Aired 3 months ago 0:30
WBZ Afternoon News | WBZ NewsRadio 1030
Julian Assange, Lenin Moreno And Assad discussed on WBZ Afternoon News
From the news
Aired 4 months ago 29:07
The Entrepreneurs - Cookson Adventures
HSBC private banking. We know your journey as an entrepreneur will be as unique as the business you run from growing your company to helping shape longer. Term goals are unrivaled team experts is here to support you and your family every step of the way in recent years. We have surveyed more than ten thousand entrepreneurs globally gaining unparalleled insight into the concerns and basins of business owners, and what makes them tick at HSBC private Bank. We hit a help, you align. Your values with business ownership and to build your family's future. HSBC private Bank. Supporting entrepreneurial spirit. Henry cooks describes his journey from a short lived career in finance to becoming a well known polar adventure as sort of an accident after record setting expeditions to the magnetic North Pole and Canada and the so-called pole of inaccessibility in an Arctic to find a famous bust of Lenin left behind by the Soviets, Henry launched his own company. Cooks adventures, the multi million dollar business specializes in creating bespoke journeys for their clients where no request is too large. You're listening to the entrepreneurs with me Daniel Bauge for today's program. Henry is here to give the backstory of his adventures and to describe the thrill. He gets today in guiding his clients on incredible journeys to all corners of the earth and working with them to help give back to the countries and communities. They visit. I started a career in banking having filled out go into the the British military. It was a show short-lived too fast. I need my heart of hearts it wasn't for me. But as a young man, I think a lot of young men than quite sure weather future direction is so without Sion's banking to be of the default choice. And I had a big connection with east Africa in Kenya. Especially say off the two off years at Goldman Sachs decided to throw in the towel that and may tweets Africa, and sort of the cool was for me to gun become a safari guide but life being life the best plan sometimes will accounts, I ended up staying back in London. And while I was sort of a slight in limbo sort of enfold with some sort of family things trying to next step. It was accidental comb sation that you have with a good old friend, the might be an bit of Scottish spirits involved. I was never ready. Sort of massively outdoorsy sort of adventure. Type. I I was certainly the mobile despite growing up in the country, the sunny more of in fakest will BAAs and nightclubs and this chance conversation led to me signing out with two other friends to race to the magnetic North Pole in the Canadian outtake at a time. I did not she. Nope. Says what would north not south? We didn't know how to cross country skate. We hadn't been in a tent since school days. So we were the mice unlikely candidates to enter three hundred sixty mile race across the phrase take ocean. The sixteen teams the race organizes didn't think we'd get pasta. I two days. We ended up winning the race and not only trumping people who should have fun it onto trae marines. People who'd sort of attempt to climb Everest fell runners we the the race record and substantially about two days. It was the most miserable expire. Prince. I think partly the naievety behave such thing sort of helps with the Matha, but will say we suggest about being outside as we did put a bit of Fulton into it to travel back then that was in two thousand five was a mysterious aut. It was it was the realm of explorers adventures right books and spoke the Royal Geographic Society. So for someone to go from scratch to do such an event such an expedition, it was very very hard to to get the information and exceeding expensive, and what this race did gave you Ola abilities, the organization the equipment that you needed to have of ten key Ponant expedition. I imagine this pretty big moment in your life. Where does that sit with leaving finance and looking for the next thing that you're going to do as a career and his life is that pretty closely? This was going to be a one off. I mean, those those no way when we first sort of started this adventure. That would have to do anything else. My teammates in a one run a pob and had a sort of a skiing business the other one this little bit of tech with they either married or about to get married. So the time I was single, but the success of you know, I always say, it's when you're on a trip than the next trip gets planned, and it was that sitting around in the tent, and then as excessive it will, you know, that St. something else, and so having sort of the north the sort of next that was head down south the on tall Tate, which we then focused on did a trip down there and in two thousand seven which put us on a different level. You tall initial? Let's go to the south pole. I've always been a little bit curious. I'm not sort of conformist light to look at different ways of doing things than I went out and did a little such the south pole has being dumb, many many times also shade. So full GMs. And in some archive, I found this weird place. Cool the poll of accessibility. And this was the exact sensor of Antarctic continent. So you can physically get further away from the oceans, so the clear sort of in the name, no one had ever been on previously from Soviet expedition back in nineteen fifties using track vehicles. I think it was a two year endeavor. And when they did get to this point, they left a statue of Lenin safe for me, this is a neat place to go to there's a statute of lending. You know, this is really weird and screwed up. It's sort of. It was also sense. If he this is this is cool, the appeal of this polling, accessibility lent sell to also slight strange of sense of Hema for this endeavor. It wasn't an organized sort of an event it was it was the three of us looking to do something in a very big very scary place. She to Canadian guide co polandri on bold. He's not QC well known of, but he's he is probably one of the most experienced travelers in modern history amazing. King guide very modest. And we really lucky to have him have been with us. We wouldn't even begun to attempt without him the consensus was that Lennon wasn't going to be that this is fifty years ago. You know, the south pole station, they have he's great American based on mach three now and the other two buried so little statue of Lenin. Everyone's like, no chance not the case. He was sitting that just just remembering that moment right now Shiva's up my spine the last week the long achieve that the Russians the Soviets had left was was only the owls in the minutes. It didn't have the second. So it didn't give a precise location. We had a very large area to search. And as we arrived close to this point. We've actually been skiing nonstop for twenty four hours because we were losing our window to get there before we could get picked up and taken out and then the season ended. And then you start down that six months before the sun comes back and just saying this little black dots on the horizon and stopping and shouting to my teammates. Can you say it, and they're like fear? Thing and you'll mind starts playing tricks EV just been focusing on this point for last two years, and you'll just making it up, but we closer and closer in this this black dot grew. And then suddenly saw the silhouette of of the man that was was leading just sitting that two years of planning fifty three days seventeen hundred kilometers with a really incredible feeling. But like all these things, suddenly it's over. There was an amazing experience of live and the Arctic. We actually went back to South Africa on an icebreaker that just left me thirsting for more and always hurt for me. This is what I wanna do the rest of my life, my call as they went back to their their today's I sent myself out to Alaska learnt, probably the things before a devasting all this stuff in the first place. I mean, literally arrive with backpacks and hiking boots still with the price tags on it because we'll might experience being polar cold weather stuff. And there wasn't Alaskan kayaking. Hiking and whitewater rafting, but learning the sort of the the rudiments of guide training, and I thought for me the rest of my life will be taking people ice across ice caps and not mountains, the expedition type stuff that wasn't to be hence now we have a company based in London twenty staff, and we do trips will ever the planet and it's not necessarily cold. It's not necessarily hot is to stuff, which is interesting. It's stuff, which is experienced rich. And I think it's back to that so curiosity I have the the south pole wasn't going to be enough. I want something different and apply that ever since. And there was never master plan is just as all getting growth being put in touch with people. And before you know, it you're doing new experience somewhere else. I it's been a really amazing journey and exciting and stella's with still breaking boundaries still doing genuine world. I in a world that is becoming increasingly. Small. They're still as Nixon crannies. I still experiences out there that still get me out of bed and get me excited in initially whistling into work. Not knowing what's happening in the next few months. So I've managed to find this lovely balance absolutely incredible experiences. You've had I wanna get into some of the experiences that you offer today from the company, but I'd like to track back just a little bit tau when when you sort of decided to to launch the brand under your own name. What did that look like what was your idea to to fund it and to get it off the ground as a venture? And what the first types of trips. He started offering the funding. I was pretty much broke. The trip to the magnetic North Pole. We'll individually self-funded the south pole one like an even begin to contribute to that one of my teammates as attack with Rulli. He agreed to sponsor it and my return for that was gonna planet. I'm gonna put it together. I'm going to help execute it. And so became as defacto assistant guide to pull an very much set me up, I suppose for going forwards said coming back from Alaska having spent pretty much my last penny is how do we go from here? And I borrowed an empty office was sitting empty didn't need to pay rent to set to pay the bills. We was sitting on couple books with desks for me bay. I say we it was me. I would just sort of probe and test different places. I throw out a wreck trip this summer. Interesting. I wanted to go see like a get mates or people's reminds of network to come along that more of not be loss. Leading thing you living hand to mouth, my mother's place. We went to we went to just credible volcano, which is being active now full for seventy years on the air and border. I mean, it sort of prehistoric is an incredible place. We did trips up Kilimanjaro, I took people up Akron calculator, the highest mountain in southern America. What she did it four times for me building. Mike experience, I suppose with other people getting more of a gauge of what I felt was right? And I suppose that that was institute and seventy thousand eight yeah. And very stop start your own business owner you giving away for many months of the year communications. Right now, you know, black Brees was sort of just coming in we're in, but they didn't work in half the world. And I didn't have that support structure back in London. I suppose one of the breakthroughs came. I was approached by two gentlemen, Edward Parker and seven Doug Lea's. You had an idea for a ski expedition to the North Pole and they wanted to take wounded veterans, and they'd Auster Prince Harry to potentially support the trip not only did he want to support it. He wanted to join and that was very exciting year of putting together the team interviewing servicemen who had the most horrific injuries. And we were talking to these guys to take them to one of the most inhospitable points on the planet. It was in a pot learning. I both in another guy hands up said let I can hold my down the antibiotic the North Pole sedition different kettle of fish. It's a dynamic environment. The north. Is is frozen ocean. You have currents the ice floes part. They come together. This polar bears. There are people out there who have far more experience in that. So I put my hands up and said we need to need to bring someone else in for that level. They said we still want you to be part of this. Because we appreciate your honesty and very much have helped with the logistics planning the support for the whole trip. It was a fantastic success raised huge amounts of money went onto then do more expeditions, and they prince Harry's then going to start off his Invictus Games. So from twenty guys who approached me, they just set amazing sort of roller coaster juggernaut going. It was a privileged to be part of that. And it was well this trip was going on then the phone went, and then sort of a very interesting client came on board wanted to do a trip to Africa. And that's when I started to focus on on bigger sort of production type trips issues what whistled of with known for now and again. Always always wanted to do. The big interesting things is just trying to find the budget to do it. And there are people around the world they thirst for travel. They be that done it. They've got the t shirt, and it's like where do we go next? And I suppose that enthusiasm