18 November 2004, gsparaco @ 4:50 am
James Paul McCartney (Misterclaudel)
TV special program 1973
The “James Paul McCartney” television special was his “début” to the entire world. Filmed after their university tour of 1972 and at the completion of Red Rose Speedway and “Live And Let Die”, it is a strange mixture of shtick, performance and introspection that is hard to categorize. The closest genre it approaches is the kind of variety show that was popular in the seventies showcasing a particular talent, like Donnie & Marie or The Brady Bunch. Viewing it thirty years later it is a fascinating piece to watch if for nothing else to see Paul and the first Wings line up playing live.
It begins with the band playing “Big Barn Red” in front of a high pile of television monitors with an audience cheering along as the texts introduce each member of Wings and list their favorite color and other teen mag trivia.
The “Blackbird” medley is Paul sitting playing his guitar singing with Linda taking pictures. “Mary Had A Little Lamb” is nothing more than a performance video by a lake and walking on a bridge following a flock of sheep.
Some segments work better than others. “My Love/Uncle Albert” is a performance piece that prefigures McCartney’s videos of the 80s like “Pipes Of Peace” with lots of sets and costumes and interesting situations. “Gotta Sing Gotta Dance” received the most comments with its hermaphroditic dancers to his cabaret style tune (see the above screen shot).
Some segments are painful to watch like the “pub scene” with Paul in a Liverpool tavern yukking it up with friends, family and locals. And “A Beatles Medley” is the low point, a collection of people on the street with their out of tune renditions of Beatles tunes.
The live performances are really nice including “The Mess”, “Maybe I’m Amazed”, and “Long Tall Sally” filmed on March 18th, 1973 at Bornham studios.
The program was originally aired on April 16th and was also significant for being the first time Paul performed Beatles tunes in public since the breakup. Misterclaudel claim to source this from the master of the show (which any label would say). It’s unfortunate that “Hi Hi Hi,” included in the UK telecast, is missing.
The picture is phenomenal. Very clear and sharp and looking like it was taped yesterday with no blemishes. This, along with One Hand Clapping, are the first two DVD releases by Misterclaudel and are definitely worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)