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Paul McCartney: A Life (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 3. November 2009

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"As he did with his superb biography of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, Peter Ames Carlin has done it again. His biography of Paul McCartney has the same keen insights, the same flowing prose, the same crisp narrative. What emerges is a full-blown portrait of one of our greatest icons and enigmas. If there is anyone who writes about modern musicians better than Carlin does, I don't know who it could possibly be." -- Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights

"Peter Ames Carlin kicks out the jams, with a frank and revealing portrait of the man behind the myth. Paul McCartney emerges from this account bursting with talent, brilliant and flawed." -- Bob Spitz, author of The Beatles: The Biography

"Among the many virtues of Carlin's sympathetic yet discerning portrait is the way he turns so many familiar details into a fresh life story. This is the Cute Beatle you only thought you knew, whose good cheer feeds off ferocious ambition. In Carlin's treatment, McCartney's whimsical persona may be even more complicated than his partner's, and since Lennon's death in 1980, requires far more maintenance. " -- Tim Riley, author of Tell Me Why: A Beatles Commentary

"The best thing about Peter Ames Carlin's book is the way he entangles the music and the life, so that we begin to understand them as what they are -- inextricable. This is the kind of book that Paul McCartney's solo work deserves -- enthusiastic but critical, a redemptive reevaluation of what's best about Paul's solo work without denying the worst, and a clear-eyed overview of the Beatles period as a part of a very active, creative, and personal life that endures." -- Dave Marsh, author of Bruce Springsteen on Tour: 1968-2005

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Peter Ames Carlin has been a senior writer for People, a TV critic for The Oregonian newspaper, and is the author of Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney: A Life. Carlin lives with his wife and three children in Portland, Oregon.


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50 von 56 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen HOW MCCARTNEY'S LIFE INFLUENCED HIS MUSIC 2. November 2009
Von Stuart Jefferson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Hardcover,340 pages of text,not including title page,contents,notes,etc. The paper stock and type face make this an easy to read book. There are eight pages of black and white photographs,which include THE BEATLES in Germany and elsewhere,WINGS,and even a shot of McCartney and Heather Mills showing their mutual affection for each other.

Yes,this is yet another biography of Paul McCartney. However,this book,thanks to author Peter Ames Carlin,takes the reader in a slightly different direction. This author was able to weave and juxtapose McCartney's life,with his human foibles,into his music making to a degree that hasn't been done previously. The author interviewed a number of McCartney's friends,associates,and bandmates,throughout McCartney's (now) long life,and has collected his findings into a crisp,clean,well written book.

Starting with McCartney's early life,which has been written about extensively (yet somewhat academically),we begin to catch a glimmer of how McCartney,the person,came to view both work and music (which eventually became one and the same),and life (especially with his late wife Linda),giving room especially to his later years when he was a "solo" (sans BEATLES) artist. This approach is both very refreshing and makes for rewarding reading. The writing style is crisp and on target. Along the way there are insights into the human side of McCartney and his view of the world,business and music-making. The author's writing style is fresh and invigorating-this isn't just another dull rehash of facts we've all read before. This book gives insight into why McCartney still matters to many listeners today. While there are no real startling observations,the reader will come away with a newer,perhaps better understanding of Paul McCartney the man,and the musician-and how the man and the music are inseparable.
19 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The soul of wit 21. November 2009
Von LukeandNoah4ever - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This little masterwork is a great introduction to and portrait of "the cute Beatle". In the book, the image of McCartney veers between hardworking genius driven by a desire for fame and fortune and slacking bon vivant given to superficial efforts and some fairly predictable human weaknesses. The ample notes section at the back reveals that Carlin has done his homework. As someone who has read a fair share of Beatles' history, I found the book tells old tales well, mines some new territory (particularly in the area of Paul's business sense), and does real justice to the Paul vs. John debate. While clearly somewhat enamored of his subject, Carlin isn't afraid to call McCartney for slip ups on or off the stage. Best of all, Carlin has built off his previous success with the Brian Wilson biography by writing with great style about music. The specific chords, lyrics and riffs you've heard your whole life are put instantly into context under Carlin's hand. The descriptions of various concerts and studio sessions give you a real sense of being there.
80 von 96 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Seriously Disappointing 1. Dezember 2009
Von rain cloud - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
There's been so much written about this band I really thought this guy would labor to bring his post beatle career to life. And I certainly thought--because the beatle's recording engineer wrote a great book a couple of years back, Geoff Emerick, "Here, There, and Everywhere"--I certainly thought because of important revelations in that book that this guy would go to some lengths to give McCartney his real due, which is that from Rubber Soul through Mystery Tour he was basically the Beatles arranger/producer and George Martin just dropped in occasionally to see if Paul needed anything.

