I’ve spent a large part of my life feeling a bit stupid, on the outside of everything looking in, never in the centre of anything. Unless on a football pitch where I come alive and have most of the answers. It’s the one place I don’t feel I have to apologise for being or feel guilty about. I can hold my own with almost anyone. As long as I have a football.
Confidence is something I naturally lack. At school I hid behind my ability at football. As a young man I drank my inhibitions away not always to great effect. (Really Dave? You surprise me). Now I usually compensate by owning my faults. Accepting where I am lacking and often joking about it. Getting my punches in early, on myself, it hurts still but is less painful. I think it’s called being self effacing. I guess like us all I’m on the spectrum somewhere but now is not the time for that conversation. So why this introspection this time? Again….
Let me try and explain. When social media first attracted me I hid my inhibitions behind a troll like persona. That was bad enough but once I’d steamed in I usually ended up backing away while apologising for my temerity and looking like an arse. My second post on the old Word Blog sometime in 2008 was a direct poke at all The Beatles fuss over some box set or other which I wittily entitled “Sir Paul McCartney: What Is My Problem?” I’m going pink now just writing the title. It was awful. Why wouldn’t it be? I knew nothing about him really I just waded in full of assumption. I especially denigrated The Frog Chorus and was given a well deserved, sound kicking. I did double down at first but soon realised I was out of my depth. What was I thinking? I wanted to fit in. Stupid. On the outside. It was only the good nature of many that I was able to wind my neck in and continue contributing which 14 years on has lead me back here. Back to Paul McCartney.
I began to think about him over his 80th birthday weekend. Reading Moose’s F*** A Pig It’s Paul!!! post. Reading Pete Paphides eulogising over him on Twitter. The whole world seemingly feeling so much love for him that that post from 14 years ago began eating away at me again. Perhaps I need some sort of exorcism. So I searched for McCartney quotes from some of my favourite artists. Without really trying too hard I found these.
“I grew up listening to The Beatles so Paul McCartney was a subconscious influence but it is impossible to play like Paul McCartney, he is just so musical.” Justin Currie
“I wanted to do something for Paul’s 70th, the man’s been, and still is, an immense and enduring inspiration for me. It was him and his three friends that made me want to pick up a guitar in the first place,” Weller said. “I saw him play live recently and he inspired me just as much as ever, he was brilliant. I just hope he likes our little version, a token of my and the band’s love for him and his music. Rock on Macca.” Paul Weller
“I remember him saying to me ‘Hey Nick, will you come and write some poetry with me?’ I was so flabbergasted I didn’t take him up on it because I wasn’t confident enough to say ‘Yes’. I just stood and [thought] ‘Did he just say that?’ I didn’t turn him down, I was kind of stuck in a star for months thinking I haven’t got the confidence to take him up on that. I kept saying to myself he was just being polite. I know it will happen – one day! Before I die he will pop on stage.” Nick Heyward
I could go on. It appears almost anyone that might have made music or written words that I’ve enjoyed love Paul McCartney and his music. Me? I’ve only ever listened to Rubber Soul all the way through. Jason Carty, one half of The Nothing Is Real Podcast, ex word blogger and lovely chap pointed out that there’s only one year since 1962 that McCartney hasn’t released new music. So where to start? With help from Moose and Dai and leaving The Beatles and the last 40 years of his career for another day I’m going to give his first 12 solo / Wings albums a go. And The Afterword sighs a collective sigh… Sorry.
I really enjoyed the Bowie thing. I learned so much but suspect there was some eye rolling by the end. I would love to write some thoughts down about my McCartney experience. What will I hear and learn from a man who inspired so many of my musical idols? But that voice in my head is saying. “Don’t do it Dave. You’ve exhausted all your good will.” So while not seeking approval, nor fishing for an ego rub I am sort of apologising in advance to those uninterested in my bland offerings. I could do it on my own WordPress blog like Niall does but it’s all part of the process I enjoy to share it here. It’s become my literary football pitch. Somewhere I feel comfortable and can take risks. Tigger in goal, Dai and Fentonsteve at the back. Moose up front banging them in. Lodey, Rigid supporting from the flanks and many others doing the leg work while I fanny around in the midfield spraying verbal passes. (Shut up now Dave).
At least I suppose it’s fairly easy to ignore if it’s not for you. Anyway I will shut up now. Leave you my preferred list of albums and maybe we’ll all be amazed at what I find starting in July.
Red Rose Speedway
Band On The Run
Venus and Mars
Wings At The Speed of Sound
Back To The Egg
Tug Of War
Pipes Of Peace