Friday, November 28, 2014

Paul McCartney On the Run in the 1970s

In the introduction to a new biography of Paul McCartney's surprisingly under-reported 1970s era, author Tom Doyle discovers a very human side to a person oft-perceived only as an international and almost beyond-human treasure.

"Between 1969 and 1981, McCartney was a man on the run - from his recent past as a Beatle, from his horrendous split with his bandmates, from the towering expectation that surrounded his every move. Behind his lasting image during that period as a Bambi-eyed soft-rock balladeer, he was actually a far more counterculturally leaning individual (albeit one overshadowed by the light-sucking John Lennon) than he was ever given credit for - freewheeling in his hippified way, taking to the road with "a bunch of nutters" for an impromptu, disorganized university tour with the proto-Wings, viewing the world through perma-stoned eyes, and defiantly continuing to flip off the authorities the world over who sought to criminalize him, all the while adopting a shrugging, amused attitude to it all."

Here are some other nuggets from the opening of Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s that have my mouth watering to get back to the rest of the book soon.

  • As 9/11 unfolded, McCartney was parked on the runway of JFK Airport in a commercial jet that was suddenly going nowhere.
  • He can't really use an iPod because the headphone system of listening to music reminds him too much of working in the studio.
  • He has his misgivings about reporters, which isn't surprising given all his years spent in the tabloids. "But they're not bastards, they're lovable rogues. They're just not as lovable as they used to be," he says.
  • He once hit a photographer, but it luckily didn't get reported. "I think he thought he deserved it."
  • "His eccentricity often gets lost behind his deceptive facade of straightness," Doyle writes.
  • In the late 60s, he thought about recording an album called Paul McCartney Goes Too Far, but he never did. "I was such a daring young thing. We were on this wacky adventure," he said.

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