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Paul McCartney duets with Kanye West: Do your kids know who the Beatle is?

This week’s blog post is by WDP co-host Matt Rocco, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood  of Chicago with Professor Foster ( his “Brown Mom” wife), and their daughter Viva, who isn’t quite ready for “Give My Regards to Broad Street” yet, but is anyone?

Viva loves Sir Paul…

… so much that she snuck onto the cover of his 1970 eponymous solo album.

vivamccartney

By now you’ve heard on countless news outlets that a number of Kanye West fans, upon hearing his new duet with one Sir Paul McCartney, tweeted that they didn’t know the identity of this alleged knight. Sure, many of the initial tweeters were just kidding, but I’ve never been one to allow the truth to get in the way of some good old-fashioned Internet faux outrage – and, boy, am I faux outraged right now!

The duet in question is a ballad performed by Kim Kardashian’s Butt’s Heavily Autotuned Husband, with a piano track by “the cute one” from the Beatles. People of a certain age might recall past duet ballad collaborations by McCartney, including “The Girl is Mine” with Michael Jackson, and “Ebony and Ivory” with Stevie Wonder. This song is like those songs.

But I haven’t called you here today to talk about that song. I want to talk to you about this possible lack of knowledge amongst the young people about the Most Successful Composer and Recording Artist of All Time. Are they really so busy with their Instagrams and their Minecrafts and their Ariana Grandes that they don’t know who McCartney is? Answer honestly – is your child guilty of this kind of ignorance? If they had to tweet about him, would they just think of him as an elderly vegetarian who promotes Rock Band video games? If they would, it is your fault, and everyone is judging your ability to parent – judging hard.

It’s been over 50 years since the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan, 49 years since they got really good with “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver,” about 46 years since they created the greatest anything ever with “Abbey Road,” and about 45 years since they broke up. But Paul McCartney never called it quits. On top of being the driving creative and musical force behind the Beatles, History’s Greatest Pop Group (which, sans-Paul, would have been an Angry Hippie and a Sitar Player backed by a Lovable Mentronome), Paul wrote the greatest love song of all time, “Maybe I’m Amazed”; the hardest rocking Bond song, “Live and Let Die”; somehow created a number of great songs in that Wings period; and has had a winning tune or album every few years since, with particularly good stuff coming out in the last decade if you’ve been listening, and plenty of great live performances.

Now, I won’t pretend that, like some other geniuses (Eric Clapton and George Lucas leap immediately to mind), his failures aren’t as spectacular as his successes and he isn’t prone to schmaltz. For every few latter day success like “The World Tonight,” “Vanilla Sky,” “Ever Present Past,” or “Queenie Eye,” there’s a “Freedom.” And for mid-career classic like “Let Me Roll It” or “Coming Up” there might be a “Wonderful Christmastime.” But did I mention he wrote “Maybe I’m Amazed”?!

Oh, and “Yesterday,” “Helter Skelter,” “Blackbird,” “I Will,” “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” etc., etc.

So, go pull your kid out of school right now and bust out the Beatles and McCartney material. You don’t have to start with “Venus and Mars” or even “Magical Mystery Tour.”  Start with a “Rocky Raccoon” or a “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” or something and ease them in. They’ll undoubtedly thank you for it, except for “Wonderful Christmastime,” which they’ll be super mad about. (That’s when you bust out “Oh! Darling’” and win them over forever.)

Do it now, before they tweet something embarrassing.

If you enjoyed this essay, subscribe to the WDP podcast (One of Podbean’s 10 most downloaded parenting Podcasts worldwide and an iTunes staff pick for best Parenting humor.) for free on iTunes, or listen at whitedadproblems.com. (Do note that the show has a potty mouth and is definitely for Over 17 Only.)

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