Paul McCartney has a new single out called “My Ever Present Past.” (Scroll down the page to download the song.) Not only is it sonically a nice synthesis of a lot of the music he’s heard over the last, oh, forty plus years or so, the lyric explores his failed marriage, his still burning desire to make music, and the albatross around his neck that being Paul McCartney can be.
Bob Lefsetz has a note from a radio guy who pointed out that he couldn’t play the new McCartney single because there’s no market research for a song by Paul McCartney.
Let’s think about what that means for a moment.
As both Rolling Stone and VH-1 (those bastions of all that’s important in music – the lying bastards) assert, The Beatles are the greatest band of all time. While this is certainly arguable (see Sam Smith’s piece here as well as this one on a similar topic), there is much truth in the assertion of that ranking for The Fabs. No one argues their place in rock’s history, and almost everyone except for the maybe the youngest of the current generation of, as Jagger and Richards term them, “earphone heads” can name all four of them.
They’re icons, in other words.
So why is it that an icon can’t get his music played on the radio anymore?
As Sam Cutler observes, “Naked greed, based upon the exploitation of the ignorant consumer who is (essentially) told what he wants and needs, is the order of the day. WHEN did this happen? When people like Allen Klein (an accountant) took over from people like Andrew Oldham (a visionary) and re-ordered the priorities. The “dream” was replaced by “the scheme”! Money and power, money and power – the ethics and morals (and the tastes) of the military-industrial complex now rule in the sphere of popular music – we sell our children shit, but no problem, itâ€™s a living!”
Where does that leave someone like Sir Paul, who still thinks that people raised by the Nickelodeon/Noggin/MTV empire even care that he’s NOT one of the dead Beatles?
“He’s a real Nowhere Man…”