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A decade (or so) in the life
on 16 November 2013
In the introduction to this book Tom Doyle attempts to reconcile some of the fundamentally contradictory aspects of Paul McCartney. As one of the most famous figures in the world over the last fifty years, it seems like we should known him very well - after all there has been no shortage of interviews with the man over the decades, and this year in particular, with the release of his new album, has seen him crop up on many television and radio programmes.
But as all his previous biographers have found, when you distill the numerous interviews the real McCartney is still a nebulous figure, and understanding the man behind the public facade isn't an easy task.
Man on the Run draws on several interviews conducted in recent years by Tom Doyle with Paul. Do they offer any particular new insights? A few little nuggets, but no, not really, so we still have to rely on eye-witnesses from the period, such as the other members of Wings, to get a real insight into what was happening.
Plenty of other writers have traveled this road, so whilst the events chronicled are fascinating - the break-up and legal wranglings of the Beatles, the fledgling evolution of Wings, the early ad-hoc tours, the bizarre recordings such as Mary Had a Little Lamb, the return to form with Band on the Run, the triumphant 1976 World Tour and McCartney's Japanese imprisonment in 1980 - there isn't a lot here that will be new to anybody who has read a selection of the many books published about McCartney over the last three decades or so.
But for those who come fresh to this period, then Man on the Run manages to capture the era very well, a time when McCartney did exactly what he pleased - both musically and personally - with only the Japanese bust and John Lennon's death bringing this chapter of his story to a sober end.