The Second Side

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When you stop believing in coincidence, paranoia is only a heartbeat away.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Paul McCartney, Russia and Charles Manson

If you haven't seen Paul McCartney's "Live in Red Square" yet, you should. It's an impressive show. Along with concert footage, there is commentary by American and Russian authors that is very enlightening.
Beatles music was banned in the former Soviet Union. Beatles albums could only be purchased on the black market, costing half an average month's wage and bringing with it risk of arrest, loss of job and educational opportunities. Just imagine what it must have meant to those who braved such a risk to be able to gather in Red Square and rock out.
Vladimir Putin is in the audience, and he sits ramrod-straight and stone-faced most of the time, although I think I spotted him clapping during "Hey Jude."
Speaking of Sir Paul, I read an article in the wake of the Live 8 concerts criticizing McCartney for performing "Helter Skelter." The author called the song a "weird choice" due to Charles Manson's twisted interpretation of it. Since when does Charles Manson decide who gets to claim moral ownership of anyone's songs but his own? I think it's way past time for McCartney to reclaim what is a pretty hard rockin' tune. Manson would be disappointed, I'm sure, to learn that "Helter Skelter" is not about a race war but an amusement park ride.


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