Ready for Beatlemania, one time removed? James McCartney, aspiring rocker son of one Paul McCartney, says he is.
The younger McCartney, who has been previously featured on a pair of his dad’s albums, is currently attempting to walk in those Rock and Roll Hall of Fame footsteps with a new album and tour. Might that also include his own next-gen take on the Beatles, featuring fellow Fab offspring? James McCartney says he’s open to that.
Of course, rumors of a new version of the band featuring children of the late John Lennon and George Harrison — but also including the very much alive Paul and Ringo Starr — have circulated for years. By joining the fray, James has only intensified comparisons with his more famous father, even as the younger McCartney tours in promotion of The Complete EP Collection, featuring music from the previous short-form releases Available Light and Close At Hand.
“I don’t really think I am quite as good as the Beatles or my father,” McCartney allows, “but there are definitely influences.”
Fans will remember James for his guitar solo on Paul’s “Heaven on a Sunday” from Flaming Pie and co-writing credits for “Spinning On An Axis” and “Back In The Sunshine Again” from the elder McCartney’s Driving Rain. James McCartney also was featured on guitar for his mother Linda McCartney’s 1998 posthumous collection Wide Prairie, which featured tracks recorded over the previous two decades.
As for the idea, via an interview with the BBC, of forming the Beatles Part Deux with Sean Lennon (son of John), Dhani Harrison (son of George) and Jason Starkey (son of Ringo Starr) — well, first there is the matter of getting everyone on board.
“Yeah, hopefully, naturally,” James McCartney said, in talking about the possibility. “I don’t know; you’d have to wait and see. The will of God, nature’s support, I guess. So yeah, maybe.”
Apparently, Jason would possibly fill in for his more famous drumming sibling Zak Starkey, who has played with Led Zeppelin and the Who, among others, and is reportedly not interested.
“I don’t think it’s something that Zak wants to do,” James McCartney said. “Maybe Jason would want to do it. I’d be up for it. Sean seemed to be into it, Dhani seemed to be into it. I’d be happy to do it.”
As for whether Beatles fan would share his enthusiasm, well, that’s a different conversation.
Here’s a look back at our thoughts on the Beatles, and Paul McCartney. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
GIMME FIVE: SONGS WHERE THE BEATLES, WELL, SUCKED: There is much about the Beatles that’s easy to love. The ornate pop, the long-haired peaceability, the arguments over which one’s your favorite. Still, lend them your ear and you’ll discover a few duds. Even a group as talented, and successful, as the Fab Four couldn’t help but round out a handful of albums with what could only charitably be called filler. Heck, they even had a few charttoppers that qualify. (Yes, we’re looking at you “Hello, Goodbye.”) We dug into the stuff that didn’t quite make their hall-of-fame resume — the ones where they took a bad song … and made it worse.
PAUL McCARTNEY’S NOT GIVING WAY FOR THE KIDS — WELL, EXCEPT FOR ONE SPECIAL 8 YEAR OLD: If you’re wondering why Paul McCartney — a notorious road warrior since his late-1980s return to the concert trail — is touring in shorter bursts these days, look no further than eight-year-old Beatrice. The former Beatle has a shared custody arrangement with the child of his previous marriage to Heather Mills, and doesn’t want to miss that time. McCartney, 69, even says he’s given up cannabis, such is his increased sense of responsibility. These telescoped series of dates, he says, have had another impact: They’re keeping things fresh for McCartney, who says he can now see himself performing into his 80s. “You get the argument ‘Make way for the young kids,’” he says, “And you think, ‘Fuck that, let them make way for themselves. If they’re better than me, they’ll beat me.’”
LISTEN TO A NEWLY DISCOVERED ALTERNATE GUITAR SOLO ON THE BEATLES’ ‘HERE COMES THE SUN’: A new video has emerged that traces the development of George Harrison’s seminal ballad “Here Comes the Sun,” and it features a never-before-heard guitar solo. As producer George Martin, Martin’s son Giles and George Harrison’s son Dhani played back master tapes for the Beatles’ Abbey Road, the 1969 album that featured “Here Comes the Sun, they happened upon this lost treasure — and the elder Martin admits he’d forgotten the alternate guitar section ever existed. The moment of discovery is electric, in particular for Dhani, who says: “It’s totally different than anything that I’ve ever heard!”
GIMME FIVE: RINGO STARR SINGING SONGS BY THE OTHER BEATLES: As with the decades-old hit solo album for which it’s named, Starr’s Ringo 2012 includes an array of name guest stars. Unfortunately, unlike 1973′s Ringo, none of those friendly assists come from his fellow ex-Beatles. Joe Walsh, Dave Stewart and Kenny Wayne Shepherd are fine, and all. But the truth is, the combination of Starr and material written by Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison has provided Ringo with many (some might say most) of his career highlights. Here’s our take on the Top 5 — with five more honorable mentions.