The Edmonton Sun reports that Mike McCartney delighted his audience with his stories and photos at last evening's "Evening With Mike". "One almost felt like an intruder," said reporter Graham Hicks as Mike and his longtime friend Long John Baldry (who now lives in Vancouver) shared stories about the English music scene of the early 1960s. John Baldry was very much a part of the British music scene of that era. Performers such as Rod Stewart and Elton John were once members of his band.
Mr. Hicks describes Michael McCartney as a rare treat saying that he is a really fun person with a great sense of humor. He noted that all the photographs in Mike's exhibit contain comic elements and the clever inscriptions McCartney has posted beside each of them are worth the price of admission alone.
It appears that the McCartney brothers are really good pals and share a similar outlook on life. Perhaps even more importantly, Mike doesn't seem to have been psychologically damaged by his older brother's tremendous fame. Last evening, he didn't really want to make too much of being Sir Paul's brother, saying, "You get on with your life, don't you?" However, he didn't entirely avoid making references to his family. For instance, while standing beside a picture of his Uncle Albert and Auntie Milly napping on the McCartney's sofa, Michael observed, "Everybody in the family worked their way into one song or another." Uncle Albert in Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey, Auntie Milly in Mike McCartney's group Scaffold's No. 1 British hit, Lily the Pink, and even Mike himself: "Me? I was brother Michael in Let 'Em In."
During the evening, Mike was surprised by the appearance of an old Liverpool friend whom he had not seen in nearly 40 years. Does Mike McCartney often experience such reunions? "Not that often and certainly not in the middle of Edmonton," Mike replied. "I'd forgotten he was that bloody tall." Richard Jones, who now makes his home in Edmonton, is six-foot-four. Years ago, he was part of a singing duo who performed with McCartney's group Scaffold. At that time, Mike was going by the name of Mike McGear. Mr. Jones remembered, "For the longest time I had no idea he was Paul's brother. Because he was using the alias of Mike McGear, I didn't make the connection because they look nothing alike. (This reunion's) about us - it's nothing to do with Paul McCartney and it never was."
Mr. Jones never met Paul McCartney, but he did know some of the other Beatles. He said with a chuckle, "I only met half of them. I remember running into George Harrison in the Blue Angel Club one night. He only lived a few doors down from me, or his parents did. Didn't take long for them to move. I had quite an experience with John Lennon, but it wasn't that pleasant. He had his moments. The man's gone, I better leave it at that." Mr. Jones added that Liverpudlians "don't worship the Beatles like their fans do. We just think of them as the local kids who made good and we're happy for them."
Mike McCartney's Liverpool: Sixties Black and White will be on display at the Provincial Museum's Sixties show until May 12.
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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