Yesterday we broadcast live a panel discussion on the relative merits of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. For decades people have asked the question of who was the better musician? But is this actually a valid question to ask?
In sheer sales of Cd’s and tickets statistically Paul McCartney is the clear winner, yet many people, members of the panel included come up with the defense that we may be measuring quantity over quality. About the only thing that everyone agrees with is that their solo careers were not as stunning as their career together in The Beatles.
Another bone of contention was the effect their women had on their solo efforts. While there may have been sparks of genius introduced by incorporating Yoko Ono into Lennon’s work most feel that she was not that conclusive to his success. That was reflected in Album sales where he committed a large portion of the tracks to her endeavors.
There are also questions about Paul McCartney incorporating his wife Linda into his band. Certainly it was clear at the outset that she lacked the musical skills of the the rest of the band, however over time seemed to master the trade.
I had a very knowledgeable panel to discuss these, and other aspects of the Lennon and McCartney debate.
John Cherry is the author of the book Better Than Lennon. Although it is under 150 pages long is is a very comprehensive work that puts the two musicians under the microscope, both subjectively and objectively.
Trace Haqcard is also an author, his book Deadlines and Commitments takes us inside the state of rock music today. He asks the question is rock dead?
Billy James is the owner of Glassonyon PR a company that specializes in promoting classic rock bands. He is a musician and has just finished recording his 5th studio album. Billy has written 8 books to date on the aspects of the music industry. He is a long time Beatles fan and very knowledgeable on the subject.
Randy Pratt is the owner of Hyperspace Records, a label that specializes in new recordings by classic artists. He is also a very accomplished Bass player and currently plays in The Lizards. His mind is an encyclopedia of music history. Rarely does he not know the answer to even the most obscure question (although Billy did manage to stump him on one question during the discussion).
I did invite David Haber who runs the influential beatlesnews.com web site to join us, however he had a previous commitment. He has however been following the debate on his site, and his readers seem as divided over the issue as everyone else.
For a musical interlude we played a track, Here Comes The Sun from Jock Bartley (Firefall) Beatles tribute album Colorado To Liverpool. This CD is well worth listening to, Jock does a very fine job of paying tribute to the compositions of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
I think it would be fair to say that it was a lively and interesting round table. I think everyone on the panel actually came away with new knowledge and maybe a new understanding of the subject.
You can listen to the program in its entirety here.