From the Publisher
Undertaking extensive research for this book, Ian Peel interviewed many of McCartney's intimate musical associates from this less-familiar side of his career, including:
Super Furry Animals - on their carrot chewing percussion and electronic sound collage collaborations.
Youth - the three-times BRIT-nominated producer speaks in depth for the first time ever on his two albums of techno ambient and chill-out recorded with McCartney as The Fireman.
Nitin Sawhney - on McCartney's first tentative steps into drum & bass, holed up in Sawhney's London bedsit.
Richard Hewson - breaks a 20-year silence on the Thrillington project and pseudonym.
David Vaughan - the renowned psychedelic artist and organiser of 60s 'happenings' airs his strong views on Carnival of Light, The Beatles' most legendary unreleased track.
Other interviewees include Yoko Ono, bassist Herbie Flowers, Gong's Daevid Allen, Frank Zappa's guitarist Mike Keneally, JJ Jeczalik (Art of Noise) and members of Wings.
From the Author
The book covers all eras of McCartney's creative life:
1960s: This is the first McCartney/Beatles book to examine in detail the avant-garde influences that weighed into their music, examining artists such as John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, the late Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and Max V. Matthews (who made the first ever computer music in 1957). To say nothing of Ray Cathode (George Martin's electronica alter ego).
The Unknown Paul McCartney also looks at how the influence of these early 20th century composers resonates across modern pop music as a whole.
1970s: I look above the mullets and drug busts and examine the more credible side of McCartney's music in the 1970s. The work of Percy 'Thrills' Thrillington - his bizarre easy listening alter ego - comes under the microscope for its most detailed analysis to date. Wings guitarist Laurence Juber tells of freaking out David Bowie with radio/dialogue/funk jams. The avant-garde act of vegetable chewing in a Brian Wilson/Beach Boys session also comes out of the hazy mists of time.
1980s: Although critically his most reviled period to date, the '80s saw McCartney begin to play with synthesizers, samplers and remixes. While tracing the story of a Beatles' first faltering steps into 12" singles and New York clubs, I find time for one of the most in-depth histories of remix culture ever to appear in print.
1990s: It may not get covered in the mainstream press but the 90s have been McCartney's most avant-garde period to date. I cover his secret jam sessions with Yoko Ono, ambient sound collage with the Super Furry Animals, pure white noise and chainsaw recordings for an art gallery installation, and guitar/poetry performance with Allen Ginsberg.