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We're back with the Summer issue, and trying to catch up with all the McCartney-related stories which seem to have been in the newspapers almost daily these past few months. Just as we were putting the last Sandwich to bed, Paul, Elvis Costello and Anya Alexeyev were beginning rehearsals for An Evening With Paul McCartney & Friends, the marvellous benefit concert for the Royal College of Music. We sent along Geoff Baker to be our fly on the wall, and he reveals all the glittering details in FOR he's a JOLLY GOOD FELLOW.
The concert itself was aired by British radio station Classic FM on Easter Monday, but if you were unaware of the broadcast, or, like me, away on holiday, you must be kicking yourself that you missed out! The only way to right the situation, so far as I can see, is to put pen to paper and write to Classic FM requesting a repeat performance, or, at the very least, Anya's lovely rendition of A Leaf. Many of you have written to ask me why we didn't alert you to this broadcast. The answer is simple: we didn't know in time to get the news out.
The second big story, which many people have been waiting years to happen, concerns a group known as the Beatles. In BACK IN THE BEATLES Paul shares with us the latest news about their work together on the forthcoming Anthology television series and on their new recordings. We'll keep you posted as the screening of the series approaches. Another piece of nostalgia concerns the fact that Paul's 'Yesterday', the world's most popular song, is an incredible 30 years old this month. In what editor Mark Lewisohn has discreetly (!) titled THE PLANET earth's most popular song ever he highlights the best known of the 3000 or so different cover artists while Paul himself reflects upon the song's creation.
Over the years we've had many letters asking for information about the various McCartney compositions recorded not by Paul himself but given to other artists to perform. Some of them became well known (although none as well as 'Yesterday'!) while others remained obscure. Our piece WHAT A BLOOMING GIVEAWAY! therefore fills a necessary archival gap by listing the 55 songs and their principal recording artist, a fascinating list which will certainly take the grind out of answering your questions in the future!
This Summer Sandwich also contains WRITE AWAY, GALLERY CORNER and INSPIRATION, and we give a platform to the views of Dr Robert Sharpe, a leading authority on anti-vivisection, in AND IN the GREEN CORNER. MINING THE FILM AND VIDEO ARCHIVE examines some fascinating early footage of Wings at the ICA which I, for one, didn't even know existed. (This column will now be taking a short break, but its fans should not fret for it will return!) And, with considerable sadness, we include Paul's recent tribute to the lovable eccentric Viv Stanshall, of Bonzo Dog fame, who died recently in London. (See CHEERIO, SO LONG, PIP-PIP, OLD BEAN.)
In the last Sandwich I reported that Paul's poetry had been published in a British weekly magazine. This time we reprint the poems themselves, along with some non-poetic lines from Paul about their creation.
Finally, it only remains for me to offer congratulations to the three winners of the Spring Sandwich draw, each of whom supplied the correct answer "Homer" and won themselves a year's free subscription to CS. They are Kirk Freeman of Texas, USA; John Bibby of Leicester, England; and Martine Boissonneault of Quebec, Canada.
'til next time
"Sycamore leaf caught in briars bleached by sun and wind, Middleton Woods, Yorkshire, January 1981" is one of two photographs by Andy Goldsworthy that grace Paul's single A Leaf.
The artist and photographer was born in Cheshire in 1956 and he works largely in the open air, using materials that he finds around him. Paul saw the leaves illustrated in the sumptuous book titled simply Andy Goldsworthy (Viking/Penguin, 1990) and was delighted when Andy agreed to allow his photographs to be used in this way.
A Leaf has been issued only in Britain at the moment - EMI Classics CD LEAF 1 (compact disc) and TC LEAF 1 (cassette) but it will be made available in other countries in the coming months.