Today’s journal doesn’t

know where it’s going, but you know it’s gonna end up somewhere. It’s like a song with a start, a middle and an end. I watched the Rick Rubin/Paul McCartney series last week. This is a show where Rick Rubin drags out these old Beatles multi tracks and quizzes Paul on what was going on etc, at the time when they were recorded. Some of it was interesting stuff. Strawberry Fields for example, has a Moog solo in it. It turns out that Robert Moog was at Abbey Road right then, working on his shiny new synthesizer, and the Beatles simply went upstairs and started playing around with it. That’s the kind of thing that not many bands can boast about. McCartney is very charming and self-effacing, which is hard to do when Rick Rubin is literally sitting at your feet like a disciple worshiping the master.

The fawning was over the top. There wasn’t anything that the Beatles did that Rick didn’t declare the most fabulous, innovative and cool thing that has ever happened in the history of recorded music. Unfortunately the fifth Beatle, George Martin wasn’t around to join the conversation, then we would have had something. Not that I want to take anything away from the Beatles, but Martin literally facilitated what they became in terms of innovation.

A vertical Rick

Rick Rubin has recently written a book called, “The Creative Act: A Way of Being”. It’s a New York Times number one bestseller! A fellow writer, Anne Lamott said it was “A gorgeous and inspiring work of art on creation, creativity, the work of the artist. It will gladden the hearts of writers and artists everywhere, and get them working again with a new sense of meaning and direction. A stunning accomplishment.” I have my doubts, but nothing much impresses me anyway. Rick Rubin hasn’t helped me write any songs, or produce any music. I’ve managed to get by without his wisdom thus far. Rick has produced a lot of albums, and I won’t get into them here. You can look it up yourself if you want to. He’s also won eight Grammys, and helped popularize Hip Hop. (of course he’s the Covid of music, or rather if Hip Hop is Covid, then Rick may be the Vaccine for it… my opinion only) His wikipedia is pretty interesting, especially the part where his father put on a Long Island auxiliary police officers uniform and went to Manhattan to shut down a show that Rick was in. The whole episode which was concocted by Rick and his band the Pricks, in order to create a “buzz”. Rick’s dad may well have been the inspiration for Jay Santos, but we’d have to ask Phil Hendrie.* I wonder if he did a flare drop?

Dreadlock Annie – “a stunning accomplishment”

That’s creative. Rick has been accused of “dialing it in” a few times, and I don’t doubt it. He’s essentially a cartoon character at this point. There is quite a funny article from the Independent called “A Brief History of Rick Rubin Lying Down” which is probably worth reading. The McCartney/Rubin Hulu series is fascinating though. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the Beatles and their recording career. If you’re wondering who Ann Lamott, the person who gave Rick’s book such a glowing review is, she’s American novelist and non-fiction writer. Anne is also ” a progressive political activist, public speaker, and writing teacher.” She’s a 69 yo Caucasian woman from the wealthiest part of California, Marin County, who gets around in dreadlocks, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Well….. we had a start, a middle and an end. It wasn’t an overly long journal today, but we all learned something I’m sure. Producers produce, writers write, and sometimes they do both things, but not at the same time. Namaste.

*Phil Hendrie is a radio comedian who talks to himself in other voices.

I Carry Your Heart – from 2011 – Not produced by Rick Rubin, but just as good