Fanthology Spotlight: Josh Gill, writer, musician, jokester

When I had the idea to write “Fanthology Spotlights”, I had an issue with figuring out which of the many brilliant stories I’ve come across through interviews to use as the inaugural edition.  So many deserving people who have had such varying and equally moving stories. Then I came across the latest brilliantly-written WordPress.com article by Josh Gill and I knew that fate had intervened and helped make my choice that much easier. For those of you unfamiliar with Josh’s writing, please take a moment (or a whole string of them) to read some of Josh’s writing: http://joshgill.wordpress.com

I’ve had the honor of knowing Josh for a few years now, first through the Paul McCartney fan forum (Josh was darth_mccartney) and then later through Facebook.  He’s currently a journalism student in England who is making the most of his classes by running a successful and respected blog, and his blog posts about Paul McCartney and Paul’s band are getting noticed by many fans, even by some of Paul’s band members (Brian Ray in particular).

I had the chance to talk to Josh the other day via Facebook and we chatted a bit about all things Paul and Paul’s touring band (Paul Wix Wickens, Abe Laboriel, Jr., Rusty Anderson, and Brian Ray).  Since Paul has been with this current band longer than he was with Wings or The Beatles, many fans have become accustomed to them and have also investigated the band’s side projects. Josh is no different, and has immersed himself in Rusty and Brian’s solo music.  The following is the conversation Josh and I had:

Jen: What got you so interested in Brian Ray and his music?

Josh: Well obviously I discovered Brian through Paul. I’m a massive fan of the current lineup of Rusty Anderson, Abe Laboriel Jr, Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens and of course Brian. I love the rocked up sound and energy they inject into Pauls songs and they never fail to put on a great performance. Anyway, I got word that Brian was releasing a solo album (Mondo Magneto) in 2005. I’d given Rusty’s first solo album (Undressing Underwater) a chance and liked what I heard, so I took another punt and bought Mondo Magneto and was blown away by what I heard: Whereas Rusty’s songs are interesting intricate and deep, Brian’s songs are upbeat, insanely catchy straight forwards rocky pop songs. I got together with my girlfriend Lauren not long after getting Mondo Magneto, and she really got into the album too, so by the time This Way Up came round in 2009 we were both ready for some new Brian music!
     As for getting into The Bayonet’s music, well that’s just an extension of liking Brian’s music. The band was formed by Brian and his friend and writing partner Oliver Leiber, who co coincidentally wrote half of Mondo Magneto and This Way Up together. I was bound to love them!

Jen: How did Brian get wind of your articles on his blog, and how has he reacted to them?

Josh: It was just a gradual thing. He’s a genuinely good, nice, cool guy and I’ve found he is also insanely generous when it comes to his fans and he will try his hardest to reply to them on Facebook or even just ‘like’ or read what they have to say about him and his music. Which I’m sure is how he noticed a few of my articles! I wrote some stuff just before the release of The Bayonets’ debut song Sucker For Love hoping that Brian would see them and go ‘they’re good!’ and retweet them and get my site few more hits than usual. Sucker got released and I really liked it and because there was so much going on in his world I kept writing and he seemed to be really grateful for the publicity. He’d start offering suggestions for articles or asking that I include this or that in an article, and we’ve worked up a nice little banter between us. We have a good working relationship. He seems happy to give me a little heads-up on anything that might be happening and even gave me a sneak preview of The Bayonet’s second single Smartphone a week or so before its official release so I could review it and build a bit of a buzz, so I must be doing something right!

Jen: I’ll say so! On to a more serious topic, though…even though you’re banned from Paul’s forum, you still are actively involved in Paul’s doings and his band members as well. Did the ban affect the way you think about Paul and his band?

Josh: Not one bit! It’s not their fault I got banned, I unfortunately ruffled a few feathers and understand that the moderation team had to do what they considered best for the forum. But while the forum still has a lot of people contributing, many members of the forum seem to be migrating to Facebook groups for a little unmoderated chat between likeminded fans. So I still feel as involved as ever! I’m registered to Paul’s website, as I am to Brian and Rusty’s sites, so I get newsletters, plus I always try to keep my ear to the ground about what is going on. In fact the only time I get a little frustrated at my banning is when I have some new story and I can’t break it on the Paul McCartney forum! But then a lot of people follow my blog and people get wind of it and often post my stories on the forum crediting me, so I’m always there, albeit in spirit!

Jen: Josh, this is your last chance to be famous. 😉 Is there anything you want the world to know about you, fans, Paul, Brian, or the band?

Josh: Sure, we all know how great and talented Paul is, so there is absolutely no point me going on about it (other than saying that a lot of people need to forget the Beatles for a bit and give Wings and his solo output a chance). But when you go to a gig or see a video on YouTube, take note of the band. Looking at it objectively they’re just hired hands, but they’re the BEST hired hands. I mean, they have to be – they’re playing with musical royalty. They know that Paul has given their career this massive boost and are completely grateful for this global platform from which they can work off of. They each have their own stuff going on outside of playing with Paul, and it would be absolutely criminal for fans of Paul (or indeed music in general) not to at least give them a little time. All of them, Brian and Rusty especially, all have their own massive followings now, and I just feel privileged I’m able to witness and even promote their transitions from sidemen to frontmen.

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen.  Josh Gill, the talented, ridiculously funny, and charming former Paul McCartney fan forum member who has taken his love of Paul and his band global.  Keep an eye on him, folks, because you’ll be reading articles from him when he’s a famous journalist in the near future. 😉  Be sure to read Josh’s latest blog post on the new Bayonet single “Smartphone”: http://joshgill.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/fan-reaction-smartphone-is-off-the-hook/

Also keep an eye out for more Fanthology Spotlights. You never know, maybe YOU will be next. 😉

Take care and take love.  Until next time!Image

Jokester Josh Gill 😉

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~ by Jennifer Dodge on May 20, 2013.

One Response to “Fanthology Spotlight: Josh Gill, writer, musician, jokester”

  1. Nicely written, shame on those who deemed it unfit for Macca’s forum – I should say and Josh will verify this, I’m not a fan of Brian, I know where i’d like to stick the bayonet tho 😉 lol

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