The Unbearable Taylor Swift – Paul McCartney Interview In Rolling Stone
To quote 44 in another off outing interview from 60 Minutes on Sunday: LOOK… so LOOK, Taylor Swift’s newbie maintains its position as my favorite album of the year (so far) since mid-August when I found myself still listening to it (here) and I am the guy who reviewed every single Paul McCartney album over a two year period, so, yeah, I consider him a musical genius. But, dear me, the absolutely hideous, tone deaf and brain dead Rolling Stone “Musicians On Musicians” with Taylor and Paul interviewing each other made my skin crawl it was so tone deaf (here but it is behind a wall so unless you subscribe take my word for it . A well sub-Andy Warhollian fly on the wall piece of log rolling that everybody involved should have thought long and hard about before inflicting on an unwitting public.
The reason for the MOM (musician on musician) was that, while in isolation, Taylor dropped the excellent folklore, and McCartney has McCartney III coming at you soon. And so they met at McCartney’s office in London (why not his home? Straight away your antenna is going up) and the proceedings, as illuminating as McCartney connecting the TS dots between “sweater” and “cardigan” and Swift having no knowledge of Paul’s The Fireman persona, go on and on and on with nary an insight. That is the first problem here, they don’t really know each other’s catalog and it is a drag reading them bluster their way through it and away we go with zero insight explanations of how they came to record their albums (we’ve already heard and read TS about it a dozen times, from Aaron Dessner as well).
Get past that and you have McCartney if not lying about his farm, certainly unaware it would be the height of luxury for 90% of the world. Here is what he said: “The period after the Beatles, when we went to live in Scotland on a really — talk about dumpy — little farm. I mean, I see pictures of it now and I’m not ashamed, but I’m almost ashamed. Because it’s like, “God, nobody’s cleaned up around here.” Take a look for yourself:
That isn’t the nadir for McCartney, a story about building a small table from scratch is just bizarre. I have recently finished Paul Du Noyer’s interview book about Macca, so I am used to his vocal mannerism, and he sounds intensely insincere to my ears.
But Taylor Swift is much, much worse…
In one of the most mind boggling pieces of bullshit I’ve read this week (not including Trump of course), here she is on concert setlists:
“Swift: I think it’s so cool that you do projects that are just for you. Because I went with my family to see you in concert in 2010 or 2011, and the thing I took away from the show most was that it was the most selfless set list I had ever seen. It was completely geared toward what it would thrill us to hear. It had new stuff, but it had every hit we wanted to hear, every song we’d ever cried to, every song people had gotten married to, or been brokenhearted to. And I just remembered thinking, “I’ve got to remember that,” that you do that set list for your fans.
McCartney: You do that, do you?
Swift: I do now. I think that learning that lesson from you taught me at a really important stage in my career that if people want to hear “Love Story” and “Shake It Off,” and I’ve played them 300 million times, play them the 300-millionth-and-first time. I think there are times to be selfish in your career, and times to be selfless, and sometimes they line up.”
This is not true. Taylor ALWAYS PERFORMS EVERY SONG FROM HER LATEST ALBUM… always… and if you are lucky you’ll get a handful of hits. Here is a chosen at random review from 2018 here, and my last line? “If I could wish anything from Taylor is that she goes back in the studio the moment the tour ends and record a small scale old fashioned album, her Tapestry”. But the point is, she kept sticking deep album cuts down our throats. And she hasn’t changed. I’ve begged her FOR YEARS to knock it off.
And speaking of stuff you don’t believe… if Taylor believes I believe this, she is bonkers:
“Yeah, it feels like a bond. It feels like that person on the stage has given something, and it makes you as a crowd want to give even more back, in terms of applause, in terms of dedication. And I just remembered feeling that bond in the crowd, and thinking, “He’s up there playing these Beatles songs, my dad is crying, my mom is trying to figure out how to work her phone because her hands are shaking so much.” Because seeing the excitement course through not only me, but my family and the entire crowd in Nashville, it just was really special. I love learning lessons and not having to learn them the hard way. Like learning nice lessons I really value.”
Then why did she do nothing about it? In the post -2010 1989 and reputation tours she played the albums ALL THE WAY THROUGH… and the last time I saw her, 2019 at Jingle Ball pushing Lover (folklore is much better) she performed Three songs off 1989, three off Lover, and that new single “Christmas Tree Farm” (here). Missing? “Love Story”.
The problem with the interview is something that I consider an ongoing nightmare: how insincere sincerity reads. And I will leave you with this:
“McCartney: I remember once, a friend of mine from Liverpool, we were teenagers and we were going to a fairground. He was a schoolmate, and we had these jackets that had a little fleck in the material, which was the cool thing at the time.
Swift: We should have done matching jackets for this photo shoot.
McCartney: Find me a fleck, I’m in. But we went to the fair, and I just remember — this is what happens with songs — there was this girl at the fair. This is just a little Liverpool fair — it was in a place called Sefton Park — and there was this girl, who was so beautiful. She wasn’t a star. She was so beautiful. Everyone was following her, and it’s like, “Wow.” It’s like a magical scene, you know? But all this gave me a headache, so I ended up going back to his house — I didn’t normally get headaches. And we thought, “What can we do?” So we put on the Elvis song “All Shook Up.” By the end of that song, my headache had gone. I thought, you know, “That’s powerful.”
Swift: That really is powerful.”
So, Macca was at a fair, he noticed a cute girl, got a headache (the connection? not much) , went to his friends house, listened to a Presley song and felt better. Powerful… Really Powerful… I have a headache…