The Rip Post                               


Go to Hell, Rip Rense

I couldn't finish Rip Rense's nasty, mean-spirited piece on McCartney. Rense didn't see any one crying at the McCartney show? I don't think he looked around too hard! When McCartney started to sing "I'll Get You" at the Washington show the tears started streaming down my face. I was overcome by emotion at the joy of seeing this man whom I have admired and whose music I have loved for forty plus years singing one of the more obscure but cherished songs of my childhood. That song was a gift to those of us who have been around since the first Sullivan show. I can assure you they were tears of pure, unadulterated joy. And I know I wasn't the only one reacting that way. I pity Rense that has no sense of that joy.

Frank C. Branchini

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Dear Rip,

I'm suffering from mental whiplash. First I read in the Houston Press that Paul McCartney is a doofus, then a mere day later I find out from the Haefeli "film treatment" that he's actually The Second Coming. Wow.

Your commentary was wonderfully entertaining. Not quite as much fun as "Give Bush a Brain," but very close. I understand that many businesses are providing instruction to employees on proper writing skills; clearly the Haefeli organization has yet to embrace this idea. Never mind the errors in grammar and punctuation (don't they know that Spellcheck can't determine when words like "then" and "there" are being misused?), I haven't seen such overwrought prose since I was forced to read Henry James in high school.

Fans know that Paul is a notorious control freak, and I'm not often inclined to defend him, but I seriously doubt he personally okayed "the treatment." One would hope he realizes how ill-served he is by this kind of hyperbolic garbage, which is radically at odds with the Mr. Normal Guy--excuse me, that's SIR Normal Guy--image he likes to project. Of course, he can't escape blame for the pre-concert film that has been roundly criticized as self-aggrandizing (which it was). But at least <EM>that</EM> mentions the little ol' group he was in before Wings.

Thanks for a much-needed laugh.

Pat Leimkuhler

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As a McCartney fan (though not necessarily through thick and thin), I've got to say that you're on the money with your piece on the documentary treatment. I don't understand why the guy would OK such a ridiculous thing. Too, he's proven his worth as a songwriter (if only with the Beatles); he doesn't need to trumpet himself the way he does. People like him as he is, not for what he (or his acolytes) claim him to be. I like the guy; much of his music (even the solo stuff) speaks to me. His music makes me happy. But I get more out of life from my wife and daughter. Paul's music is a nice side dish.

In a way, he's like Jerry Lewis, another guy whose work I've enjoyed (up to a point). It isn't enough that he and Dean Martin were the hottest act in comedy history; or that he was the first comedian who debuted in talkies to direct himself; or that he invented the video assist; or that he inspired an entire generation or two of comic actors. In his eyes, Jerry is the most important figure in movie history, period. Give it a rest, Jerry!

Success does strange things to people, I guess.

Kevin Kusinitz

NYC

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Hey!
I am a HUGE fan of McC and I just had to say that article was EFFIN HILARIOUS!!!

Thanks for bringing us back to reality a bit.

Bottom line: it's just fun music - not a religious experience.

Thanks,

Brad

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Rip, thanks for good column. What fun. How sad. What treacly nonsense. Then than, there their, let's call the whole thing off. Doesn't McCartney care what is said about him? Or does he believe every word that appears to elevate him only leaves him amorphous, or something?

Richard Partlow

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Rip,

I just read PAUL'S SILLY TREATMENT. It made my life a better place.

Thanks,

Al Duchaney

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Dear Rip,

I really enjoyed your comments on Sir Paul - dang, I did not know he urged us all to get behind our "boss," and don't want to ask any more questions about that suggestion.

What I'm wondering is, might you be willing, next, to draw someone's attention to Donald Trump's hair and ask pertinent questions? I am wondering who invented this thing that he is wearing and what it is supposed to be. Perhaps it has a hidden meaning - perhaps it is a tribute to plastics. Perhaps no one else in the US has asked any questions because everyone is now afraid of being fired by him. Not sure.

At any rate - good luck!!! Maybe you can *uncover* what's behind this thing. I truly cannot determine where it starts or stops.

Your fan,

mary sparrowdancer

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Sir Paul certainly has his share of sycophants. Way to sock it to them! I mean really, you'd think that people would have had enough of silly love songs. Just one problem...

"One suspects that even Sir Paul is humble enough to admit that he is not fit, musically speaking, to kiss Beethoven's ear-trumpet."

Compositionally speaking, definitely not. Musically speaking, well...that's arguable. McCartney doesn't read or write music, from a purely compositional standpoint. You hit that on the head. But to make your point clearer, you needed to say that COMPOSITIONALLY speaking, he isn't fit to kiss Beethoven's ear trumpet, or more specifically his audiclare. "Compositionally" is a word that encompasses more of the theory and structure of music, where you have used "musically" as a catchall adverb. Beethoven transcribed his arrangements into compositional pieces able to be read and played by musicians with the trained eye, whereas McCartney simply "writes" his music by memory and chord progressions atop a lyric sheet. Of course, there are theorists and composers who do the official McCartney/Beatle transcriptions, but this isn't the crux of the argument. Because of your verbiage, the reader may be confused about your intent. Is Beethoven better because he is a superior musician, or is Beethoven better because he is a composer, whereas McCartney isn't?

