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What´s the best McCartney bio?
6 January 2013
10.39pm
DrBeatle
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Zig said
DrBeatle said

I received Many Years From Now for Christmas and can't wait to start it - need to finish Can't Buy Me Love first.

Let me know how it is...that's next on my list to get and read!

Are you referring to Can't Buy Me Love or Many Years From Now? I'd be happy to tell you about either one once I have finished.mal-evans

I meant Many Years From Now, but I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on both, actually!

 

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7 January 2013
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Douglas_Fir
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"Many Years From Now" arrived today and I will start reading it tonight!

7 January 2013
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fabfouremily
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Douglas_Fir said
"Many Years From Now" arrived today and I will start reading it tonight!

Enjoy, I´m sure you will! Probably take a while, though.

 

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

7 January 2013
6.02pm
Douglas_Fir
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Thank you! This is my first Beatles book...

I am not the most avid reader but when the topic interests me like this, I think I will make significant progress every reading session! I have no hurry though, except for to get to the next Beatles book in the long queue of Beatles books a-hard-days-night-paul-5

7 January 2013
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parlance
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Just finished the book. I enjoyed it immensely. Once I had a good chunk of time on my hands, I couldn't put it down. This is one of the few bios I felt safe committing some time to, as it's comes directly from a Beatle, with the help of someone who knew him well, and doesn't bear the stain of sensationalism like so many Beatle bios (of course this is more an autobiography where the ghost-rider got credit). Of course it has Paul's spin (what bio doesn't?), and Paul frequently glosses over the details of the break-up, but overall, he seems pretty frank throughout. I felt I got a more intimate picture of the man and his motivations. And I think Miles does his best to put Paul's comments into perspective through his own observations and interviews with surrounding players. The book's well-written and it brings the 60s vividly to life.

Favorite parts: as previously mentioned, the avant-garde scene; the sections involving his relationships with the Ashers (it amazes me he was able to live like that at the height of his fame); the discussion of Paul's paintings; and to my surprise, the section on his exploring New York with Linda incognito. Also, Paul's description of the first time they tried pot made me laugh out loud.

As for criticisms, I do wish Paul had spent less time on the whole songwriting contributions/percentages game, which is where he comes across his most defensive (and, frankly, boring). I know that started with John, and should have been dropped. I also wish there were more of Paul's post-Beatles life, but that's only an afterword. I was also hoping he'd had talk more about his relationships with George and Ringo, but it seems this book was written mostly to set the record straight about his partnership with John. There are  some factual inaccuracies; most notably Paul chalks up "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" as being sung by Ringo, and Miles didn't catch the error.

Despite the criticisms, though, I think it's essential reading for a Beatle fan. It's a quick, fascinating read, so don't let the length intimidate you.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

7 January 2013
8.29pm
Into the Sky with Diamonds
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The most controversial part of the book IMO would be the claim that he wrote the music to "In My Life" while Lennon wrote the lyrics.

Of course, it could be 100% true, but Lennon gave McCartney credit for just the "middle eight" of the song, not the main melody - but there's no middle eight.

 

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
7 January 2013
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parlance
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Yeah, John also claimed 70% credit for "Eleanor Rigby," and I take many things he said in the heat of battle with a grain of salt.

As the book mentions, those 2 songs are the only ones where there's discrepancy in L/M contributions, which is pretty extraordinary.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

17 February 2013
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Zig
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I just finished "Many Years From Now" and enjoyed it very much.

There was very little to dislike, but if I had to choose something, it would be the amount of time spent on the Avant-garde scene. By all means, there was a need to bring up this part of Paul's story. In all fairness, it gave me some new perspective on some of the sounds and techniques used in his songs, both with and after The Beatles. My slight criticism stems from my thought that it did not need to take 60 pages (give or take) to tell us about it. There were stretches of pages where Paul was not even mentioned, making me take another look at the cover to make sure the book was really about Paul and not Miles' friends. The aspect of this portion of the book that I did enjoy, was imagining I was there in Paul's house hanging out and discussing various topics. The people he spent time with seemed very cool and I think I would also have enjoyed their company (sans the heroin addicts). I do hesitate slightly on this in some respects however. Some of the ideas discussed were just plain silly. One example was recording a symphony orchestra that was not playing any music...just sitting there making normal human noises (coughing, sniffing...whatever). This to me, is where Avant-garde borders on bullshit.

A few factual errors ('Eleanor Rigby' was not the first track on Revolver) and the far too long A-g section aside, the book was fantastic. Paul's   recollections of growing up in Liverpool, the Hamburg experiences and the rest of the early days helped fill in gaps left open by other books I've read. I highly recommend this to any Beatles fan.

