Biography of Paul McCartney mixes his personal life and his music *** 3 Stars
Gabrielle Pantera interviews Paul McCartney a Life author Peter A Carlin
Paul McCartney dining at the astral cafeteria according to a member of Wings
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) 11/4/2009 – “I always love talking to musicians and the producers/arrangers who work with musicians in their natural element,” says Paul McCartney a Life
author Peter A. Carlin. “They have very little interest in the media mythology surrounding a famous artist, and focus entirely on the quality of their work and the experience of working with them.”
Paul McCartney a Life traces the origin of Paul McCartney’s life, how he met John Lennon, and how they became the Beatles. The book looks at his loves, his life with first wife Linda through to her unfortunate death, and his disastrous second marriage with Heather Mills.
“What really intrigues me is the interplay between an artist’s ordinary life…growing up, going to school, winding clocks, eating chocolate…and his artistry,” says Carlin. “How does one inspire or inhibit the other? Where does an ordinary life lift off into a more magical realm? Not many books seem as fixated on this as I am, so I figure, oh hell, better write it myself. When a person can describe, vividly, the experience of playing music alongside Paul McCartney, the joy in his face as the voices slide into harmony, the way he’ll lose himself in the process…dining at the astral cafeteria, according to one member of Wings…I feel like I’m hearing something extremely important and
very worth capturing for posterity.”
Carlin also listened to many, many hours of music and drew on personal experiences such as seeing Wings’ biggest show in ’76 in Seattle. Carlin conducted many interviews, read hundreds of books and looked over tens of thousands of news articles. “I was a fan and had read everything I could find about the guy.” Carlin pored through archives in London, New York and Liverpool.
“Being in Liverpool, getting to know the folks there, was endlessly fascinating,” says Carlin. “Liverpudlians as a whole are witty and warm and sweet. And they know plenty of secret little nooks that contain all kinds of Beatle arcana. I talked my way into the Abbey Road studios and spent a breathtaking few hours being led from one mythical place to the next.”
Carlin has written three previous books: Brave New Bride
, a magazine parody, published by Warner Books in 1992, Beyond The Limits
, the autobiography of mountaineer Stacy Allison published by Little, Brown in 1993, Catch A Wave: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, published by Rodale in 2006.
“My biographies are inspired by admiration for my subject,” says Carlin, “which isn’t to say that I’m blind to their flaws, or eager to look past the various moral, ethical and aesthetic shortcomings they, and we all, have. Obviously, that’s a big part of anyone’s life story. But what really matters to me is how a person persists, maintaining a connection their better self, even as they navigate the rockier shoals of existence.”
Paul McCartney a Life
is for the music lover and anyone who wants to see how people succeed. This book is inspirational as it provides glimpses into the mind of a great music icon. This revealing portrait is fresh yet sympathetic. His life and art are intertwined.
Peter Ames Carlin was born in Syracuse, New York. He’s currently based in Portland, Oregon.
Paul McCartney: A Life by Peter A Carlin
Hardcover, 384 pages, Publisher: Touchstone, November 3, 2009, Language: English, ISBN: 9781416562092 $26.00