Bonus Episode 1: The Linda McCartney Story

Happy Holidays! We’ve got THREE bonus episodes for you today!!! Sam Whiles of Paul or Nothing and Phoebe Lorde discuss two Made-for-TV films about the McCartneys and Lennons. Perfect listening for a post-Christmas haze!

In Bonus Episode 1, join Phoebe and Sam Whiles, host of Paul or Nothing podcast, as they discuss the TV movie The Linda McCartney Story (2000).

Listen here.

Listen to Paul or Nothing here.

New Episode!

An AKOM Toast to RAM at 50 episode

Paul and Linda McCartney’s RAM, now often referred to by many as the “first indie pop album” had its 50th birthday on May 17, 2021!  To commemorate this important milestone anniversary, join Thalia as she gives “An AKOM Toast!” to RAM at 50!  Happy #RAMiversary!

Available now on most podcast platforms!

SHOW NOTES under the cut

Playlist: 
Part 1:
RAM by Paul and Linda McCartney
Too Many People
3 Legs
Ram On
Dear Boy
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
Smile Away
Heart Of The Country
Monkberry Moon Delight
Eat At Home
Long Haired Lady
Ram On
The Back Seat Of My Car

Part 2: “Indie Pop Medley”

“Prairie Fire the Wanders About” by Sufjan Stevens
“Home Again” by Michael Kiwanuka
“Will Do” by TV on the Radio
“Where Gravity is Dead,” by Laura Veirs
“The Infanta” by the Decemberists
“Soul Meets Body by Death Cab for Cutie”
“Eugene” by Arlo Parks
“Suddenly Everything Has Changed” by the Flaming Lips
“Stella Brown” by Jelani Aryeh
“The Breeze” by Dr. Dog
“Golden Days” by Whitney
“Sunrise” by Kenny Elrod
”Let’s Get Lost” by Elliot Smith
“Pass the Hours” by MorMor
“Lord Only Knows” by Beck

Part 3: Covers of RAM by various artists

“Dear Boy” cover by Death Cab for Cutie
“Too Many People” cover by Dave Depper
“The Back Seat of My Car” cover by the Damn Crystals
“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” cover by Novelty Island
“Ram On” cover by Found Wandering
“Zpívám si jen tak” (Heart of the Country) cover by Martha & Tena
“Ram On” instrumental cover by They Might Be Giants
“Monkberry Moon Delight” cover by Robbers on High Street
“Ram On” cover by R. Stevie Moore

Links for RAM covers (not found on Spotify):

“Dear Boy” cover by Death Cab for Cutie: https://youtu.be/kP3z785ebdY
“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” cover by Novelty Island: https://youtu.be/mtG9j1T3KcI and https://noveltyisland.bandcamp.com/track/uncle-albert-admiral-halsey-paul-linda-mccartney-cover 
“Ram On” instrumental cover by They Might Be Giants https://youtu.be/ouk7p_ambx8 
“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” cover by Holly Henderson: https://youtu.be/9fKg5m5j7M4
“Monkberry Moon Delight” cover by Club Helmbreker https://youtu.be/0m7ydfWqzgk

Spotify Playlist: 

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5zX162a3FLBpmEtcIhp6sA?si=d80ac33fd1484698

Instrumental covers:

Ryohei Kanayama on YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5nrctquJucCKcYLrfB4euxU4RMjeGuu8 
Marcel Lichter on YouTube: https://youtu.be/L3vQrh1Xbeg
joehlers on YouTube: https://youtu.be/mmccz9WzHZk

Recommendations and mentions:

Understanding McCartney Documentary Series by Breathless345 on YouTube: https://youtu.be/kjjqUCvHNIs 
Why Paul McCartney’s RAM is the first Indie Pop Album by Elliot Roberts on YouTube: https://youtu.be/CRZHvvYsc5w
Interview with RAM & Wings drummer Denny Seiwell celebrating Ram On! by Elliot Roberts: https://youtu.be/nx4Lgf-nmKA 
Paul McCartney – Ram (full album) REACTION by Welp Here We Are On YouTube: https://youtu.be/7XU_VpeIUl8
Mentioned: 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything by Apple TV+