I'm sorry that turned into a rant of sorts. My bloviating makes Bill O'Reilly look pithy. Oh, wait a second...

You are by far my favorite columnist, and I mean it! Soon, Haefeli Productions will be making a "Sir Rip Rense 2005" DVD, and I can't wait to go out and buy it! Wait, just checked the details...they're slating it for a 200006 release. :)

Sincerely,
Tony Rose

Rense comments:

Thank you for the good words, and for this is intriguing and semantically accurate point. It is true that I used "musically" as a catch-all adverb here, and I did so deliberately. I think that McCartney does not generally compare with Beethoven musically, whether in terms of ability to compose or perform or any other aspect of musicianship. As much as McCartney is a fine musician with a great gift for songwriting and melodic invention, he is unable to write an hour-long symphony in four movements, as Beethoven did. (McCartney's so-called "classical " works are done with the aid of computer programs and widely respected composer Carl Davis. McCartney comes up with themes, Davis transcribes, arranges, orchestrates.) McCartney is unable to play a Beethoven sonata, and he is unable to play the same sonata upside-down and backwards, with added variations, as Beethoven once did. He is unable to write music at all, for that matter. I did not mean to beg a comparison between the two figures, but apparently one was made, anyhow. I hope this clears up my intended meaning.---RR

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Dear Mr. Rense:

Your name I've known for quite awhile, long before the Internet or I ever
heard of Beatlefan. I still have your articles from the late '70s/early
'80s from when I lived in Costa Mesa (where the people who can't afford to
live in Newport Beach and are afraid to live in Santa Ana live in this
everchanging world in which we live in).

Must say that I have agreed with the vast majority of your opinions of Mr
McCartney over the years, because, well, how can someone be so great and
such an underachiever at the same time? (I've been trying to pursue this
for the longest time, and still no billion in the bank.)

Loved your treatment of the film treatment. Obviously transcribed by some
overseas outsource. (The film treatment, not your treatment of the film
treatment.) Just wonder how someone could dictate so many words into a
microcassette while their lips are so firmly planted on someone's behind.
Have to give them credit, though. It seems to be a fairly avant garde
approach. They can do a documentary on Paul's tour without showing any of
it, since their words are obviously meant to convey fleeting, vivid mental
images...or at least groovy shapes and pretty colors. Literal sense had to
be the furthest from their minds.

But how can we forget? These are the people who put together "Paul
McCartney In Red Square" with the EWT (Extremely Wacky Theory) that Paul
ended Communism...while filming him with the former leader of the USSR and
former head of the KGB. And they weren't even mad at him. Wonder why Paul
when he visited Cuba didn't tell Fidel the dream was over. Or why
Halfassedly Productions didn't mention Paul's comment about Apple being a
form of Western Communism.

Well, if they want to rethink their approach to the DVD, they're more than
welcome to use my title:
"More Popular Than Jesus; More Money Than God."

Steven Topping

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Rip,

Well, I'm not sure why Frank Branchini was so miffed, but to each his own. I thought the piece was funny and I agreed with much of what you said about Paul's role in the music world. I saw Sir in Tampa in September and I must say that I did shed a few tears during the show. And really at random moments, not necessarily during Yesterday or For Noone. I am a 55 year old female fan of The Beatles and crying comes very easily to me still after all these years. Not because I miss my youth, please understand that. The Beatles have always made me cry for various reasons. I stopped trying to understand it years ago. It just is.

If Mark Haefeli Productions is interested in documenting rapturous physical expression, I suggest they take in a U2 concert. Now that's a rapturous scene. As my friend, Steven Topping, would say "St. Bono the Fertile, patron saint of insemination" is, dare I say it, charismatic on stage. St. Bono is so over the top in so many ways, but I believe his heart is still in the right place, and he isn't preaching a call to action. He's rather matter of fact about it and let's the cause speak for itself. But the audience reaction was just shy of a riot! People responded to Bono like I've never seen, even in previous U2 shows. He was a magnet and we were all little metal shavings pulled to him, wanting to reach and be a part of him. Thank God he's not the religious right.

I love Sir Paul since 1964. Humanity will never witness anything like The Beatles again. We cling to and cry for Paul because we can't have all four in our lives again, and we are happy to see him and for me, Ringo especially. They are what we have left of the most magical occurrence of our lifetime.

And touching upon the grammar subject, this was in the St. Pete Times this morning. In part two of a several part series on a local 18 year old teen who is the understudy for the lead in Hairspray on Broadway, came a sentence containing this, "her and her mother..." I cringed, nearly as badly as I cringe over using a subject pronoun after a preposition. And I'm not even a college grad!

Have a Beatleful day, Rip!

Sandi Otte


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