his interview. Normally, all it takes is a well-written email, some flattery, and the confidence to pretend that the show has a lot more listeners than it really does. In terms of future guests, the current Holy Grail's are: Denny Seiwell (Wings first drummer), Denny Laine (Wings lead guitarist), and Mark Lewisohn (the king of Beatles biographies). Any of those guys would greatly warm the cockles of my heart.

NSATPM I'll be honest, I like to occasionally listen to several different Beatles and Paul McCartney topic podcasts and radio shows. It's refreshing to have "Paul or Nothing" as a newer entry, but how are you trying to promote your show within the fan community? 
Whiles: Thank you, It's always tough being the new kid on the block, especially since I do the show by myself, like some sort of digital hermit. Honestly, I should always be doing more to promote the show, but all the avenues are lucrative if you know how to use them. Lately, I have begun promoting the show (and blog) on 10 of the biggest Beatles/McCartney Facebook pages; they have given me a very kind welcome.
Appearing on other podcasts, is a must in this industry, and conversely I am also planning on having other podcast hosts (who will remain nameless for the sake of tension) on the show to help with online visibility. For example, I had YouTube Beatles celeb and auteur 'The HollyHobs' on my channel and that brought me more traffic than I ever could imagine.

If I was in traffic(and could learn to drive*), I would listen to the "Paul or Nothing" Podcast by visiting:
On ITunes, and other podcast sites by typing in "Paul or Nothing" or "Paul McCartney Podcast"
On Twitter @mccartneypod
Thanks to Sam Whiles for his time and interest in talking to us!

Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney would like to remind you to check out our current Paul McCartney news and our blog updates by joining the  "Fun Club" Facebook Group or Twitter page(see the widget!). Our next ES-Say #98 will be forthcoming and you won't want to miss all the exciting action!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

ES-Say #96

ES-Say #96 Glasgow West End Record Hunting
A Canadian Copy of The Beatles Rarities LP(1980) reveals a reprint of the Butcher Cover in its gatefold!

Once again, it is time for another ES-Say of Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney(NSATPM) where I get to discuss one of my favorite hobbies: Beatles Record Collecting. Solo McCartney LPs collecting and related memorabilia collecting is also included within the hobby. Record show attendance is only one option for myself to collect stuff. Another, is to walk around a foreign place or country and try my luck with finding record stores. I can't think of anything more fun then being faced with this scenario:
Simply cross this plank of wood in the rain to get out of a puddle and continue looking down the alley for a record store that may or not be open.

The biggest issue is not finding a record stores listed over the internet, no, the issue is finding out if the place actually exists. Sometimes you find a place either closed or non-existent, and then you return back to your accommodations extremely pissed off that you wasted the time. Other times, you hit the jackpot- It is an actual record store with vinyl and it closes in a half hour!

I've talked about the gender issues I've faced at record shows. At record shops, the fact that i'm female usually pans out the same. Yet, I've learned how to handle myself when stuck around retail record shop cardboard boxes and displays: get stuck in. Forget that nobody greeted you or asked if you needed any help, forget that you used to work for Virgin Megastore, forget whatever pro-female statement you want to shout at the shop owner who doesn't look like he's in a hurry to close: you got "work" to do.

Work, *ahem*, the hobby. Yeah, the usual protocol- don't wear any band adorned clothing and keep your eyes peeled. I broke my own rule whilst in Scotland. My mother was nice enough to give me a Beatles Love Cirque Du Soleil hat and button(attached to hat) on her travels when we met up in Glasgow. I sort of forgot I was wearing it for several days when I waltzed in to Mixed Up Records 
Walking down a side street, I found Mixed Up Records but didn't see any nearby signs leading to it

