Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pete and the Dud

Of course he wrote 'Michelle'. It was the only bum note on what is, otherwise, my favourite Beatles album. Paul McCartney and Pete Doherty take time out from the tabloid life to stroke each other in this month's Observer Music Monthly.

And naturally they have things in common: the Barat/Lennon comparisons and trade offs; both being seen as the well dressed good-looking sensitive ones who the fans wanted to take home to meet their mums; Doherty born in '79, Macca dying in '79.

It all adds up to a bit of journalistic fluff, but I did like McCartney's anecdote about meeting Penny Rimbaud at the height of punk in the seventies, and fingers crossed that the late Linda McCartney's reported love for The Smiths didn't begin and end with 'Meat is Murder'.

I'm not sure that these type of music magazine blind dates ever work. Wasn't there that case of the NME covering Paul Weller meeting Pete Townsend at the height of The Jam's fame? I seem to remember reading - maybe in The Beat Concerto? - that they hated each other on sight. But that was nothing in comparison to that time at the height of mullets and militancy on Merseyside that the now sadly defunct Record Mirror covered The Redskins meeting Derek Hatton within its pages.

Sure the pictures of the meeting looked cheery enough, but the gossip is that afterwards it took seven copies of the Militant International Review to mop up the spilled egos. Any advancement for a unified vanguardist left at that time = via the SWP's recent Open Letter to the Militant Tendency - was squandered over an argument as trivial as who played bass on the originally recording of Wilson Pickett's "Ninety Nine and a Half (Won't Do)".

Damn those petit-bourgeois Bolshevik-Centrist-liquidationist types . . . those completely demoralized elements, wearing button down Ben Sherman shirts, sporty number one haircuts and knocked off shiny Pierre Cardin suits.

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