With the breakup of The Beatles, Paul McCartney secretly recorded his first solo album at his home in High Park, a getaway located in an unprepared wilderness inhabited by horses and gardens. This calming environment allowed for the music to become a type of therapy for the constant court battles and turmoil that remained in his life. With encouragement from family, the songwriting slowly returned as his depression began to alleviate. The creativity of this first outing was dominated by his own handmade style of music. This original writing style would become a precursor of Paul's structured songs within songs that take unexpected dips and turns, yet provides the familiar spirit of the Beatles playfulness. Creations such as "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" allowed him to ward off all fears of songwriting and begin a yearning for live performances. So, in 1972 Paul formed his own band of coterie hippies, Wings, and with a handful of songs set off to once again conquer the music world. Man on the Run by Tom Doyle chooses the 1970's as the central focal point of legendary Paul McCartney. Many interesting life changing moments are covered in this book including the myth of Paul's death. The backward spinning of certain songs provided eerie clues such as a voice saying "turn me on dead man", or Lennon's constant murmuring on "Strawberry Fields Forever" translating into "I buried Paul". In many ways The Beatles brought it upon themselves by playfully hiding cryptic tip-offs and red herrings. It turns out dying wasn't easy...causing stress and negative attention, the delusion became an unwanted burden. Even today fans analyze the hidden messages and attempt to unfold all the truths behind the mysterious death. Other topics include McCartney facing seven years of prison time in Japan when a substantial amount of Marijuana was found in his possession, and finally to the casualty of John Lennon. The departure of Lennon would strongly affect the other half of the ultimate song writing partnership, and ultimately lead to flippant words that would haunt McCartney as a reporter asked for a response to Lennon's demise. This misinterpretation of handling death never took away the importance of Lennon being a warm loving man, along with the statement of "Give Peace a Chance" hastening the end of the Vietnam War.
— Mike, Albuquerque
An illuminating look at the most tumultuous decade in the life of a rock icon—the only McCartney biography in decades based on firsthand interviews with the ex-Beatle himself. As the 1970s began, the Beatles ended, leaving Paul McCartney to face the new decade with only his wife Linda by his side. Holed up at his farmhouse in Scotland, he sank into a deep depression. To outsiders, McCartney seemed like a man adrift—intimidated by his own fame, paralyzed by the choices that lay before him, cut loose from his musical moorings. But what appeared to be the sad finale of a glorious career was just the start of a remarkable second act.
The product of a long series of one-on-one interviews between McCartney and Scottish rock journalist Tom Doyle, Man on the Run chronicles Paul McCartney’s decadelong effort to escape the shadow of his past, outrace his critics, and defy the expectations of his fans. From the bitter and painful breakup of the Beatles to the sobering wake-up call of John Lennon’s murder, this is a deeply revealing look at a sometimes frightening, often exhilarating period in the life of the world’s most famous rock star.
Sensing that he had nowhere to go but up, Paul McCartney started over from scratch. With emotional—and musical—backing from Linda, he released eccentric solo albums and embarked on a nomadic hippie lifestyle. He formed a new band, Wings, which first took flight on a ramshackle tour of British university towns and eventually returned Paul to the summit of arena rock superstardom.
In Man on the Run, Doyle follows McCartney inside the recording sessions for Wings’ classic album Band on the Run—and provides context for some of the baffling misfires in his discography. Doyle tracks the dizzying highs and exasperating lows of a life lived in the public spotlight: the richly excessive world tours, the Japanese drug bust that nearly ended McCartney’s career, his bitter public feuds with his erstwhile Beatle bandmates, and the aftermath of an infamous drug-and-alcohol-fueled jam session where McCartney helped reconcile the estranged John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
For Paul McCartney, the 1970s were a wild ride with some dark turns. Set against the backdrop of a turbulent decade, Man on the Run casts the “sunny Beatle” in an entirely new light.