though, I have that curiosity Meisel slightly disrupt nature of irreverence allows me to to suggest things to people who who do have the resources to something they haven't done before. And so it's like a perfect marriage. It feels like you've tapped into sort of this raw human nature adventures spirit that that maybe predates human records. And you know, you can hear it in your voice when you're talking about the experience that you get personally from putting together these trips, but what is it meant you to work with people to create those types of experiences for them to be leader. I grew up in the country. So my parents had a small villa travel company. And we had with that we used to. To go spend some as in Greece. And so part of the arrangement, my parents is spoiled brats. You'll you're out in Greece for the summer, but we have a business. So we're going to have these drinks parties. We're going to host the clients you guys need to go and talk to the kids. Make sure they're happy bream altogether. So right from my early days, I've always been that a make sure people looked after. And it's in my nature missile of wanting to give people satisfaction than showed in the best. I've always put people in touch each other. It's just one of those gifts, I suppose, I was given. And so two tape people to incredible places. I mean, the satisfaction watching people's eyes light up it may sound Kuni cheesy. But there's there's nothing better. And then when you're dealing with clients and guests who come from privileged backgrounds. You have seen those things, and maybe sort of our bit board about what they see because. Everyone promises this little hyperbole of things and then completely knocking of watching them. See something that they never dreamed that that ever witness and then to take that further. I've always been very close to nature got a huge passion for conservation. And these types of people they have the ability to make huge change. It's very current. Now every day there's a sort of a horror story in the press about what would into planet so to energies, these types of people with influence with their resources and see what's happening on the ground. That is just the biggest satisfaction. You can get and we've had a huge amount of success in that respect. Introducing people to research to NGOs making the way was going on and they will contribute and help. Sometimes we marry that into the trips we do not because we wanting to wanting to push conservation down guess throats, but actually heightens the experience allows him. To see things they wouldn't otherwise see, and they can take leave it say this sort of it's quite a privileged place to be to make those introductions. But then as I said that satisfy action is immense. I imagine a lot of your clients as well have concerns about impact and sustainability and things like that. And in these places, you're going to take them tell me a little bit about that concrete impact. How do you get involved in? How do you make a difference? So it totally depends. We really are bespoke to the true. Meaning of the word every time we started trip. It is a blank piece of paper, and we build it around the client client state never knew what they want. Sometimes they have vague idea. Sometimes vice specific sometimes I just give us some give us some pointers. So this little little consultation. And then we will we once we've got a feel for what we can provide. They have a feel for what we can provide. What they like we give them options, we give them ideas. So someone's into diving you know, that type of. They've normally dove and many many places. So what's next will? We can take them to an area, which is off-limits we can work with local researchers, and you can help with Shaq tacking and part of that sort of arrangement is that you helped with the funding shock tags exceptionally expensive. It's the one thing that prevents a lot of these marine research is doing that work. So with these clients they can provide the funding for that. And they get experiences. Second to none in Africa. We supported rhino conservation. We've done stuff in the Galapagos with giant tortoises across the globe. We've helped in Canada again up in the Great Barrier for us that this fantastic people up there who are doing crucial crucial worked prevent big business. Putting in oil stations and bringing in oil tankers, and we've helped introduce them to people who can really fund them help them. Give them a voice to stop these big corporate interests. It's it's what with success. So there's there's no sort of set playbook some of trips clients, they just want to drown. We're not apologetic about that. You know, that's what they want. We will try and introduce them to an aspect which is maybe a bit different to that. That the end of the day people will do they want we build it around them. But if someone is doing that adrenalin type experience, we suggest we'll look you burning fuel here. Let's do some carbon offset does the local community. Maybe you can sort of get involved part of your trip. So everything's flexible. There's no sort of dictum saying we have to do this. We have to do that. It's about the guest. We'll give suggestions, and they can take leave. It. You say you're not a luxury travel company, not an adventure company. It sounds like you're more of an experiences companies that right? Yeah. Experience it's sort of palm production with event apart experience. It's it's a weird one. I've been asked for an elevator pitch. I don't. One. It depends on the mood of in its depends. What we've been doing recently luxury as is a word again, which is banded around a lot not everyone necessarily wants luxury. I think you can say experiences a luxury, but it doesn't necessarily have to come at a price. We come up with the ideas. I and we build around that. So we'll never look at a hotel. We'll never look at a level of accommodation said these are the things that you can do what's of interest. And then we'll then bring in the level of comfort you want somebody. They live in abject luxury the whole time. So they're not going to be impressed by five star this star. That is the experience if they want the comfort we can put it there. If not we can be down thirty and really get into the nitty gritty, which some people want because again is part of the experience so luxury. It's a perception we I don't think we deal in luxury. We deal experience, which is something that can give you way, more than just. Sort of purchasing. A trinket consumerism is is all powerful. If you have the ability to buy everything that appeal is gonna stop at some point in. We only have so many hours on the planet. We work hard. You know, we have our ups we have downs. So the reward is to see the amazing stuff out that and get connected to nature, and for me that is that's proper true luxury is growing, the company something, you think about or is it, you know, a trip by trip thing. You don't really know where you're going to go next. It's been an interesting judgy, it some as I said there was no most plan didn't write down as a strategy. It just was word of mouth. It was a very reactive business. We didn't really put our head above the parapet like everything about in life. I love what I do. But I'm on the right? A huge amount of time when I'm running a business. So I love being with my clients. I love traveling with them. But also, I want to do some stuff on my on my time and to be able to do that. I need to be able to transfer responsibility onto other people so growth for me is not about just growing a company as well dominance. It's about getting balance in my life. We are growing the company, and I've got a wonderful right headman with Adam Sabah who came from a background of the military. Imagine consultancy who who's helping me achieve that dream, and we will grow we are growing, but not at the expense of diluting. What product is there's a lot of very good travel offerings out there. People are very much focusing on the experience base thing. I was no visionary. That I got in there early and Sora Sora gap. I just did what I what I like what impassioned me if we do what we do. Then we become a travel offering. There's nothing wrong with that. But what I suppose distinguishes us from a lot of other people is this very unique approach this very labor intensive product that we have we have a team at twenty. People in office in London, we're doing between fifteen and twenty five trips a year, the level of detail, the planning can be amend. How do you see your role in this moving forward? Are you an entrepreneur? Are you a business owner? Are you an adventure when I did the antibiotic trip? It wasn't a goal. It was fake us. But we go to Guinness world record that was a bonus. But it wasn't. So the defining thing that drives us when I decide I want to get into this world, the two avenues those the polar adventurer all the humble guide. And for me, the humble guide was was easy. I want to be in the limelight polar venturing, the world has very much been covered facility that the hardcore expedition type stuff in a busy space, especially if you'll sort of middle aged sort of British guy, there's a lot of them out there. And I suppose it was for me. It was a very obvious choice so adventure. I mean, I was accidental. I. Is in the right place right time. Maybe I'm a little bit stubborn. I don't see poetry thing that difficult if you do the right plan if you have the right kit, if you're lucky enough to have a fantastic guide mental in in someone light polandri, then then if you'll sensible if you'll Catholic than it's not that difficult the human being the human body is incredible. I it's Volvo millions of years we hear about survival stories of very old repeatable being put an extraordinary places, and they survive, and that's because that natural ability that we don't really use. Nowadays, we have this huge little comfort blanket around us that society is has built and we don't push ourselves. So a lot of people. I think you reckon Kant do the stuff they can does also sadly for those who want to do it. There is an economic barrier to its as well, which is allowed me with race at that allowed me to get in. That was the crack in the door entrepreneur. Again, I've just fallen my heart. I've got a business if this twenty people I suppose on paper, I am. I just do what I what I like. I mean, we certainly doing something different. We've got our little nation. So maybe I'm Aleve particular world. Other people to say, I I'm I just I like to trips and see interesting pulse of the planet. We talked about the world being small, and and and you know, things are quite easy to reach perhaps these days easier than they were in in years past but what's on your bucket list as it were? Where would you like to see where are you off to next wherever to next I'm probably off to the Florida Everglades just required weekend to decent swimming. With some Gators Samana tastes. But not reckless peop- people people tend to think that at venture tights people. You know, have a hassle death wish I've I've I'm very cautious person in it. There's a little research, and and considered manage risk these things we've got trips down to the antibiotic where she taking submersibles down fantastic. This this Christmas for family holiday. We've got client. He wants to do a different birthday experience for them in forty of their friends, and we're looking at a location in the African Bush for three nights we have a request for family tried four times to see the Northern Lights. They won't guaranteed Northern Lights. So we actually we go to NASA meteorologists, and we look at cloud cover probabilities, Detroit workout the best place the best time to be. It's not as it's definitely not a guarantee that the climate change is making everything around the. World not just Northern Lights hard thing to predict that. They also don't want to sit around waiting for some lights to show up. They want action packed. It was quote, unquote. We wanna be kept totally busy. We wanna feet to touch the ground. So really exciting fun- fund projects we've got conservation initiatives that we're trying to do in the Galapagos we work closely with the Pakalitha he's out there to try and bring in conservation investment. And then bring clients to expose them to what's going on down there. So whole rife of of different different things. People talk about leaving a career behind and chasing their dreams and creating a dream job. You seemingly have done that by accident. Just touching back on on. What I said about my balance and me having my time, I somehow managed to engineer this this world where all the things I love I do for my work, my diving writing photography. Travel nature meeting incredibly interesting people on both sides of the fence that the people that we work with the experts and these these clients who come on our experiences. Yeah. I I'm I'm I'm lucky I found myself in a in a very unique and very fortunate decision. That's all the time. We have four on today's show. Thank you very much. Henry Cookson for coming by to share the story of adventures and to cure in Matthew Banerjee who mixed this show. Daniel thank you so much for listening and goodbye. HSBC private banking. We know your journey as an entrepreneur will be unique as the business you run from growing your company to helping shape number. Ten goals are on rival team of experts is hit to support you and your family every step of the way. HSBC private Bank supporting entrepreneurial spirit.
