“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” ~ Pablo Picasso
I just finished reading a 600+ page tome about Paul McCartney. He was always my favorite (you thought it would be Ringo, didn’t you?). I couldn’t have told you exactly why he was my favorite, but after reading Barry Miles’ book, I have a better idea. Paul lived in an extraordinary time, surrounded by extraordinary people, and he created music that changed the world. There aren’t many people who can say that. His seemingly simple pop songs are often intricate, near orchestral at times, and full of more imagery than you can shake a stick at. Most of his characters are made up, though many LSD tripping hippies thought otherwise. The songs he and Lennon composed together are nothing short of otherworldly. The sheer originality of each one defies description. I took many things away from this book. For instance, it was John that broke up the band, not Yoko, and it was primarily Paul’s creative drive that produced their last four albums. To be clear, those recordings sound the way they do because of the fab four (and George Martin), not Paul alone, but he was their energy (the others probably called him bossy); from album cover design to playing drums on a few tracks. I said earlier that I’d always loved Wings, and one can clearly hear remnants of the Beatles’ in that band. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine what those songs would have sounded like if John, George, Ringo, and George Martin had been alongside Paul. I think he always held out hope that the band would reform one day, or at least go back on the road and do a few shows like they’d done when they were young men. That’s what he loved more than anything. I can’t help but feel sorry for The Beatles. They loved each other more than most families, but people and drugs (mostly) ate away at them until they fell apart. Then, a crazy man came along, and with one shot, ended any chance they had to fully mend (though John and Paul had become friends again). Life is like that sometimes. Still, what a gift they gave the world, huh? I loved this book. It left me inspired. And I love Paul McCartney more than ever, and I can tell you exactly why.