Beatles+Led Zeppelin+Pink Floyd+Who=?
October 14, 2006 7:00 PM   Subscribe

In 1979 Paul McCartney asked a few friends, namely John Paul Jones, David Gilmour, Ronnie Lane, John Bonham, Kenney Jones, Hank Marvin and Pete Townshend to stop by the studio for a bit of a jam. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Rockestra.
posted by punkfloyd (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The lyric:

With a bird in the hand he says: why no dinner?
posted by swift at 7:10 PM on October 14, 2006


Interesting. I always thought they said, "I have not had any dinner".
posted by punkfloyd at 7:17 PM on October 14, 2006


I wonder how much McCartney paid them?
posted by loquacious at 7:22 PM on October 14, 2006


I remember when this originally came out (I was 17), and I still think it sounds like "and I haven't not had any dinner".

Great tune, though.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:29 PM on October 14, 2006


I still think it sounds like "and I haven't not had any dinner".

I just listened to this now for the first time, and that's what I heard.
posted by scottreynen at 8:08 PM on October 14, 2006


Less than the sum of its parts.
posted by TonyRobots at 8:30 PM on October 14, 2006


Wow, that was kinda great. Just a dopey/catchy little riff, a handful of barely intelligible lyrics every now and then, and Paul going off at the very end with a little McCartney scat. It's sort of classic rock perfection, actually.

And even though there were 2 drummers, it's not surprising that it's the mighty John Bonham's sound that really comes through and drives the whole thing. He was the uber rock drummer for sure. AND, he's playing a NORTH drum kit!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:31 PM on October 14, 2006


Are we listening to the same thing? Cuz all I hear here is a 'theme' that's got no words and is rather repetitive. Reminds me of Weird Al Yankovic's Fun Zone.

Now find me the lost album Magna Carta then you got something.

...what?
posted by ZachsMind at 8:36 PM on October 14, 2006


Actually, on second thought, that might've been a STACCATO kit, which had a similar shape to the Norths but with an extra little warp thrown in... Drum kit nerds can check for Stacattos by scrolling way down on the same page as the Norths that I just linked to above.

Sorry for the drum nerd derail...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:36 PM on October 14, 2006


rather repetitive.

The secret ingredient of so much of the great music throughout the world: repetition.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:39 PM on October 14, 2006


He was the uber rock drummer for sure.

Did you catch that clip of Bonzo mime'n a riff in thin air? Only a quick glimpse because the video camera probably shattered. And that guy next to him? Never seen since.
posted by hal9k at 8:50 PM on October 14, 2006


Sorry, but this is exactly why rock ('n roll?) became so boring in the late '70's. Bloated, tedious and way overproduced.
I love Gilmore, Bonham, Jones etc. (McCartney less so) as much as anyone, but this is like those telethon shows or Hall of Fame deals where there's like 12 guys playing acoustic guitar at the same time...tons and tons of people doesn't give it any more soul.

Just an opinion.
posted by chococat at 8:59 PM on October 14, 2006


Just an opinion.

Your rather popular opinion begat punk.

Which in turn became bloated in itself, but life goes on. Hey, speaking of which, where's jonmc and his CBGB's hangover? I want to do cruel things to his head with toddlers, pots, pans and drum sticks.
posted by loquacious at 9:04 PM on October 14, 2006


way overproduced

hmmm... In what way was that overproduced? It was just a bunch of guys in a studio playing together. In the way that the term "produced" has come to be generally understood, this music is hardly "produced" at all. Britney Spears is overproduced. This music was not overproduced.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:39 PM on October 14, 2006


Meh - all these great musicians could have come together and cranked out the album of the century in 3 days, but they just phoned this in. This is rock sold by the yard.
posted by 2sheets at 9:44 PM on October 14, 2006


Wow. His lame period goes back a lot further than I had previously thought.
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 10:37 PM on October 14, 2006


The theme tune for minder is better than this.
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:01 PM on October 14, 2006


This rocks, especially when the guy carries the tea service through the studio while they're playing.
posted by anticlock at 11:03 PM on October 14, 2006


This rocks, especially when the guy carries the tea service through the studio while they're playing.

Exactly.
posted by chococat at 11:13 PM on October 14, 2006


That's fucking tops!
posted by dhammond at 11:56 PM on October 14, 2006


This is a bunch of rock stars at the top of their game, stoked to have the opportunity to get together and rock out on a simple progression. That's all. It's a jam. It's not an epic, timeless classic, but it's a helluva moment in rock and roll history.
posted by wsg at 12:24 AM on October 15, 2006


Needs more cowbell.
posted by oncogenesis at 12:48 AM on October 15, 2006


Pretty awful, but I don't think "overproduced" applies.
posted by Bugbread at 1:04 AM on October 15, 2006


I saw a lot of smoking and old-timey VU meters. Fucking very cool. Too bad it was a god-awful song. Nice to see some legends though.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:59 AM on October 15, 2006


You can keep your Rockestra. I'll take Breakestra any day.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:06 AM on October 15, 2006


it was probably a very good idea when paul and linda got ontae their millionth joint and the wind rustled roon the trees of his croft.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:31 AM on October 15, 2006


but still, this is just a video of paul mccartney tellin people what to do and not gettin a very good result - as opposed to tryin to tell john lennon what to do, gettin told to fuck off and then comin up with a good result.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:41 AM on October 15, 2006


That's interesting as a bit of rock history, but Rockestra is pretty much the worst name ever. It sounds like the name for a 'natural male enhancement' supplement.
posted by thekilgore at 6:26 AM on October 15, 2006


Wow. His lame period goes back a lot further than I had previously thought.

