Fred Astaire Gets Funky

in #music2 years ago

fred mccartney.jpg

This post is another product of my Steemit break. I enjoy finding seemingly incongruous things that work surprisingly well together. This is such a case, Fred Astaire dancing to Paul McCartney.

As I've mentioned before, Michael Jackson was a big fan the dancing movie star Fred Astaire, and listed him as an influence. Other people have taken old movie clips of Fred Astaire dancing and added a sound track with soul, funk, or rock music. I'm not even the first to have done this with Paul McCartney's music. Previous versions drew upon McCartney compositions inspired and performed in the style of his own father's music – because of the retro musical style those clips work, but that's not surprising.

I got the idea to use a funky version of a song McCartney did during his 1989/1990 world tour called “Coming Up.”

Fred Astaire dances to Paul McCartney

End of the Short Version for busy Steemers

Below Extended Version for Beatle fans & Music Geeks

I went to two concerts from McCartney's 1989 world tour. At that time he was an unusually youthful 47 and completely on top of his game musically. He still had his voice, his playing was better than ever, and he had finally embraced his Beatle past. He had just released an album, “Flowers in the Dirt” which was reminiscent of the best of the Beatles. This was defintely NOT a case of having to suffer through a weak new release in order to hear some of an artists best work. “Figure of Eight,” “My Brave Face,” “This One” and “Rough Ride” would have all been worthy of a Beatles album.

At that point it had been ten years since his last tour (in 1979 when he still toured as Wings.) I was determined to take advantage of this opportunity and got to the arena hours before the start, and ended up in the third row for one of the best rock concerts I've ever seen.

This tour was filmed, but fortunately Frankfurt was only the 5th concert date and it wasn't filmed – that gave the band time to work things through and get the kinks out. I write “fortunately” because a month later I also went to Rotterdam to see that concert (3rd row again :-) and it was filmed. In Frankfurt Paul played to the audience and the energy was incredible, but in Rotterdam he played more to the cameras. If I hadn't been to the Frankfurt concert I might not have noticed it, but it was indeed a different experience.

I hadn't known what to expect, but McCartney had really pulled out all the stops for this tour. First, it was a remarkably long show -- over thirty songs, from the Beatles, Wings, a few pre-Beatles rock & roll standards, and several from Flowers in the Dirt. Frankly, at that time I never imagined I would hear songs from the Beatles Sgt. Peppers album performed live, but they were, and they were excellently done thanks to the remarkable band.

Here is “Coming Up” which I used in the Fred Astaire clip above.

Paul McCartney: "Coming Up" (Live - World Tour)

“Coming Up” was on McCartney's third solo album that was released in 1980 to poor reviews. It was released as a single and charted quite well, which is surprising given how it was recorded:

I originally cut it on my farm in Scotland. I went into the studio each day and just started with a drum track. Then I built it up bit by bit without any idea of how the song was going to turn out. After laying down the drum track, I added guitars and bass, building up the backing track.
Then I thought, 'Well, OK, what am I going to do for the voice?' I was working with a vari-speed machine with which you can speed up your voice, or take it down a little bit. That's how the voice sound came about.
— Paul McCartney in a Rolling Stone interview

Paul released a video in which he plays (along with Linda) the various instruments. Here is that video.

Coming Up McCartney Solo version

The live version, thanks to the band, is a huge improvement. You'll notice there is a tip of the hat to the funky sound of the Average White Band in the live version. That is not an accident, Hamish Stewart, whom McCartney recruited for his band, was a founding member of the AWB.

Here's Hamish doing the AWB's hit “Cut the Cake” on Ringo's All Star tour. Yes, that's Edgar Winter on sax! SKIP forward to about 1:10

Paul also enlisted a second fantastic guitarist for the band, Robbie McIntosh. He's probably best known as lead guitarist for the Pretenders.

Robbie McIntosh with the Pretenders -- SKIP forward to about 1:40

But younger fans will remember him from his many tours with John Mayer.

Someone put together a short best of video of Robbie McIntosh – this is worth watching.