Monocle 24: The Entrepreneurs
Aired 1 year ago 59:45
#676 Lennon v. McCartney Solo Careers & Opinions on Vince Staples & Makaya McCraven
Sound opinions is supported by goose island brewing. Good beer for good people since nineteen Eighty-eight, not just beer people. But everyone beer that can be enjoyed at the dinner table on the patio at the music festival, goose island beer company. Chicago, illinois. WBZ chicago. And p r x this is sound opinions. I'm Greg cut. And I'm Jim dear goddess this year, Paul McCartney released a new album, and John Lennon has a new box set of magin today. We examined the post Beatles careers of John and Paul both the highs. And the lows. Plus, we review new Elms by rapper Vince, Staples and jazz, drummer, Makhaya mcraven. That's all coming up on sound of engines. You're listening to sound opinions and coming up we're going to review F M the latest album from Vince Staples better calm down. Doubt that. And universal beings the new album from drummer and hip, hop beat maker MCI mcraven, but first we're going to discuss a particularly controversial topic comparing the strengths and weaknesses of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's output after the Beatles. Imagine. Can you? And the reason Jim I think we decided to dive into this now is because both of these artists are once again in the news there never really out of the news. Now, remember back a white get them out of our consciousness mckearney just came out with a new solo record Egypt station, which we reviewed Lennon's estate has, you know, overseeing this box set of the imagine recording sessions from the early seventies. Arguably his most famous solo record with his most famous solo song on it as the title track. While the context, I'll give listeners to Greg is that neither you nor. I were there at the height of Beatle mania. Okay. So our entire careers as critics of popular music. We've been wrestling with the Beatles. We are both Utah fans of all four of them. Yeah. Sure. We don't wanna see this group, and these individuals as in carved in granite on mount rock modern, you know. So it's always fun. I think to dig deep into a catalog. Log of music that we think we know inside out and look for new nuggets of revelation. Yeah. Absolutely. Jim. I mean, it's a I think that the shorthand version of this discussion is always that McCartney wrote the lighter songs popular tunes. Lenin was the rocker. Obviously that that conflicts lot of ideas, and it's it's really wrong just on the face of it, you know, and then it's sort of an unfair match, of course, because we got basically only a decade of solo John and it took him a while in the beginning to get going. Let me tell you that'll be one of the problems with Lennon's career. I mean, he had three recordings with Yoko Ono before he even left the Beatles. Then his big emancipatory statement plastic Ono band record that that put him on the map as solo artists. Something to. Yeah. But I think it was in part. And then there are moments of greatness on that record. Don't get me wrong. But it's impart, and I think this never get said because the first three hours he gave us after the Beatles. Were so wretchedly awful. We'll. Started. They started during the Beatles. I'm talking about unfinished music one two versions unfinished music to life with the Lyons wedding album in nineteen thousand nine hundred sixty eight nine hundred sixty three hours, right? Yeah. We can pick your him in Yoko and various people come in and now rolling around on the floor finger painting. That's basically except far more annoying than that. Those are. I think in some ways they were his I want out. I want to I want to break down all the walls. Yeah. I'm gonna make music with this woman that I love and screw the Beatles in some ways because it was just tired of every and music is somewhat in quotes, their you know, their own through primal therapy. They're doing they're doing all sorts of spiritual and chemical experimentation what they are not is consistently. Good records. Yes. He was. He was very up and down during this period of time and plastic Ono band was a straight up rock and roll record, very raw very everything was on the surface. And you know, since he made what many people would call a time was piece of music with imagine you're gonna play Lennon track from Zoli years. That's inevitably the go-to it dwarfs everything else. Well, I thought one way that that we could illustrate what we both like and dislike about each of these musical giants solo careers is to play one of our favorite songs from those cannons and also one of the worst. So again, Greg we're not actually taking sides in this debate. We're both gotta talk about things that we loved by Lennon and McCartney in the solo years. I will say I think Lennon had more songs I truly love instant karma, happy Christmas war is over. Imagine that title track working class hero. I really had to struggle to figure out which song I wanted to illustrate Lennon at his very best in the solo years. I'm going with a song from imagine nineteen seventy-one. Gimme some truth. Oh my God. The fact that in twenty eighteen this song, which is a furious shout in the faces of anyone who would control him or us. It's necessary today as it wasn't seventy one seventy one in the wake of all the turbulence of nineteen sixty eight the Vietnam war this government, having an F B I file on this, man. Who's just trying to live is life. Nixon wanting to kick him out of the United States. This is the Lenin. I love the rocker with significant melody as well as the super adroit wordsmith. You know, there is a lot of Dylan there always was and via Dylan the beets, you know, all I wanted to truth just give me some truth. No short haired, yellow bellied, son of tricky Dicky's gonna mother Hubbard soft so me with a pocket full of hope money for rope. Money for dope. Man. It's just I love it. Yeah. I I would say that tracks extraordinary speaking truth to whatever power was trying to control him but having fun while doing it. Absolutely. The imagine album is more sprawling in terms of its musical ambition. Plastic Ono band is just a punch in the face. Miley resonated as a as a kid who kind of grew up being inspired by punk music. Now the record after that after those first two. It's very sketchy filled with with filler specifically the walls and bridges record in nineteen seventy four near the end of the solo period before he went on hiatus was just a mediocre batch of mostly mid tempo, bland, rock and roll. It was an attempt to make a record that was would be mainstream. But it was it just fell flat. It didn't seem to have that energy and the invective that Lennon normally would bring to the Beatles and to his early well aware and there's drug addiction and alcohol abuse. Yeah. There was a lot of indulgence during this period. But but the point I'm trying to make is that even on these Lennon lesser Lennon records. There are gems scattered throughout them and on walls and bridges the song to me that really jumps out and still can play this day and be just swept away by it. As number nine dream. I think that's just a wonderful piece of music and the lyrics are almost gibberish. Like, you know, Lennon said this song basically came to him in a dream. And he wrote down lyrics that make no sense in some ways, there's this phrase in there. That's in some made up language. I mean, you know, Google. He was not above that. You know, by what up who say say, what does that mean? Exactly. It doesn't mean anything Lenin was those just sounds that were coming into my head. But the melody of the song is so beautiful combined with the string orchestrations Glennon said he took the inspiration for the string orchestrations for what he had done for a Nielsen on a cover of Jimmy cliff song many rivers across. And he said, I love those string so much. I wanna bring back that sound on this particular track. People always say McCartney is the Melodist in the band. You know was more straightforward. This is a beautiful sumptuous melody by John Lennon, number nine unsound. Sound? So dream number nine, Greg a great choice. We didn't even talk about mother. Although you've waxed rap Saad about it. In the past cold Turkey is really good song. I can go on and on with the Lenin highlights. You wanna make case though? I think the McCartney has just as many if not more. Well, yes, I will make that case. And I believe me this is not something that I held his gospel for a long time. I was among those doubters about McCartney as just complete white washers solo artists and rediscovered some stuff that I had dismissed early on. And I think mckearney suffered the same fate because his work was always being compared to what he had done in the Beatles. I think if you remove it from that, you know, huge shadow some of this stuff really stands out, and again, like I said with Lennon, I think even McCartney's lesser albums. You can find some really good stuff. You think about those first couple of solo records? Credibly spars. People are going what's going on. Yeah. There's hardly anything on these records are so he's back out on farm. He's just doing a little bit easy in between milking the cows or whatever he was doing. And and some of that stuff sounds really good. Really? Badgen and rain. Then he formed that band wings, which people the level of musicians ship in that band was so thoroughly mediocre. It was not anywhere near McCartney's level of talent the bombast. Yeah. The bombast of wings. Everything's on eleven at all times. Why not why just have a simple pop song when you can have a super arranged multi part, suite. You know McCartney is is nasty in a way that Lennon is not Lennon try to torture us with some of that primal scream sonic experimentation with Yoko Ono those first three outcomes moments throughout the rest of the catalog, but it's it's it's in the sonic youth spirit, the John cage. Lamont young I'm gonna call. It. Von really, I'm just going to be obnoxiously noisy as possible take this. Right. You know, but by McCartney he has this insidious curse of earworm ISM where it gets in your head. And no matter how. Much. You hate the song. You can't get it out. I disagree with you. That the wings stuff was all bad wings controversial band. I think there is some merit to what they put out though. I think the real period that we can definitely agree on is eighties. Mccartney is really difficult for a lot of people here. Now. Mckearney was very much law so on the eighties. He didn't understand how do I incorporate this new technology into my music. How do I fit in in the pops fear? I think one of the big issues. Here's a mckearney wanted to be a still viable commercial artists and couldn't figure out how to insert him. So that's the thing. I don't think Lennon cared. I think David Geffen and yo- cared during double fantasy. But I think for the most part landing didn't care about selling records and McCartney not only has he always cared about selling records. He wants to be still the pop song writer of his generation of any generation. Yeah. After you've been in the Beatles. Right. What are you gonna left approve nothing? That's absolutely true. I mean, your body work speaks for itself in that band for sure. But I I would say that there are gems again like with Lennon those those two thousand records from McCartney are each of them. I could find some songs on there that I'd like I could easily make fill up what used to be known as a forty five. Minute cassette side, both sides with McCartney songs from his solo years. And I would be I would include a number of songs from his latter day period. Everybody. Everybody hit the. Everybody down. Let's each play a great McCartney