Thursday, August 11, 2016

All Of Paul or When I'm 74

I just read Philip Norman's life of Paul McCartney.  Norman has been writing about the Beatles for some time, not even including his years as a journalist in the 60s.  He wrote a solid book on the band 35 years ago (written before, but being sold just after John Lennon was shot).  In 2009 he wrote a bio of John Lennon.

Perhaps it figures he'd get to Paul eventually, though there was trouble along the way.  Even before the Lennon book, he'd generally favored John over Paul, and it seemed Paul was not a fan.  Eventually, though, McCartney and Norman had a rapprochement (even though this is not an authorized biography).

Still, for anyone writing about McCartney, there's a big problem.  Paul is best known for his years as a Beatle, and most would say he did his best work then.  Yet when the Beatles broke up, he was only 27.  He's now 74.  So how much does a writer devote to the Beatles career, and how much to post-Beatles stuff?  It's not as if Paul did nothing after the Beatles--as a solo artist he was, in fact, one of the most popular stars in the world, with numerous #1 albums and singles.

So, before I read the book, I paged through to see where the band breaks up.  It happens (by my reading) on page 425.  The entire book, including index, is 853 pages.  So Norman split it down the middle.

That sounds about right.


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