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Context is the greater part of music.

If Beethoven crawled out the grave today and set about making symphony number ten they wouldn't have it. They'd be saying that the 200 years in the ground did something to him, that he'd lost it. Perhaps Mozart was the real deal.

Same with that renowned concert violinist Joshua Bell who busked in the subway and got ignored. People pay substantial sums to see him in his place but wouldn't look at him twice out of context.

Paul McCartney? There is nothing he can do short of being assassinated that would bring back widespread credibility because his time has come and gone. Competition from his dead and legendary friend aside he will always be up against his former self which was so great as to be untouchable.

All music has its time and there was no time like The Beatles. McCartney has made respectable music in his later years. Electric Arguments is a fantastic piece of work. But that's not what's important. It's all about the context and that can never again be in Paul McCartney's favour while he is still alive. All the talent in the world can't fix that.

the ex-Beatle has to compete with his former self and his dead friend



music • 08.06.07