No Words

Short, simple and sweet. Paul McCartney, of course, has more words to say about love than anyone. He’s the guy to learn from, and should really be more people’s role model. I haven’t listened to this track in a long time. It’s not a hit that comes on the radio. But I enjoy rediscovering the slightly more obscure moments, and the second half of Band on the Run is especially satisfying in the way it descents into weirdness. It’s that undervalued McCartney eccentricity, the thing that tempers all the sweetness and makes it go down.

Mrs. Vandebilt

In typical Paul McCartney fashion this song is both silly and profound. Silly with its ‘hop hey hop’ chorus (Russian audiences love that, as McCartney has noticed, and I can attest to.) And who is Mrs. Vandebilt? A reference to someone who is no longer a famous cultural figure, I presume. On the other hand, it’s a pretty important message; stop your hurrying and just chill out, man. Let go of things that are you of your control. Don’t run after the bus that’s already passed you by. That seems very basic, but it’s actually a hard thought to put into practice. For  many of us, the chillax and go easy philosophy is unattainable. But it’s a good thing to be reminded of.

Helen Wheels

Goddamn it, Paul McCartney, stop being so cute! Ridiculous. I say Band on the Run was as good as anything McCartney produces with The Beatles. He wasn’t able to keep it up for very long, but for a few years in the seventies, Wings were absolutely amazing. They had that happy-making quality which is like aural crack for the brain, and which McCartney seems to have a disproportional level of access to.  The man is like a lightning rod for melodies. To his credit, he seems to still be amazed and delighted at the talents that he’s been given. And I in turn am amazed and delighted to still have the sane and humble Paul McCartney to show everyone else how to wear bigger-than-Jesus fame with grace.