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During the past year Paul McCartney has been in the public's eye more than at any time since the peak of Beatlemania over thirty years ago. His fans have been treated to the best-selling Flaming Pie and Standing Stone albums, a full hour of Paul on "Oprah," and this thoughtful and comprehensive biography that brings us closer to the man than ever before. Based on hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews over a period of five years, and with complete access to Paul's own archives, Barry Miles has succeeded in ...
During the past year Paul McCartney has been in the public's eye more than at any time since the peak of Beatlemania over thirty years ago. His fans have been treated to the best-selling Flaming Pie and Standing Stone albums, a full hour of Paul on "Oprah," and this thoughtful and comprehensive biography that brings us closer to the man than ever before. Based on hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews over a period of five years, and with complete access to Paul's own archives, Barry Miles has succeeded in letting Paul tell the story of his life as a Beatle in his own words. It includes Paul's recollection of the genesis of every song that he wrote with John Lennon and the fascinating details about their remarkable collaboration.
Barry Miles draws from hours of interviews and free access to the artist's archives.
Posted May 12, 2003
This book is a petty and shameless result of the Lennon/McCartney war that has emerged since John¿s death. Written during a time when Lennon had been elected to the Rock-n-Roll hall of fame and McCartney hadn¿t- (a terrible slight to the most successful songwriter in history that would be fixed by his 1999 inclusion) - it is no wonder that McCartney was feeling maligned. To be fair, McCartney was most likely suckered into this propaganda piece by the author (or more correctly co-writer?) by Barry Miles, a friend and supposed authority on the Beatles who slurs John more than needed, and who does Paul no favors by writing facts that are plainly wrong. But in the end, Paul, who has huge blocks of quotes that make up a large portion of the book, will have to answer for this misstep. I have read where Paul has said he has regrets on this book. Why, he does not say, so let¿s take a look at it. In the intro, it reads '(Paul) did his own experiments in the field of tape loops and film superimpositions, which found their way into the Beatles work but are usually attributed to John. Because he did not publicise it, this is a little known side of Paul and one that this book hopes to reveal.' Here suggests the true purpose of the book, and the grave error it commits, instead of concentrating on adding to McCartney, too much of the book is spent on a thorough put-down of John and his whole character, revealing a bitterness that sets the entire tone and wipes out all objectivity. The author resorts to base name-calling, referring to Lennon as jealous, lazy, drug-addicted, uncreative, unmotivated, nearly always in the negative which is not needed. Does McCartney and Miles really think Lennon¿s reputation rests on tape loops? It¿s amazing that McCartney has such low self-esteem that he falls into this trap and allows Miles his vindictive pen. Let¿s look at specifics at how Miles omits Lennon¿s contributions to bolster Paul. At the bottom of p. 202., Miles writes in a parenthesis, (Incidentally, the record with the second most plays is Michelle, also by Paul without the other Beatles.) On p. 586, Miles writes, 'John never got over the fact that the two biggest Beatles songs, 'Yesterday' and 'Michelle,' were solo efforts by Paul on which John did not even play. This is just nastiness, as well as completely incorrect. First off, the Beatles did play on 'Michelle,' and John helped Paul write the song, supplying the middle eight, which is even talked about in the book! The only reasons to say such things is to malign John. It¿s so sad and says a lot about McCartney¿s state of mind that he did not object to this. Although the huge block of quotes used from Paul no doubt would seem to distance himself from the petty prose of the author, Paul has problems as well. On Page 175, Paul talks about 'I don¿t Want to Spoil the Party,' a co-written effort from him and John written for Ringo, 'which Ringo did a good job on.' Considering Ringo wouldn¿t sing it so John sang lead on it instead, it appears Paul¿s memory is a little fuzzy. His memory of John¿s contributions to his songs seem to have suffered the biggest impairment. Paul complained about John saying 'Ticket to Ride' was his song, responding on p. 193 with 'John just didn¿t take the time to explain that we sat down together and worked on that song for a full three-hour songwriting session, and at the end of it we had all the words, we had the harmonies, and we had all the bits.' But throughout the whole book, Paul seems to do the exact same thing to John, making it appear as if these sessions were mostly on John¿s songs and not on his own. I noticed that when referring to the creation of John¿s songs, there was a lot of WE, but when it came to his, it transformed into I. Of course, being the PR man of the group, this could be a natural result of that, but still, it leaves a skewed impression when reading about contributions. I also did not like this quote on page 278. Paul: 'I find it