Sarah from the solo years. What do you got? You know, the song always struck me as his most powerful post. Beatles is every night from the McCartney LP in nineteen seventy you know, I'm glad he had so much love in his life. We should all be so happy when he expressed it well without the smarmy and hallmark card. Jeez. It was just beautiful every night. I just wanna go out get outta my head someone who's restless every night. I just wanna go out get out of. You know? I don't wanna get get out of. But doesn't what he does stay home. And and be with you. And then the way with that that be with you the way that song takes off, you know, it's a simple little acoustic Diddy. But then when I'm with you the music highlights, the joy of being with this person loves, and it's a simple simple song that is him at his love song Besson. Every day on Orlando's wasting. Philo? Danton. Just want to stay. And be with you every night. I mean, that's his great Greg as a love song gets. And we're going to have to talk it. A couple of minutes about the menu. Man, man, Paul McCartney loves those by the positive for a minute. Well, I I think there's there many positives with with McCartney far outweighed by the negatives. I would say, but then again that that's going to happen. When you make twenty five records like McCartney has made you're not going to hit the ball out of the park with everyone. Sometimes you're not even gonna get the ball the infield to belabor it. Good. Claim with the ball. So you made the case, you know, you're you're saying that wings never did it for you. Oh, all bombast there. There's some bombast for sure. But as as a credible seventies rock act. I think they did some some songs that hold up surprisingly, well and part of it is mckearney strength as a as as a songwriter. His ability to sort of craft these multi part songs the title track from band on the run is a good example of a multi heart. Mccartney song that somehow works. He's trying to make pop music that somewhat complex. And there's no one I know who listens to wings at the speed of sound voluntarily. No. But I would argue that there is a really good song on that record. And it's called beware my love. And it's a like a six minutes on that McCartney again, one of those multiparty compositions starts out with these beautiful, but haunting and cautionary harmony, vocals acoustic guitar little harmonium in it. And then slowly bills into this rock section in the middle of the song. Then returns to the acoustic part at the end. It's first of all I love the symmetry of the composition. But I also love the energy that he brings to his vocals the way his able to switch from this dreamy haunting sound early in the record two more strides out. You know, here's a big fan of Little Richard that rock and roll kind of. Yeah. Raspy let it all. Hang out kind of vocal and parts of the song. You can hear some of that intensity. That I wish we are Mara frankly from carting, it seems like he's. Vested in song in a way that not all of his work leads you to believe it is dare I say Lennon esque in its intensity in certain parts, beware. My love from Paul McCartney and wings on sound pinions. That is beware. My love by Paul McCartney, one of Greg's choices for his solo high points after short break will expand our discussion talk about the lows of Lennon McCartney as solo artists that's in a minute on sound opinions from WBZ Chicago NPR ex. Sound opinions is supported by goose island in nineteen Eighty-eight. Chicago had no tap room's brewpubs or any craft breweries a man named John Hall. Saw this and opened a small brew pub in Chicago with the idea of putting good beer into the hands of good people and goose island has been thinking big about beer ever since from being at the forefront of sustainable Brune practices to aging beer in bourbon barrels and supporting programs like sound opinions. Goose island has and always will be thinking big about beer, goose island beer company. Chicago Illinois sound opinions is supported by u-turn audio makers of the orbit turntable. U-turn was founded to make great vinyl listening easier and more affordable. They build all of their turntables by hand in Boston, Massachusetts. So each one is fully, customizable with hundreds of configurations available plus the ridiculously simple to use and come with a two year warranty for free US shipping on any order at u-turn audio dot com. Use the code opinions that code again. Is opinions for free US shipping at u-turn audio dot com. Welcome back to sound opinions. I'm Greg Kat here with Jim dear goddess, and that's a bit of. Maybe I'm amazed by Paul McCartney this week, Jim, and I are debating the post Beatles releases a McCartney John Lennon, and before the break, we talked about the highs of the respective careers. And now we're going to dig into the lows. You know years ago nineteen ninety seven the latest much-hyped, then at the time Paul McCartney returned to form brilliant solo out med just come out flaming pie. Right. So south by southwest has this panel, right? Let's reassess the solo career of Paul McCartney. So you don't the last minute. They said gonna be boring if it's just a McCartney love fest. Jim would you go on and be the contrarian? Now, I have you know, I have poll his face is on my arm. The cover a revolver was extremely painful tattoo. I am a fan. Okay. But you know, these guys were waxing rhapsodic about the genius of Paul. And then you know, it was my role to to throw the spanner in the works as George Harrison would say and all I would have to do is say ebony and ivory. That girl is mine. Does that really feel? It's time knows charity. No. Because you said. Macartney's low points work. Lower than Lennon's. Will you give me that? Yeah. Yeah. I I would definitely give you that. I, you know, I think if I have choose one. And again, we're not trying to be gratuitously mean here. I don't think it serves either of these geniuses to say, they were infallible. In fact, I think it's the low points, but make the genius that much higher. But there is no defending and people on that panel tried silly love songs. The only thing that I think is worse is Albert Admiral alsi what that gypsy part at the hands across the water. Then somebody goes water. I ain't that song and this song and silly love songs. They get in my head. And they go away. There are many many worse. Give me one. Let him in how about temporary secretary. Oh, yeah. I was gonna go with that. Yeah. All right. So McCartney makes a record in nineteen eighty called McCartney to trying to invoke some of the feel the the strip down spirit of his debut record. And it is an abysmal failure. Almost every track on this record makes me want to believe the room screaming. This is perhaps the most excruciating three minutes and the canton. And that's believe me. That's heavy high road to climb, you know, but it's it is one of those things where. Yeah, this is pretty annoying almost it gets more annoying as it goes along. I think this is almost McCartney's attempted sort of making something along. Okay. I'm gonna mess around with this new technology, and and make sort of a a synth keyboard based recording to keep up with the kids and today. I mean, I it's pretty amateurish in the way, he approaches it and in terms of the musical execution. Usually McCartney gives you something in the song, hang onto a melody or something. And then the idea is just unbelievably sexist to the posible secretary idea. He thought it was funny at the time. You know, I added this secretary once, you know, although there's a Lennon song that's eight even worse. Yeah. Title. We shall not even mention. Yeah. So temporary secretary. I think you know, I have to say that. I don't think you can top or bottom. Twenty five days. Sweet thing. Date. Damn. Job. I made. You're right. You're right, Greg. That's a bismuth bad abysmally. But Lenin, you know, look if Lennon had not been assassinated on the streets of New York, December nineteen eighty just as double fantasy was coming out. I think it would never have gotten the praise that it got. I gimme gimme London at his worst. What do you think? And what we haven't really focused on here is how each of these guys was a filter for each other. They sort of brought out each other's best ideas certain tracks that appeared on their solar records never would have made it onto a Beatles record because the other guy would said sorry, that's just not working not if not Georgia Ringo would've gotten to quit in linens world. I think he was looking for some kind of buffer or filter or companion in during the walls and bridges record. Which I just played a track that I really loved that. There was a ton of this kind of draws it wasn't necessarily horrible. But it was just sort of mediocre middle ground stuff that nah. Never would have made it to Beatles beside little. Yeah. Let alone album and when when he starts collaborating without in John on this record. All no, you're not gonna go there. You realize you know, like Elton, John? But the fact that Lennon was desperate to have collaboration with the reigning pop superstar of the era speaks to his desperation at this point. Like, I I'm just looking for some inspiration. Are you are you really gonna play whatever gets whatever guy through the night single. Yeah. And I'm not going to go there. I'm going to go to another Elton. I'll have our chance fine on this record called called surprise surprise. Well, it's not a surprise. Not in any way. It is a boilerplate mid tempo. Nothing of Iraq track where he's, you know, expressing his love for his lover at the time may Pang, you know, this this sort of non Yoko it's the lost weekend. Yeah. So he's running away from home and having this fling. And he's this lascivious track about his girlfriend at the time. And you know, there's horns on it. And you know Lennon was never particularly proud of his voice. So he would always always be affects on his voice. You know, some of this approach filtered into double fantasy later on. I think that's one of the reasons we're so uninspired by so much of the latter day. Lennon solo music is because of this sense of the production's going to carry the weight of the fact that there's not really a song here. So surprise surprise definitely fits into that category. Yeah. All right. That's dreadful. Right. I'm glad you're not gonna do. Whatever gets you through the night is just on the concept. I know it's boo blue it's overdone. It's cheesy. I am not Elton John fan that that Broadway the Atra caliber he brings. But I just love that. So I was just the concept that hey, man, to whatever whatever you need to do to keep yourself up. All right. He was doing that. So I think Lennon and McCartney you are absolutely right. It's brilliant point. They were both always looking for the balance that never existed again when they weren't a team. Bye. As always we want to hear from you. What's your favorite Lennon or McCartney solo album and why call and leave a message on our hotline? Eight eight five nine eighteen hundred or find us on Twitter or Facebook up next we'll review rapper Vince, Staples latest album and a new disc from young drummer MCI mcraven that's an omitted on sound opinions from WBZ Chicago NPR ex. This week under the author of salt, fat acid heats amino threat, says Emile isn't actually about how great or fancy the food is there are very few meals that I remember where the food is the thing that I remember most meals that I remember I remember who I was with and what we talked about what I feel you know, what I felt like in the moment. Listen, turn it out for free. Wherever you got your podcasts. Sound opinions is supported by E L S studio. Three d premium audio