I've said this before, but McCartney's lame period starts with "Martha My Dear". It's not consistently lame until a few years after, but that's the undeniable beginning.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:27 AM on October 15, 2006


> The secret ingredient of so much of the great music throughout the world: repetition.

Stuff like this isn't boring if you listen to it properly. You aren't supposed to concentrate on it like some kind of rock idolater. It's background music for dancing with your girl and watching her boobs bounce and thinking happy thoughts.


> I've said this before, but McCartney's lame period starts with "Martha My Dear".

Q. When did Paul write Silly Love Songs?

A. 1964-2006

posted by jfuller at 7:39 AM on October 15, 2006


What was that project he did with the Spanish musicians? Was it Olestra?

I remember "Rockestra" when it came out on a Wings album that wasn't as good as the previous Wings album. So what? It's only rock and roll. You like it or you don't.

But the Rockestra gang did participate in the "Concerts for the People of Kampuchea" charity effort to help victims of Pol Pot and his gang, so the group did some good. As for all the McCartney slagging: sure, he's fluffy, but a hundred years from now, ain't nobody going to have heard of your favorite band (which sucks even now, of course), but people might know a little about McCartney's old quartet and even be able to sing one or two of his quaint old ditties.
posted by pracowity at 9:46 AM on October 15, 2006


This reminds me of a bootleg I saw of the Beatles induction ceremony into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. It had w/Muhammad Ali, Yoko Ono, George Harrison, Ringo, Elton John, Neil Young, Mick Jagger, Elton John, Jeff Beck, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Mary Wilson, Little Richard, John Fogerty, and Julian Lennon all on stage, trying to play a set together. And it sounded .... bloody awful. The couldn't even get through "Born on the Bayou" without stumbling.

I know that in theory, you put a bunch of talented people together on stage, you would think, "Wow, what could possibly go wrong?" But in reality, with big talent comes big egos. Everyone wants the spotlight. Besides, trying to get a bunch of musicians to play in a 16-peice combo when they're accustomed to a 4-piece or 5-piece is a lot harder then it sounds.

Rockestra? Not impressive. A random 2-minute jam so generic that it could have been used to promote a car dealership.

Reverse synergy, perhaps?
posted by Afroblanco at 9:53 AM on October 15, 2006


Q. When did Paul write Silly Love Songs?

A. 1964-2006


To which the only possible response was anticipated by Sir Paul a few decades ago: What's wrong with that? I'd like to know.
posted by Dr. Wu at 10:19 AM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


Who says stoners can't be productive?... Ah, wait.


Nevermind.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:20 AM on October 15, 2006


having just last night watched a documentary on motown's house band, the funk brothers, i'm amazed at how many musicians are stepping all over each other in this song. the guitar is so overpowering i can't even pick out the horn section!
posted by waxboy at 10:31 AM on October 15, 2006


It wasn't a jam, it was a McCartney-produced recording session for a crappy Wings album.
And I'll stand by overproduced.
posted by chococat at 10:39 AM on October 15, 2006


having just last night watched a documentary on motown's house band...

Well, Motown's house band was Motown's house band. They worked together for years as a real recording band. This Rockestra thing, like the La Brea Tar Pits, was just a bunch of dinosaurs stuck in the muck and wailing to get out.
posted by pracowity at 10:43 AM on October 15, 2006


The funk brothers documentary is fantastic, though.
posted by alloneword at 11:17 AM on October 15, 2006


Also of possible interest:

The album also includes a live session with John Lennon and Yoko Ono — an alternate mix of which appears on Lennon's Some Time in New York City (1972).

and

"Well (Baby Please Don't Go)" (Walter Ward) – 4:41
"Jamrag" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) – 5:36
Unbeknownst to John and Yoko, who thought the song was a jam, it was actually a pre-written Frank Zappa song, "King Kong," which saw release on Zappa's 1969 album Uncle Meat
"Scumbag" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono/Frank Zappa) – 6:08
"Au" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) – 6:23
Above four songs recorded live at the Fillmore East in New York City with Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention on 6 June 1971

youtube:
part 1
part 2
part 3
posted by zoinks at 1:05 PM on October 15, 2006


Only Paul McCartney could put Pete Townshend and John Bonham together and produce such a shitty result.
posted by interrobang at 11:38 AM on October 16, 2006


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