Despite my hat that screamed "sell all your Beatles crap to this idiot," I was able to look around amongst one other customer within two connected small rooms, undisturbed. There's a difference with being helped and being sales-targeted and neither of those things happened when I flipped through the Beatles Vinyl. I quickly spotted a £10 Rarities LP I hadn't been familiar with. I flipped to the back of the album and saw that the songs were compiled from 1980. To me, it seems like lots of early-1980s Beatles vinyl isn't always that popular but I liked the way it looked(sometimes I buy vinyl strictly for the album design). Then, I looked in bookcase and found a 1984 Hong Kong reprint of a 1973 Beatles book for £4. Finishing up, I saw a Give My Regards To Broad Street UK Cassette for a pound and impulsively bought it. (a sub-collection of Paul's 1984 film memorabilia is included within the "main collection." I know, it's very confusing to what it is I actually focus on collecting!)

When I left the shop, I decided to look for another record store that was a six-minute walk from where I was in the West End, The Captain-Obvious-titled LP Records (please note: I never looked at any of the store websites I went to, I only looked on google maps for addresses.) It was a small single-roomed record shop, presumably to attract hip people who want to get in on the resurrection of the vinyl format. (This year's Record Store Day releases took up about 1/4 of the shop). It was the type of store where you had a range of genres but clearly not enough stock. It felt like a pop-up shop, where it seems bright and pretty but might close next week to make way for another pop-up shop.  
                                             Oooh Look- A Seagull....and A Record Shop! 

Even though the sales person was helpful to tell me about the Record Store Day releases when I asked, the Ebay-competitive prices(clearly not the Record Store Day original prices, £20 for a Hollies record) turned me away from looking, but no surprise that the recent "Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields" studio remix single 45 wasn't stocked. I won't lie there were some regular Beatles albums on the opposite side of the room, but not what I would have been looking for and certainly not willing to drop £25 when it seemed this place needed to retain whatever stock they had to look LP Record shop. I wouldn't consider returning to the place due to the minimalist collection but maybe some people like small record stores.
                                              Red Arrows Are VERY difficult to not follow

The next day, I returned to Play It Again (47 Ruthven Lane, Glasgow, G12 9BG), a Mom-and-Pop type record store(with a clawed cat displayed in a box as the security) , where I had trouble understanding the opening hours when I found it previously closed on a Sunday. The shopkeeper was nice enough to tell me that they actually were opened on a Sunday as I browsed through the Beatles records. It was a pretty big collection of 45s but there were many repeat copies of titles. I grabbed the multiple copies of Ebony and Ivory but didn't find anything that wasn't a EMI UK copy. The best thing for myself was finding decade old magazines. I brought a group of magazines and 45s to the counter but unfortunately, the store did not take credit cards. I had £2 in change and left the store to go to a cash machine. I was raining very hard and I had jumped over enough dodgy puddles(see wood plank photo) and I just changed my mind. I went back to the store and spent my £2 wisely. 

I went back to Byres Road(another well-known West End area) and tried my luck at a known and reliable charity record store, OXFAM Music Shop. I actually visited this place the last time I was in Glasgow. Most of the other OXFAM stores around the UK are great because it carries various genres of music, music books, and they take credit cards. As much as I enjoyed looking around, I found one item that I really wanted- A cassette of The Beatles Live at The BBC V1! It was in great condition with really cool packaging(like the small-sized info booklet).

Here are the photos of the stuff I had to balance on my head when leaving Glasgow.

So, what has been the end result of this trip to Scotland. Overall, I was happy with the stuff I was able to find. I didn't know I would be starting to collect cassette tapes however....

Tune in next time when we decide to discuss the highs and lows of collecting cassettes in 2017*

*Maybe. It's looking that way since I've invested in a cassette player...

