From the acclaimed biographer who brought you the rock biography of Bruce Springsteen comes the life of musician Paul McCartney—from his groundbreaking years with the Beatles to Wings to his work as a solo artist and activist.
More than a rock star, more than a celebrity, Paul McCartney is a cultural touchstone who helped transform popular music as one half of the legendary Lennon-McCartney songwriting duo. In this definitive biography, Peter Ames Carlin examines McCartney’s entire life, casting new light not just on the Beatles era but also on his years with Wings and his thirty-year relationship with his first wife, Linda McCartney. He takes us on a journey through a tumultuous couple of decades in which Paul struck out on his own as a solo artist, reached the top of the charts with a new band, and once again drew hundreds of thousands of screaming fans to his concerts. Carlin presents McCartney as a musical visionary but also as a layered and conflicted figure as haunted by his own legacy—and particularly his relationship with John Lennon—as he was inspired by it. Built on years of research and fresh, revealing interviews with friends, bandmates, and collaborators spanning McCartney’s entire life, Carlin’s lively biography captures the many faces of the living legend.
Despite the famous rumors of his death in 1969, Paul is alive and well in Carlin's hagiographic portrait of the creative genius behind the Beatles, the lead man of Wings and the brilliant though sometimes insecure solo artist still filling stadiums. Drawing on recent interviews with friends and McCartney's former band mates from Wings as well as on fresh research on the Liverpool lad, Carlin chronicles McCartney's life from his childhood love of music and his youthful entry into rock and roll with John Lennon in the Quarrymen to his meteoric rise to fame as one of the Beatles, his breakup with the band, his marriage to Linda Eastman and her death, and his recent marriage to and divorce from Heather Mills. Carlin rehearses the well-known story of the Beatles' breakup and Paul's disenchantment with Yoko Ono's role in leading the musical directions of the band. Feeling lost after the band dissolved, McCartney channeled his grief into his music, much as he did when his mother died when he was only 12, though critics both panned and praised his solo records. Since Barry Miles's definitive biography, Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now), goes only up to Linda's death in 1998, Carlin's study brings the musician's life to his most recent solo album, Electric Arguments (2008). McCartney emerges from Carlin's admiring biography as a brilliant musician who provided the creative direction for the Beatles, who taught John Lennon how to play the guitar and who continues to create new musical challenges for himself even now, when he's moving past 64. What's missing are interviews with McCartney himself.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great Read except one problem.
I originally downloaded the audio book which was faulty. Stopped playing about one quarter through the second half. iTunes refused to let me re download it without paying for it again so I bought the written version. Even once removed from cold hard cash, I was ripped off by iTunes. They stole my money. The only difference between them breaking into my house and stealing the book is that they can apparently get away with it. I was robbed with impunity. SHAME ON YOU ITUNES. YOU ARE THIEVES!!
I was a Paul McCartney fan before this book and an even bigger one now that I've read this. Great book about a great musician!
Paul McCartney: A Summary
Nothing new here. Pretty much a high-level summary of the man's life. Most McCartney fans could recite everything that's told here. The majority of anecdotes and stories have been told before, and most of Carlin's research is culled from the many Beatle and McCartney biographies that have preceded it. The original research done is mostly inconsequential and adds just the slightest color to events we're all familiar with. If you're looking for a very quick recap of the milestones in McCartney's life, I suppose this book will do. Otherwise, there is virtually nothing in here that hasn't been covered - often ad nauseam - before.
Refer to Barry Miles's "Many Years From Now" (a source used heavily by Carlin) for better, more detailed accounts of much of what's included in here.