Other Sources:

Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine by Joe Hagan, pg 169, and “Book Review: Sticky Fingers” by Dr. Erin Torkelson Weber,  www.beatlebioreview.wordpress.com  

Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie: May 7, 2020 quarantine livestream: https://youtu.be/hfLEvRY1kcA

Dave Depper of Death Cab for Cutie, The Ram Project: https://www.davedepper.com/the-ram-projec

The Damn Crystals on their Pure McCartney project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6Gk4KUn-vs

“The Eternal Sunshine of Harry Styles.” Rolling Stone Magazine.  Rob Sheffield.  August 26, 2019. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/harry-styles-cover-interview-album-871568/

“My Favorite Album: Fred Armisen on Paul and Linda McCartney’s ‘RAM.’”  Under the Radar Magazine. Joshua M. Miller. Jun 22, 2020.  http://www.undertheradarmag.com/interviews/my_favorite_album_fred_armisen_on_paul_and_linda_mccartneys_ram

“Another Day: Paul McCartney’s Once-Maligned, Now-Adored ‘Ram’ at 50.”  The Ringer.  Ben Lindbergh.  May 14, 2021. https://www.theringer.com/music/2021/5/14/22435675/paul-mccartney-ram-50th-anniversary-legacy

The All McCartney Podcast.  Interview with Eirik Wangberg. http://www.allmccartneypodcast.com/episodes/2017/5/25/episode-14-pauls-norwegian-connections-fredrik-skavlan-and-eirik-the-norwegian 

Paul McCartney quotes on working with Linda McCartney as a vocalist. RAM Deluxe reissue liner notes.  Released May 2012. https://www.paulmccartney.com/news-blogs/news/paul-and-linda-mccartneys-legendary-album-ram-set-for-deluxe-reissue 

We are taking a little break from our Lennon/McCartney Breakup Series to bring you this interview with the fabulous Chris O’Dell!

In this episode Diana and Thalia have a conversation with Chris O’Dell, the author of the book Miss O’Dell: My Hard Days And Long Nights With The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton And The Women They Loved. Chris O’Dell has led an extraordinary life as a close friend of the Beatles, Pattie Boyd and Maureen Starkey.  She was an early Apple employee, worked for Peter Asher and was among the world’s first female tour managers.  She worked on many legendary tours, including the iconic 70’s tours of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, The Rolling Stones, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.  She was the subject of George Harrison’s song “Miss O’Dell” as well as Leon Russell’s songs “Pisces Apple Lady” and “Hummingbird.”

We dig into hot topics like Apple in the early days, the day John quit the Beatles, the Maureen/Ringo/George triangle; Paul in 1968, Paul and Linda as a couple. John Lennon during the “lost weekend,” the day Paul quit the Beatles and George’s reaction. the Beatles vs. the Stones, and much more.

Where to Listen

The Break-up Series by Phoebe Lorde and Diana Erickson can now be found at Diana’s podcast: One Sweet Dream.

 

Check and subscribe to One Sweet Dream for more great podcasts!

Listener Mailbag – Sept. 30, 2019

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Listener feedback is valuable to us, and we love it when
someone takes the time to reach out and engage us in conversation!  

This listener offers several compelling and interesting counter-points to the previous listener-letter’s assertion that the imbalances regarding McCartney’s critical reputation (and fandom toxicity regarding McCartney in general) have been redressed.  We don’t agree that they have, and this listener has made many similar observations.

Please feel free to email us at akompodcast at gmail dot
com, send us an ask, or a Tumblr message.


We love hearing from you!

Listener’s letter:
 

Thank you guys so much for all of your hard work on this podcast! I’ve had an absolute blast listening to all the episodes, and I’m sure there are many who look
forward to it just as much as I do. My letter is partially in response to
another listener’s letter (the one who stressed that the jean-jacket narrative
is no longer as prevalent as it once was).