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Posted August 6, 2008
This is a great bio, definitely the best Paul McCartney bio out there right now. But it has almost no info about him after the Beatles. In 2010, a complete PM bio will come out. I would wait until then. If you can't wait, I would recommend getting BAND ON THE RUN: A HISTORY OF PAUL MCCARTNEY & WINGS by Garry McGee.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 1, 2004
The long review written before mine which gives this book one star says it all. The book is well written and full of information, but Paul comes off as very jealous and bitter. Paul has received almost every award and accolaid there is to receive and is the wealthiest musician in hisotry, yet he is not a happy man. The purpose of this book, in the eyes of McCartney, is to 'set the record straight.' Unfortunately, for some reason this involves bashing John Lennon left and right. The sibling rivalry between Paul and JOhn is alive and well. John received acclaim for his drawings? Well, guess what? Paul is a talented painter. John is viewed as the avante garde one? Guess what? Paul was into the avante garde scene long before John. John had songs with interesting tape loops? Guess what? Paul showed John how to do the tape loops! And of course, John's songwriting contributions and musical abilities are bashed throughout. Paul, unfortunately, even manages a few swipes at George and Ringo. This book should have not been published. It does not help Paul's image.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 25, 2002
This is kind of weird book. Don't get me wrong, I think Paul is great, but I don't think this is a true reflection of his life. Miles left out the nitty gritty details of Paul's life. Paul was a womanizer before he met Linda, and he was perpetually stoned for the better part of 15 years. I think Miles has a crush on Paul or something. If you want a good account on Paul read 'Blackbird.'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 13, 2000
Posted May 19, 2000
Extremely enlightening, this tome provides new insight into the mind of the most genuinely avant-garde Beatle's mind. Paul is very frank, and his side of the story is both historically valuable & fun to read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 4, 2000
A very 'british' written book. You learn first hand the meanings behind the beatles tunes like 'Yesterday','A day in the life' etc. I loved this book and I bought it to add to my biography collection. Even if you are too young to remember the Beatles you feel like you are experiencing it first hand.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 28, 2000
I hesitated to buy this book at first because having read all the major 'Beatle Books'I thought it had pretty much all been said to the point of redundancy. Not so! For the Beatle fanatic and cultural historian there is plenty of interesting new information here on the songs themselves and the contexts in which they were written--even the album sleeves are dealt with in great depth! ; also the book affords a riveting look into the 'Swinging London ' of the sixties.Lots of info on Robert Fraser, the roguish art dealer busted with Mick Jagger and Keith Richard, and his connection with Sgt. Pepper photographer Michael Cooper. After a while, however, one gets the impression that this is perhaps one massive exercise in damage control and PR for Paul, who obviously covets Lennon's 'hip and radical' image; page after page it seems Lennon's aura of genius is chipped away at, (Paul seems to have contributed in no small way to the songs most strongly identified with John but not vice-versa!) and one is left thinking that perhaps Lennon was just a talented lout, -- a lazy one at that, and maybe The Beatles was basically Paul with a little help from his friends.I found the relentless pro- Paul bias a bit cloying, but it is worth it all for the abundance of fascinating new detail and insight in here. Paul seems to be generally quite open and unguarded in his many interviews, and this is all valid , because it shows what he is thinking about it all even if it seems a bit one -sided. Author Barry Miles comes off as as somewhat sycophantic, never missing an opportunity to aggrandize Paul especially at the cost of undermining Lennon: there seems to be a whiff of collusion here, there and everywhere, and possibly this is why the PR / image makeover somewhat backfires; one is left feeling that perhaps Paul McCartney IS one of those 'A' type personalities with an attendant massive ego, just as one might have suspected, (now a revisionist to boot!) and this is possibly wWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2008
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