Just near where I work is one of those clearance bookshops that specialise in discontinued lines or overstocks. Its called “Discount Books” and for the avid Beatles collector it is worth dropping by on a semi-regular basis because you never know what is going to turn up. It stocks books from around the world that have either not sold as well as expected, or that have had just a few hundred sitting around in a warehouse for a couple of years that they want to to clear. Over a lengthy period of time I’ve probably picked up 20 or so unusual Beatles-related titles that I was either unaware existed or never got around to buying for full price. And generally these have been, as the name of the store suggests, at discount prices.
Today I dropped by and found this.
Its called “Paul McCartney – Now & Then” and is a photo and text book compiled and written by Tony Barrow and Robin Bextor. It immediately had a bit of cred because Tony Barrow is a long-time Beatles associate having been their public relations guy for six year between 1962-1968. Its his name that you see at the bottom of the back of many of their top-selling early album covers because he wrote all the liner notes. He’s the guy who first coined the term “the fab four”, so you know something of his heritage and where he’s coming from, and that this is not just some book written by a Johnny come lately.
“Now & Then” was first published in 2004 probably as a hardback, but this is a 2006 paperback edition. In a nutshell roughly the first quarter of the book is taken up with essays and stories by the authors dealing with Paul McCartney “Now”. The second quarter is a series of interviews with various luminaries who know or who have worked closely with him (Pete Best; Klaus Voorman; Bill Harry; Peter Asher; Brian Wilson; Steve Miller and George Martin to name just a few). The final two quarters of the book are concerned with McCartney “Then”, and finally “Today”.
There are lots of great photographs scattered throughout – just about every page has an interesting Paul-related shot – many of which I’ve never seen before. They’re a mixture of black and white and colour.
So all-in-all its a nice little package that I picked up for just under $10. It is 144 pages and I am really looking forward to a more thorough read. If anyone has seen this book before and knows a little bit more about it or its authors please feel free to drop a comment and let us know your thoughts.
Barrow, T. & Bextor, R. “Paul McCartney Now & Then” Carlton Books 1 84442 204 6