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

ES-Say #95

ES-Say #95 I've Wheelie Bin To Liverpool!
                  Paul McCartney's crumbling hand greets me at 31 Matthew Street, Liverpool

Liverpool, England-The Birthplace of The Beatles. The Mecca for Beatles Fans touring the UK, and home to 468,000 residents(approximately!). A place that is sometimes thought to be a stone's throw away from London(it's not, and takes over two hours to travel by train). And, a surprise of great cultural history sightseeing in the Liverpool City Region, that preceded and followed the popularity of The Beatles in the 1960s. It's a city that thrives with employment related to Beatles tourism but has so much more to offer visitors, in the form of the spirit of the people(Yes, all you die-hard Scouse football fans). If you weren't sure what the word "loyalty" meant before, Liverpool will set you straight.

I was bitten by the Beatle Bug during the early-1990's when I was attending High School. This interest in all things Beatle, spun off from an interest in New York City classic rock radio station WNEW-FM. But, had I not be a fan of McCartney's 1993 Off The Ground LP first, I don't know if I would have be open to listening to, and enjoying the Beatles music and learning about their English history. The 90s period between the releases of Live At The BBC Volume 1 and The Beatles Anthology series sealed the deal for me as a devotee, but going to Liverpool?  "Yeah, right" I thought at the time, "That aint gonna happen! Cha-Cha-boom!" while listening to Besame Mucho on my Walkman.

To be honest, I didn't think I would do a lot of things in my life, but here I am now, an unpaid freelance writer and Beatles collector with a 9 to 5 job-to-pay-for-said-collection. A grown-woman who finally after two decades has visited Liverpool during two separate weekends in 2017, in the both the pouring rain and scalding heat weather. Yeah Yeah Yeah, I got some things to say!

                                 A View Of The Liver Building And The Liver Birds

Essential Categories   

Travel and Accommodations

Traveling by train is a great way to reach Liverpool Lime Street Station, one of the major port of calls to reach Albert Dock, Matthew Street, Liverpool One Shopping Centre, and your hotel. So, when I watched the local London news the night before my 1st trip, Liverpool Lime Street Station was closed until further notice. Basically, an avalanche on to the tracks shut down the major Liverpool station to the city and I got packed onto a shuttle bus from Runcorn in Cheshire to reach Liverpool. On my second visit on June 17th, three months later, arriving at Lime Street was like a new experience. I wasn't rain-soaked and walking around clueless looking for my hotel again like back in March. No, I walked out of the station and immediately saw my hotel and checked in.

Advice you didn't ask for - Liverpool has many hotels from mid-priced budget to swanky. If I were you, I would prefer to stay at a popular hotel near a train station. Even my first hotel was also near a station and I slept well. I can't imagine staying directly at Albert Dock or further down the dock or outside the middle of the city centre. As it was between 26c/78f this weekend, I should have shopped around for a hotel pool, but even in the rain or heat, I wanted a convenient hotel and this was more than suitable for a city break.

Tours and Attractions

There are several options to tour the city and it depends on how you want to experience Liverpool. On my first trip, I didn't want to share the experience with anyone but our Blog's famous nemesis, aka The Foot, who dislikes The Beatles strongly and got dragged along for the "Ticket To Ride." I decided to book a private car tour with Jackie Spencer at and I got what I paid for in a 4-hour tour itinerary-everything Beatles. We did all the important tourist places in a relaxed and fun rainy day out and something I wouldn't easily forget with Jackie's knowledge, expertise and style. On the second trip, I went on a specially-themed Paul McCartney's 75th birthday tour organised by Jackie for a group coach tour. A super sunny eight hour tour of all things Macca and Beatles with extra stops that we didn't get to in my four hour tour(such as additional Paul homes, Auntie Jinn's home, Stuart Sutcliffe's grave site(RIP) and more).

Advice you didn't ask for -St. Peter's Church was one of the highlights of both of my trips, along with a return visit to The Museum Of Liverpool . You should go on the National Trust Tour as this is the only way to get inside Paul's Forthlin Road and John's Mendips homes, but you can still cheaply go to take photos of the exterior of these homes from the sidewalk as most tourist do. The city centre had so much to see and do both Beatles-related, such as Beatles Story Museum , lots of shopping areas and (this is most noticeable and can't or shouldn't be avoided) along with THE MOST UNBELIEVABLE-SIZED AND DESIGNED CITY BUILDINGS, STATUES AND CATHEDRAL(S). (If you don't appreciate the importance and scale of those mesmerizing places, I can't really explain to you any further why Liverpool has some of the best architecture in the world).
             Queen Victoria is housed in a Grade II listed building, don't say I didn't warn you!