available in the all new twenty nineteen accurate RDX surrounded by sixteen. Speakers and seven hundred ten watts E L S studio three d lets you take studio quality sound on the road developed with eight time Grammy award winning recording engineer, Elliot Scheiner. It's a whole new dimension sound that lets you hear the music the way it was originally intended to be heard precision crafted audio performance exclusively from Acura. Has come out first day. Down for like. Thirty does around. Fati doubt. Welcome back to sound opinions. I'm Greg with Jim dear goddess, that's a track from the new FM album by Vince, Staples. It's called feels like summer third studio album from this Long Beach, California artists crime riddled area in which Vince grew up in it got out of there through hip hop as a teenager. He started working with members of odd future. And then made a collaborative mix tape stolen youth with the late MAC Miller, whom reduce that record in two thousand fifteen is debut album summertime. Oh, six was produced by no, I d a producer who picks his projects, very carefully. Got a lot of attention because of that one of the most acclaimed albums of two thousand fifteen based on the work, Vince, Staples proved that he was one of the most intriguing up and coming hip, hop artists of our time in two thousand seventeen to follow up big fish theory, incorporated, dancing, electric elements. He was asked to perform with the guerrillas on their humans record. And now we have album number three from Ben Staples FM, here's a track from it before we review it. It's called tweaking. From vince. Staples unsound pays. I suggest you doubt. Don't be don't. In back home comeback in back. When dad was off the plush. If it dad Boston dang pass the gas. To downtown Bernie. I don't get. I did too. Came up. Praises. You just don't. Lease. Twenty. I'm. That is a little bit of tweaking by Vince Staples from his third album, you haven't been saying right, Greg. It's FM. Yes. Yeah. You know, Vince, Staples has made a point of saying in interviews there were no concepts. No more Bs with this album. And yet it is indeed a concept album. It's fascinating one. It's only twenty two minutes long two of its tracks. He doesn't even wrap on what is he doing here? He is a created this concept here of essentially, an FM radio broadcast on hip. Hop radio on the west coast, east got an LA radio legend big boy coming in and doing some radio-types nip it's what radio means to. Staples is, you know, commercial music consumption, and the lyrics here are examining this nihilism of black America drugs and gang violence, and he is not celebrating that he's dealing with it as a reality against this backdrop of the best day. I'm summer music. We've heard even though it's fall. Right. This is a fun Risi wonderful party record that in the same way his last album big fish theory, drew of elements of the underground he is now returning to that stuff. He grew up listening to which is that classic west coast g funk write the kind of party jam gangster rap of the eighties. He is saying this is my pop album, right? But the melodies and the good time party groups contrast amazingly with a very dark vision. You know, the the lines are are amazing. My black is beautiful. But I'll shoot it you. You know, he's saying at one point. Get you to them to cold weather. Don't stop no gun or wrong hat or wrong day. I killed my brother. These are amazing. Snapshots of of the violence that he is, you know, contrasting with the the uplifting. Power of its celebrate, Tori music. It's a fascinating record. Yeah. You're absolutely right on about that the defunct stuff g funk in the early nineties. We had snoop Dogg. Nate dogg. Warren g these great records made by top notch. Producers celebrate Tori records as you say about a very dark subject often, which was the gang violence in in Long Beach to traditions, g funk and gang violence, side-by-side growing up together. He's not sugar coating it in the least, and I viewed him a few years ago in eighty said, you know, I think people need to understand the not everybody here is a criminal a lot of what we have to do is just basic survival. Yeah. Because there are no options there for a young, man. You know, there's no YMCA's. He says there's no real kind of recreational options other than joining a gang as a way to get through life. So it's a it's a dire existence Ilana. These songs are about ticking off the names of his friends who have died in that song tweak in that. We just played it's kind of a eulogy and that NS course, by Kahlani really breaks, my heart every time. This litany of every week. There's a new body count, which you're not dealing if you don't stop and start to look at those lyrics. You're not even gonna get that from the the absolutely it is party music. It's a summer record as you said. But at the same time as dire subject matter. This is a record of that really kind of focuses on the fact that this is this is kind of one of those traditions. Maybe we should be breaking at some point. But he sees no end to it. There's a I just wanna make one more point here about don't get chipped that reference to Sam cook a change is gonna come only applying to a very few African Americans in America right now, not the rich and the famous the change is going to come. But I'm not going if my gang is the key live. I'm not going. I am. It's like it doesn't matter that I'm getting out of this. But I've got an entire city that is not is still caught up in this. Tell me if you grea- I think that with his extrordinary twenty two minute eight eight track and really he doesn't wrap onto like six track mini album. I think this is where he vaunts rights to the top as as absolute equal peer of Kendrick Lamar. Oh, absolutely. I think I think he's incredibly. I mean, if it's possible say this about Vince, Staples. I think he's almost underrated. He's not nearly as prolific in some ways as Kendrick is right now. But at the same time, I think fin Staples is one of our most enlightened and powerful MC's without a doubt. That is a little bit of track cold turtle tricks from the new album by MCI up mcraven, universal beings. Greg. What a fascinating back story this young drummer composer producer has he prefers the term beat scientists. He's he's born in Paris, the son of a jazz drummer and a Hungarian folk singer he grows up in New England in Massachusetts relocates, the Chicago in two thousand six he is very much part of the avant jazz, experimental electronic music underground of Chicago a frequent collaborator. Jeff parker. Probably best known to the rock world as a member of tortoise. Right. That underground incredibly fertile seen here in our city where where I giving it any one name doesn't do it Justice. You know as drummer and producer mcraven has been following this path of life. Live often improvised music, which he then takes to the studio and electronic manipulates. It's fascinating the working process. Let's listen. And then we'll give our opinions on what we're actually hearing. This is a track called Atlantic black by MCI mcraven from the new album universal being. That is it -lanta flack from the new MCI craven record. Universal beings. Jim. I'm really happy to be addressing this record at this moment because we are seeing a wave of jazz that I think are more rock oriented or hip, hop oriented listeners will appreciate know nursing artists like Robert glass Bor and come Ozzy Washington crossing over into playing like rock venues and rock festivals. Now, thunder cat. Another example that flying Lotus and the hip hop side bringing a lot of jazz elements in his work MCI Craven's right in that pocket. You know, what you mentioned about the way this record was recorded the live element with the electron ick editing at the end is goes all the way back to tail mature. Oh, and those miles Davis records bitches brew and things like angry. Tradition. Bring that up. I'll give you another one to anthem of the sun by Grateful Dead. Right. You know, my favorite data recorded during the these, you know, famously shambolic live improvisations and then elect rightly manipulate. And you know, he's working with the the young up and comers in these four separate sessions that are preserved on this on this recording. You know, it's a vibe record as much as I song based record. And it's a great vibe because you get the feel of musicians recording in a room, and then he's working with these manipulating these tracks sampling chopping looping afterwards to create these little, discreet pieces of music. For me. The highlight is that British Barbadian tenor saxophone player Shibata Hutchings, which we heard on that song which would just played. It gets really fierce. Yeah. You know, midway through and Hutchings is ROY in the center of that. We get this. Great Transi hypnotic five on on the London sessions with a song called sweet house, which some people have said that's kind of a house music song. That it's called that. So you're getting these wonderful cross pollination of John roots in this recording. And I think it's just a wonderful introduction to this new wave of jazz for people neither you nor. I are going to make a comparison to electric miles likely not being hyperbolic, you know, kids, let me tell you one of the downsides of being a popular music critic is I know you feel the same way we don't get to buy anything anymore. We listen to every not that people even buy records anymore. I can't wait to go out and buy the vinyl album here because it's a double album and one single vinyl side is is devoted to each of the four sessions New York, Chicago London LA, this is a global tour of the wealth of creativity happening in you name. The Jarrah hip, hop, electron EQ music, ambient music, jazz, all of the above and many more. I mean, it's just it's a brilliant and yet easy to listen to seductive album. I tell you this whole island was bewitch. As often as possible on sound opinions. We'd like to take a trip to that desert island the water's cold time of year, Jim, but you're going to swim out there anyway and play a track you cannot live without what's it going to be go someplace warm, Greg. I'm going to Los Angeles. I had a pow come visit from Utah. And he's a man I feel guilty about admitting this I went to see X right, which is now on this stall act, and that got me on this X kick again, and I had to make a five and a half hour drive to demoain and back each way five and a half hours, and I just listened to under the big black sun nonstop for for for ten plus hours through the cornfields between Chicago and demoain. Oh my God. I remember being a kid when this album came out nineteen eighty to the major label debut by X after two fairly rough sounding independent hardcore punk records. All the sudden. It's like that moment where Dr the wizard of Oz. Everything goes technicolor, you know. Ex- embraces its country roots. It embraces American roots music brings it into the hardcore punk and comes up with sound. I'd never heard before. And then you go see them live and DJ bone break. Was this phenomenal monster drummer and Billy zoom scared me, you know, this rockabilly God with a frozen face who would stare right through you playing these incredible Chuck Berry on acid licks, of course, John Doe, and exceed survey trading, those harmonies, I don't think they ever sounded better than under the big blacks on the song that kept jumping out to me was the have nots nineteen eighty two John Doe in his Primo beat poet Charles Buchatsky phase is talking about the bottom of the ninety nine percent of America. Dawn come soon enough for the working class. It keeps getting sooner or later. This is the game that moves. As you play. He is