jueves, 27 de marzo de 2014

Mike McGear McCartney chats to Tony Glynn about photies, social media and singing Acapulco

 
At the height of Beatlemania, Mike McCartney changed his name to McGear in an attempt to distinguish himself from Beatle brother Paul. But to fans of the Scaffold, Merseybeat scene buffs and those with an interest in cultural photography, such distinction is not necessary. Nowadays he is plain old Mike McCartney again, with one exception: there isn't a plain bone in his body.
Mike's had quite a life, and he's keen to share it. Being a pop star and Sixties mover-and-shaker gives him alot to talk about, and he's got that innate Scouse wit and eloquence to carry the stories home. The extra ingredient is that he's also a universally-acclaimed photographer, and his camera has caught many an iconic moment.
"I have always been a photographer you know," says Mike in his colourful Scouse lilt, "so I took my camera with me everywhere – to the Scaffold shows, parties with all the famous people and the rest – and luckily got some great moments on film. There's a story behind all these moments, and that's what I'm showing to people on my tour – heaven help them."
Mike's presentation charts his early life with Paul and family, through the early days of Merseybeat and then fame with the Scaffold, and on to everything that has happened since.
But his pictures are not merely a means to show off his talent, but rather starting points for a wealth of tales. One such image is of Little Richard performing in Liverpool before Beatlemania was in full flow. The tale connected involves Ringo and bad timing: "I'd better not say too much," says Mike, "because your readers may not see the point in turning up! But I'm getting on a bit and the pictures are there to remind me of what to talk about. There's so much I want to say about those times and I won't always have the chance to.
"But the Ringo story involves him helping me out with a photo and getting it wrong. Getting it wrong, however, produced something beautiful, and I guess that's the story of my life."
By "getting on a bit", Mike is referring to turning 70 in January, and reaching such an age no doubt encourages some reflection and the desire to share his experience with others. Yet although the show is a fun, self-effacing look at the moments that have shaped his somewhat-unusual life, at its heart is the deep desire to build and preserve his own version of history.
This photographer's instinct to document life is ever-present, and even as I chat to him on the phone he constantly checks his Twitter and Facebook accounts to keep track of the world unfolding.
"It's great we've got things like YouTube and social media," says Mike, "because I've been able to find all sorts of music, shows and photies [photos] I'd forgotten about. And also, all that stuff is introduced to a new audience.
"I recorded songs at Abbey Road with the Scaffold and our kid (Paul), but can you believe it all got wiped? Someone even wiped Beatles stuff, I believe! But we've still got this tape of a variety of wonderful Scaffold stuff which I show on my tour, and the internet is great for all that."
Although Mike took a different musical route than his brother – churning out comedic classics such as Number 1 Lily The Pink, Thank U Very Much (a favourite of the Queen Mother and Prime Minster Harold Wilson, apparently), and The Liver Birds theme – he did embark on a more serious solo career and released a number of albums and singles. His voice has been described as a mixture of his brother and fellow Beatle George Harrison.
"There might be a reason I sound like our kid: we came out of the same person. On the phone as kids we used to pretend to be each other because we sounded the same. On this tour I can proudly, or ashamedly rather, announce that I will be singing Acapulco [a cappella] or whatever it's called. So I'll be naked as it were, but God forbid not actually without clothes! So if anything else, it'll be worth coming to see me die a death out there!"
Despite music being a massive part of his life, Mike's main aim has been to go with the flow and not be tied down to one aspect of his life. Unless, of course, that aspect is family. When asked to name his biggest achievement, the answer was simply: "My wife and six wonderful kids."
Forever the optimist, it could be said that he believes fate will take him where he needs to be.
"When things happen naturally I go with it," says Mike. "I never thought I'd be touring again after all these years, but it happened naturally so here I am.
"My life has always been a rollercoaster, and I much prefer that to anything else.
"All bad things, like my mother dying when I was 12, happen for a reason. The most important thing is to learn. My mum's death taught me to live life to the full, otherwise her death was meaningless. I'm lucky to be here. Or in beautiful Torrington – look out Torrington, you're great!"
Mike McCartney: Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n'Roll (I Wish) is at the Plough Arts Centre, Torrington on Saturday, March 29, 8pm. Tickets: £15 (full), £13 (concession), £11 (supporter). Box office: 01805 624624.

Source: http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk



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