Did you happen to catch “Wonder Years Wednesday” last night on ABC???
Billed as part of “Return to Wonder” Wednesday, the 2021 reboot (7:30 pm) was squeezed between episodes of “The Goldbergs,” featuring Dan Lauria (Wonder Years Dad Jack Arnold) at 7 pm, the return of Fred Savage (Kevin Arnold) on the 8 pm episode of and an appearance by Danica McKellar (aka Winnie Cooper) on at 8:30 pm. They even managed to squeeze in a new Adam Goldberg video tribute (called “The William Penn Years, accompanied by the graphics of “The Wonder Years,” as well as a new interpretation of their theme song, “With A Little Help From My Friends.”)
Damn ... what a WONDERful night!!!
(We still have to binge-watch the original series start to finish one of these days!) kk
I think you handled what has to be considered a fairly delicate situation quite well the other day when you addressed Brian Wilson’s vocal skills (or lack thereof) these days in concert. As Forgotten Hits always has, you call ‘em as you see ‘em … which is what we’ve all come to expect. There isn’t one of us out here that doesn’t hate to see their music icons struggling through their later years while trying to preserve the memory of what they once were. It’s a battle they can’t win … and it’s a shame as, in this regard, I agree with you, that both the audience AND the artist suffer in the long run.
To me (and especially in the case of a Paul McCartney and/or a Brian Wilson, who both prided themselves on delivering nothing but extreme perfection their whole careers), I would find it difficult to go out there every night and deliver a sub-standard performance. However, that sub-standard performance is most likely the best they can conjure up at this stage of their careers. And, I think (much like Elvis), their fans have come to accept them for both who they were … and who they are now … because the musical legacy left between those two stages is nothing short of amazing and will never go away.
I can argue that, from my perspective, McCartney probably should have hung it up years ago … but then the guy goes out and releases two #1 albums during the past five years … so what the hell do I know?!?! (I still don’t see much of a marketplace for Brian’s new “hits performed solo on the piano” album however … not even for diehards!!!)
It really boils down to a level of “acceptance” … and I think I may be coming up short in this department. I prefer to remember both of these artists at their best … and just don’t want to see them tarnish that image. (Not unlike our recent Burton Cummings / Randy Bachman review from a few weeks ago.) I felt the same way about Muhammad Ali fighting beyond his prime. He had already proven everything he ever needed to prove after winning the heavyweight title for the third time. Rest on those laurels and preserve the legacy.
All of that being said, can you even imagine what 2022 might be like if artists like Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson … and John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen … teamed up for mega-tours (providing our overall health situations have improved by this point)?!?! Now THAT’S the way to go out and call it a career … ‘cause how do you ever top THAT??? (kk)
Thank you for posting the live Brian Wilson video. I Love It!
Talking about past rock and rollers who are currently on tour with their voices not quite up to par reminds me of something I saw on television many years ago.
I can't remember the singer's name but he was a guest one night on Johnny Carson's TONIGHT SHOW. He came out and talked with Johnny for a few minutes and then Johnny asked him to sing a song, or possibly one of the songs he recorded that was a hit. He declined because he admitted his voice was not what it used to be. He said he wanted his fans to remember him as he was, not as he was now with his voice.
Again, I can't remember the name of the singer, but it was someone we all would be familiar with.
And I guess were I in that same position, I would most likely elect to do the same. I would want every performance to have the potential to be one of my best … and wouldn’t want to send anybody home disappointed or with a bad memory. Perhaps once you achieve icon status, the audience becomes that much more forgiving. (kk)
A brand new trailer for the Peter Jackson film “Get Back” was released earlier this week … and it truly does look amazing.
Anticipation is at an all-time, fever pitch high right now. (The film premiers on Disney+ over three nights during the Thanksgiving Weekend, November 25th, 26th and 27th. It’ll run close to six hours and was culled from 57 hours of video footage shot during January of 1969 that's beenlocked in a vault ever since.)
