I think it would be safe to say that I’m still on the misty eye tour 2018. The mist is not totally centered in nostalgia it really is a recognition in the now of the artistry of one Paul McCartney. A writer of songs. A performer. A person who has been on the world stage for over fifty years. This Carpool Karaoke is a celebration and for it to be in Liverpool on some local young man does well vibe makes it all the more special.
As a child in the 70’s and 80’s all of the former Beatles and the idea of The Beatles were mythologized through the media as the Babyboomer Generation became more and more responsible for the content across the airwaves. The group was fascinating to me and I was already well acquainted with each Beatle as an individual artist but there was for me always something about Paul McCartney. His solo work with Wings, the songs he sang lead on in The Beatles, his duets with Stevie and Michael. It was around the age of ten that I began to become curious about songwriting and songwriters. During this time in songbook after songbook, I would see the attribution, Lennon/McCartney. My young mind now engaged and invested in understanding that Paul McCartney has been at this craft of songwriting thing for a while and what songs they are! I didn’t come in through the bathroom window, I came in through the carport side door to this music via RSO’s ill-fated Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band movie. Cut me a little slack as a nine-year-old you’re gonna lean heavily on whatever popular culture is feeding you.
Even though the movie was what it was, EWF’s version of “Got To Get You Into My Life” and Billy Preston on “Get Back” did turn on a switch. The switch was/is I think I should check out this McCartney guy and of course, as time went out that lead me to spend time with the entire Fab 4. But the mist really came because I hadn’t thought about it until I was watching the video and McCartney launched into “Hey Jude”. You see I had a guide. There would be no way that nine, ten-year-old me would find my way without a guide, a great one at that. My guide was an older cousin who really put me up on The Beatles once he saw I had an interest. One day the conversation turned to “Hey Jude” and I was like “I don’t think if ever heard that song.” he laughed at me and said “Yes, you have.” and proceeded to grab an album that was a compilation of their hits. He drops the needle and sure enough, I had heard the song, I just didn’t know the title, I knew the na nah’s(again: I was a kid). My guide then put me up on how Billy Preston was considered the Fifth Beatle, hipped me to Pete Best and on and on and on.
My older cousin/musical guide passed away almost eight years ago now, but his influence looms large in my musical being because of the time he took with me because he saw something in me at a very young age. Just for a moment when Paul McCartney sang “Hey Jude” I could see my cousin grabbing that record and opening the lid to that large floor model stereo system that dominated the front room of my grandmother’s house. Just for a moment. Grateful. That’s the power of music. Thank you, Paul McCartney.
Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.