You see, the thing a lot of people don't really consciously register about the Beatles is that--well,of course they had the fantastic song writing team. The Beatles had two songwriting geniuses, people who say it was just one or the other are ridiculous because if they'd only had one they would have looked much more like the Beach Boys, who had one. The Beatles had two, which is why we're still talking about them.

But they had something else, too. If you'll indulge me a short anecdote to illustrate.

In about 1982 I was lying alone in my apartment in the dark listening to a radio interview with Nelson Riddle, the music arranger who was a legend in the music business--he worked with nat king cole, with Frank Sinatra (for crying out loud), etc. At the end of the interview they asked him if there were any MUSIC ARRANGING GENIUSES working in the music business at that moment. He had a one-word answer: "Wings."

My point is that not only did the fabs have the writing team, they had a genius arranger/producer in paul McCartney. I remember arguing this years ago to a professional songwriter from Nashville and he interrupted me to say, "You're arguing the obvious--no one in the music business would deny that--"

I expected this point to be made and illustrated in this book but it wasn't. Just the same old crap: "Paul didn't pay the musicians enough. He argued with John. Linda had a baby." I expected more. This has all been done and done and done.

He did mention Lennon's "Come Together" was just a chuck berry style rocker until paul got hold of it, slowed it way down, invented the bass lick, invented the "shoom" sound on the mic, invented the drum part and wrote the electric piano solo which he then taught to Lennon. Listen, there were a LOT of songs lennon brought in that went like that. Geoff Emerick said McCartney regularly had a huge impact on Lennon songs but rarely did it work the other way around. Next time you listen to a lennon song like "Sexy Sadie" or "Cry Baby" from the White Album ask yourself how much those un-be-lievable arrangements contribute. Those are truly great songs but just listen to the artistry of those freaking arrangements--how the different instruments compliment each other like a little symphony, how they work together to express unified musical ideas. Then listen to Band on the Run and then listen to any solo lennon album and tell me who you think took that Beatle sound with them when they went their separate ways.

I also really appreciated him pointing out something I'd known quite a while--that McCartney basically taught john and george how to play guitar, he even had to teach lennon how to tune one.

I was also fascinated that mcCartney even as almost a child would not just play you a song but "give a performance" and when he played for boy scouts at camp, even if it was an audience of two hundred, it didn't phase him.

As a songwriter he was not really any better than Lennon but in every other category he dwarfed everyone around him. He was in many ways the heart and soul of the Beatles. I've long said his big mistake was that if he wanted to be the pretty one he damn sure shouldn't have been the most talented one. That's really what so many people had against him back in that era, he couldn't be the main one cause he was so obviously the pretty boy. Well, he was the main one. Maybe not fair but true.

The bottom line is if you've read more than one other book about Mr. McCartney you are probably going to find this a fairly entertaining rehash. The definitive book about him waits to be written. (Actually the one by Geoff Emerick was far superior to this because he had so much new to add and I appreciate it).

Lastly, I just read this book sitting on a plane and couldn't believe he gave a song-by-song description of the album Abbey Road. Is there anyone above the age of twelve in North America who hasn't heard Abbey Road? Do we really need to read a description of something even my seventeen year old daughter knows backwards and forwards? This sounds bitchy but it really struck me as almost filler. Tell me something I DON'T know, please. Thankyou for your attention.

P.S. I've been a fan of theirs since the first downbeat on ed sullivan and I NEVER liked paul more than john or john more than paul--i was always a total fan of both and totally in awe of their band. I even loved george and ringo.
16 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen If you're a fan of Paul, this isn't for you... 7. Februar 2011
Von A. S. D. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
This book is pretty Anti-Paul if you ask me. The author paints McCartney in a pretty bad light through much of it and it seems to really get a lot of input from former associates of Paul's, some of them with an obvious axe to grind. As an example, first Wings guitarist- Henry McCullough (sp).

According to the author, Henry really hated the fact that McCartney wanted Henry to play things the same each time in the studio by the numbers, but Henry wanted to improvise more. This might be the case, but if you're recording and the music is written by a writer with Paul's reputation, the writer has a right to get what he wants out of the recorded performance. It's HIS vision, not Henry's that's being realized. Also, ANYONE that's listened to the early bootlegs of Wings college shows knows that Henry was not great at improvisation, at least with those early shows. There were times when you could tell that alcohol was the 6th Wings member and Henry's solos would go extremely out of key and out of the pocket. To listen to "Henry's Blues" from those boots is an exercise in patience. As an author, it's good to note that this bugged Henry. But man, listen to the performances and maybe you can see where Paul was coming from by wanting Henry to stick to the format. Of COURSE he'd want things to be the same. Bless Henry, he's a great player for sure, but during that period, things were not tight and Paul, as a band leader had the job of reigning it in. Seems that rather than just take Henry's word on it, the author might've wanted to research what was coming out of Henry's amp at the time.

