Through the years, Paul McCartney’s career and personal life have been the subject of countless magazine articles and books. The majority of his time on this planet, both with and without the Beatles, has been spent under the proverbial microscope. So what would inspire an author to take on the task of writing yet another Paul McCartney biography?
It’s all in the details. Howard Sounes, the author who also penned the much lauded Bob Dylan bio Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan, is a stickler for them. He spent two years interviewing over 200 of McCartney’s friends, colleagues and acquaintances for Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney, and has done an extraordinary amount of research to put together a compelling read.
Fab is not a sensationalist account of McCartney’s life by any means (even though it does go into astounding depth on the whole somewhat tawdry Heather Mills affair). Still, Sounes’ subject is not always presented in the most positive light. Often McCartney comes across as demanding, demeaning, egocentric, and controlling. His romantic affairs during his long relationship with Jane Asher were numerous. Judging by Sounes’ account, McCartney is the type who likes to have his cake and eat it too.
But there are moments McCartney is portrayed as a generous soul - especially when it comes to doing right by his family. And if you are at all interested in McCartney’s relationships with his uncles, aunts and cousins through the years, you will adore this book.
McCartney also enjoys playing the role of the "personable guy." For example: during the heyday of Apple, Paul went on American television, asking the public to send the company their ideas. Rather than casting the job to an underling, McCartney would actually “make time to listen to at least some of the ideas that came in. Anybody who was personable and persistent had a chance of having a word with the star.” An extraordinary revelation about a Beatle, for sure.