I really loved your response, and I simply wanted to express that, whatever their
experience with the Beatles’ narrative might’ve been, mine has been the exact
opposite. I’m pretty young and my parents never really listened to the Beatles.
I knew about the Beatles and Paul McCartney, but I was so naive to their story
that it never really clicked that Paul was even in the Beatles until I became
immersed in their lore (I had never even heard of George Harrison. Whoops,
sorry Georgie). So, I was as blank a slate as they come.

I’ve been absolutely devouring Beatles media for the past three months. And being a Paul fan in 2019? Still really difficult due to the toxicity of the fandom. Obscure books about John Lennon or the group as a whole are far easier to track down than Paul books.

It took an embarrassingly long time to discover that Paul even had an authorized
semi-autobiography. (The cringeworthy lack of attention toward Ringo and George hasn’t escaped my notice, either. Their legacy has been seriously neglected) And a lot of the books I’ve managed to get my hands on tend to take unprovoked jabs at Paul’s legacy: two of the “Paul books” I’ve bought recently were prefaced, essentially, with “I’ve never liked Paul because I resented the way
the women in my life so obviously enjoyed him.” Both the Norman and Clayson
biographies began this way, and it just seemed so unnecessary.

Now I have to do extensive research before purchase to avoid wasting money on books that disdain Paul for qualities outside of his control. It was baffling that these men thought, despite their personal jealousies, that they were qualified to not only write biographies but to include their personal issues in the preface
without having their legitimacy questioned. I’d never seen anything like it.

When books or media praise him, the majority of it seems to be for his appearance. Even Cynthia Lennon, bless her old lady heart (loved her book John, by the way, read it ‘cause you guys recommended it), when it came to describing each Beatle in an interview, described a man who had been a true friend to her for decades as ‘Pretty… so, so pretty.’ The other three Beatles consistently get remarks as to their wit and talent, but few people, even some of his close friends, seem to get past Paul’s looks.

To the untrained, twenty-something eye, Paul comes across as something of an adorable, grandad figure, kind of oddly amorphous in his legacy, rather than the musical genius and powerhouse he actually is. When I started to seek out his music, I was shocked at all the familiar melodies that I’d heard hundreds of times
before without ever knowing the artist. His music feels really fresh and
relevant to me, not at all dated, a huge contrast to the affable, aging persona
I’ve been fed by the media.

Paul is my favorite Beatle, but I’m not looking for media that overtly glorifies Paul in relation to his former bandmates. I just want to have historically factual,
fair media that pays respect to the people who have shaped my life and
occasionally comforted me with their art. And I don’t want to feel like I
should have to be ashamed of my enjoyment just because a group of men found my appreciation vapid and aggravating, for one reason or another.

That’s why I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed the AKOM podcast: it feels like, in a room full of toxic men screaming at the top of their lungs about nothing at all and
demanding it become truth, that women (and other varying genders) can still
bravely sit down amidst it all, have tea, and breathe some sanity into the
stupidity. Thanks again!

Our Response:

Thank you for your wonderful letter. We appreciate the feedback. We love long letters and certainly understand having a lot to say on the subject!

We have had very similar experiences to yours and agree: 

“Paul comes across as something of an
adorable, grandad figure, kind of oddly amorphous in his legacy, rather than
the musical genius and powerhouse he actually is.” 

This bothers us as well. Paul does not get the artistic credit he deserves. 

Paul himself has shown frustration with the label “the cute
Beatle” —can you imagine having written some of the world’s most famous songs and being labeled “cute” while you partner is labeled “smart” or “intellectual”
or “genius”? It must be hugely frustrating. Perhaps so much so that he has
taken to giving HIMSELF the label of genius recently! We’re all for it!

Unfortunately, it a label and bias that exists. Problem is, Paul is cute and
charming! But he is also deep and complex and brilliant and sexy, yet so many
writers and observers aren’t able to see beyond the surface-level read of him.
This hasn’t always been the case though, when we examine contemporaneous
reviews of the Beatles, we find that in the 60s Paul’s genius was taken more
seriously by some (yes, he had the label “the cute Beatle” but his talents were
also taken seriously, especially in the UK); the break-up seems to have altered
his critical evaluation.

