It was back in June of 2014 that I read a write-up/review in Billboard Magazine about a new book about Paul McCartney titled Man On The Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s authored by Q Magazine’s contributing editor Tom Doyle. Having read somewhat extensively about Paul McCartney and The Beatles, this book seemed unique in that it focused specifically on McCartney’s life and career in the ten years following The Beatles breakup.
The author, is no stranger to Paul McCartney, having interviewed him on numerous occasions, and certainly having direct access to Sir Paul helped to give this book the depth of information that it has in abundance.
The Beatles, both individually and as a group, are easily the most written about music artists of all time, and finding a niche angle for a book is no easy task, yet, to the best of my knowledge, Tom Doyle has done just that by focusing his lens on Paul McCartney in the decade after the demise of the Fab Four.
The book picks up as if it were the morning after the breakup if such a thing could be so specifically pinpointed, and continues on with McCartney finding his sea legs and attempting to re-invent and begin again, as if such a thing could be done. Doyle does an outstanding job of interjecting the other three Beatles when necessary, without getting bogged down in too much back-and-forth covered in so many other books. The author aptly stays the course, telling the story of Paul, Linda, and the ever changing lineup of the band known as Wings, and although this is clearly a book about a former Beatle, Mr. Doyle skillfully makes “Man On The Run” a story unto itself, and this book a treasure for any fan of Paul McCartney; the Beatle, the Wing or the solo artist.
As for my own personal and humble opinion, regardless of the personal turbulence that McCartney clearly went through during this period, his output in the 1970s – whether with Wings or solo – make up some of the most endearing work of McCartney’s career. Whether he was a lost millionaire hippie outlaw or a wounded artist on a soul-searching quest, he was still Paul McCartney, and songs like “Band On The Run”, “Live and Let Die” and “Another Day” stand up to any Beatles song in composition, musicianship and timelessness… Again, in my humble opinion.
I give this book five stars, two thumbs up and a smiley face, and highly recommend it to both Wings fans and 70s era fans alike. At just under 250 pages from index to discography it’s an easy and entertaining read while not getting lost in facts, dates, and irrelevant gobbledygook. It’s apparent that the author loves his subject, and while being respectful to McCartney, he delivers a candid and honest biography well worth the read.