When someone mentions the Beatles, most people who know of the band would think of Lennon, McCartney, Ringo and Harrison playing great music on stage. The Beatles still are the best pop rock group ever and it has been said that no other pop rock band will come close to their level of success.
Their music was fresh, new and of course it sounded fantastic. But there have been rumors and stories about what the Beatles were singing about, and also about the band members such as whether Paul McCartney was dead or alive along with many other well-known controversial rumors.
Elson manages to bypass all this hearsay and write and intimate diary of Paul McCartney’s life and also a short history of his father and mother. It is in two parts, the first explores Paul’s childhood and his experiences of growing up, meeting other members of the Beatles and how their careers developed.
The book also goes on to clear up rumors about their music and what stimulated the Beatles to write songs. The second part explores Paul’s solo career and life as a family man with Linda.
The book starts off when Paul is a young child and explores Paul’s influences such as his father who had a deep passion for music and shared this passion with his two boys.
Epstien explains how Paul loved the guitar and how this enabled him to write songs to communicate his feelings inside him, an example is when he wrote “Let it be” which was about his mothers death. “When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it be”
The book continues to travel through the various stages Paul went through as a child, his passion for music, his talents at school and his aspirations for become a teacher. It describes his first meeting with John Lennon and how the two boys shared their musical talents and songwriting ideas that developed songs that later on in life would be hits all over the world.
Originally John and Paul didn’t have compatible styles of music. However, after time spent together they shared their music and songwriting ideas and most of the Beatles music was composed even before the band was formed.
The other two members of the band Ringo Star and George Harrison and their entrance into McCartney’s life is written about as well as their influences on the music a very brief history of their family life.
It travels through the good and bad times shared by these four people, deep and tragic moments including the death of Paul’s mother and how he dealt with it, along with the death of their manager Brain Epstien and other grave experiences Paul has lived through.
The book concentrates heavily on the Beatles, as this was the main channel for Paul to share his music with the world. It analyses what provoked Paul to write songs, clarifying rumors that have been spread over the years about Paul and the Beatles music.
A common rumor is how “Lucy in the sky with diamonds” was concerned with the abuse of LSD, much different from the actual story of John’s son bringing home a picture. When Julian was asked what it was he replied “It’s Lucy in the sky with diamonds”.
The second part of the book while being much shorter than the first was based on much more on Paul’s solo career and his life with Linda and his family. It analyses how Paul used everyday, common situations as stimuli for music and songwriting.
A very in-depth, intimate read of Paul McCartney, the Beatles and an era of the best pop rock ever to grace the ears of the public. Epstien delivers truth and intimacy to recreate Paul’s life from a child to where it stood in the 80’s.