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Paul McCartney, John Lennon: Who had the most talent?
I was watching the Presidential Gershwin Music Awards, this it year, it went to Paul McCartney. The Jonas Brothers performed, "Drive My Car" and was a great cover of this famous Beatle #1 song in 1965. Other artists paid tribute to Paul doing nearly all "Beatle" songs, i.e., Lennon & McCartney compositions, only a few did, "Paul McCartney" compositions, i.e., post-Beatle.
I found this ironic. Nowhere in the whole event did President Obama ( a baby when The Beatles crushed the world in 1964), Paul or anyone else, mentioned the songs were co-authored by John Lennon. Obama did mention the Beatles and how they broke all barriers for future rock bands to emulate. As the camera panned the crowd, you could see Beatle fans in just about anyone over 45, there was that childhood gleam in eyes of sitting close to a Beatle (like Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House). However, Yoko Ono or none of John's kid's were present, yet Paul's were.
Jerry Seinfeld did his comedy thing using titles from Beatle songs, many were clearly written by John (Help!) yet paid tribute to only Paul. I felt that Paul was being given an award that should have gone to both and rightly so. Sure, John is dead, but the award is for outstanding musical contributions and without John, Paul's own success would have been less, and it is true to John also. Paul is 67, and if he did not color his hair, he would look the role. John would be 70 now.
Who was the more talented? One can support their arguments with all kinds of proof, totally subjective, for either Paul or John. The comparison is somewhat unfair now because who knows what John may had done from 1980 to now. Paul was still with his band Wings, which did produce a lot of crap music and a couple of hits. Of course, John hadn't produced much either from 1975 and just completed an LP, Starting Over, in 1980, before being shot. That, too, was not a success.
Even for John and Paul, their post-Beatle days paled in success when compared to the magic of The Beatles from 1963-69. Paul's LPs from 1980-now, remain barely successful compared to the Beatles'. Much can also be said of George Harrison's. Fact is, none of the Beatle's were as successful in post-Beatle days. When apart, playing with others, they sounded like anyone else and nothing all that special. Yet, together, the synergy and magic carries over into the music.
However, when Paul joined John in 1957, John then and in post-Beatle interviews, has always said that he realised Paul was a great asset to himself, he was a better guitar player, he improved his own vocals with harmony. They bonded well and like brothers were musically competitive, each challenging the other to go to the next level. John's wit with lyrics added value and meaning to an otherwise sappy, silly, yet catchy McCartney melody.
As to the most talented, up to 1980, I would say- neither. If you look from 1963-69, I would say the Beatles to 1966 was John. From 1966-69, Paul. Their talents shined brightest during these years. Of Course, Paul did become a "Sir" and knighted by the Queen, went on to support the Liverpool School of Music, wrote concertos for opera, was main man behind the plethora of Beatle DVDs and Outtake recordings in the 90s, has played for numerous political leaders etc.
I just think the Gershwin award belongs to Lennon & McCartney. They belong together like Rogers & Hammerstein. I think even Paul know's this.