Saturday, April 13, 2024

Hulu Doc: Paul McCartney Names Top 2 Fave Beatles Songs, Talks How He Saved “Come Together,” And Being Right in Arguments


The six part Paul McCartney doc for Hulu, “McCartney 3,2,1,” is really stunning. As I went through it I thought, the more you learn, the less you know, the more questions you have. I got the feeling Rick Rubin felt that way, too. Six segments aren’t enough. I hope there are more.

This is my third piece on this series. Some things bubbled up during segments 3 through 6. First of all, Paul indicates to Rubin that of the 250 or so Beatles songs, the favorites that he wrote. One is not surprising, it’s “Yesterday,” which came to him in a dream and he still can’t believe it after 60 years.

The other favorite of his own songs, he says, is “Here, There and Everywhere.” The reason seems to be that John Lennon modestly praised the song when the album came out, conceding to Paul privately that it was essentially, “pretty good.” You see that McCartney has never forgotten that moment.

There’s an interesting discussion in segment four of “Come Together,” a song typically though to be a Lennon creation. The song has a sketchy background. Paul tells Rubin that when John brought it in and sang it to him, Paul said, “That’s a Chuck Berry song.” It was indeed very close to Berry’s “You Can’t Catch Me,” complete with the lyrics about Flattop.

So McCartney says he fixed it, He slowed it down, added his bass, and reworked it to give it a “swampy feel.” Berry’s lawyers still sued, and Lennon settled by recording four Berry songs on later solo albums. But “Come Together” turns out to be a real Lennon & McCartney collaboration.

Paul also recalls in segment 4 that even though George Harrison wrote and sang “Taxman,” Paul played the guitar solo. He riled George up so much by showing him how it should be done, Paul recalls, that George told him, “Why don’t you do it?”

Rubin wonders if that happened a lot. In a really candid moment, Paul admits that he’d listen to a presentation from one of his mates “And then I’d ‘but’ them”– as in But, it would be better this way. “And they’d hate me for it,” he observes, sheepishly. But you know, McCartney is unguarded here for a change. He knows that he’s the boss. And he’s unapologetic about it.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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