Friday, May 6, 2011

Two Of Us

Richard Furnstein: What an opener! As the curtain rises on Let It Be, an inebriated John Lennon introduces the sad play ahead of us. His absurd babble in a shouted middle class accent suggests a good time ahead. However, the dipping quality in the songwriting and the feeling of resolution in many of the album's songs quickly dissolves this mood. 
"Two Of Us" is one of the prettier moments on this grimy posthumous collection. It's a Paul number, but is anchored by his Everly Brothers-esque harmonies with John. It's hard not hear this one as a loving tribute to the classic pair's early days as working class rabble-rousers (lifting mysterious latches, aimless joy rides). Paul insists it was written for Linda McCartney. It's a sweet sentiment, but the endless memories discussed in the lyrics point more to an old chum than a relatively new love with an American bird. I'm not buying it, Paul.  Why do you need to lie now? You are actually going to write some of the most incredible love songs ever for Ms. Eastman, including “My Love,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” and “Every Night.” I’m sure she can handle you writing a song for your old bespectacled chum.
Robert Bunter: The idea that Paul was writing this one about Linda is patently ridiculous. The Beatles liked to look down their nose at the obsessively analytical fans who “read too much into it” and make assumptions about what was going on in their actual lives and how that affected their art. That’s all well and good when Lennon wants to spit acid at us (“Glass Onion,” “I Am The Walrus”), but if Mr. Sincere-Pursed-Lips-and-Arched-Eyebrows Paul McCartney is going to sit there and try to tell us that “Two Of Us” was not a stirring tribute to the rapidly-evaporating relationship with his adolescent partner-in-crime John Winston Lennon, well I’m just going to look him in his beautiful doe eyes and say, “No, Paul. I’m sorry but if that’s what you think this song is about, you are wrong. Let ME tell YOU about the Beatles: ‘Two Of Us’ was written about John and it’s sad and lovely. The sooner you own up to this, the sooner I’ll leave you alone. I can tell you want me to go away but I won these backstage passes fair and square from Andre Gardner at the 102.9 WMGK ‘Breakfast With The Beatles’ Trivia Buffett at Gloanburg’s Tavern in King of Prussia and I have every right to be here. By the way, do you have any real buffalo wings that aren’t vegan substitutes? I couldn’t find them on the hospitality tray.”
Richard Furnstein: Blatant lies aside. Paul does a good job of summing up the adolescent male relationship here. It’s like James Joyce delivering “Araby” in three minutes and thirty seven seconds. A triumph that would make your old pal John proud. His coming solo career would be constantly reaching for simple words to sum up the human experience, and Paul really excels at capturing young male love in this song. All gum hunting, toad licking, and stone skipping in the fading rays of summer. It’s truly gorgeous and seems devoid of the cold, heavy knit vibe that infuses much of Let It Be, tied with Beatles For Sale as their most “winter” long player. “Two Of Us” is the ray of light. The Beatles may be “going home,” but not without whistling down that long and dark path. Perfect love and a song in their hearts.
Robert Bunter: You have really phrased that beautifully. There’s not much I can add, except to invoke the bittersweet aura of pinwheels and monkeydreams: the magic of boyhood friendships and the unbearable sadness that accompanies their inevitable dissolution as the curtain falls on childhood and the stark realities of adulthood scatter yesterday’s clubhouse promises like so many shiny round marbles on the asphalt playground pavements of days gone by. Two young, laughing friends who thought things would never change, until things like women got in the way and the day dawns when these schoolyard soulmates find themselves grown up, with almost nothing remaining of their once-strong bond except a shared obsession with the greatest band that ever lived (a band I like to call: The Beatles) and the daily blog updates they write together. It’s all they have to cling to. That’s what it was like for John Lennon and Paul McCartney when they sang "Two Of Us."

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