Praise for Man on the Run
““Tom Doyle’s detailed chronicle, which includes rare interviews with McCartney and former Wings members, portrays a band that was far more contentious than eager-to-please hits like 1976’s ‘Let ’Em In’ had us believe, fronted by a legend who wanted to be both boss and buddy. The book is larded with tales of Seventies rock-star excess, Paul and Linda’s love of weed, docked paychecks, and grousing musicians.”—Rolling Stone “Well-researched but still breezy and engaging, the book offers a comprehensive tour of the shaggy, bleary-eyed decade when the hardest-working ex-Beatle reached the zenith of his creative and commercial success. . . . Man on the Run makes an excellent contribution to the burgeoning literature devoted to McCartney’s post-Beatles career.”—The Boston Globe “In the 1970s, a depressed, heavy-drinking Paul McCartney walked away from The Beatles and reinvented himself as the leader of another hitmaking rock ’n’ roll band. A new book by longtime Q magazine contributing editor Tom Doyle about that turbulent period in the legendary rock star’s life, Man on the Run, catches him in mid-flight.”—Billboard
About the Author
Tom Doyle is an acclaimed music journalist, author, and long-standing contributing editor to Q. His work has also appeared in Mojo,TheGuardian,Marie Claire,Elle,The Times, and Sound on Sound. Over the years, he has profiled Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Kate Bush, Elton John, R.E.M., and U2, among many others. He is the author of The Glamour Chase: The Maverick Life of Billy MacKenzie, which has attained the status of a classic rock biography since its original publication. He lives in London, England.
“Tom Doyle’s detailed chronicle, which includes rare interviews with McCartney and former Wings members, portrays a band that was far more contentious than eager-to-please hits like 1976’s ‘Let ’Em In’ had us believe, fronted by a legend who wanted to be both boss and buddy. The book is larded with tales of Seventies rock-star excess, Paul and Linda’s love of weed, docked paychecks, and grousing musicians.”—Rolling Stone “Well-researched but still breezy and engaging, the book offers a comprehensive tour of the shaggy, bleary-eyed decade when the hardest-working ex-Beatle reached the zenith of his creative and commercial success. . . . Man on the Run makes an excellent contribution to the burgeoning literature devoted to McCartney’s post-Beatles career.”—The Boston Globe “In the 1970s, a depressed, heavy-drinking Paul McCartney walked away from The Beatles and reinvented himself as the leader of another hitmaking rock ’n’ roll band. A new book by longtime Q magazine contributing editor Tom Doyle about that turbulent period in the legendary rock star’s life, Man on the Run, catches him in mid-flight.”—Billboard “Man on the Run is a must for any rock fan. Doyle strips away the larger-than-life figure and examines the real McCartney: the musician, the father, the husband, fighting off a nervous breakdown, trying to navigate his way through a tumultuous decade.”—The Boston Herald “Doyle has added a valuable entry into the Beatles Bookshelf.”—Houston Press “Doyle digs deeply into Mr. McCartney’s life and career, doing fans a great service as he unearths details even the most obsessive among them likely did not know.”—The East Hampton Star “A compelling read for both casual and well-versed fans.”—The Morton Report “[An] engaging, accessible, and well-written telling of rock and roll's ultimate comeback tale.”—Library Journal
“Compulsively readable . . . Accomplished rock journalist Doyle presents a solid, detailed, and, above all, honest reappraisal of McCartney’s work.”—Publishers Weekly
“Tom Doyle’s Man on the Run is a riveting dispatch from the seventies. Paul McCartney’s story is told with clever pacing, unflinching honesty, and a gripping narrative drive that benefits from his intimate participation via interviews and support. This is simply one of the best rock biographies anyone has written.”—Stephen Davis, bestselling author of Hammer of the Gods and Watch You Bleed
“Having attended the historic Wings over America concert at the Kingdome in Seattle back in 1976, I’ve been a major Paul McCartney fan seemingly forever and a day. And by virtue of that, I figured I had pretty much learned all there was to know about Sir Paul and his colossal career. Oh, how wrong I was! Man on the Run is simply brimming with enough fascinating facts and expertly rendered anecdotes to make even the most ardent McCartney follower do an abrupt about-face. Maybe I’m amazed? You better believe it.”—Kent Hartman, music industry executive and bestselling author of The Wrecking Crew
“[Man On The Run] answers the question: What happens when you can do anything you like but nothing will ever be good enough? Doyle makes sense of a stoned shaggy dog story that has none of the narrative neatness of the Beatles’ rise and fall.”—The Guardian (U.K.), “Music Books of the Year”
“[Doyle] offers a level-headed and admirably nonjudgmental portrait of a turbulent ten years, punctuated by great music, creative misfires and frequent run-ins with the law.”—Sunday Express (U.K.) “Starting with the painful disintegration of the Beatles, Doyle examines the next decade in McCartney’s unimaginably odd existence. . . . Most compelling is the book’s portrait of a man in a position that doesn’t come with a guidebook, playing it by ear.”—Q Magazine (U.K.)
“The go-to guy if you want to coax confessions from a superstar, Doyle writes without agenda.”—Mojo (U.K.)