You said: “When I started to seek out his music, I was shocked at all the familiar melodies that I’d heard hundreds of times before without ever knowing the artist.”

We are thrilled that you have discovered them. I felt this
way about Paul’s solo work as well—I  had been led to believe, by
critics, that Paul’s solo music wasn’t up to par with his Beatles work, so
approached it with trepidation. What a pleasure it was finding out they were so
very wrong. Paul’s post-Beatles work is a joy to explore. It is a treasure
chest of incredible music. 

“His music feels
really fresh and relevant to me, not at all dated, a huge contrast to the
affable, aging persona I’ve been fed by the media.”

Exactly, and Paul’s post-Beatles story is very romantic and
relevant as well. Paul’s post-Beatles period hasn’t been significantly
romanticized or mythologized….yet. 

The McCartneys themselves do a good job of it, but it hasn’t
taken hold in the popular imagination. Based on Paul’s “persona” as
it is portrayed in popular culture, one would think Paul spent his entire
post-break-up career pining for the Beatles and writing sub-standard but
commercially popular music rather than having inspired a whole other music
genre and created a goldmine of incredible music.

“Paul is my favorite
Beatle, but I’m not looking for media that overtly glorify Paul in relation to
his former bandmates. I just want to have historically factual, fair media that
pays respect to the people who have shaped my life and occasionally comforted
me with their art.”

Wouldn’t that be lovely! But it’s tough to find. It seems some of these biases
are so deeply ingrained and embedded in the Beatles story that it colors the
view of everything Paul-related. For example, what is this so-called “granny
music”? This isn’t even a thing! It’s not a genre, yet Paul’s music is
continually given this label. It’s time to stop letting John’s labels, which
were given in a fit of anger and defensiveness, define Paul and Paul’s music.
Again, there are some deep underlying assumptions in this fandom that need to
be challenged. 

“And I don’t want to
feel like I should have to be ashamed of my enjoyment just because a group of
men found my appreciation vapid and aggravating, for one reason or another.  That’s why I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed the
AKOM podcast: it feels like, in a room full of toxic men screaming at the top
of their lungs about nothing at all and demanding it become truth, that women
(and other varying genders) can still bravely sit down amidst it all, have tea,
and breathe some sanity into the stupidity. “

Ha! Well, we are thrilled to have inspired enjoyment and
relaxation with a good cup of tea! We understand the pleasure of not wanting to
constantly throw your cup at the speaker!

“Can’t wait for the next episode!!”

We hope you have enjoyed our latest episodes on the Break-up and LIB. We think we managed to challenge some deeply held believes and assumptions with our analysis. 

Thanks again for the letter, we really enjoyed it! Please
continue to share your thoughts if you are inspired!

Best, 

Diana and the AKOM Crew 

“If I Ran Away from You: Ep. 2 Pt. 2″ Love, War, and the Games that Ended the Beatles

Part 2 is here!

In the second installment of our Break-up series, Diana and Phoebe take a DEEP look into January 1969, when the Beatles record and film Let it Be.

Part 1 reflects on the sub-textual conversation revealed in their behaviors and their music.  Part 2 (this one) looks at some of the underlying issues of the break-up as they play out in this period.

This multi-part series explores the emotional roots of the Beatles break-up with a focus on Lennon/McCartney.

Where to listen

“If I Ran Away from You: Ep. 2 Pt. 1” Love, War, and the Games that Ended the Beatles

In the second installment of our Break-up series, Diana and Phoebe take a DEEP look into January 1969, when the Beatles record and film Let it Be.  

Part 1 reflects on the sub-textual conversation revealed in their behaviors and their music.  Part 2 (Coming very soon!) looks at some of the underlying issues of the break-up as they play out in this period.  

This multi-part series explores the emotional roots of the Beatles break-up with a focus on Lennon/McCartney.

Where to Listen