Dynamic Duos (and why the critics lavish praise on the wrong ones..)

First, a quick addendum to the Police DVD review. Watched it with Andy & Stewart’s commentary and there are actually two shots of the Atlanta skyline, both of which Stewart recognizes. The first seems to show that apartment building that’s on the corner of North Avenue and Peachtree. The other shot looks to be entering the city on 75/85 from the south. Sting is looking at a map and mutters that “the Agora is over there.” On the commentary, Stewart says “this is Atlanta again”, to which Andy quips “We only ever played Atlanta. All the rest was just driving around to get back there.” (or something to that effect.)

A real quick treatise on the similarities between the Beatles and the Clash. Both heavily lauded and influential, both with a main band member dying young, both with that band member subsequently lionized….. Not I don’t mean to demean either John Lennon or Joe Strummer. I enjoy heavily much of their recorded work. But those two weren’t my favorites in their respective bands.

First, I was always a Paul fan most in the Beatles. Paul McCartney is probably the main reason I actually started listening to pop music at age 12. In those few years between when I began following the music scene and when Kim Turner’s old camp counselor killed John Lennon, I always bristled when the critics would go gaga over John and trash Paul. As I said, I LIKED John’s contributions. I just like Paul’s more. Then John died and it seemed as if criticism was beyond reproach. And this was especially true regarding John’s Beatles work. Remember, JOHN was the REVOLUTIONARY one. Ok, maybe in thought, but musically? “Yer Blues”? “Come Together”? Paul was the one listening to Cage and other 2oth century composers (and also funding underground UK newspapers for that matter.) I always got the feeling John would have been happy regurgitating Chuck Berry licks for the entirety of the Beatles if Paul hadn’t pushed him otherwise. And then the most abrasive punk rock thing the Beatles ever did was a Paul tune, “Helter Skelter.” So Paul, alien that he is, ranks as my fave. Go listen to “For No One” now.

Now, regarding the Clash, a similar thing happened when Joe had his heart attack and passed, You’d have thought that Mick/Paul/Topper/Terry were mere sidemen along for the ride as Joe was mad out to be THE Clash. Funny how Mick was trying to expand the band to new ideas and Joe, when Mick left, reverted back to sub-ramalama punk shouting. “We are the Clash”? No, you weren’t. In case you’ve missed the bit, Mick Jones was my fave Clashman. I always preferred his voice (if not his songs). One of Joe’s better songs, “Lost In The Supermarket”, is one of his most personal and he wrote it about what he thought Mick’s life was like growing up, with the intention of Mick singing it. Again, I love much of Joe Strummer’s music, I just prefer Mick Jones’ more. Go listen to “Gates Of The West” now.

So no more downplaying the music of Paul McCartney & Mick Jones, ok?

Coming soon, why Courtney Love would be better suited to share vocals in a band rather than howling them all and why Lynyrd Skynyrd were more daring songwriters than the “voice of a generation”, Kurt Cobain…..

4 thoughts on “Dynamic Duos (and why the critics lavish praise on the wrong ones..)”

  1. Haha, nice. I think I’m on your side with that opinion. Stay Free is a good example. And Courtney…own the first Hole album…no big deal but that one…what’s it called the one with the beauty pageant pic on it. My impression of the bits that I’ve heard are that she was trying to immitate Redd Kross.

  2. Thanks for reminding evryone how much he contributed. As I used to run in to him often in little five points.

    And his first producing job was Theatre Of Hate, which really did foreshadow Big Audio Dynamite.

    And of course the first three Spear Of Destiny releases have been finally issued on CD so snap them up before it’s Ebay time.

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