Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Exclusive: Huge McCartney reference project from trio of authors to premiere in 2017
The first volume of a new book series on the career of Paul McCartney by three distinguished Beatles authors and researchers will hit the shelves in 2017, we can announce here for the first time. “The McCartney Legacy,” as it will be called, will be written by Chip Madinger, Allan Kozinn and Adrian Sinclair, and published by Madinger's Open Your Books imprint that's also handling his “Lennonology” series on John Lennon. The book has also just started a website.
Madinger, of course, is known for his excellent Beatles books “Eight Arms to Hold You” and the “Lennonology” series of which one volume is available. Allan Kozinn, has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers, is the author of two Beatles books, “The Beatles - From the Cavern to the Rooftop” and “Got That Something - How The Beatles’ ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ Changed Everything,” one of the co-hosts (with yours truly) of the radio show “Things We Said Today,” contributing editor to Beatlefan magazine and author of several other music-based books. Sinclair, a Beatles researcher for over 20 years, is also an award-winning documentary editor in the UK. They reveal first details of the project for this interview. Madinger (and Kozinn) also discuss the book in the new Things We Said Today show #207 premiering soon on Podbean, iTunes and YouTube.
Q: When will the first book come out?
Adrian Sinclair: “The book should, be out at the end of next year on the Open Your Books label together with the next installment of (Madinger's) 'Lennonology.'”
Allan Kozinn: “‘McCartney Legacy’ will be a multi-volume set, rolled out over several years and published by Chip Madinger’s ‘Open Your Books’ imprint, which is also publishing “Lennonology.” I’m not sure how many volumes the set will be – probably five, maybe more. One reason it’s changing is because of the amount of material we’ve turned up. The first volume, as we originally envisioned it, was going to cover the whole of Wings through 1979 or 1980. But we have so much documentation, and so many fresh interviews, for the first version of Wings, which fell apart in 1973, just as the group was about to leave for Lagos, Nigeria, to record ‘Band on the Run,’ that we decided to make the first volume a look at McCartney’s work from 1969 to 1973 -- we’re talking about the ‘McCartney’ album through the rehearsals for ‘Band on the Run’ – as well as his first actual solo project, the score for ‘The Family Way.’ It should be out in the autumn of 2017.”
Sinclair: “Volume One (there will likely be five in total) will cover Paul’s solo career 1966-73. Closing when the ‘Band on the Run’ rehearsals ended on 13 August 1973 (you can have one date we found!).”
Q: How did it come together?
Kozinn: “Like a lot of us, I think Adrian was hoping for an update to "Eight Arms to Hold You," but knew that Chip was fully engaged in writing "Lennonology," so began to collect information on his own. He asked me if I wanted to get involved, and while I thought it would be daunting, I liked the challenge. But I also knew that Chip had collected a good deal of info since "Eight Arms" was published, so I persuaded both Chip and Adrian that it made sense to make common cause.
Sinclair: “Much like the Beatles finding one another, we somehow did the same. I had started a project myself and spoke to Allan about helping me out. I’d been gathering information, and needed someone to help me translate that into book form - Allan seemed the perfect fit. After a few weeks Allan had a conversation with Chip who told him that he’d been compiling info for 15 years for an update to 'Eight Arms,' so it felt like a natural thing for us all to join forces.”
Chip Madinger: “After the release of ‘Eight Arms To Hold You,’ in 2000, I began to gather data for potential update, which as I've said before, was the genesis of Strange Days Indeed. Now it would have been irresponsible of me to not stockpile any McCartney data that I discovered during the production of ‘LENNONOLOGY,’ and there was some very exciting information that I came across, which I proceeded to file away with no particular project in mind. So, around a year to 18 months ago, I was speaking with Allan Kozinn and he told me of a project that he was working on with the British researcher Adrian Sinclair. After a few more conversations, it seemed natural for me to join the team and pass along the session information and interviews that I had collected-especially as I was busy working on volume two of the ‘LENNONOLOGY’ series. The combination of contemporary studio documentation paired with an extensive series of key interviews – including some that I conducted over the years with members of Wings and session players who are no longer with us – will result in the definitive history of Paul McCartney as a solo artist-both on his own and with Wings. And It only seems natural that ‘McCartney Legacy’ will be presented in a format similar to the future volumes of ‘LENNONOLOGY.’”
Q: What is the goal of the book?
Kozinn: “Our feeling was that although there are, at this point, a number of McCartney biographies on the market, there really isn't a work that deals comprehensively with his creative work - an extraordinary, varied collection of albums and rock, classical and experimental projects that continues to grow. Chip's "Eight Arms To Hold You" charted that territory to a great extent, but it is now 16 years old, and a good deal more information has emerged since he published it, and we wanted to sharpen the focus. So we will have a detailed write up for each song, including session dates, quotes from both the interviews we've done our selves and from contemporary sources. And each album will be introduced by a biographical overview that will look at what was going on in McCartney's life at the time of each set of sessions, as a way of providing context for the information about the recordings.”
Sinclair: “The initial goal was fairly simple, to update the amazing work done in 'Eight Arms.' But the project snowballed within a matter of months when we realized how much new information we actually had. My own personal aim was to try and speak to everyone (still alive) who worked with McCartney between 1969-73, to tell the story in the voices of those who lived it. So we tracked down most of the key players and Allan and I interviewed them. Lucky for us Chip had already spoken to Henry McCullough before he passed, as well as many other big names from this era. His input in the project cannot be overstated. Through band interviews we struck up several key relationships, through which we’ve been able to piece together an extraordinary timeline of events for 1970-73. This means that we can report accurately on things such as recording sessions, filming, band rehearsals, dinners, holidays, and more importantly, when members joined and quit - down to the very day.
“At the same time, being that I’m in the UK, I spend a lot of time in the British Library, reading all the music newspapers printed between 1969-73 (more than 1000 in total) to get every detail, press interview, report, photo, rumour, you name it from contemporary reports. Contemporary band interviews are as key to volume as new ones, they were of the time, fresh, honest, and at times incredibly revealing.
“We have also done a lot of historical digging, and accumulated as much historical information as possible to tie in with Wings’ work in the studio, on TV and on the road to bring this period to life for readers. At the heart of the volume there will be a full discography and sessionography, this will include a detailed description of the recording process for each and every song, from conception to studio session (sample song coming next week hopefully.) We really hope to offer a definitive, detailed, and most importantly accurate account of Wings first flight.”