serving the bottom of the barrel drunk bars of Los Angeles Buchatsky made famous right, and he named checks a bunch of them at the Heidi high and the hula girl, he's going down the list going bar hopping. And he's talking about people who no longer have any hope all they have to look forward to his shot and a beer after another harder day, but the propulsion of the guitar and the wonderful harmonies that exhibition ED's to her. Then husband's you know, rough grou- there's this glimmer of hope x the have not from nineteen eighty to sound. Right. The have nots by X under the big black sign. Greg goal was again what you don't have to convince me twice that to do that. That's a great record. Great choice. Jim next week on the show. We're going to do some very treasures right records that you need to hear. You can download sound opinions wherever you get your podcast thing. He's the show as always was produced by Brendan Benazech. Alex clayborn Ianna contraire, Andrew Gill. Let's be honest. There's too much news to catch up on especially after a long day at work. But WBZ Chicago has your back our new daily newsletter the rundown will keep you informed with the five biggest local, national and international stories delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe for free by texting rundown. Two three zero six four four. On sound opinions. Everyone's a credit. So now, it's time to hear what you have to say. New message. Is Josh calling from Berkeley, California. I was very excited to hear Greta van review. I have them off perform live, and I was pretty about it. But. Britney board. He'll be finger is still lied here. The great boy. But as my friend said at the concert, you've got to earn the right and the fan just kind of noodled and jammed without having any. Guide. Not know what they're doing. I hope that it can develop into something. Very interesting, actually. Attack. The we'll get your whole in a way, it's all in all. On the second. Thanks so much. Got a bye. Ted calling from Chicago listened to protest songs episode and one song that I thought would have really played. Well there Jason is white man's world. Batting stale not to. One. Talks about the history of racism in our country. I was at the Reimann last week. And I heard him play it. It'd be Nashville crowd of ninety eight percent white people. And I think that bringing a great message you all, but as a hope lash out country slash rocker, white artists is a great opportunity you change much. Thanks. My name is Carol. I'm from Albuquerque New Mexico enjoyed the so this is. Steve. Have you grown up in jail? If she wanted intertwined. All the cross is. Learned scar Crossman hard. It's ten mile wide and overall, I think he wrote the great protest. Oh, thank you. Hi, my name is Lynn cover if my favorite folks that song. Black. Written by Tyler of one hundred. That time. This song Farley. Narrator and an invitation the love themselves and the commitment to collect very free. Topic? I don't have any modern contemporary think some of the ones that still hold today. One. Thirty cuts. Recently police trained. Holy day. I mean the word. No more. To share your opinions on sound opinions. Call eight eight five nine eighteen hundred. We'll be back next week on sound opinions from WBZ, Chicago and distributed by p r s. Top. For nearly a decade the men in the limo dumped more than six stories of debris in a black Chicago neighborhood and the neighborhood fought back the deck was docked against them. Politicians were paid off the legal system looked away. And the men in the limo was working for the FBI. I'm rob Aamer. And this is the City New podcast from USA today. Subscribe on apple podcasts or wherever you listen.
Aired 2 months ago 36:44
London Fields, The Director's Cut with Matthew Cullen and Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck (Ep. 189)
Hello, and thanks for tuning in to another episode of the director's cut brought to you by the directors guild America between today's top director sharing behind the scene stories of the latest films and insights into the craft of directing the director's cut is now available on Spotify. So please take a second. Subscribe to our podcast on Spotify. I tunes or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode takes us behind the scenes of director Matthew Miguel. Cullens new thriller London fields the director's cut the film weaves the tale of Nikola six FM Vitol who ensnares three men a writer, a small time crook, an upper-class banker into a tangled love affair the twist. She knows that one of these men will ultimately become her murderer. London fields is Mr Collins feature direct Royal debut. His other credits include music videos for Katy Perry. Rain day, the black eyed peas and Adele following a recent screening of the film at the DJ theater in Los Angeles. Mr Collins spoke with director Florian Henkel von Donner smart about filming London fields during their conversation. Mr. Cohen discusses how he personally connected with the main character casting against type for some of the roles and his motivation for releasing the film despite the harrowing post production process. So just so, you know, who's who I'm flora. And this is Matthew the director. Hello. And so just explain why I'm here and doing this moderation Y F U S me I had. Once when I was embarking on a project that was very complicated project way. My agent suggested that I create a movie to show people that this was actually something marketable. I was told that the person who really knows how to present and sell anything is Matthew Cullen, and I was put in touch with his company mirada, which was is was Matthew, and and Gilliam Odell Toro as partners in this company. And he put me in touch with an amazing creative team of really just top level people. He had hundreds of such creative people working for him within this great company mirada. And so that's how we got to know each other. And I know that at that point Matthew was someone who. Was probably is probably the hottest music video and commercial director in town and had worked with all the greats in music videos. Worked with Jay z and. And Adele and Katy Perry and pink, and you don't REM anybody. You can think of all the great names. They all want Matthew direct, their videos, and and some of these videos like have over, you know, have billions of hits. It's really interesting. He manages to create something that just makes you watch the whole thing. So I was very intrigued when? Matthew told me about his plans to of feature filmmaking, and he had a very beautiful project that he he was developing about the outsider artists dodger. And then suddenly, I think this was about six years ago, or so you I just heard that Matthew had had had embarked on the journey of bringing Martin Amos's London fields to the to the big screen. I was really surprised to hear that. So. Yeah. The question that I'd like to lead with is what made you you work courted by all the studios. For the biggest projects you had this incredibly successful company. And and you push all that aside to focus on this film and devotes I think now how many years of your life to it think it's five years five years in battle. And we'll get into that in in this discussion, which the DJ has asked to keep to exactly half an hour. But, but, but you know, so I it's a truly epic battle that Matthew fought for his vision of the film. It might be that this is the only time that that vision gets to be seen by all of us is yet to be seen. What version of the movie is going to be released on on I tunes for later consumption? What made you embark on this? Why why this project? Why did you put all your life and passionate resources and everything into this? Well, thank you for that introduction, by the way. Foreign a very honored to have you here moderating. And thank you. Everybody for coming tonight. It. It's it's been an incredible journey to get the film up on the big screen, and there's probably no prouder place that I can then I can have it play. Then at the DJ amongst amongst my peers. Yeah. It's a yeah. It's five years of. I call it. It's the London fields twilight zone episode because it doesn't ever seem to end. It's the director that can't get the film that he that he envisioned in wanted to put on the big screen from the very beginning up on the big screen. So, but you know, why did I do it? I've asked myself that many many times over the years at different phases of of this project. And you know, it it was at that time. My company was doing very very well, very successful. And there was a window of opportunity where I felt like, okay? You know, what I can walk away from my my company which Iran in was sort of the the head creative for Murata. And so there was this window of opportunity, and you know, it was attached to you know, various projects studio projects and didn't really imagine that I would have made it and a completely independent feature film like Lenin fields. But. It director had recently dropped off a director named shaker poor in this project actually was was in development for twelve years before it it reached me and. You know, the producers were interested and Billy Bob Thornton was already attached to the film and. You know, in in, you know, this this oh script made it to me. And you know, based on this legendary book, you know, incredible book Lennon fields by mar name is. And you know, I meet only read the script and sort of saw the potential in it and read the book, which which which is is is truly a masterpiece. And you know, just just a, you know, there was so many kind of themes within the book that really connected with me. You know it. You know it. You know, these themes of of of creativity, and you know, in, you know, struggling with failure. And how do you how do you create something, you know, of a meaning in the world in you know, that there was this sort of checks to position of all these really over the top characters these Dickensian like characters, and but grounded in, you know, some real truth. I mean mar- name is you know, wrote it. Believe it was in the late eighties. But it was almost like a kind of prophecy of of you know, of things to come, you know, in the world in what way? It it was dealing with a actually climate change. And you know in war in, you know, the the sort of whole backdrop of the film is is a world that's falling apart. You know, there's two nuclear warheads that are are pointed towards London, and you know, so everybody's trying to get out. And there's this one guy that's trying to get in, you know, to to sort of find find a story. You know? So this this kind of like backdrop of. Of fear, and destruction of you know, it it's, you know, it's not not not too different than how we all feel right now, you know, with, you know, with with sort of living in the, you know, this in in the news climate right now. But just back to why connected with it. It had it had both a a really powerful kind of truth at its core. In themes that connected with me, but it was also had the potential to be poppy, you know, had a potential to sort of do something that I can do, you know, some interesting world building with and as you know, with a lot of the work that I've done over the years it tends to be world building. You know, it, you know, the videos are sort of their own little universes, and, you know, they take place at different times, and, you know, different genres, and I'd like to mix it up a lot. And you know, I saw the potential in that, you know, something that was almost like a graphic novel. But. But but grounded with, you know, through the the the performance of Billy, Bob as our sort of unreliable narrator following his, you know, his his