Belfast Telegraph

I don't care if you were in Beatles, turn music down

By Robert McNeill

I'm a fan of Sir Paul McCartney. He was one of yon Beatles, you know. I've been to the house in Liverpool where he grew up and everything.

Imagine my distress, therefore, to read that police had to be called to his house in the wee and arguably small hours because of all the racket. This is deplorable.

Fair enough, he'd just got married, which even celebrities don't do every day. But you should have consideration for your neighbours at all times. Sir Paul's neighbours in St John's Wood, Londonville, got fed up and called out the noise police, an elite force who glide in on soft shoes and whisper that noisy citizens should shoosh.

Paul - can we drop the 'sir' thing, it's getting on my wick? - had irresponsibly employed a DJ, the sort of person with whom you and I would never consort. It's the DJ's job to play music with a thunderous beat in the hope of inducing people to dance lewdly and, in some cases, libidinously.

Those so induced included Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, whom you'll have to look up on your computers, as the name means nothing to me.

A source close to Mr McCartney ululated: "It did raise a laugh when the two gentlemen rang the door bell and insisted it was time to settle things down. It could have been 1968 all over again."

Laugh? Door bell? 1968? What could he possibly mean?

Aural hooliganism isn't a tittering matter, and I fail to see what 1968 has to do with it.

Perhaps he's referring to Paul's youth, when he cocked a snook at authority, as even I did before I grew a beard and settled down.

But I never approved of noise even back then, and would often remonstrate with my plooky peers, particularly if they were playing music after 9pm or - to be fair - 9:30 at weekends.

Over the years, I've been in nine or ten fights with noisy neighbours and have come to believe that people of low intelligence or poor ethical sensibilities should not be allowed to purchase electronic audio equipment.

It isn't just audio equipment, though. Once, I lived below someone who had bare wooden floors and never ever sat down. Neverendingly, they marched back and forth like a North Korean brass band.

Where did it drive me, readers? That's right: up the wall and, later, up the stairs to remonstrate, where the usual doomed battle with unreason took place.

Another nutter used to put a washing machine on in the middle of the night, to save three pence on her electricity bill.

The ceiling above my head vibrated violently, and it was impossible to sleep - bad news back then when I had stressful work next morning.

Again, the 'right' to be inconsiderate was adduced in the subsequent debate, reinforcing my view that democracy should be reserved for the elite and that rights are something that, by and large, should be taken away.

In many ways, Paul McCartney has been a role model to the nation's men, with his cheeky grin, youthful senescence, and vast wealth.

But he has let himself, his new wife and the town of Liverpool down with his immoderate post-marital jamboree.

I trust he will reflect on this and conclude that it is not now, and never was, 1968.

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