Food, Drink, Nightlife

Many people will want to know about where to dine and have a pint. I'm really the wrong person to ask now that I've avoided going into the famous Beatles live places like Cavern Club and  Casbah Coffee Club BUT if I ever go back, I'll try those places. On the first visit, I lost all ability to taste food so everything I consumed or drank(including rum and coke) tasted like metal. This time, I had fast food, supermarket and room service, but a brilliant Pub Vegetarian lunch. This category is something to explore further to get an accurate description.

Advice You Didn't Ask For- I'll be going back to the following three pubs McCartney's Bar on Hanover Street , The Grapes On Matthew Street , and which ever pub these women from Kirkby invited me along to, after we helped a little boy who got lost in the less glamorous (or Dodgy area) between pubs and closed smaller shopping complexes that are slowly going out of business due to Liverpool One. Liverpool is a party city that you can't pin solely on the locals, and you will inevitably this find out. A "party city" can refer only to the drinking but you'd be hard pressed to be bored finding evening events if you love nightlife, or a good concert. I can only now imagine what  International Beatles Week  could be like- spoilt for choice!

Hopefully, the Blog was able to give you some idea about visiting Liverpool. I didn't want anyone to feel like I would be revealing all, but everyone has their own unique travel experiences. It is a friendly city with a lot of pride and heart and I hope others will be able to enjoy themselves as much as I did.

I failed to get the Purple wheelie bin as a Tourist Souvenir that was discussed as a compromise colour between Liverpool Football Clubs team colours-LFC(Red) and Everton(blue) during my trip on Paul's 75th birthday tour. At least I borrowed it for the Blog's title!

       A Neck-Streching Opportunity at the Plaque for the Day John Met Paul at St. Peter's Church Hall

Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney will be writing more about something Paul-related in the not-so-distant future. Such as the experience of celebrating Paul's birthday, which will contain further recommendations of stuff that I saw and the stuff I bought to add to my growing memorabilia collection. If you prefer not to wait for another blog entry please join us on Twitter(see our Widget) and at our newsgroup  NSATPM Fun Club

Monday, May 29, 2017

ES-Say #94

ES-Say #94 Salt And Pepper Over Scrambled Eggs-The Beatles at 50+
Sgt. Pepper 2017 Subway Poster   (Tottenham Court Road, London Underground, Photo:MFloate)

I have to ask- when is Sgt. Pepper 50th Anniversary 2017? Was it on Friday the 26th of May(original UK 1967 release day), when the Apple 2017 remix releases came out and everyone declared it "Pepper Day"? Is it coming up next week on June 1st? or maybe the 2nd(the original 1967 US release day)?  

For all I know, with all the media attention, special events, and a tie-in film, etc etc, it's about a two month celebration that started in May and will finish sometime in June. Hooray?

But, this has now been shifted to pre-celebration for the 50th Anniversary re-release of the White Album, which is only about 18 months away, but it was suggested by Giles Martin it would be upcoming as the next release from Apple.

Don't get me wrong. I really like Sgt. Pepper and I tell everybody that my favorite Beatles album is the White Album. It's nice to have these great albums given the appreciation they deserve on their 50th Anniversaries." But-

What is the deal with the omission of other 1960s Beatles Albums and their corresponding 50th Anniversaries?  

Generally, in 2014, this seemed to be the launch year of celebrating the Beatles in the 1960s.