sort of his journey throughout the story. Would you say it's a it's an interesting, I find unusual answer. Because normally when when directors talk about what drew them towards something it is towards the project. They will talk about how they fell in love with certain characters. So or all the characters, and I mean, that would be that would be a question that I have for you on this is, you know, I can I can see completely that you've you've fallen in love certainly in lust with amber heard here. I mean, I think she's a incredibly sexy as you present her and very attractive, and mysterious, and that's why I hate you all the more for how you murder her in the end. But I is it did you did you love these characters. I mean, are they are they people that you connect with this is a film that it's kind of I think this is this has to be just by virtue of the fact that this is truly your cut you had complete control. You had. You worked on it for five years. This has to be very much in a way, a self portrait of your soul. So I'm a little disturbed by that. And I find it, you know, I just want to hear, you know, are you that are you that dark is that your do you love the characters ask me this earlier for well. Let me let me tell you. I. There it if these characters can seem sort of unredeemable in, you know, unlikable at times, but they're all sort of struggling with something, you know, it. You know for for for nNcholas six she's. The sort of woman that is her own sort of beauty and her own, you know, drive in this this idea that she is, you know, has been surrounded with death, you know, throughout her life, you know, and and his sort of almost like a Vic victim of her own sexuality. That. For her. It's like how how can she find love with that kind of? Those sort of things that are running through, you know, like how she lives. Where every man wants, you know, is trying to control her, you know, every man wants her to be, you know, like, the, you know, whatever they imagine, you know for teeth. It's the woman that's going to sort of help him to become the greatest darts player in the world. And you know, make him worse. Something for guy, you know, you know, for once in his life. He gets to protect somebody. You know? In the irony is in the thing that makes me really connected. May with her character was that, you know, she's incredibly broken, you know, because no one is really sort of looking at her looking at you know, who she is. And the irony is that a a man that a that Samson who has also dying. You know, who also has a very very limited time to to survive who who is is struggling with, you know, his own broken nece that the two of them on this time line. You know, like, a, you know, like find find love, you know. So it's it's really strange love story that takes place, you know. So so back to your question. You know, like, did you did you did you love the characters, you know? Absolutely. You know, I think each character. I said found something to to really connect with you know, Keith is, you know, it's just such a tragedy. You know, completely tragic character in very very over the top and voiced risk. But and. And you know, but you know, there's something inherently, you know. Likable, you know, about his? You know, his drive. I'm not sure I agree with that. But for me at least as a director, and but the most important thing I'd say the the character that I did connect with the most is, you know, Sampson. You know, because as we're experiencing his reality. We don't know what is true. And what is not true? You know? And you know, here is for me. It was about. It in terms of where you know, how I held up a mirror to myself was as I was sort of struggling, you know, in that edit bay, you know, define the kind of truth of the story. It's like here's a guy that is is is is basically at the end of his life has failed, you know, at at at art in at love, and essentially there's no second chances for him. You know, in one of the things that happens to the film is, you know, through through kind of like dreamlike flashback is that we learned that his publisher basically who had a relationship with at the very end of his life. He asked her to basically go away with him in you know, in spend those last days with him in. She basically said, no, you know. So here he is. And he has nothing. You know? So what do you do when you know like your world is falling apart? You're completely alone. And you just are there at your computer. And how can you make something that lasts? And what do you feel compels him in the end to murder her? Well, I mean, it's a question as to whether he murders her or not, you know, is is is it a murder? You know, my intention is to sort of leave that open to the audience when she says, please, you know, she's saying please kill me is she saying, please don't kill me. You know, is is she is she real she a character in the book is she Representative of of you know, of of his his broken heart is she Representative of of of. Essentially, what is when Amos was was was doing with the book was creating a poppy thriller as a a big f you to the publishing industry when he wrote it, but it was really about much more. So I think you've got a really strong performance out of Billy Bob Thornton. I thought he was I also thought, you know, it was amber heard I thought was very very strong much stronger than I've seen her in in other films. I also think that maybe. Yeah. And the Johnny Depp character. I thought was really interesting to watch interesting how those characters seem very cast also close to the to the persona that they sometimes represent or you know, have have a played before. And with some of the other characters you go drastically against in a way, they are. So what brings people what led to the casting of a gym star? Jess who is someone that you you normally think of as a very friendly and nice young camped boy as a as as this incredibly filthy character. Well in in medicine that it that what you see on the screen is reflective of them cherry on the buck. So I'm I'd say Keith is actually a lot filthier than he appears onscreen. Look, I'm in the blood. But well, I I've always been a fan of gyms, and Jim has played a diversity of characters and has been shown, you know, in in the performances to do things that are also not tight. But the thing that ultimately kind of where I said, okay. You know, I could see him. As key talent is I think that it is this is this person that is not as tough as they they want to appear, you know, that they're actually they're they're that the whole thing is a complete facade. You know? And so they need to push themselves more to to appear a certain way in alternately. Even when Jim was a, you know, like an as key talent is acting tough. We know that he's not that tough underneath that. The whole thing is is you know, is a fake. And so that's why I was like. I can I can see Jim, you know, within you know, within this role, and what about the THEO James's character? I mean, I thought I had only been aware of him actually in a very very unlikely role, and we were in downton abbey where he plays the son of the Turkish ambassador who dies from a heart attack when he has sex with Mary Crawley. I mean that really the weirdest plot twists in any. You know, like jumping this Arkan episode one. But it was but he was very very commanding and compelling beautiful presence as he as he is here. I thought it was very interesting to as the person most mesmerized by amber herds beauty in a way to choose someone who is equally beautiful. What was what was the thinking behind that? I think well it I mean DO I'd seen him in multiple performances. And you know, when you're when you're casting you're also looking at like, okay. Well, you know, what at the time. His his star was really rising is becoming very much heartthrob. But ultimately, it was just he was just a really great actor, and actually he's he does appear much more. It's it's funny. He's he appears much more macho in you know, he goes to that place easily. So as when I was directing him, I really had to work kind of stripping him down. So that he can he had permission to sort of feel not like he normally as to feel weak to feel a little pathetic to feel like somebody. That's been you know, like a hen packed over the years. You know, who really? Sort of trying to find his voice. So essentially the two characters key talent and guy clinch they're on opposite ends at the beginning. The beginning of the film writing Keith is a powerful one, you know, in guy clench is the week one and nNcholas six essentially through her manipulations. She completely changes that you know. So that they become what the others were you know, at the beginning. So really in casting against type for both of them, you know, because guy clinches a bit of a chump, you know, and. It was my goal was to actually, you know, like like like turn their, you know, their their, you know, the the strength in one week in one okay over the course of the film. Okay. So before we go into the whole incredible production adventure that we're these five years. I just wanna ask you one more creative question. What what was your main thinking behind the these montage sequences, mainly of destruction? But sure also other hearings. What's the was the what was the main impulse behind that? I mean, it's just you know, there's there's a, you know, the underlying material of the book numb is it's using all sorts of language from. From a nuclear war, you know, trinity. You know, the. You know, the history of war on you know, throughout. And you know, obviously, Nola gay and little boy and. And so there was a real kind of natural vernacular to be using a documentary approach to run concurrent to. You know, maybe the more slicker cinematic filmmaking style. It was actually the only way to tell the story because the original script had been written in a way where it was actually dealt more with the surface plot. Like, it was it was it didn't deal with like the layers. And I knew that going in. But I also knew that I was going to be able to solve it with some the way I was going to tell it in other ways. And you know, so it was an absolute necessity. You know to be to, you know, to use Robert Robert Oppenheimer as a sort of ghost, this voice that you know, that that runs, you know, throughout throughout the story. So you're to to go into this adventure production. I mean already, you know, when a film starts with you know, and it takes several minutes for the logos of the production companies to all have been showing you already know that that's going to be a troubled production. And when when I looked it up in on I'm DB, you have thirty eight producers listed, that's you know, close to a record. But I've I've seen in other films with multiple producers always they have. You somehow trajectories of the production, which are very traumatic fan director. So, you know. From what I understand when you're film was released in October was right or when when was it released? Yeah. It was involved over into Tober you had. So it might be that only one of the six hundred and fifty theaters that screened actually screened the cut that we just saw right? That is true. So so so this this is truly the director's cut and. There was a a a war with several of the thirty eight producers that led to various branches of the film, and we'll get into that in a second. But the. This this this cut, which you would you wage such a courageous battle against over the years this the or these alternate cuts the one that made it to the theater, what was the main difference to what we saw here. And why was it so offensive to you? Okay. So just to give a little bit of like a backdrop. You