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Old Jun 09, 2014, 02:04 PM   #1
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Default Man on the Run - New book

New book ‘Man on the Run’ reveals Paul McCartney’s struggle with drugs, alcohol after Beatles breakup

Music journalist Tom Doyle documents Paul McCartney’s life post-Beatles in his new book ‘Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s.’ Doyle details McCartney’s problems with drugs, his volatile relationship with John Lennon, and the creation of rock band Wings.

BY Sherryl Connelly
Sunday, June 8, 2014, 2:00 AM

Paul McCartney began the ’70s in an alcoholic haze and ended them in a Japanese jail. The decade in between was one long and winding road.

A new book, “Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s,” by music journalist Tom Doyle, reveals just how unprepared McCartney was for life beyond the Beatles.

He was shaken to the core by the band’s demise and further undone by John Lennon’s vitriol.

Doyle, who conducted extensive interviews with McCartney and almost everyone else still alive from the singer’s dark decade, tells the story of a man who almost didn’t make it out of the ’60s and the Beatles alive.

“He knew he was in trouble the morning he couldn’t lift his head off the pillow. He awoke facedown, his skull feeling like a useless dead weight. A dark thought flashed through his mind; if he couldn’t make the effort to pull himself up, he’d suffocate right there and then,” Doyle writes, pulling from McCartney’s recollections.

“Somehow, as if it was the hardest thing he’d ever done, he summoned the energy to move. He flipped over onto his back and thought, Jesus . . . that was a bit near.”

On Sept. 20, 1969, at a critical meeting of the still barely together Beatles in London, Lennon announced, “I’m leaving the group. I want a divorce.”

McCartney returned to the isolated home, High Park Farm, that he shared with his wife, Linda, and their children in Argyll, Scotland, with the secret knowledge that life as “Beatle Paul” was over. He felt “utterly worthless.”

“His often sleepless nights were spent shaking with anxiety, while his days, which he was finding it harder and harder to make it through, were characterized by heavy drinking and self-sedation with marijuana. . . . When he did get out of bed, he’d reach straight for the whisky, his drinking creeping earlier and earlier into the day. By 3 in the afternoon, he was usually out of it.”

McCartney later said he “almost” had a nervous breakdown. That was no almost. Linda found the situation “frightening beyond belief.” The rock star she had married was suddenly a broken, beaten man.

“Linda saved me,” McCartney says. Over time, she was able to slowly rouse him from his depressed, substance-induced stupor with love and compassion, gently urging him forward. McCartney started writing songs again, secretly recording in a rickety makeshift studio on the farm.

In the midst of all this, a rumor swept the globe that Paul was dead. Journalists found their way to his remote hideaway. He hated doing interviews since invariably he’d be asked if was happy, and the question could reduce him to tears.

One morning, fresh from bed, he opened the door on a Life magazine photographer. McCartney threw a bucket at his head. It was a great shot that, had it appeared, would have shown the world Paul as a madman. In exchange for the roll of film, McCartney posed with his family and answered some questions.

He affirmed the obvious, that he was still alive, but let drop a bombshell no one picked up on.

“The Beatle thing is over,” he said.

It was, but McCartney would first endure both a bitter court case in which he was cast as the villain and a vicious feud with Lennon before he was truly done.


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Old Jun 09, 2014, 02:08 PM   #2
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Default Man on the Run (cont.)

Lennon could completely wreck him. In an interview after McCartney released his first solo LP, “McCartney,” Lennon ranted that Paul’s new music was “rubbish” and that McCartney’s domineering ways had laid waste to the Beatles.

McCartney read the interview and, still feeling shaky, thought, “He’s captured me so well. I’m a turd.”

He feared Lennon could “do me in” with his words.

It was in bed one night that McCartney told Linda that he wanted to start a band — and she would be an integral part of it. He so needed a musical venture that wasn’t the Beatles, but he also had to keep her close.

“She was more than an important element, she was a necessity,” says Denny Seiwell, who joined Wings as the band’s first drummer.