We had highly profiled chronological Beatles 50-year milestones that were celebrated. Such as-
  • The Beatles arrival at JFK and the British Invasion of 1964(USA LPs CD Box Set January 2014)
  • The film re-release of "A Hard Day's Night" (1964)
  • 15th Anniversary Re-Release of "1" (November 2015)
  • Ron Howard's Eight Days A Week-The Touring Years film (September 2016)
  • SGT Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP Release (May/June 2017). 
I'm a bit confused as to the lack of attention for Help!(film and album), Rubber Soul(album), Revolver(album), just to name a few. (I don't even think Magical Mystery Tour, the film, which was re-released in 2012 is going to get a nod).

Sgt. Pepper's anniversary is now the talk of the summer that not only praises the LP but the Summer of Love 1967. A big opportunity for hippies to reminisce about Peace, Love, Drugs, and the Far Out music they enjoyed. The release of Pepper is noted for being a main "turn on, tune in, drop out" trippy record of the time. Yet, the album has it critics.

Journalist Ray Connolly wrote about his problems with the Sgt. Pepper album in the Daily Mail(27/5/17 edition) and pointed out that the exclusion of Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever made the album "A bit like playing the final of the World Cup and leaving your two best players in the changing room."

The Beatles actually won "The World Cup" of record releases without the help of Penny Lane or Strawberry Fields. This idea that the album would be so much better is rubbish. Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever getting looped into an already experimental album could have toppled it over. We don't have to rewrite history to potentially improve a Beatles album.

The stand along Double A-Side of Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever have gotten enough media attention lately that it runs the risk of being considered their greatest single ever. For many, it already is, but just because it was applauded during the "1+" (2015) for the singles' ground breaking music videos and recently re-released on 7" for Record Store Day 2017, it shouldn't overshadow the importance of other Beatles singles and album cuts.

It used to be songs like Yesterday, Eleanor Rigby, Ticket To Ride, In My Life, or Michelle. Earlier releases that were considered turning points in the progression of the Beatles music. All of a sudden, prior releases to Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields, don't need as much attention in Today's press.

Paul McCartney has recently been interviewed about mishearing someone say "Sgt. Pepper" when they only said "Salt and Pepper."

In my 25-ish years of Beatle Fandom, I've never heard about this leading to the concept of Sgt. Pepper. What I have heard time and time again for 25-ish years is this little story(maybe you've heard it).

Interviewer- "Paul, how did you come up with Yesterday?"
Paul- "It came to me in a dream..."
Interviewer- "Wow, really!!!! How did Y-
Paul- (interrupting) *Sings* Scrambled Eggs...Oh My Baby How I Love Your Legs...."

Where is this repeated story about condiments? Have I been sleeping when Sgt. Pepper is discussed?

                                    My Couch Tribute for Sgt Pepper 26/5/17(photo:MFloate)
Maybe, but I seem to have memories of the album cover being a huge discussion overshadowing any small detail about the inception of an idea that Paul may or may not have had with the Pepper band themes. Peter Blake's cover design and the Paul McCartney Death clues are what keep me up at night.

I'm also kinda grateful for Paul Howard's 2016 Tara Browne biography book because it prequels what really led to the creation of the album- A change that ended Swinging 60s culture.  "A Day In The Life" has a strong backstory to be considered the most important song of it's time.

Giles Martin as a producer, what ever he is doing, hasn't knocked my socks off by remixing the entire album in stereo. In the same breath, he hasn't ruined the way the songs have always sounded. The songs all stand up for themselves.

Personally, I have to agree with the backlash against "Within You Without You" because I think it's way off base, but this is where Harrison head was at, so it should be respected on the album.  I can't fault any of the rest of the album and I don't think I need to go into the dynamics of why these songs work so well together.

I don't think the people listening to it in 1967 had any deep thoughts about these songs either. It's just the way it was.

It shouldn't be more than it was either, for what came before it needs as much attention as well.

...And Now For Some Cranberry Sauce-Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney welcomes your thoughts, opinions, and interest in our current Twitter and Facebook group.