Friday, August 20, 2010

Nowhere Man?

So, I saw this concert/award ceremony on PBS.  Very entertaining, I always like it when artists interpret classics and there are some serious ones here, as befits the occasion.  Elvis Costello, Stevie Wonder, and even the Jonas Brothers...from the sublime to the ridiculous, I suppose. The event was Paul receiving the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, awarded by the Smithsonian and presented by President Obama.

And here's where I get going.

How is it that Paul can receive an award like this without once mentioning John Lennon?  Just a simple, "I wish John were here to share this" would have been enough.  I know that some of the Lennon & McCartney songs were true collaborations, and a lot of them (especially the later songs) were composed separately but does Paul really think he was considered for this award for his work with Wings?  While Paul's post-Beatle output is certainly prodigious, frankly his best song from that period is probably not as good as his worst Beatle song (whichever THAT would be). I acknowledge the hyperbole in that statement.

To briefly continue in this vein, while Paul was pursuing a very successful career in high-quality pop music, John was creating musical icons like "Imagine".  Compare John's, "Merry Christmas (War is Over)" with Paul's "(Simply Having a) Wonderful Christmastime". But these comparisons are unfair., and I really don't want to begrudge Paul's achievements, only to point out what seems be churlishness on his part, at least on this occasion.