know, this is so directed at five years ago and at at the four year Mark or just before the four year, Mark the film took like divergent directions. So it went in two different directions. Basically producers took the cut away from your took eight cut away from there were some they basically there was it. One of the producers and the wife of the producer. Who wrote the, you know was running the writers and script. These are the Henley's, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. They they started cutting their own version under the guise of giving me notes. And they essentially re cut that film over something like nine months, okay? And. In the actors saw both films, my film, and their film and every single actors road, you wrote letters on on the behalf on my behalf and beg them actually to to sort of support the picture. What was the biggest? What was the biggest difference? Would you say? I mean, if just of course goes into thousands of little things. Yeah. Sure. In just add one thing. So essentially, there's what was screened in the end of October and was on six hundred plus theaters London fields not lender. Feels a director's cut was actually another cut. So it was another cut that was based on the producer's cut. So by yet, another industry came into to Senator producer antidote group of investors that came in. So essentially producers actually started backing your cut, right? Correct. So so what happened was in two thousand fifteen when the film's diverged in the actors were pushing you know to to get my cut release. The producers got a cut in Toronto. And that cut. I mean, it basically the diff I mean ma-, you know, huge differences, but the medically essentially Samson Young's performance had been nearly stripped away, and it had been it's so the dramatic core. The film, you know, the relationship between, you know, a nNcholas six and Samson young that is, you know, without you don't it basically keeps the whole film on the rails. You know, this sort of this Dickensian like, you know, like story does not work. If you don't have that dramatic core. They strip that away. They rearranged pieces. They put nine eleven jumper depictions cut against you know, like like pilot porn pornography. I mean, you can can you make this stuff up? You know? Like there was there was a. You know, some very some what could have been very dangerous, you know, footage of like the holy site in mecca cut against like destruction. And you know, some very some things that were very alarming me the nudity was expressed in a completely different way. It was much more gratuitous. It was. It was exactly what I did. Not. I didn't want it to be and what amber heard, and I you know. Agreed to it was the opposite of that. You know? So for me it was violating so many things, you know, that were sort of core to to the protections that a director tries to create when they're when when they agreed that kind of environment complete. I mean, it's in a way every director's worst nightmare. And that's what I thought was also so very interesting about this. So one question that I have to ask you is. Why did you not take your name off that other cut because now you have zero percent on rotten tomatoes? You have the second worst opening in wide release history. It'll rub it in their. No, no. But but interestingly all based on a cut. Yeah. That's not yours. Well, so I mean, that's that's kind of that must. Why didn't you? Why didn't you take your name office? So that cut so the Toronto cut, basically, I sued to sort of separate myself from it because I was actually concerned, you know, is deeply concerned about what you know. The feedback was going to be on many many levels. It's still came out the cr-. You know, rightfully so tore it to pieces. You know, I the lawsuit stopped. You know, the film was dropped. And then it went into hiatus for two years, and then another group came in, and they essentially re-cut the producers cut so magin like a mutated distorted version of a mutated, you know, it's even worse. The second the kind of the the the mutate I love the producers cut compared to what came out. You can't even believe I mean, at least a producer's cut was had some cool music and was like often guard in weird and kinda scratch your head and go what the hell's going on? These are the producers who made virgin suicide and buffalo sixty six and American psycho, very lustrous film. But, but they they basically they came you know, it this past year they. Let's say year ago. I almost exact time. I said in order to get this film done in order to get my film up on the screen and for this whole nightmare to end. The only thing I can do is basically finance a finishing the picture myself. And so I find the the, you know, the complete finishing a picture online at myself. You know, a lot of your own money into a lot of my own money. How much money did you actually make on the film? What was your? How did they what happened with your salary was more than you were paid in your salary? Yeah. I still haven't been paid one cent on the entire in directing tire picture that's conviction to right. It's they just simply did not right. They did not cut you the check that did not pay not make one dime while but you asked like, so why did I why did I hang in there? I wouldn't have been able to talk about it now. So like part of me. Being here. And getting that film up was to be able to talk about my story. But fundamentally the most important thing the reason I survive, I went through it all the reason, I finance it all is because I believe what was up there. I believe in that film. I mean, that's really amazing because I mean, this is truly in a way what you've experienced tonight here because this is the one showing this will this will get here. And we don't even know if this cut will live beyond today, it's truly like that wonderful Danish novel by Tanya Blix and the movie that was made a bets feast where bet sacrifices her entire fortune to create one meal. As as because she was this great chef in a past life and creates as one meal, and it's consumed by very few people. But in a way, she's happy with that. So you would are you? Now, you know, this crazy adventure that you went through sacrificing large parts of your fortune, not making a single dime being at war with with incredibly powerful people having to wage. Legal battles. And all that was it all worth it to now have this onscreen in one theater in here at this at this at this at the screening, absolutely see I mean that that. Absolutely. I I really I really I find that fascinating. And that's what really fascinates me about this film. Is you don't how just having one's vision fulfilled whether people agree with that vision or not that is in a way become something becomes a mission in life. And and I find it in a way doubly interesting in your case because you've made so many commercials and probably also in the the music videos, where often the very thing that for instance, had made me afraid of embarking on commercials is that you have to be so accommodating with people. And if they want to change something, you say, yes, of course, you know, it's part of being professional to change it. It's not like they will appreciate a fight for that. So in a way, I find it so interesting that you as a person coming from that world thought with such conviction for over this it, it's a very good point. I am actually very accommodating director. I mean there were there were one hundred like points like one hundred times when I could at least where I'm like, all right, please. Let's come together. Let's figure this out. I beg you just give me some notes, you know, like, let's. From this cut like and people it everybody believed. Okay. They have the answers. They knew what the better thing not the director. And there's this thing that's very it's a trend that I think is is completely wrong. Which is that that that the director is somehow like out of their mind, the somehow can't accommodate notes can't work, you know, to sort of figure it out. We've got to get the director out of the bay. So we can really do what we need to do to fix this film. And if you think about it, it's it's completely absurd. I mean, it it's like even leading up to. The the six hundred theater release in which we had between one and ten we only one confirmed. Basically there wasn't a Goshi Asian at the very end that according to DJ, it's the first time that's ever happened. Which is there was a simultaneous release of essentially the investor cut which was wide release. You know, almost six hundred theaters and the director's cut in and it was because of my legal circumstances that. That the distributor was a comma dating at the very end. They didn't promote it. I did the promotion myself, but just to tell you about absurd here. You know, it it because this whole thing is is is is like this is a dark comedy. Three weeks before the movie was released the London fields the investor Cup here in the states it came out and Russia camp. And yeah. Yeah. Exactly. And it because there were Russian investors in this latest cut. And the reviews were scathing. I mean, it scathing would be a positive way to describe the reviews were and I literally was like Google translating the reviews, and I sent them to all the parties, and I begged them not to read their views. I said, you know, what somebody's come from the future? They've come. They said here's a reviews of the movie that's going to happen when you do the wide release. And they all thought that they knew what was right and the director was wrong. I mean, even like the marketing people were supposed to look at the cut look at both cuts and decide which was the most marketable. Yeah. I I I sent the link out of the director's cut on a software where I can track. How much they watch the marketing guy watches him. And he says up the investors cuts. Definitely more marketable. Right. And. I look at the software the analytics he had watched twenty minutes of my film. He didn't watch it. And he said that it was more. You know, was was more marketable. But here after all this like you asked very good question. Which was like was it worth it? It was worth it. And not only that the original producers. You know, the Hanley's. They gave me the distinction after everything that we've been through that Lennon feels a director cut is the final cut in official cut of London fields. Well, well done. Thank you. So I I applaud you for your director spirit, and you say that they you know, I think all of you were wonderfully crazy and embarking on this project. And I applaud you for for, you know, fighting through your vision and for also for for really seeing this as a positive closure to that whole chapter. I really think that shows incredible resilience creative spirit, and and and you know, that you're real real director. So appreciate honored that you very much that you said that thank you. Thank you. Thank you for coming out tonight. A really appreciate you coming down. Thanks for listening to another DGA QNA if you'd like to hear more you can find pasta episodes of the director's cut wherever you listen to podcasts. Stay tuned for more episodes, including our upcoming meet the nominees series, which will feature panel discussions with DJ award nominated feature film and documentary directors and be sure to subscribe. So you don't miss episode. Also, if you're enjoying our podcast, please take a moment to rate and review us on itunes. We'd love to hear your feedback and you can help fell Cinna files. Find show. Thanks again for listening, and we'll see you next time. This podcast is produced by the directors guild of America music is by Dan, Wally.
The Director's Cut