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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"And here they are - The WEETLES!"

I read in the news last night that Paul McCartney's son James - a 34-year old fledgling musician (albeit, probably one of the richest fledgling musicians ever) - would be hip to the idea of getting together with other Beatle Kids to form "The Beatles - The Next Generation". A fun idea, I thought, but a lousy moniker. And this is where I come in.

The WEETLES! - a colorful portmanteau of "wee" and "Beatles" - just imagine Ed Sullivan announcing, with the big Ed Sullivanian sweep of the Sullivanian arm: "And here they are... THE WEETLES!" It works. The kids could even edit old footage of Ed introducing their dads from the 1964 appearance into own their cute, high-energy debut music video, and just have me dub in "WEETLES" for "BEATLES" in Ed Sullivan-voice, which is an impeccable facsimile of the original.

Anyhow, the ginger-haired James, who resembles a light, pasty, soft version of the elder Macca, has hinted that he has spoken with the other Beatle offspring and that, surprisingly, they are open to the idea as well. Mostly. Apparently, they have not seen James perform. Nothing against the lad, but I saw him perform on the David Letterman Show and he had nowhere near the charisma, charm or buoyancy of his Beatle-Dad. I imagine that there might have been some nerves involved and what with being McCartney's kid and having to live up to all that buoyancy might be a bit unnerving, but I don't believe I ever saw him crack a devilish McCartney grin the entire time. He didn't even tap his foot and nod his head like his papa while he sang, which led me to believe he must have gotten his stage charisma from his mom's side of the family, which consisted of mostly a long line of lawyers. Enough said. His voice is very high and lovely.

McCartney Father and Son, both reacting to excellent news.

“I’d be up for it,” the 34-year-old McCartney told the BBC. “Sean seemed to be into it, Dhani seemed to be into it.” Sean being Sean Lennon, the surly, pampered son of John Lennon and Dhani the diminutive offspring of George Harrison. Apparently the only holdout in this Plan Of Plans is Zak Starkey (you guessed it - Ringo's kid) - a renowned drummer in his own right, having beat the tubs for The Who and Oasis, among others. He could probably tell, with that uncanny sixth sense that really good drummers seem to possess, that this could be an embarrassing cluster-fuck and he wanted no part of it. McCartney then added that perhaps Jason Starkey (Ringo's other kid - presumably not as astute as his older brother) might be able to fill in. To hell with that, I say - just ask Ringo to do it. Ringo will play with anyone - I heard back in the 80's that Ringo was such a publicity-hungry media whore that he would attend the opening of an envelope. This is probably an exaggeration. Of course, I may be biased since the day Ringo announced haughtily that he would no longer be giving out autographs, thank you. In my opinion, it is safer to simply stop giving them out altogether, without the announcement. That way, you only seem to be an asshole to one person at a time, or perhaps a small group of people clamoring for your autograph, Beatlemania style, rather than appearing to be an asshole to everyone on the planet with one click of the "send" button.

But I digress - I'm certain Ringo is actually a swell chap. And he is  oneheckofa drummer.

Ringo addressing an autograph seeker and Zak showing his excitement over the Weetles.

Dhani Harrison, from all I can gather, is a pretty cool kid. He has a fine mix of his father's acerbic wit, an intelligent outlook and a certain calm inner-peace that comes from the delightful combination of being raised by a man who was spiritually in tune and never having to have worked at a Burger King. Why he would want to subject himself to the scrutiny, judgement and inevitable comparison to the greatest band on earth, I have no idea. Even if the music was decent, it would be compared to "Hey Jude", "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever". And Paul McCartney in the audience will always get a bigger ovation than the sprats onstage. Just sayin'. They might be better served to hire a bunch of crackerjack musicians and an orchestra and put on costumes and be one of those Beatles tribute bands that play the casinos. Except the program would read: "James McCartney as Paul McCartney, Dhani Harrison as George Harrison, Sean (or Julian) Lennon as John Lennon and Zak (or Jason) as Ringo!" You just went from casinos to stadia - you're welcome.

The Harrisons and their glee at playing stadiums over casinos.

The Lennon situation is a quandary. Though Li'l Macca says Sean is willing, I have a difficult time believing his buy-in. He won't even play with his brother, right? He's a broody little fella, too, from what I can tell - he seems pretty self-important and I can't imagine him listening to Dhani's suggestion that his idea for a bassoon solo is absurd without serving up a shit-storm. Just my take on it - I imagine Sean Lennon is another swell cat. He was probably raised by a very nice nanny who taught him manners and respect.

The Lennons, each wondering how in the hell they put up with Yoko full-time.

That said, it might be easier to talk Julian into taking the gig - he seems easy going like the other guys and would probably appreciate the paycheck, since Sean's caterwauling harpy of a mother gypped him out of his share of Papa Lennon's estate. He could inject little, subtle Yoko jibes into the performances, like singing "Hey Shrew" in the background when J-Mac sings "Hey Jude" - that would show her.

Julian - "I'm in."

Speaking of Yoko - regardless of my personal feelings about her, I think she would probably be a great manager for the act. Let's face it, the manipulating harridan has always had her finger on the pulse of the entertainment world, certainly as no other since, say... Brian Epstein. Only Yoko had the foresight to suggest a popular musical icon and voice of a generation take a full-frontal, unflattering nude picture of himself and his full-frontal, unflattering mistress to use as an album cover (picture not shown here - keep moving). Genius - the man lost a legion of fans and the Beatles lost much of their credibility immediately. That's moving the needle kids - if that kind of power could be harnessed and used for good, who knows, The Weetles could bigger than, dare I say it? The Beatles.

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