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17 February 2013
5.37pm
parlance
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^^ I agree with you, Zig (except for my loving the chapter on the avant-garde scene), and I almost bought a copy at the record store yesterday. Decided to hold off so I'm not tempted to go back to re-read it when I have other Beatle books from the library to go through.

One example was recording a symphony orchestra that was not playing any music…just sitting there making normal human noises (coughing, sniffing…whatever). This to me, is where Avant-garde borders on bullshit.

That part tickled me, imagining Paul so earnestly contributing, rolling a coin along a radiator, lol.

parlance

 

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

17 February 2013
8.19pm
LongHairedLady
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I finally ordered "Many Years From Now" on Amazon today.  Can't wait!  Something to read on the bus that I inevitably will have to start taking again this week.. paul-mccartney

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

17 February 2013
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Ben Ramon
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parlance said

One example was recording a symphony orchestra that was not playing any music…just sitting there making normal human noises (coughing, sniffing…whatever). This to me, is where Avant-garde borders on bullshit.

That part tickled me, imagining Paul so earnestly contributing, rolling a coin along a radiator, lol.

parlance

Letting out an occasional quiet McCartney trademark falsetto "oooo."

 

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
18 February 2013
12.38am
parlance
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Ben Ramon said
Letting out an occasional quiet McCartney trademark falsetto "oooo."

Now that would be silly.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

18 February 2013
12.34pm
Zig
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LongHairedLady said
I finally ordered "Many Years From Now" on Amazon today.  Can't wait!  Something to read on the bus that I inevitably will have to start taking again this week.. paul-mccartney

Just be careful you don't miss your stop - the book is hard to put down. I find Paul to be a great story teller and I enjoy Miles' writing style. It's a great combination.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

18 February 2013
1.11pm
Joe
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I can also recommend Miles' In The Sixties, which contains a fair amount of stuff about Paul and The Beatles that didn't make it into MYFN (though there is some overlap). I think it might be out of print now though - I bought a second hand copy.

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18 February 2013
2.53pm
parlance
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^^ Ever since you recommended that book I've been trying to find it, but I don't know if it even got published in the US. I'll probably have to order from Amazon UK.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

18 February 2013
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LongHairedLady
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LongHairedLady said
I finally ordered "Many Years From Now" on Amazon today.  Can't wait!  Something to read on the bus that I inevitably will have to start taking again this week.. paul-mccartney

Just be careful you don't miss your stop - the book is hard to put down. I find Paul to be a great story teller and I enjoy Miles' writing style. It's a great combination.

Good call!  I love books like that.

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

21 February 2013
10.59am
Funny Paper
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"One example was recording a symphony orchestra that was not playing any music…just sitting there making normal human noises (coughing, sniffing…whatever). This to me, is where Avant-garde borders on bullshit."

Yes and no.  I think it's worth experimenting, which should include entertaining anything at least once -- it's good practice for getting out of the Box, which helps with creativity in general.

The idea quoted above reminds me of an idea I once had:  I once thought of a piece for a symphony orchestra where everybody turns to the first page of their score, and the score is written on purpose to be humanly impossible to play -- from the very first note.  Thus the entire orchestra just sits there, poised to try (e.g., violinists and cellists with their bows upraised), but unable to play.

 

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21 February 2013
5.37pm
vonbontee
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I think that's the sort of thing that would have to be seen live, experienced, to be appreciated. Amusing in concept, but I doubt I'd want to listen to a recording of it. (Now, if you gave them something impossible to play, and they actually TRIED to play it, that's a different story!)

That's interesting how Paul misremembered "Spoil the Party" as being sung by Ringo. I wonder if they'd considered giving it to him to sing originally? Or maybe Paul was confusing that song with "Act Naturally" - those two aren't dissimilar.

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
22 February 2013
2.20am
parlance
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vonbontee said
That's interesting how Paul misremembered "Spoil the Party" as being sung by Ringo. I wonder if they'd considered giving it to him to sing originally?

I was wondering that myself.

Or maybe Paul was confusing that song with "Act Naturally" - those two aren't dissimilar.

Oof. Spoil the Party's one of my favorites. I just don't see much resemblance.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

22 February 2013
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fabfouremily
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parlance said

vonbontee said
That's interesting how Paul misremembered "Spoil the Party" as being sung by Ringo. I wonder if they'd considered giving it to him to sing originally?

I was wondering that myself.

Yes, the song was intended for Ringo originally a-hard-days-night-ringo-12

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

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