TAKE IT AWAY
Paul invites a few mates round to his parlour for a singalong and, thanks to the help of the Naked Civil Servant, suddenly finds himself playing a packed-out velodrome.
THINGS TO KNOW:
a) This was off Macca’s best-ever solo LP, Tug Of War, produced by that grand master of the grams, George Martin.
b) It was a top 20 hit in July 1982, peaking at number 15.
c) George also played piano on the song, besides donning his best spats and bootlace tie for the video.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR:
A true embarrassment of riches. For starters:
a) What a line-up! Macca, Linda, Ringo, George Martin, Eric Matthews out of 10CC and Steve Gadd on “other” drums.
b) As with the best of Paul’s videos, it has a story to tell, and as is always the case, it’s told very literally. Hence on the line “faded flowers wait in a jar”, we see some fading flowers waiting in a jar. And when a “lonely driver” “switches on his radio”, sure enough, the titular motorist is seen manhandling the aforementioned transistor.
c) Macca’s band begins by practicing in his front room, until his mum, fed up with the noise, cuts the power with the help of an Authentic Overalled Man From The Electricity Board.
d) The “important impresario” is none other than John Hurt, who does very little throughout except look enigmatic and fix up Macca’s band with a stellar gig in a massive fuck-off stadium in front of about 1000 people. This is yet another highlight, as the band are all in uber-smart suits, Macca is bopping about, Ringo is waggling his head like in the old days and even George looks like he’s having a ball.
e) When we’re in “the bar”, John appears to be offering a separate recording contract to – yikes – Linda, at which Paul raises his eyebrows affably and turns back to converse with some fans.
THINGS TO LISTEN OUT FOR:
There are some fine examples of Paul’s effortless pop craftsmanship on display here. In the verses, not only have you got some simple, smart rhyming couples (“miles to go/radio”; “in his hand/for the band”; “corner seat/is complete”), you’ve also got some nifty internal rhymes as well. Hence “Lonely driver, out on the road” is matched with “Soul survivor, carrying the load” and, best of all, “After hours, late in the bar” with “Faded flowers wait in a jar”. Nice one.
Wanna hear you play till the lights go down.