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Joe McWilliams

Fab, by Howard Sounes

Having enjoyed Howard Sounes' biography of Bob Dylan a few years ago, and looking for something light between volumes one and two of George Martin's Game of Kings books, I borrowed Fab, Sounes' Paul McCartney biog from the local library.
I still don't understand, nor do I really approve of, my fascination with the Beatles. For sure I am frequently annoyed by it, not to mention mystified. I am none the wiser after reading this book, well written and research as it no doubt is. Nor did I learn a lot I didn't know, or suspect about Mr. Silly Love Songs. Sir Paul hasn't done much, musically, since 1973 that lives up to his reputation, but it doesn't matter. He already did enough great stuff for several lifetimes. As for all the sordid little details of his personal life....well........let it be.

I am now going to work on building my resistance to the next Beatle biography that comes along. I suspect it will not be successful.
Apple

I think the fact The Beatles were so ground breaking at the time there had been nothing like them before and they have had such a huge influence on music since its hard not be a little bit fascinated by them.
Evie

Yes, I'm interested that you feel both annoyed and mystified, Joe - what's not to be fascinated by?!  They changed the world.  Undoubtedly the best pop band ever, with so many interesting stories around their lives and their music.
Joe McWilliams

Evie, what annoys me (only occasionally, mind you) is my inability to detach from the fascination with the person, or people, as opposed to their work. I have a fairly low opinion of hero/celebrity worship, as I don't think it does anybody any good and often quite the opposite.

This is a lifelong project and I've been fairly successful at it. But when it comes to ye olde Beatles, there's a lot emotional stuff mixed in that confounds the detachment agenda.

Life's rich pageant, as they say.
MikeAlx

I don't really go in for pop star biogs, but years ago I did read one about John Lennon, written by the guy who was his bodyguard in the late 70s. It destroyed any illusions about the desirability of fame for me once and for all!
Apple

Joe McWilliams wrote:
Evie, what annoys me (only occasionally, mind you) is my inability to detach from the fascination with the person, or people, as opposed to their work. I have a fairly low opinion of hero/celebrity worship, as I don't think it does anybody any good and often quite the opposite.

This is a lifelong project and I've been fairly successful at it. But when it comes to ye olde Beatles, there's a lot emotional stuff mixed in that confounds the detachment agenda.

Life's rich pageant, as they say.
There is so much emotional stuff surrounding the members of The Beatles, dating right back there was the change of drummer right at the beginning when Ringo was brought in, there was the constant rumours and speculation about the rivalry between John and Paul, there was the effect Johns relationship with Yoko Ono had on the band and on John, then there was the drugs and everything.  Plus everything they did had such an effect on their music it was hard to detach the personalities from the music. Plus as I said before because they had such a profound influence on music its hard not to keep the music separate from the people who made it.

When you speak of Paul McCartney though as this liviing legend as someone who helped changed the face of world music for ever, I can't help but wonder why he has done so little since the early 1970's, he is rolled out as a matter of course at the big national events like the Queens jubilee concert (and I think he is due to appear at this years diamond jubilee concert), I know he doesn't need to work but as an artist who did have such an influence on music I often wonder why he doesn't want to put a bit more out there.
Sandraseahorse

Apple wrote
Quote:
.I know he doesn't need to work but as an artist who did have such an influence on music I often wonder why he doesn't want to put a bit more out there.

Perhaps he's musically burnt out, Apple.
It used to be said that Paul provided the sweetness of the Beatles and he needed John to supply the tartness to counteract.  I'm not sure about that.  Paul's score for "Live and Let Die" was great.  If only he could produce more like that.

My book group is due to read Hunter Davies The Beatles in April.  I read Shout by Philip Norman many years ago.
Joe McWilliams

Well, here I go again, reading Barry Miles' Many Years From Now - also about Sir Paul. In my defense, I did not seek this book out; my wife brought it home from a sale somewhere. Miles concentrates almost entirely on the 1950s and 60s period, with quite an emphasis on the 'Swinging London' scene that he and McCartney were a part of. All that 'avant garde' stuff going on, you know. Very enjoyable.

But  this is it. I'm not reading any more books about the Beatles.

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