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Paul McCartney: A Life Hardcover – November 3, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Yes,this is yet another biography of Paul McCartney. However,this book,thanks to author Peter Ames Carlin,takes the reader in a slightly different direction. This author was able to weave and juxtapose McCartney's life,with his human foibles,into his music making to a degree that hasn't been done previously. The author interviewed a number of McCartney's friends,associates,and bandmates,throughout McCartney's (now) long life,and has collected his findings into a crisp,clean,well written book.
Starting with McCartney's early life,which has been written about extensively (yet somewhat academically),we begin to catch a glimmer of how McCartney,the person,came to view both work and music (which eventually became one and the same),and life (especially with his late wife Linda),giving room especially to his later years when he was a "solo" (sans BEATLES) artist. This approach is both very refreshing and makes for rewarding reading. The writing style is crisp and on target. Along the way there are insights into the human side of McCartney and his view of the world,business and music-making. The author's writing style is fresh and invigorating-this isn't just another dull rehash of facts we've all read before. This book gives insight into why McCartney still matters to many listeners today. While there are no real startling observations,the reader will come away with a newer,perhaps better understanding of Paul McCartney the man,and the musician-and how the man and the music are inseparable.
You see, the thing a lot of people don't really consciously register about the Beatles is that--well,of course they had the fantastic song writing team. The Beatles had two songwriting geniuses, people who say it was just one or the other are ridiculous because if they'd only had one they would have looked much more like the Beach Boys, who had one. The Beatles had two, which is why we're still talking about them.
But they had something else, too. If you'll indulge me a short anecdote to illustrate.
In about 1982 I was lying alone in my apartment in the dark listening to a radio interview with Nelson Riddle, the music arranger who was a legend in the music business--he worked with nat king cole, with Frank Sinatra (for crying out loud), etc. At the end of the interview they asked him if there were any MUSIC ARRANGING GENIUSES working in the music business at that moment. He had a one-word answer: "Wings."
My point is that not only did the fabs have the writing team, they had a genius arranger/producer in paul McCartney.Read more ›
According to the author, Henry really hated the fact that McCartney wanted Henry to play things the same each time in the studio by the numbers, but Henry wanted to improvise more. This might be the case, but if you're recording and the music is written by a writer with Paul's reputation, the writer has a right to get what he wants out of the recorded performance. It's HIS vision, not Henry's that's being realized. Also, ANYONE that's listened to the early bootlegs of Wings college shows knows that Henry was not great at improvisation, at least with those early shows. There were times when you could tell that alcohol was the 6th Wings member and Henry's solos would go extremely out of key and out of the pocket. To listen to "Henry's Blues" from those boots is an exercise in patience. As an author, it's good to note that this bugged Henry. But man, listen to the performances and maybe you can see where Paul was coming from by wanting Henry to stick to the format. Of COURSE he'd want things to be the same. Bless Henry, he's a great player for sure, but during that period, things were not tight and Paul, as a band leader had the job of reigning it in. Seems that rather than just take Henry's word on it, the author might've wanted to research what was coming out of Henry's amp at the time.
There were similar quotes from Dave Spinoza. Hey Dave, it's Paul's music, he's paying for the studio, and the musicians. He SHOULD be able to say "Yo Dave, please play it like this. I know what I'm after.".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While admitting to not having read the book, I did note that Ames Carlin has also written about Brain Wilson. Simon and Garfunkel. Bruuuuuce. Let's see here. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Blackhorse
Great read, but it does start off a little slow talking about the McCartney family history. The second chapter really starts to hold your attention. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Bill Owens
Meh!. There's nothing new that can be said about Massive Ego. I bought the book for the mentions and photos of Jimmy McCulloch, the very best part of this book!Published 10 months ago by Laurel Harper