Tuesday 21 August 2012

Paul McCartney Biography Roundup

Hi folks – finally got around to posting this video review of three Paul McCartney biographies.

Join me for a authorial grudge match as McCartney (Christopher Sandford), Fab: An Intimate Life Of Paul McCartney (Howard Sounes) and Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now (Barry Miles) duke it out for supremacy.

Who has the most inside info on Paul's love life?
Who crunches the numbers in Paul's bank balance?
And do any of them have anything useful to say about SONGWRITING?!




  1. Thank you Matt. I already have the book FAB by Howard Sounes, but surprisingly do not have Many Years From Now by Barry Miles (and Macca)!

    I also have McCartney by Chet Flippo.

    I've just clicked the link on here to buy Many Years From Now (make you some pennies hopefully too that way).

  2. Hey thanks Marv! what's the Flippo book like? (not that I'm planning to read a 4th biography!)

  3. This was a very helpful post, Matt. Thanks!

  4. I've tried answering now five times, so basically Matt I'll just say that the Flippo book is great when talking about the pre-fame years, but otherwise is not worth a look. I've read those parts before and then stopped a couple of times. Need a better book.

    A quick response so I don't lose my signal again.

  5. If you like biographies, it's not actually about any of The Beatles, but this is a great read, even if it is substantial -


  6. I hated the Sandford book. Here's the review I wrote of it for amazon.com in the U.S.: "Of the dozens of books I have read about the Beatles, both individually and as a group, this is one of the most glaring examples of unreadable drivel I have seen. Another reviewer lauds this book for not containing any factual errors, when, in fact, it contains many, all easily verifiable through other reliable sources. Sandford's writing style is obnoxiously self-absorbed and annoying, and his reviews and opinions of the Beatles' music are totally unnecessary and expendable. There is little here that hasn't been hashed over dozens of times in other, better books. I opened this book with high hopes, but closed it with a sense of sad disappointment." I wrote that several years ago, and my opinion has not changed. I have not read the Sounes, but it's on my to-do list. I mostly agree with your assessment of the Miles, and having read several other McCartney biographies besides these, I'd have to say the Miles tops the list. Thanks for this post. I respect your opinions, and very much enjoyed your reviews.

  7. Thanks Marv and Rich. Yes the Sandford book was poor - I try to not review book I dislike at all, but as I was comparing I decided to go ahead and I enjoyed more than I should because I read it BEFORE the Sounes book. I'd be interested to know what you make of it when you read it Rich.