McCartney on today's pop: 'Playing it safe'When
it came time to plan the "Driving USA Tour" concert experience, Paul McCartney considered all the bells and whistles available
for entertaining arena audiences - the big light rigs and circus sideshows, the fantastical scrims and satellite stages, the
jumbo screens and dance teams.
Inquirer Music Critic
Like the fresh-faced Jazzercisers who follow Britney Spears everywhere?
"I could do
it. Don't think for a minute I couldn't," the energetic 59-year-old says, laughing. "Can you imagine it? The leotards, the
The former Beatle is calling from backstage at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Arena to talk about the tour that brings
him to a sold-out First Union Center on Tuesday night.
Though he says he's just kidding about the pop chorines, McCartney
has to admit that planning his first major tour in nine years - to spread word about his current CD, Driving Rain -
got him thinking about the changes teen-pop hath wrought.
Not only to youth-oriented music, which he had something of
a role in inventing, but to the very definition of entertainment. As many of his contemporaries have discovered, we're in
an era of choreographed spectaculars in which visuals often overshadow everything else. Carefully composed melodies about
love and commitment, what McCartney considers the core of his art, have become subordinate. That realization first hit him
two years ago, when, backstage at the MTV Video Music Awards, he watched the boy bands go through their paces.
funny, like it was out of some not-very-good Broadway show. . . . I thought then that someday people would get fed up with
the choreographed thing. Hasn't happened yet, but you can't blame the guys. They're really just young guys earning a living,"
McCartney says. Tee hee! Peg, here though you can call me Brave Heather.
Alright, when I read this article-thingy in the papers, I just knew I had to dish out the truth! And what better a place than
"Behind the Scenes"? Okie dokie. This all started when Paul and I were at some gay awards show for like, VH1 or something.
I don't really remember, as I wasn't paying much attention. Anywho, we were backstage while these boy-band people were all
pop dancing and junk. At the time, I was flirting with this really hot guy called Mark McGrath (I think), from a band named...um,
what was it? Oh yeah, Sugar Gay. Yeah, Sugar Gay. Ew! Does that mean he's gay?! I hope not, cuz I would SO do it with him.
So yeah, I was just about to get his number when Paul pulled me aside and said to me, "Heather, I've fathomed a keen idea.
I shall venture forth into the world of pop dancing. I'll even choreograph my own dances to do on stage. What do you think?"
Naturally, I was sweetly honest, "Paul, you're too old and fat to be dancing!" Big mistake. Suddenly, he's all P.O.ed as if
I insulted him or something. Um, hello?! I was just being honest. He IS too fat and old. Yucky poo. So after he finishes his
ranting and finally shuts up, he has to go on stage with diva-thingy. Like, Madonna! That's weird, I thought she
was dead........I guess not. I listened to parts of their little intro speach and guess who Madonna mentions? Butch Stella!
Ew, Stella is so butch. Apparently, the two of them are good friends. Whatever. Like two hours later, I got Mark's phone number,
Paul made out with Madonna, and then we went home. I slipped into Paul's ba-jillion dollar waterbed but he never joined me.
"That is totally odd!" I remember thinking to myself, but didn't think anything else of it. The next morning, I woke up only
to find Paul in the kitchen. He was eating a doughnut with one hand and doing some weird yoga thing with the rest of his body.
"Like, what the hell are you doing?" I asked him. "Peggy, I've stayed up all night writing out my own dance. I've decided
to take up the art...of yoga." Yoga? How not neato! "I thought you wanted to be a pop dancer?" I wondered out loud. "F*ck!
I forgot about that! What a waste of all this time...fine, I'll get straight to work on it. Thanks for reminding me!" I swear,
old people are so stupid sometimes. That evening, Paul took me and Geoff out clubbing, hittin' the town. We reached a happening
club-place where Paul said he had prepared a surprise for us. "Oh goody! He's gonna give me money to shop!" I thought. Happily,
I waited on the stool with glee while Geoff resumed snorting another kilo. The dancefloor quietly emptied and out came Paulio.
He had taken off his suit jacket and was left in his suspenders and pants. And then, all hell broke loose. He began...to DANCE!
And we're not talkin' about getting jiggy with it. Oh no. We're talking about "And that ain't no lie, baby, bye bye bye bye!"
Eeeeek! I nearly fainted. Geoff nearly DIED! He began scouting the room for photographers, off which asses he would kick out.
Oh, it was SO embaressing! To top it off, he let himself go, on the floor and started break-dancing! This happened over a
series of 7 minutes until he slipped and broke his hip. Old people are so fragile! But thank God for that or we never would
have left! Anywho, it was the most embarressing moment of my coolio life. So now you know the horrible truth. And if Paul
starts break-dancing at a concert near you...you better make damn sure Geoff isn't there to see it! We'll have another Columbine,
only, it won't be at a school, it'll be at a stadium. And it won't be people wearing trench-coats, it'll be stinky Geoff wearing
loafers. Eeeep, scary! So watch out. Toodles!