There were similar quotes from Dave Spinoza. Hey Dave, it's Paul's music, he's paying for the studio, and the musicians. He SHOULD be able to say "Yo Dave, please play it like this. I know what I'm after.". The author just makes it sound like Paul was a dictator just to be a jerk. Hardly. The guy is a musical genius and if Paul says "Hey, don't play here" then don't. Why does this make McCartney a bad guy?

Same with Elvis Costello. Paul didn't want the stuff he wrote with Elvis to be roughly recorded. Paul, at that time wasn't into that. So what? Elvis Costello is gonna argue Paul MF McCartney? SERIOUS?

There are also a lot of errors in it and things that were repeated in other, less-than-accurate books on McCartney. As an example, The Beatles did NOT helicopter into Shea stadium or out of it. If you've seen the Shea film, you know this. If you've read other books on them, you also know this. Small point, but there are a lot of these kinds of things in the book that the author would pass on as facts that simply are not.

Most of the book is about "Beatle Paul" even though that was only a period of about 12 years (8 years after The Beatles "made it" in 62 and a few years prior). The Wings stuff is a very tiny portion of the book as is the after-Wings stuff. Granted, it could be argued that people don't want to read about those years (wrong) but still, it should've been more balanced time-wise. The Wings years were pretty good years for McCartney and that should be acknowledged. While the other 3 Beatles did what they were doing, Paul made a complete new career for himself and the guy was way successful at it. The fact that he's 68 and still going strong is a testament to that.

The author wastes no time in putting down a lot of McCartney's work too and seems to really get on him because he is a guy that likes to try anything. So what if he paints. I'm sure Paul doesn't think he's the next Davinci, yet the author would have you believe that Paul sees himself in a similar light.

The facts are that McCartney was always a driven guy. He tried a ton of new things and branched out into things the other guys didn't do. Why is that a bad thing? As an example, the Liverpool Oratorio. Okay, so Paul tried his hand at classical composing and did an adequate job. Yet the author seems to hang things on the fact that it did so well simply out of Paul's name recognition. That could be true I suppose, but to print that as fact seems pretty biased. It was a successful endeavor for him. So much so, that he did another one after it.

Just seemed like the author just really wanted to put McCartney's work down, without really going into it too much. One thing that I did notice that the author kind of pointed out- each time Paul lost someone key in his life, he WOULD do things that were great very soon afterward. I hadn't noticed that before and that was a bit of a revelation.

Take this from the book:
"Paul preferred to portray himself walking in light, bathed in the devotion of the fans who paid premium rates to see his face, to hear his voice, to feel the spirit of the music that had defined or even changed their lives. This is what Paul felt as he traveled the world..."

How the heck does the author know WHAT McCartney preferred?? Paul was certainly not interviewed for the book.

If you liked the books by Albert Goldman and Geoffrey Giuliano- you'll probably like this one as well. For me, it seemed pretty biased.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen The Walrus was Paul.... really.... 10. September 2010
Von Nowhere Man - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Carlin's biography seeks to debunk the well-worn argument, first aired in Phillip Norman's "Shout" in 1981, that John Lennon was the guiding intellectual force and true talent behind the Beatles. In this retelling, McCartney comes off as the group's impresario. Combining an innate musical genius with an insatisable will, McCartney takes Lennon's rather ragtag little skiffle group and gradually shapes them into the cultural powerhouse that they would become. Although Carlin is careful to insist on Lennon and McCartney's creative partnership, his discussion of it is hackneyed and cliched-ridden. Lennon, in Carlin's view, was quite undisciplined while McCartney was the one who first and consistently kept his ear tuned to the avant-garde and other musical innovations.

The book is most effective when discussing the reasons for McCartney's driven persona: the experience of his mother's loss (at 14, he was four years younger than Lennon was at his mother's death) and the trauma he experienced over the Beatles' break-up, Lennon's murder, and the death of his wife, Linda. McCartney's best music, in Carlin's view, emerges from his deeply-felt need to find solace and comfort in the midst of tragedy: "take a sad song and make it better," "let it be."

Although generally sympathetic, Carlin does underline how McCartney's increasingly martinet approach in the studio helped to sow the bad feelings that led to the group's break-up. More interestingly, he argues that this helps to explain his post-Beatles band Wings's continually shifting line-up and the frequently hard feelings he provokes in former associates. I wish that Carlin had devoted more time to the post-Beatles years - a far less well known history than the by-now liturgical recitation of the Beatles' career - and I think by trying to give McCartney his (over-)due, he diminishes Lennon's contributions to the band overmuch. Nonetheless, this is an entertaining read that tries hard to grapple with an icon who's been much maligned, much loved but not very well understood.
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