Photo: YouTube screen capture effects @roused


Great video and a lot of intersting background infos, that only a real music-geek like the one and only @roused can provide. I'm really happy, that you're able to share such quality stuff for the fun of it.

P.S.: Some time ago I realized, that art always fits with art, so I wouldn't wonder, if this Fred Astaire dance-moves would fit with lots of other different kinds of music.

That's an important realization that art fits with art. In a similar vein, contrasts and unexpected surprises make for good comedy and music -- art too? I suspect so.

I'm fearful this new proposed EU content law will make the showcasing of clips like this disappear. First the assault street art photography, and now this...

But on a positive note, you're right, lots of different music would work with Fred Astaire. I suspect he would have loved experiencing how that fact (and YouTube) allowed his art to live on.

I sometimes compare art with the negatively charged ions that can be found, for example, in high concentrations near a waterfall. Due to their negative charge, they are able to combine with exhaust gases and other substances and thus neutralize them. If art is able to connect with its environment, it has a similar purifying effect.

These upload filters are really terrible and encourage censorship and surveillance. Fortunately, they are eventually only used on large platforms. I think the government rather trusts AI networks, than any Phillipine censorship-agencies. In fact these upload filters are already in use on Youtube...

As sad as it sounds, these upload filters can even be good for the growth of Steemit and other censorship-resistant networks.

I've noticed a change on YouTube, lots of copyright holders now allow the use of their property, but then they claim the right to monetize it with ads. That seems like a win-win compromise to me.

I suspect politicians will eventually use the new EU law to prevent independent news sites from exposing hypocrisy, abuse of power, and deceit -- they will no longer be able to show clips of what they once said, vs what they later did.

I liked the waterfall example, the currents and vortexes are powerful!
source pixabay

Sorry for being a bit „off the grid“ this week. I’m preparing for a huge birthday party for my wife, who just entered a new decade ;-)

Great find :-) I didn‘t know that. Wished the party had been a bit more like this, but we had fun anyways.

Be safe ;-)

Lol :-) Luckily nothing like this happened. There was only a horde of kids, that stole all the bathroom keys. Still missing...

Hello @roused, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

Thanks guys, I follow you on Twitter so I keep up with all the great stuff you are supporting. Glad you stopped by and thanks again.

The arbiter elegantiarum McCartney and the arbiter elegantiarum Astair fit together perfectly.

I must admit I needed to look arbiter elegantiarum up to be completely sure I understood it ;-)

He spent his days in sleep, his nights in attending to his official duties or in amusement, that by his dissolute life he had become as famous as other men by a life of energy, and that he was regarded as no ordinary profligate, but as an accomplished voluptuary. His reckless freedom of speech, being regarded as frankness, procured him popularity. Yet during his provincial government, and later when he held the office of consul, he had shown vigor and capacity for affairs. Afterwards returning to his life of vicious indulgence, he became one of the chosen circle of Nero's intimates, and was looked upon as an absolute authority on questions of taste (elegantiae arbiter; note the pun on Petronius' cognomen) in connection with the science of luxurious living.
Source wiki

Literally a judge of taste. But also in the meaning an authority. Because of the Roman focus on education they didn't judge between good taste and elegance, while we, after Rousseau and the noble savage, tend to often see the latter as something you are born with.

And if Satyricon shows anything it would be that good taste change a lot over time.

You are continuously expanding my horizons.

Taste does indeed change over time, but good taste hangs on a bit longer :-)

The gentleman above deserves to hang on to the end of the world.

Great job! Thanx for the (many!) informations - and I like your combining different genres...

And I wonder whether your are older than I thought you to be. Edgar Winter? That's a long time ago ;-)))

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it remains me for the first time I was falling in love with western music @roused, when I was 10.

the reason is, this is the first song I can follow and knew the meaning of the lyric, since my beginning of learning english :D

I admire you for learning English, it some respects it is easy, but the pronunciation and "exceptions to the rule" make it quite a challenge. Good luck!!

yes it was @roused, thank you very much for your wish

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