Everett True

Paul McCartney or Daniel Johnston?

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Daniel Johnston

Just askin’ …


15 Responses to Paul McCartney or Daniel Johnston?

  1. None October 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    What are you trying to say with this? The McCartney song sounds nothing like the Johnston song. I mean other than it being a vocal piano performance recorded on a cheap cassette. The songs themselves sound totally different. The M ward song is a cover, so of course it will sound similar to the Johnston song. The last song doesn’t sound like any of them. What do you mean to say with this post?

  2. tim footman October 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Daniel wasn’t crazy enough to marry Heather Mills.

  3. Boon October 13, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    The Paul McCartney song is magical, the Daniel Johnston is powerful magic. The M Ward song is a less magical version of the Daniel Johnston song and the Kathy McCarty song is only good but there is no magic. seeing that you asked.

  4. Drew October 13, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    The Paul McCartney song came out in 1979 on Back to the Egg. Daniel Johnston’s was done sometime from 1980-83. So are you saying Johnston cribbed the melody from McCartney?

    Without any commentary it’s hard to tell the point of this post.

    One observation: Paul sounds high as a kite on the piano demo. 😉

  5. Wallace Wylie October 13, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    I think what is going here is that Everett is showing a general similarity in tone between an unpolished McCartney demo and the music of Daniel Johnston. The greater point is perhaps that either Daniel could have had a much bigger career if he’d cleaned up his sound and maybe wrote some songs about frogs, or that McCartney could have had a much more interesting solo career if he hadn’t wasted so much time cleaning up his sound and instead just pounded out Johnston-esque pieces of magic. An ever greater point could perhaps be that production and performance provide a hugely important context through which songs are heard, and to a large degree are just as important as songwriting itself.

  6. Everett True October 13, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Thank you, Wallace.

  7. Drew October 14, 2011 at 12:22 am

    Except that McCartney HAS had an interesting solo career: McCartney, Ram, Wild Life, Band on the Run, Venus and Mars, McCartney II, (skip the next two decades), Run Devil Run, Chaos and Creation, Electric Arguments.

    Hugely diverse albums, some polished, some not. And the people who don’t get that are the ones who routinely focus on the worst of what he produced (and make tired jokes about frogs or the Mull of Kintyre) rather than the best.

  8. Wallace Wylie October 14, 2011 at 12:35 am

    I said “more interesting”. Trust me, if you had actually grown up on the Mull of Kintyre you would never tire of making McCartney jokes. To some it was a dreadful dirge, to others it was a source of everyday dismay. Imagine if you moved to another part of Scotland, let’s say Falkirk, and the only point of connection people had with you was that fucking Wings song. I reserve the right to make as many McCartney jokes as I wish.

  9. Drew October 14, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Fair enough. And I reserve the right to say those jokes are beating-a-dead-horse boring.

    McCartney’s solo stuff has been unfairly slagged since 1970. Everything he did up until BOTR was ripped to shreds. And now, looking back, those first 3 records were some of the best work he ever did — better, IMO, than BOTR. In a perfect world, he would have gotten the good reviews those early records deserved and encouraged to continue in that direction. Instead the only positive critical praise he got was for BOTR. So if everyone is telling you that what you’re doing is shit, and then you finally produce a record that both the public and the critics love, which direction are you going to follow?

    I also think most of his stuff since Linda died has been his best work since that early period.

  10. Wallace Wylie October 14, 2011 at 2:26 am

    I think we all stand together on that point.

  11. Everett True October 14, 2011 at 8:21 am

    if everyone is telling you that what you’re doing is shit, and then you finally produce a record that both the public and the critics love, which direction are you going to follow?

    You do the stuff you believe in. What the fuck kind of insecure or zeitgeist-chasing artist pays attention to critics anyway?

  12. Drew October 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    “What the fuck kind of insecure or zeitgeist-chasing artist pays attention to critics anyway?”

    Every artist. And if you think they don’t, you’re awfully naive.

    Every artist pays attention to how his/her art is being critiqued. They’re human. And when everyone is saying that everything you’re doing sucks, you start to think maybe they’re right. McCartney even had Lennon telling him that — the only person whose opinion McCartney ever really listened to. Of course Lennon turned out to be dead wrong about the quality of those early records. But the point is, as an artist, you’re going to get awfully confused about which way to proceed. And I think he did.

  13. Everett True October 15, 2011 at 6:58 am

    Every artist. And if you think they don’t, you’re awfully naive.

    Gotta love Internet commentators who give capsule lectures based on conjecture but presented as fact. Bit of a sweeping generalisation to make, don’t you think? It would have been far better to write, “Rare is the artist who doesn’t take notice of his or her critics … and Paul McCartney isn’t one of them”. Or something.

    Apologies, though. I had no idea you were so intimately acquainted with Mr McCartney. Please say hi from me.

    P.S. I’m not convinced it’s even that rare. Depends on how you choose to define ‘artist’, obv.

  14. Drew October 15, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Why so sensitive? I am not stating a fact, I am clearly just stating my opinion. Whose else would it be? Didn’t mean to ruffle your feathers.

  15. Not Daniel Johnston July 16, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Let me get this straight, Erika… Paul McCartney has a limo, yet he hasn’t figured the whole point of it is NOT driving yourself?

    (And they say *Daniel* is nuts!)

    Anyhow, way back in 1986 (I think it was) I recall blabbing in some zine that a Dan song on Songs Of Pain had “McCartney piano”.

    As far as the other way around, though, it isn’t until the Driving Rain album that you hear Paul cribbing from Dan when he blatantly retools ‘Despair Came Knocking’ into ‘Lonely Road’. Pretty freaky.

    I also find it amusing that there’s a video on Youtube of Dan with Grupo Fantasma(!) covering McCartney’s Live And Let Die! Because, of course, Paul’s L&LD is a whole ‘nother animal from Daniel’s, which is posted on YT via my 1nceBitten2wiceShy ‘channel’. Dan’s L&LD has such *completely* different words from Paul’s that the two are nearly unrelated. For instance:

    People say “Que sera… good riddance!”
    Have we really fallen that much behind? (You think we did…?)
    When any kid growing up in the United States of America
    Could easily give it a try – to live and let die!

    With all your friends and your local contacts,
    I wonder who can save you now? (I wonder who…?)
    What if God himself gave up on all of us,
    And decided to destroy all mankind… To live and let die?

    It’s really worse to get worse before it gets better,
    When it’s getting better all the time. (You know it is!)
    But I must warn you all, a little bit -–
    I’m a WALKING TIME BOMB. To live and let die!

    — notdan

    PS: Hey, kids! Check out my Soundcloud page for an ear-peek at what’ll be on the long-awaited debut record from Daniel Johnston & Not Daniel Johnston, “Backed By Popular Demand” — coming soon to a crowd-funding site near you!

    PPS: I “True”ly hope no ink will be wasted in the new book repeating lies from another author’s Dan bio in regards to the 1997 Dan & Not Dan SXSW show… to live and let die!!!

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