That didn’t mean McCartney wasn’t harsh with her musical ineptitude on the keyboard — he once said publicly she was “absolute rubbish” — or didn’t suffer from the world’s derision of her efforts. But there was a lot of derision in store for Wings. A Rolling Stone reviewer wondered in print if their first album, “Wild Life,” was “deliberately second rate.”

While the 1973 album “Band on the Run” was a megahit and Grammy winner, band members were always quitting, often at the last minute, and usually complaining of McCartney’s stinginess.

McCartney was confused. He had started the band as a search for musical collaboration comparable to what he’d had with the Beatles. When that didn’t work out, Wings became Paul McCartney & Wings, with McCartney enforcing his role as the musician of world stature, the former Beatle, now in charge.

In the end, after the band just faded away following McCartney’s dope bust in Japan, he conceded that with Wings he had spent a decade chasing what belonged to yesterday.

“To me there was always a feeling of letdown,” he admitted, “because the Beatles had been so big that anything I did had to compare directly with them.”

His relationship with Lennon remained volatile as rumors persisted throughout the decade that the Beatles would reunite.

In 1974, Lennon had his own alcohol- and drug-fueled breakdown, laying waste to his marriage to Yoko Ono. He took off to Los Angeles with May Pang, a young woman Ono had approached to be his mistress. Lennon made one spectacle of himself after another out West.

McCartney hooked up with him out there with a message from Ono, whom he had asked, “Do you still love him? Do you want to get back with him?” She told McCartney that Lennon would have to woo her back with flowers and obvious affection.

McCartney spoke, Lennon heard, and in time he was home with Ono.

Their friendship progressed to the point where in 1976, when Lorne Michaels made a spoof offer of $3,000 for the Beatles to reunite on “Saturday Night Live,” Paul and John, watching the show at the Dakota, seriously considered catching a cab to 30 Rock.

But the next day, Lennon turned nasty when McCartney unexpectedly showed up at the Dakota apartment with a guitar, hoping to jam.

Lennon may have been upset by a news report that with the success of “Wings at the Speed of Sound,” McCartney was worth $25 million. At any rate, he told McCartney to go away.

“Please call before you come over,” he snapped. “It’s not 1956, and turning up at the door isn’t the same anymore.”

Sometimes I dream in colors
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Old Jun 09, 2014, 02:10 PM   #3
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Default Man on the Run (cont.)

They never saw each other again. Four years later, Lennon was dead. By then, Paul was already a changed man.

It was the bust in Japan in January 1980 — McCartney was facing seven years behind bars if charged and convicted — that ended an era for McCartney. A notorious public doper, he had already been busted in Sweden and Scotland. He knew better than to carry marijuana into Japan. Yet he did.

And he was so blatant. There it was, a half-pound of grass in a baggie resting under a jacket at the top of his suitcase. The customs officer could hardly ignore it.

McCartney went to jail thoroughly terrified. “I slept with my back to the wall,” he told Doyle, for fear of being raped. Soon he was comfortable enough to sing “Yesterday” naked in the communal bath, but his nine days behind bars were harrowing.

Japanese officials decided to deport rather than convict him. McCartney returned home highly aware he had put both his freedom and his family at risk, and for what? His freewheeling days were over, and soon enough, so was his band.

“It sucked the momentum out of Wings,” one of the musicians, Laurence Juber, told Doyle.

Lennon was assassinated on Dec. 8. Soon afterward, McCartney again disappeared with Linda and his family to a farm, this one in Sussex. Once more, he was recording in secret. It was like 1969 all over again.

But this time, McCartney wasn’t having a nervous breakdown. He was truly beginning life again — on his terms.

Whole article including photos

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Old Jun 09, 2014, 02:19 PM   #4
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I find two different covers for this book.

Surprising with two so different covers. Is this really a new book or a reworked one?

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Old Jun 09, 2014, 10:52 PM   #5
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This book was first published in September 2013 (as both a paperback and Kindle version - the bottom of the two covers above).

The book is being re-released as a hardback (the top cover above) although there are no details as to whether it's an updated version or not.

The book is a good read though, so if you haven't got it, it's well worth investing in.
"Never guess. Unless you have to. There's enough uncertainty in the universe as it is." The Fourth Doctor in "Logopolis" (1981) for Daily Metal News, Reviews and Opinions

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