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celebrating human creativity – Macca and my friend John

Bliss is … hours of programming about Paul McCartney. Can you imagine, for an über-fan like moi? Six half-hour episodes of Macca being interviewed by producer Rick Rubin about his composing methods, how they with George Martin put together the tracks in the studio, and of course his band mates. I watched 3 last night, will watch the rest tonight. Simply hearing the man’s music is heaven enough – Blackbird, And I love her, Back in the USSR, Lady Madonna, Hey Jude, Let It Be – let alone the songs of those genius others – George’s While my guitar gently weeps, John’s Dear Prudence, et al. 

Sublime. It’s too bad the series is shot in murky semi-darkness, sometimes making the speakers hard to see, and Paul, wearing a ragged jean jacket, is chewing gum for much of it. And some of his stories we have heard many times before. But the relaxed nature of the banter and the extensive musical knowledge of Rubin make it a spectacular interview. 

Yesterday I saw the first of two doctors this week, this one at Mt. Sinai. She told me the doctor I’m seeing Friday at St. Mike’s was her professor in med school, so that answered the question of which one to go with. She told me I need an appendectomy, and I assume Dr. Lawless will say the same thing. It was not fun being inside a hospital again.  Get me out of here, I thought. Keep me out of here. Please.

A quick book report: JoAnn Beard’s new collection “Festival Days.” Her essay “The Fourth State of Matter” is a brilliant classic, as is the whole book it comes from, “Boys of my Youth.” But this one is problematic. There’s no question she’s an extraordinarily gifted writer. But her style – the tumble of words and ideas, seeming to go in all directions before she pulls them together, sort of – plus a really weird horror-type story in imitation of George Saunders – put me off. There’s a sameness to the voice that I found got tiresome. Once again, I longed for a good editor to curb the excesses of this fabulous writer.

Yesterday another thrilling hit of creativity: I told my friend and handyman John about a problem with my bed. Two years ago I found the Ikea frame on the street, put out by some neighbours, and assembled it for myself. It’s a platform bed, no box spring, just a mattress, which means it’s low – not only for a body heaving herself up and out in the morning, but also no room underneath for storage. I’ve been looking at new bed frames, expensive and ugly. John took measurements and appeared the next day with four wooden risers. We slid them into place and voila, I’m eight inches higher off the ground and can store suitcases below the bed, solving a storage problem. Human creativity at its finest – as is usual with John. Genius. 

Today I have a Zoom meeting with a book club, all men. I’m delighted to report that men like my book as much as women do, at least according to the ones I’ve heard from. Max Beck, a book club member who happens to be the husband of Barbara Hall, former mayor of Toronto, emailed, “I loved your book!” 

We’ll see what the others say.

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2 Responses to “celebrating human creativity – Macca and my friend John”

  1. theresa says:

    What fun, a book club (of men). Of course they like your book. It's engaging, lively, rich. And an appendectomy will clear up that particular problem, won't it? No fun but necessary?
    I loved what Rick Rubin did with Johnny Cash in the last years. Arrangements pared to the quick and so profound.

  2. beth says:

    The book club was indeed fun – will write about it. I didn't know Rick Rubin but his knowledge and analysis of Beatle and McCartney songs is deep and fascinating.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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