The death of his wife, Linda, two years ago put a sentimental shade over the often-harsh perceptions of Paul McCartney, who was mocked by many in his post-Beatles years as a purveyor of pop schlock. It was in that muted light that members of the L.A. power-pop extended family affectionately honored Sir Paul's solo and Wings oeuvre on Wednesday in a benefit for breastcancer research at the cozy Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica.
Performers ranging from '60s cult figure P.F. Sloan to members of latter-day acolytes Baby Lemonade and the Wondermints presented McCartney's body of work as an underappreciated treasure trove. Equally emphasized were his unabashedly schmaltzy love songs for Linda (Sloan's rendition of "Maybe I'm Amazed" and onetime Wings guitarist Laurence Juber's impressive solo instrumental of "My Love") and his sometimes overlooked eccentric side (singer-songwriter Milo Binder leading the adept house band in a spirited "Admiral Halsey/Hands Across the Water").