The long and winding road of writing always leads me back to the Beatles.
I am not much for writing fan letters, but as someone who loves music, and loves the Beatles even more, I wrote a letter to Rick Rubin about the documentary McCartney 321. It made my HULU subscription worth it. I found it to be an innovative approach to discussing the genius of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, as members of The Beatles and as solo artists. More importantly, it showcased the love they had for one another and the respect they had for other artists and genres of music. I found the aspect of delving into tracks from a producer’s point of view to be fascinating. The way he pulled apart different aspects of tracks from the songwriting and instrumental perspective, made me appreciate the layering of sounds and the genius of the producer Sir George Martin.
For me, one of the things that make the Beatles as influential as they’ve been was their youthful sense of adventure and fun. They weren’t afraid to learn and try new things. There’s a sense of fun and brotherhood on every track. Whether it’s a ballad or soaring rock, it feels like we are there in the studio with them. As artists, they understood the contribution producers made to each song. It was far more than just sitting behind glass. A producer serves as another member of the band, and they are just as important to the collaboration. I’m a Gen-Xer and I will admit that I don’t understand how the music industry works now in a streaming Pandora and Spotify world, but I understand how much a good producer means to an artist or group.
I can’t remember when I fell in love with The Beatles. I’ve adored them for as long as I can remember. I had a super crush on Paul, who was and still is, the cute Beatle. He’s also the same age as my dad, who I believe is the coolest man in the world. Sir Paul is in my top five. There may be some people who don’t know who Rick Rubin is, but he has produced everyone including Beastie Boys, RUN DMC, LL Cool J, Adele, Public Enemy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Joan Jett, Tom Petty, and the Heartbreakers, Rage Against The Machine, Johnny Cash, Mick Jagger, Dixie Chicks. Shakira, Linkin Park, Kanye West, Eminem, and the Wu-Tang Clan, just to name a few. I believed his eclectic taste and love for music, made him the right person to sit down with Sir Paul to discuss the Beatles and his solo work.
Ostensibly, writing and songwriting are different and the same. A songwriter is concerned with the way lyrics flow as its set to music. The words and the beat illicit different things to different people while everyone enjoys it. Writing articles or books is another aspect of art in which words are used to transport readers into the pages, or inform their minds about different subjects. I’ve always found that music helps me set a mood when I’m writing and I play everything from the Beatles catalog as a group and solo artists. One of my favorite ways to enjoy their music is in the car listening to the Beatles station on Sirius-XM. it’s essentially all of The Beatles’ music, but they play the artists and records that inspired John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
There are plenty of arguments about songwriters and who is considered the best. While taste is subjective, for my money, The Beatles will always be at the top. They helped pave the way for the innovation that so many take for granted these days. Listening to their genius fuels my literary journey. I am sure other writers have artists that inspire paragraphs and pages. I hope you continue to enjoy whoever puts a smile on your face while you put pen to paper.
As a fan, this documentary was enough to keep me going until Peter Jackson’s Get Back hits the theaters or streaming services. I am looking forward to it. If you’re a fan or someone who appreciates music, McCartney 321, is a documentary you should check out.