Paul Mc Cartney–Beatle with Wings!

Paul Mc Cartney–Beatle with Wings![1] by Martin A. Grove was a short paperback published in 1978. I acquired it as a library discard. Its main focus was on Wings versus Beatle Paul. The author took painstaking care to describe every solo McCartney and Wings album up till London Town, down to graphic design, lettering, inserts, and even the number of photographs on their inside sleeves. Although I owned all the albums Grove described, I didn’t have them with me as I read so it would have been nice to see the artwork, even in black and white. There were thankfully plenty of photo inserts of Paul and the band, as the author truly tried to convey through photos and text that Wings was a tight and focussed group, not merely a collection of unknown sidemen as well as wife Linda who backed Paul. 

Chapters were devoted to the Paul-is-dead hoax, and quotations about Paul in his own words. I had to pull out my albums to take a look at some of the Paul-is-dead clues. As a fourteen-year-old in 1980 when I first heard of this hoax, I never believed any of it. Being from Ontario helped kill any suspicions, as one clue in particular–the shoulder patch Paul was wearing on the gatefold shot of Sgt. Pepper–was obviously an OPP patch, not some dopey OPD officially pronounced dead nonsense. The touring cast of Beatlemania can thank me for getting them actual OPP patches for their 1983 Toronto stage run. 

Grove kept this book error-free (unlike my last Beatle read) yet he often screwed up with song titles. The most egregious example occurred on p. 61 with a reference to “Wing Junka” yet a mere two lines later, to “Wino Junko”, the latter of which is correct. In his interview with Capitol Records’ National Promotion Manager Steve Meyer, I found it laughable–41 years later–when Meyer said, in analyzing the breakup of the Beatles and Paul’s role in it:

“Eventually, whether it be this year or next year or some year after, The Rolling Stones will break up. And there will be rumors at that time as to who left first, and who broke it up, and who, why and who did this and whatever.”  

Aside from the departure of Bill Wyman, the Stones are still Rolling along as we approach 2020. 

The Paul McCartney & Friends Calendar at the end was full of mistakes and chronological time travel. It detracted from the Wings story, and included some events that I felt were unnecessary (such as Ringo Starr’s birthday and when Cynthia Lennon filed divorce papers against John). 

[1] Yes, that is how McCartney’s name was rendered on the full title page, with a space between the two C’s. It wasn’t only there; all references to Paul’s first solo album are to MC CARTNEY, which simply looks awful.

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