Good, readable overview of Paul’s exploits in the 1970s. Not overly critical or harsh, reads like it presents a balanced view of his highs and lows. Would have loved to have had more detail, but perhaps that’s another book. If you’re reading the eBook, be sure not to miss the photos at the end, *after* the index!

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Dates 11 December 2013 – 18 December 2013
Time spent reading 5 hours, 25 minutes
Highlights 21
Comments 6
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one stand-out number, ‘Another Day’, the mundane daily routine of a female office worker set against a dreamy, hooky acoustic-guitar-strummed backing, sounded like ‘Eleanor Rigby’ transported to inner-city New York.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

One of the best songs he ever did. I never get tired of listening to it. Linda’s harmonies are great too.

John, Ringo and George turned up at Cavendish Avenue in Lennon’s white Rolls-Royce. Lennon emerged from the car with two bricks, scaled the wall and, reverting to the furious teenage Teddy boy who used to wreck phone boxes in Liverpool, smashed McCartney’s windows.

Wild Life was met with a colossal wave of disappointment. As a Dylan-inspired attempt to bottle the lightning of live recording, it was lacking in thrills.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Having only heard it recently, I actually think it’s actually rather good. It is much more organic than later Wings albums and it seems to have aged quite well because of this.

I wanted to grow Wings from a seed. And that was what we ended up doing. However, this meant that, y’know, if you had a bad spring and you didn’t get enough rain or enough sunshine . . . you were fucked. You’d find that you’d had a pretty poor song harvest? Yeah! And we had some pretty bad weather in the early days.

Asked by the Guardian whether the gigs were actually secret fundraisers for the IRA, Paul ‘refused to be drawn’. The fact that his reply was noncommittal shows the strength of feeling in the wake of Bloody Sunday: the idea of passing around the collection hat for the IRA – who only months later intensified their terrorist bombing campaign – was not yet considered taboo.

‘To me, that’s a heavy trip, those lyrics,’ he mused, like the stoner who has just discovered an entire universe on his fingernail.

‘Listen, how do you think I felt?’ says Henry McCullough. ‘I was coming off the road after three years in America with Joe Cocker and I end up playing “Mary Had A Little Fucking Lamb”.’

Seiwell recalls the moment he had to stand in a crowded backstage room, speaking prepared lines to an imaginary mouse, as agonisingly embarrassing and ‘one of the hardest things I ever had to do in Wings’.

a few days later, the Londoner got the call-back to try out with Wings themselves, being told he was on a shortlist of five. ‘So, suddenly I’d gone from no chance to 25 per cent chance,’ Britton told NME, his arithmetic temporarily failing him.

the floaty Californian FM sound of ‘Listen To What The Man Said’

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

One of the worst post-Beatles songs by a Beatle I have had the misfortune to hear. Does anyone really like this song?

the glassy-eyed hippie balladry of ‘Love In Song’

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

This, however, is a great track.

‘Please call before you come over,’ he snapped at an upset McCartney. ‘It’s not 1956, and turning up at the door isn’t the same any more.’ Later, a contrite John stated, ‘I didn’t mean it badly.’ But the damage was done. Paul turned and left, before flying off in the morning to Dallas to hook up with Wings and begin rehearsals for their American tour. Lennon and McCartney would never see each other again.

In St Mark’s Square in Venice, performing a benefit for Unesco to raise funds to help restore the decaying city, the group provoked mild controversy when it was revealed that – irony of ironies – their heavy equipment trucks had wrecked some centuries-old paving slabs.

‘Yeah? Yeah? Whadda ya want?’ snarled John, answering the call. McCartney was suddenly sick of this ‘vitriolic’ Lennon. ‘Oh, fuck off, Kojak,’ he barked, and slammed the phone down.

Wings’ performance of ‘Mull Of Kintyre’ on Mike Yarwood in Persons was, staggeringly, watched by more than 21 million people, almost 40 per cent of the British population.

When he first visited Columbia’s offices in New York for a grip-and-grin meeting with its employees,

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Splendid phrase!

Rising up the British charts during this time was McCartney’s first attempt at a festive record, ‘Wonderful Christmastime’, a bright, synthy concoction put together alone in the summer and destined to become a perennial.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Not *quite* how I’d describe it.

‘I’ll tell you one thing, man,’ Paul confided in him. ‘I’ll never fall out with anyone again in my life for that amount of time and face the possibility of them dying before I get a chance to square it with them.’

for all his wealth and fame and power, Paul, of course, couldn’t bring back Linda and relive the simpler pleasures the couple enjoyed.

I’m certainly not one of these people who’s really clever and goes, “Well, I can’t do that because that will ruin my image.” I don’t even know what my image is. I’m making it up as I go along.’

Very special thanks to Simon Goddard for his Staropramen-induced, lightbulb-above-the-head notion that gave this book its title,