Paul McCartney Is Flattered and Perplexed by College Beatles Courses
It's a long way from the Cavern Club to the hallowed halls of higher education, and no one knows that better than Paul McCartney.
As recounted in a Dec. 27 blog post at McCartney's website, the former Beatle was asked to describe his feelings regarding the fact that the band's music is now being used as a point of focus in college-level popular music courses. Trying to sum up what must be a truly surreal experience, McCartney responded, "For me it’s ridiculous, and yet very flattering."
He continued to explain that it isn't just the idea that your music might be thesis-worthy that blows McCartney's mind. "Ridiculous because we never studied anything, we just loved our popular music: Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, etc. And it wasn’t a case of ‘studying’ it. I think for us, we’d have felt it would have ruined it to study it," he pointed out. "We wanted to make our own minds up just by listening to it. So our study was listening. But to be told -- as I was years ago now -- that the Beatles were in my kid’s history books? That was like ‘What?! Unbelievable, man!’ Can you imagine when we were at school, finding yourself in a history book?"
Setting aside his feelings of flattery and his own creative process, McCartney cautioned would-be Beatles students that all the research in the world won't necessarily make you a better songwriter.
"I don’t think that by studying popular music you can become a great popular musician," he argued. "It may be that you use it to teach other people about the history, that’s all valuable. But to think that you can go to a college and come out like Bob Dylan? Someone like Bob Dylan, you can’t make."
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