Sunday, April 14, 2024

Paul McCartney Let it Be Hollywood Bowl Jimmy Buffet Tribute 4-11-24 Live [tears in your throat]

Listen closely to Sir Paul's voice as he sings. He's singing for a departed friend, Jimmy Buffet, and is skating at the edge of breaking down in tears. But he manages to hold it together. See this post, Paul McCartney on Emotion While Performing.

I discuss this in my book on music, Beethoven's Anvil, pp. 97-98. In the opening paragraph I'm reforming to a performance where Midler was at the edge of tears singing "One More For My Baby" for Johnny Carson:

Let us recall Bette Midler’s performance for Johnny Carson’s farewell. Instead of thinking about how that performance affected us, we might wonder what it was like for her. I recall that her eyes were teared over. That suggests that she may have been skating on the edge of an impulse to cry.

I have had similar experiences while performing on my horn. Tears would well up in my eyes and I could feel a lump in my throat. If I gave in to the impulse I would be unable to continue playing. But if I tried to suppress it completely, the magic would be gone and my playing would become ordinary. I learned to bear down in my chest and abdomen “just so” and skate on the edge. The feeling didn’t disappear, but I could continue playing my instrument.

We’ve all had similar experiences quite independently of music. Imagine you are in some public place and you receive bad news, perhaps about the death of a loved one. You are stricken with grief and feel a strong impulse to cry. At the same time you feel a contrary impulse to remain reserved in public, to suppress the sobbing and the tears. Later on you are called upon to deliver a eulogy at the funeral. Once again you are torn. In order to speak intelligibly you must remain in control of your vocal apparatus. But you are speaking of your dead friend and so are also moved by a grief that wants to commandeer the same muscles in the service of crying out.


  1. Worst thing I ever did, was an audition at 10 a.m. in the morning. The audition was in effect a non-public eulogy were the character reveals his true emotion at the grave side.

    I had one of those mornings where everything goes badly wrong, running late, did not have time to check my emotions at the door or realise exactly what they were.

    But I am about to find out the hard way.

    Its like playing a tune that you know inside out, but the emotional register, I over hit the anger and frustration, not left reality at the door, it was bleeding into the performance, big time.

    As subtle as a rubber cosh. A complete car crash. The only surprise at the end was the discovery of what a foul mood I was in.

    It was the only sense I had conveyed.

  2. Full lizard. Its not a fussy eater when it comes to audiences. It just generally wants to eat something whole, instantly.

  3. 'It moves its attractive, can I eat it?'

    Bottom up processes don't really discriminate that much I think from experience.

    Its seriously fast but somewhat impulsive: not that exacting in regard to identification of a moving target. It requires monitoring.

    Left to its own devices it would get rather messy, it does not deal with time sensitive matters, inhibition/ attention decision making (top down).