The quality looks absolutely amazing … and, as promised, we see The Beatles having FUN together during an era that has traditionally been believed to be the worst of times in the band’s career.
There are SO many funny moments and smiles contained in this brief clip as the group prepares for what was thought at the time to be a live concert event presenting their brand new album of fourteen songs. (I love the part where, in 1969, Paul says “Fifty years from now, the rumor will be that The Beatles split up because Yoko sat on an amp.” Who knew?!?!?) It also shows John Lennon, reportedly the most disenchanted member of the band, as being in favor of performing live again. (It had been three years since The Beatles played at Candlestick Park in their last concert appearance. The film’s eventual rooftop performance … which will now be shown for the first time ever in its entirety … would go down in history as the last time The Beatles performed live together as a band.)
The brand new “Get Back” book was also finally released last week after more than a year of delays and it’s absolutely beautiful, jam-packed with photos and a diary log of each day’s events during filming. (Peter Jackson’s forward, explaining how he came to discover and love the music of the band, is nothing short of brilliant.) To be given unlimited access to all of the material available in order to make this film … and then being able to take the time to meticulously going through it all in order to edit the perfect historical document of their work process, growing from a two hour theatrical release to a six hour cable mini-series is going to be fascinating to watch.
Macca made more news this week when he referred to The Rolling Stones as just a blues cover band, compared to The Beatles. (McCartney made similar comments on Howard Stern’s show last year, prompting Mick to retaliate with “That’s so funny. He’s a sweetheart. There’s obviously no competition.”)
Jagger described the really big difference between the two bands as The Rolling Stones being a “big concert band," stating that The Beatles "broke up before that business started. The touring business for real didn’t start until the end of the Sixties. That’s the real big difference between these two bands. One band is unbelievably luckily, still playing in stadiums, and the other band doesn’t exist.”
Considering that The Beatles played for less than thirty minutes during their live shows in the '60's, Mick's on point with this one. (Of course today McCartney's right up there with the best of them, regularly performing 2 1/2 hour shows all the time.) The issue of no longer being able to perform the music they were creating in the studio live at the time has also often been cited as a factor (not to mention the grueling pace of touring in the first place.) Today, recreating those sounds on stage are second nature, thanks to all of the technology advancements made during the past 55 years. (And yet The Stones still manage to do it with just guitar, bass, keyboards and drums!)
McCartney also put the blame for The Beatles' break-up squarely on John Lennon's shoulders last week, explaining that John had announced that he was leaving the band but was then asked to keep things hushed up by Allen Klein to see if he could put together a better royalties deal before an official announcement was made. (This makes Paul's 1969 Yoko comment even funnier in light of all the flack she's taken over the past 50+ years.)
Promoting his new two volume book of lyrics (which includes a Beatles song never recorded), Paul also turned his attention to one of the songs he, George and Ringo were given by Yoko Ono to finish up for The Beatles Anthology series called “Now And Then.” (This is one of the John Lennon demos that Yoko gave them to add their voices and music to, under the production of Jeff Lynne, as “The Threetles” for the Anthology film. We got to hear “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love,” but the third track never materialized.)
This is news to me … I’VE always heard that the third track was supposed to be a full band version of John's “Grow Old With Me,” a track that appeared on Lennon’s posthumous album release “Milk And Honey” … but apparently THIS is the track they never got ‘round to finishing.
Macca now says that he’d like to finish it …
didn’t have a very good title, it needed a bit of reworking, but it had a
beautiful verse and it had John singing it … but George didn’t wanna do it.”
George described it this way: “It’s fucking rubbish.” (lol) After listening to a bootleg demo of the tune, I’ve got to agree with him … WAY beneath Lennon’s abilities as both a songwriter and singer.
Jeff Lynne chimed in with, "The song had a chorus but is almost totally lacking in verses. We did the backing track, a rough go that we really didn't finish."