Monday, April 27, 1998

Ma Belle

"You'll never be crowned by the aristocracy, to their delight you'd merely invite them in for a cup of tea."

I'm nothing if not a performer. Perhaps my most impressive Stupid Human Trick is my ability to play just about any Paul McCartney song on the piano. When I'm feeling down I don't know of any better medicine than to come home and bang out Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey on my now really out of tune piano. And hey girlfriend, just don't put me in a room with a captive audience for I might just break into one of my favorite McCartney songs, "You gave me the answer to love eternally, I love you and you seem to like me." Could it be said any better? And even more important to my mental well being than a cathartic belting out of a McCartney tune is the hours I have spent listening to his records. During many of my most troubling times his music has taken a sad song and made it better, playing a vital part in helping clarify what my feelings are and who I am at the moment.

"I light a candle to our love, in love our problems disappear. But all in all we soon discover, that one and one is all we want to hear."

I'd be at the front of the line saying we'd all be better off if we listened to what the man said. Someone wise once said the greatest thing you can do for another is to inspire them. Having been inspired a time or two by another, I'd say it's the best drug of all. It may just result in another silly love song, or a bad poem but to have those feelings created inside is unmatchable. Many have tried to express their heart's inspiration and philosophy but few have been as successful as Mr. McCartney.

"She helps me write the melodies, I let the words take care of themselves."

In life's best moments the memories and the music intertwine and help define each other. I can still feel the hot spring evening when I first put Paul's masterpiece Tug of War on my turntable. "But I can't let go if I do you'll take a tumble and the whole is going to crumble..." "Sole survivor..." "And if I say I really loved you and was glad you came along, then you were here today for you were in my song..." About a year later I was at a high school party playing pool with my heart's desire and her best friend. I, being the nervous wreck I quite comfortably am most of the time, didn't know what to say so I broke into song: "Bobby lived with Patty but they'll never tell their daddy what their love was all about... It'll be L7 that I'll never get to heaven if I fill my head with gloom." My friend's friend looked at me quizzically and said, "Oh really?" But my friend got it. I was trying too hard when all I had to do was be myself. She forever influenced my sense of humor because she understood it so well- material straight out of a good McCartney song.

"Love, faith and hope are beautiful when your world is touched by sadness. To each his own is wonderful, love will never die."

News last week of Linda McCartney losing her battle to breast cancer was sad indeed. She spent the past 28 years being unfairly maligned as helping split up the Beatles and for her highly visible role as her husband's life partner. Not having the comparable creative talents of Yoko Ono, Linda took much abuse for having the audacity of being a member of Wings and for supposedly playing a role in Paul's inability to reach the artistic highs of his Beatles work. Having gained celebrity status by marrying one of the most famous men in the world, the personal criticism of Linda was overly harsh. Her work in promoting a vegetarian lifestyle was admirable. Her supportive, independent and strong will and the couple's commitment to their marriage and love for one and other was a lesson of what life should be about.

"I'm often accused of giving too little it's got me confused, I'm split down the middle. Conflicting reviews of our life coming in, it's tough on a tightrope."

Though Linda herself never wrote anything substantial (close but no cigar for Seaside Woman) she was an influence through Paul's work. Paul need not eulogize Linda for he has already immortalized her in many of his best songs: Hope of Deliverance, Somedays, No More Lonely Nights, Calico Skies, Long Haired Lady, We Got Married, Maybe I'm Amazed... All have touched my life and wouldn't exist if not for Linda. What better gift is there from one to another than to inspire such art and then for the other to return the inspiration by such universal creativity? Paul's remarkable ability to simply express himself has offered many people encouragement. His ultimate message: You need love? Write away. Get it down you'll feel better. Do it now, write away... His solo music has often been criticized for being lightweight, but his music appeals because underneath the sunny portraits of love are a melancholy melodicism demonstrating he knows one doesn't exist without the other. Yet it is his eternal optimism that gives his music its popularity.

"Only one more kiss. I never mean to hurt you little girl. Let's make it one to remember, only one more kiss." Au Revoir Linda.

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